Living-g/ass

broken shards

I think it began with those Friday evenings.

His name appears on my phone, he is calling. I am nervous, it is my first time hearing his voice.

Ah, I think to myself, this is probably the sound of silk. This, this string of melody, has never trickled down the tips of my fingers before.

His eyes meet mine, he is walking towards me. I am exuberant, almost feverish. It is our first date together. Well, not date date — you know, millennium conventions, we ought to thread carefully on this whole relationship thing.

Ah, I say aloud, I never thought someone could make me laugh this incessantly.  Suddenly, his eyes get lost in mine, and mine in his, and I see a pastel hue in his smile, and I realise I am drowning myself in the sound of his voice.

His skin wraps around mine, he hugs me tight. I am bawling in his embrace. I just ended a call with my parents and they aren’t too happy.

Ah, I wonder, I can do this relationship thing forever. He gets me, you know, he hears my thoughts. He is a mirror image of me, he reads me like an open book. His touch is warm, and I am galvanised by this warmth.

But then, his fingers suddenly wrap taught around my arm, his nails are digging into the surface of my skin. I am bawling, but this time, in his bathroom. We are arguing, but I am not so sure about that, I think I am losing.

Ah, I scream, please stop hurting me. He releases his grasp, my arms are blue. I am lost in his eyes, but I no longer see pastel hues: I see red, a brilliant crimson red. I do not see him, I do not know who that is, but I know I am sinking, deep down, into an abyss of his ire. What happened to the serenity of surfing across turquoise tidal waves that was his embrace? What happened to velvet voices and the silky melody that drowned me in infatuation? I don’t think I can do this relationship thing forever.

AhI have never wanted to tear down these whitewashed walls so badly before. They are pushing against my feet, I cannot run. Because he reads me like an open book; he sees through my frailties, my fatigue, my fears.

And I fear him.

AhI guess I’m stuck here for a while.

I swear, it all began with those Friday evenings, when his name always appeared on my phone.

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Nightmare

I am starting to crave nightmares. I think I am learning to fall in love with them.

The other day, I dreamed about water: loud, sprinkling water. It wasn’t a magnificent, resounding wave; it came in splatters and splashes, like drizzles on my skin.

In the dream, I am suddenly thrown into a vast piece of barren land. It is arid and humid, and eerily silent. I smell the fetor of a storm on the way. I let the silence seep into my pores.

Suddenly, I make a run for it. For what? I don’t know, I cannot put a finger as to exactly what I am running towards, who I am running towards. I just know I am running with this intangible, hazy yet fervid resolve in mind. This desire to run, to chug down fresh air into my lungs, to unleash the pail of blood that I have been balancing at the top of my mind into the rest of my body, to feel alive, is gradually becoming overwhelmingly fervent, it is eating into my skin. Yet, I love the sensation of this burning desire, I am euphoric, almost enchanted by this alien, abrupt confrontation of adrenaline.

Suddenly, there are drizzles on my skin. Bit by bit, more and more, cascading off the soles of my feet as I sprint faster and faster across this parched land.

Suddenly, water pelts down. The downpour unleashes a torrent of needles that liquefy at the surface of my skin, searing through mercilessly, entering my bloodstream seamlessly.

Suddenly, I awake within my dream. I’m on the floor now, the water running through my uniform aimlessly, into the drain. My eyes are open, but all I see is darkness. I hear sounds, muffled sounds. I cannot make out what he is saying, but it ricochets off the walls of this enclosed space that seem to be caving in on me.

Suddenly, water hits me like splatters and splashes, and I realise I have been closing my eyes all along. I cannot seem to find fresh air to chug down anymore, I accidentally spill the pail of blood I have been vigilantly balancing at the top of my mind all over the floor.

No, this is not a dream, I am not dreaming, this seems all too real for it to be a dream.

Suddenly, I remember to gasp for air. I am gasping desperately, yet, deep down, I feel this sense of tranquility blooming in the soil of the depths of my heart. I am immediately reminded of the barren land that I was, and still am, sprinting across with a surreal ecstasy.

