Words may seem like the silliest of little things, stubborn and childish. At times, I find myself dragging them out by their baby fat arms, maybe even bribing them with fresh obsidian ink. Trust me, their heels stay grounded on the floor of your palate, shoes squeaking with friction as you pull and pull. When it gets worse, they simply cross their arms, huff out vehement resentment, then with their oddly shaped bodies, trot under your tongue. Now you’re really in trouble, because you can’t reach for them there. But you know they’ll come out eventually, they’ve got to eat somehow. You’ve given up, you’re sinking into the leather armchair, thinking, maybe you should just resort to making armchairs instead of writing. Practical, and there’s no hide and seek with them. And as you slowly fall asleep, with your jaw open, the words crawl out, one behind the other, and place themselves onto the paper, with infinite patience. With an ornate smile, they let themselves down, their spine going clack..clack..clack like the sound of a retractable pen being clicked.
Overhead clouds and the girl sitting opposite me seems slightly unamused with it all. With how her reality is painted or with how the foldable table juts out into her thigh unlike a beautiful thorn but more like a polished rounded nuzzle of a plane. To her, I think, the world is made out of aluminium and tectonic plates, never close enough to clash. Grey and incandescent blue striped of a hoodie might just be her comfort zone- more than the trees sprouting out of the ground (maybe a bit too violently for her taste). She seems like a person that would would have coffee without sugar because extending her hand across the table would be more of a nuisance. She doesn’t seem very excited about her end destination, or maybe her mind’s too haywire to allow herself to figure out which emotion to splay out (so she settles with none). On a second thought, she’s ruminating. There’s hurt, and fear of broken piano keys, scared of hitting a C minor. Maybe she’s left a love behind. Definitely not on the wrong train.
Being reunited with your first childhood love is something that feels very sudden, out of place, yet completely in place: fitting like a puzzle piece into your life. Seeing her again is like closing my eyes on a rollercoaster and opening them again only when they tell you to take off your seatbelt: and you feel like you’ve missed out on this whole middle chunk and you wished you were there to see it (yet you also don’t), so you just get the end product delivered to you. No labels. No preamble. Just the person with a smile that has shifted slightly and eyes that have lost and gained hope for what seems like centuries. And you remember seeing her joyous and naïve and ignorant, her eyes wide open like gemstones begging for light, for life to hit them. But it’s still all there. And the whiff you smell when she passes you is always the same and you know that if you were to squeeze her all into one drop of essential precious oil, it would smell as strongly and beautifully as it did three years ago. She wears scars now, but she also wears the same golden nail polish, and this little curious quirk has popped up in her- and it drives me crazy: her curiosity for life. She’s sticking her tongue out to taste what it feels like to be alive. And I’ll always feel this infinite tenderness towards her.
As a writer, I must observe the earth as if everything unfolding before me were a delicate petal slipping through the ring of my right thumb. I’m grasping it, I’m nearly there at having it all figured out but I’ll have to take another look- that’s my attitude on everything I discover. I’ll look at you, but not only in the eyes, and I won’t just read you like a book. I f you let me, I’ll submerge myself completely into water colored by the ink of your most terrible impulses. I’ll learn to memorise the way your knees click, how many times a day you tiptoe, what fingers you use to tap surfaces. I’ll notice how the wind creates fluctuations in our lives and I’ll learn that though I cannot grasp, I can try to imitate nature’s way of dancing with me and waltz across paper to explain it all. I’ll never be able to explain it all, and the size of the shard you’re given is either too big or too small- we’ll never know. What I can know is, what I’ll search to listen for at 4am (crickets), what emotions allow me to sink into a leather chair and what environment spills like hot lava over my nerves. I can learn how to sink languidly with how being this “me”, this “human”, feels like. I haven’t been given an instruction booklet so sometimes I still can’t fathom reactions this body will muster up; but I have figured out that this lead digging into paper or what my mind is able to string together and expel into the outer world will always be my task and my mother’s embrace. Not like a net or an anchor, but more like an overhead cloud or the gravel under my feet.
