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.