You look, I die

I can write a pile of sentences, reread them and don’t find myself. They are often not good enough. They lack the strength to dig deep, take it out and spill it on paper. Bleeding heart calls for writing in blood and all I see is black ink on a dull white paper. Nonsense. Friday was good and I even believed I was getting better. And then came Saturday. You looked. I died. Again.

I want to take you off
Like summer hat in fall
Throw off your arms like gloves
That wouldn’t keep me warm
No more
Shake drops of voice
Out of my ears
Soaked in the cold
Of ruthless storms
Your words
Wipe off that touch
Out of the creases
Of my palm
You stick to me
Cling to my thinking
Roll down the spine
With drops of sweat
Making me shiver
In aching dreams
Can’t loving die
So I can live
Wait not just yet
Resists the heart
In which small room
Is filled with charcoals
Blue and orange
And amber
Like your world
I throw them in the fire
Where your ice
Is melted
Your picture out of the corner
Looks into me
I read a smile
In picture’s eyes
Hate never came
Into this room
It never will
My eyes meet yours
Was ever love
Inside your look
Did I misread it
Did I
Just throw your picture in the fire
My shaking hands
Are burnt
But it won’t burn
I cover it with charcoals
They turn to flowers
You still look
Right back into me
Your eyes
Your soul
Half... I’ll never know
And of that look
I die.

The music in my head

"What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?"

– Rob in the High Fidelity movie

I experimented by switching back and forth between sad and cheerful songs and found that upbeat tunes generally make me happier for about three minutes but are often hard to relate to. It is not because I am some kind of a sad little person, I am generally perfectly optimistic. In a way, life reminds me of parents. I love it despite all the crap it gives me. Then why do I keep listening to music that makes me cry?

I think maybe it is because there are so many sides to happiness while the pain of loss is generally one. I think there is a certain threshold of grief after losing a person, a place or a battle that was fought so hard… After crossing that brink of a primary shock, for a while there the pain becomes so strong it blurs the differences of all the initial reasons that hurt… It becomes all-engulfing. Excruciating. So similar to other pains. The melancholic words coming out of the headphones suddenly rhyme so perfectly with emotions… It brings a sense of a pleasant surprise amidst the ocean of sorrow, making you wonder how in the world someone else could put your heartache into their words so perfectly even before your heartache existed. It’s that easy-to-relate factor that makes sadness so listenable. In the words of one dentist I interviewed recently, “our market is essentially based on pain.” I know the producers of sad songs will make sure I stay miserable a bit longer and I know I won’t put up too much of a fight against it. I guess it’s all about the core. As long as you keep it strong, all that wavy stuff like the music in your head won’t really matter in the long run. Like a storm in the sea, it will stir you up and subside. And then comes new happiness, new pain and new music to complement them.

The God of Loss

“He tried to hate her.
She’s one of them, he told himself. Just another one of them.
He couldn’t.
She had deep dimples when she smiled. Her eyes were always somewhere else.

“That afternoon, Ammu traveled upwards through a dream in which a cheerful man with one arm held her close by the light of an oil lamp. He had no other arm with which to fight the shadows that flickered around him on the floor.
Shadows that only he could see.
Ridges of muscle on his stomach rose under his skin like divisions on a slab of chocolate.
He held her close, by the light of an oil lamp, and he shone as if he had been polished with a high-wax body polish.
He could do only one thing at a time.
If he held her, he couldn’t kiss her. If he kissed her, he couldn’t see her. If he saw her, he couldn’t feel her.
She could have touched his body lightly with her fingers, and felt his smooth skin turn to gooseflesh. She could have let her fingers stray to the base of his flat stomach. Carelessly, over those burnished chocolate ridges. And left patterned trails of bumpy gooseflesh on his body, like flat chalk on a blackboard, like a swathe of breeze in a paddyfield, like jet streaks in a blue church-sky. She could have so easily done that, but she didn’t. He could have touched her too. But he didn’t, because in the gloom beyond the oil lamp, in the shadows, there were metal folding chairs arranged in a ring and on the chairs there were people, with slanting rhinestone sunglasses, watching. They all held polished violins under their chins, the bows poised at identical angles. They all had their legs crossed, left over right, and all their left legs were shivering.

“If he touched her he couldn’t talk to her, if he loved her he couldn’t leave, if he spoke he couldn’t listen, if he fought he couldn’t win.

“The God of Loss.
The God of Small Things.
He left no footprints in sand, no ripples in water, no image in mirrors.”

- from The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

It’s ironic that you lent THIS book to me. It’s ironic that YOU lent this book to me.

It’s a great book. Life is ironic.

Not only good dreams come true, you know. I had so many nightmares about you and they all became a reality. This book of yours brought out a feeling of sad satisfaction in me. Sad, but satisfying.

The part above is so deep in its tragedy yet so beautiful. I reread it many times, receiving a bit of a gentle relief each time. It reminds me of one of those soothing melodies I listen to when riding my bike late in the evening. They blend with the freshness of wind pushing against my face and give me that tickling sensation of a flight above all the insignificant things in the world. They only matter if we choose for them to matter.

The part below is more earthly, but still captivating. It made me think a lot, but not about you any more. It made me look into me. I think it’s better this way, to finally think about me for once.

“In the year she knew him, before they were married, she discovered a little magic in herself, and for a while felt like a blithe genie released from her lamp. She was perhaps too young to realize that what she assumed was her love for Chacko was actually a tentative, timorous acceptance of herself.”

Despite all the pain I felt, I won’t deny that you played a significant part in my life, a role in my world that made me stop abruptly. To think. Although you’ll never know it, you helped me find the sides of me that I haven’t yet discovered. You helped me realized new truths and dig out the truths long forgotten, the ones that were covered with dust somewhere in the deep corner of my conscience, behind the shelves of doubts and stacks of fears. That corner was so dark it took the light out of my dreams. It made me want to postpone them until better times. Until when I’m strong enough. Until later. Lay Ter. But there is now, there’s today and I want to live it to the fullest.

You didn’t politely pat me on the shoulder, asking me whether by any chance I took a wrong route. This isn’t your way. You kicked me hard, pushed me against the wall and slapped me in the face, calling me a fool for not noticing a one-way sign for so long, jumping out of our time, onto your street, slamming my door, never to travel with me again.

I cried as you left, but then I smiled. I started accepting myself more and more each day and I liked it.

You reminded me who I really am and then you set me free. Always look for the positive side of things. They will only matter if we choose for them to matter.

I matter now.
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