My eyes shot open. Sunlight streamed through my window.

Suddenly, I realised that he had been watering the grounds of this parched land all along. What I was running towards, I finally know;

I was running towards freedom. 

That was one of the best nightmares I had in a while. It was not a dream — it was a bittersweet reality.

What I Thought I Deserved

Was happiness.

Then the little scribbles of mathematical equations (that really, just looked like the bunch of Harry Potter spells I never really managed to enunciate until this day) on strewn notes reminded me of all that was not.

This music, I’ve heard it somewhere. That nostalgic sense of a relatable, distant memory was comforting, though just for a while.

Cafes always made me feel the warmth of nostalgia. To me, cafes emitted the scent of hideaways on rainy days and the withdrawal symptoms of everything that made me laugh.

I rested my head on my arms, hoping that the one voice I wished would not tear open my phone screen and amplify through the text message would be silenced. For once, just once, I did not want to be reminded of rainy days and the scent of laughter. For once, just once, I did not want to feel the nostalgia crippling up the veins of my neck. For once, just once, I wished I had known better of what I deserved.

Maybe it was the endless nights filled with aimless conversations; maybe it was the cranky mornings that ended off with silent hugs; maybe it was the intense gazes that really made me all warm and fuzzy.

Maybe…

I lifted my head up and wiped away the tears I cried in my mind, the music now overwhelming my ears with nostalgic melody.

Growing Pains; why it’s okay to feel this way.

Eighteen. To be honest, I still am unable to wrap my head around the significance of this number. It seemed like just a breath ago when my lungs were desperately grasping for air the night before my English ‘O’ Level examination, and before I know it, I am catapulted right out of the secondary school system and am strapped firmly on a rollercoaster heading full force towards university.

Eighteen. I guess that is what eighteen feels like.

Literally, my clothes start to wrap taut around my shoulders. Clearly, the remaining trails of puberty are still littered across my face in the forms of conspicuous blemishes and acne scars (mind you, I did not sign up for this part of the Growing Up programme). Perhaps, this is a metaphor of growth: the time we begin to feel awkwardly discomfited in our own skin, striving to slowly wrench out of this shell that is obviously becoming way too small for us. A sign of maturity? More like ungrateful, ungainly dancing.

This clumsy twirling and whirling, however, does not necessarily translate into an act of collective humiliation pinned to the oddities of growing up. Rather – call me an idealist if you may but – what if this agony in growth is a microcosm of beauty?

Truth is, at eighteen, I lie a lot. The school asks if studying overseas is really my dream; my parents want me to be no less than a hundred percent sure of the course of my choice. I reply them with a resounding “Yes!” Truth is, I do not know. Weirdly, I am more frightened of the prospect of them finding out the Truth than I am terrified of my own internal shattered career compass.

What do I do now?

What is the point of burning midnight oils, working towards a non-existent goal? What is going to be left of me, should I continue on with this seemingly lethargic drive?

What do I do now?

The answer, ironically, lies in time. Only time will tell. Until then, it is okay to feel this way, to be this way, to live this way. Until then, withholding the Truth does not make me a criminal, strolling aimlessly alongside the vicious cycle of life does not make me lost. Until then, I am simply on my way.

What fundamentally matters, is choice. The choice of living, loving and laughing, the choice of allowing yourself to live, love and laugh, the choice of painting the walls of the time you are confined to the brightest golden hues. Go to school, not because you are sprinting across boundless plains only to arrive at a piece of barren, parched land; go to school because you are intrigued by the endless possibilities of this earth, as you surprise yourself with the expanse of knowledge you are determined to accept. Go out and realise how, as you grow, the whole world moves with you, and the choices you make can either shatter the ground beneath you, or launch you into a space filled with bountiful opportunities.

The conception of choice is that simple: choosing to tell yourself that maybe, just maybe, awkward dancing is not that bad after all. It is only through making both good and bad choices, that we flourish.