I think the biggest gift is being able to find beauty in the smallest of occurrences. And constantly being shocked by it, like a child.
so, everytime i write on here in Times New Roman, I feel like I’m talking to a therapist, and I am, in fact my own therapist. I remember the TV show where the patient falls in love with their therapist, unluckily this cannot happen with me (though I so very wish for it, and I wonder how it feels like to love oneself). However, that is a topic for another talk and it’s quite a long winding road.
I’m here today to talk about (not embrace, but maybe a little bit) my overly active imagination and idealism. I don’t know whether I cherish or hate it. This is because on one hand, it’s spurred me on to creating something of the eerie or beautiful, on the other hand, it has had my heart forget it’s job so I’m sort of left there, hanging, with a hammer planted into my chest. It’s like expecting someone to pick you up on the road and you wait thirty minutes – well they must have been late, there was traffic- and an hour slips to four hours and you fall asleep on the bench you were waiting on. The end of the story is, that it never comes, this relief of the person coming for you (relief that my heart muscle will set me free and stop jittering like a puppy). idealism is a nice concept, it even sounds sophisticated, something that rich educated teenagers use in poems, and to me it’s borderline stuff of nightmares and borderline majestic. It makes you feel grandiose because in that little skull of yours, everything is going the way it is- you’re running the show, honey. so the kiss you wanted landed just right on your lips and that second glance definitely meant more. but in the real world you’re not even sure you have lips to receive that kiss and maybe your lover is looking to the left and not at you. but that’s okay because then you suffer and this little bitch here enjoys the feeling of jumping ten feet stories high or simply dark things you find behind corners. but that’s all okay also because at least i’ll follow the trail of sadness/self victimisation/disappointment(mostly) and bunch it all together and this so called thing/ “art” comes out. and my teacher always says my work looks like anger, I say yes and it’s not anger towards the one or the world that didn’t follow my script, but it’s anger towards myself for making a script in the first place. sometimes i wonder what it feels like to pluck out all my teeth or cut my thighs in front of my lover so that i could simply write about it. this all stems from me just wanting all moments in life to be intense and life-changing and soul-grasping and I can’t stand the ordinary. I don’t want contentment, I want bliss. I don’t want neutral, I want pain or sorrow. I want it all to the extreme and I’ll never be able to stand in the middle of a capsizing boat.
ps. words you say will probably be tattooed on my eyelids
(i like feeling a lot so i don’t know where im going. and change seems scary and weird and uncomfortable and BORING)
the universe is something of the marvellous, too big of an idea, too big of a marvel to fit between my fingertips or the ridge of my lip. too big for it all, and i am too. it’s all so enchanting and i feel like i’m living in this beautifully woven fabric, where everything intertwines at some point. and it’s like constantly watching milk spill into coffee: they delicately waltz around each other with awe, it’s so sensual you feel like you could drown in it all. so you just let yourself get carried away by the fluidity and loquaciousness that’s offered, and for you to take.
sometimes you’re floating, sometimes you’re sinking, and all you can do is exhale and look. to me, quiet things like watching and absorbing the feeling of your feet meeting the ground- heel and arch and toes and sole, all come crashing down onto this little earth like a wave, then languidly peeling off with nonchalant elegance, contains something of the magical. and the cycle continues, alongside the cycle of life and death and the weather. this transiency is beyond words, it’s floating beneath our nose and it rests in our back pockets or hidden alleys at 4am. it’s there, then it’s not there. isn’t it exquisite how the best moments last for only quicksilver seconds? don’t you realise how quicksilver slippery it all is? the clouds will forever change from faces of people you know, to strangers, to simply water vapour and your favourite pair of shoes will never remain completely white or black or brown. your eyes will change with time and aged love, and so will your embraces and kisses and the way your fingers fidget. Around you, everything else flows too; the breeze will always smell different and you will keep watering the flowers inside you, no matter what.
(and maybe one day you’ll stop confusing dusk from dawn.)