On hindsight, I may have twirled and whirled a little too much, almost enough to make me dizzy; but at least now I know, that I may well be on my way to perfecting the pirouette.  

Eighteen. I guess that is what eighteen is suppose to feel like.

Loving him

I love how he shines like day but

I only speak to him in the night because

I always find the flowers withering at my feet and

I can only get lost in the stars that were his eyes.

I love how my world seeps through his veins and his through mine and

I do not care how opacity tries to cripple into our hearts but

I cannot seem to comprehend the walls in between our gazes and

I cannot help but bleed myself dry while falling for darkness.

And soon, I hate the way

I strip down the skin of our love;

I idle along the bridge that fuses our souls;

I launch myself out of sanity eager to be forgotten.

I hate the way I sprint past the amazon of your love to find myself worthy of only unspoken words and sleepless nights.

I hate the way I love you.

Give Yourself :

Give yourself the benefit of the doubt, that:

You can only be happy given that you

Experience pain, regret, temptation, grief and

All poison that binds your feet from progress.

Give yourself time to follow your heart:

To stumble off the beam once in a while so that you

Can hold the hands of those that love to hold yours and also

Those that have shackled you to the depths of your thoughts at midnight so that

You can feel the blood rushing through your smile again.

Give yourself space to renew your soul:

Spread your fingers wide open and realise the

Gaping holes between them marry the universe and

Allow yourself to feel how imperfect you are suppose to be

Just like the rest of this space filled with tattooed minds and pierced hearts.

And most importantly, give yourself dignity:

Respect your entity and in all of its humane bodily functions be

Who you wish to be without these shackles that bind your feet from progress while you

Spread your mind and open your eyes,

All with a perfectly broken heart

Under the grasp of a woman who is

Simply on her way to mastering

The art of loving thyself.

Nightfall

Sometimes I look up at the sun, because they told me that the sun signifies a new day, and a new start. 

And because it is only in daylight that we walk, we run, we hustle, it is only in daylight that we grasp hold of what is tangible and cherish the treasures infront of our very eyes, it is only in daylight that we remember how the scent of rain tastes like or how the trees turn a combination of mustard and champagne-gold when autumn arrives, or when our feet first touches the lukewarm parquet floor after we stumble out of our winter boots;

Because it is only in daylight that we see.

But it is also in daylight that we remember the box of conformity that is society replete with anxiety, it is also in daylight that we whip out our handmade wooden masks and conceal our souls, it is also in daylight that we bound our feet with the shackles of routine and jaded prospects of uncertainty;

It is also in daylight that we are unable to see the intangible.

That is when I learnt to look up at the moon instead, at the glistening night sky that manifests itself as an intrinsically interconnected web of stars and orbitting planets. 

And because it is only in nightfall that our sense of sight is numbed and we are forced to rely on our other humanely sensory devices, and it is only in nightfall that I can hear the voices of bitter love and dying desperation richocheting off the walls of my heart, it is only in nightfall when the weight of the world sinks into my chest as I lay down on my bed, it is only in nightfall that the scars on our bodies sting after we take off those wooden masks, it is only in nightfall that we are allowed to deviate from conformity and unleash our truest forms back into the wilderness of our hearts, it is only in nightfall when all of life’s uncertainties are suddenly magnified and on display for the stars to scrutinise, it is only in nightfall when I realise that my heart had been thrown out onto a stage under a spotlight that is daylight all along, and I had been dancing naked along to the sound of zooming cars and ringing cell phones;

Because it is only in nightfall that we feel. 

And that’s okay, it’s okay to feel only in the dark, because it is only in darkness that we discover our very own comets and learn to look up to the moon and the stars to lead us back to the ground, it is only in darkness that we regret the scars we have engraved on our bodies and the bodies within our minds, it is only in darkness that we listen to our hearts and break free from the shackles that bound our eyes together, it is only in darkness that we can escape.

Don’t be afraid that you’re hidden in the dark because really —

You’re on your way.