what you do not understand is that - i am grieving.
--in the silent hours between midnight and daybreak, in the secret place between carelessness and selfishness, in between quiet affection and deafening confusion, in between what is right and what is wrong
--and all of these, in complete honesty of what we are, and what we are not.
i know what we are, and what we are not
--and i am grieving the loss of what we could have been.
so, why liverpool? you ask. what kind of answer were you expecting, i wonder. but no matter, i can only give you the truth.
it's a coastal city (here, flows the river mersey, mercy, mercy. and i love standing on the dock, right at the edge, and stare across at the twinkling lights of the town on the far shore. i love the open sky, the uninhibited horizons, the calm waters and the way they comfort a nomadic heart, a nocturnal soul. i love the wind's whisperings, sometimes in jest, sometimes in anger, and the seagull's cries, always in jest, always in hunger. i love the sound of the water lapping, licking at the rocks, the concrete dock, lapping, licking at all sin, shame and sorrow)
and the sunset there is always beautiful (here, the sun fights the turning of the clock, the coming of the night. the sun fights to stay and bleeds across the entire sky - purple and pink for pain, orange and red for love and lust and anger. the same rainbow colours my skin and arches over my heart. everyday, i rise and i fight with the sun. and when night comes, inevitably, i rest and ready myself for tomorrow, another day, another war)
it's a beautiful city. (here, i am free - like the waters, like the birds, like me)
it's 10am on a Monday morning back home - 2am where i am - and i receive a text message from my mama -
you should start thinking about the car number plate you want - 0711, 1088, 53xx...
each number has some significance to me - birthdate, mobile phone digits, ID number - and the fact that she remembers these numbers off the top of head says something. it says a lot of things.
i want to remember this moment - me sitting at my laptop, more alone than ever, but for a mountain of coursework and revision to tunnel through - and her sitting at her office computer, thinking of me.
i am everyday stunned by my parents' devotion and dedication to me and my sisters. do we deserve it?
I said my goodbyes. I gave everyone hugs but couldn't look anyone in the eye. Instead, I pressed my cheek into every chest, every neck and I closed my eyes and took deep breaths. Technology can transmit many things, but not a scent, not a sweet breath, not a stink of a boy's sweaty, after-sport, adrenaline-soaked T-shirt. So, I breathed it all in while I still can.
And on the plane, I cried and cried and wished I had held every embrace for just a second longer. Time had never before felt so tangible, so measurable in separation and space and sorrow.
Landing here, being here was and is still, surreal, unreal - even after 2 months.
But I need to be here - I need to walk away from comfort and warmth, away from ready smiles and welcoming arms, away from everyone whom I have ever defined myself by - I need to grow up and I need to do it alone.
In these few couple of months, I have Googled washing instruction symbols and their meaning, I have read a thousand recipes and learnt that cooking is both common sense and a science, I have given up on trying to love beer and given in to my irrational, reckless love of hard liquor - every day I discover something new, about myself or the peculiarity of people or the way of the world.
Once, I asked a friend who was going on a holiday when will he be coming home - and his reply (or his refusal to reply) really, really surprised me.
He refused, refused to answer me and instead, insisted to know why I was asking him that question.
I told him, truthfully, that I was just making conversation - and he called me a liar -
'nothing. just asking.'
'you never ask anything without reason. why do you want to know? do you want me to go somewhere with you?'
I was stunned. I never realized the extent of my silence until then.
My point is - I don't speak very often and I am terrible at small talk. I don't make friends very easily, I don't come across as the friendliest person and I am also very particular about my friendships.
On my birthday last week, a friend I met here wished me at midnight and said -
'you're one of my new best buddies. you know not everyone can click right?'
My point is - I've been thinking about friendship and what makes it work. I've been thinking about all of my friends and what makes our friendships last, despite the distance and the differences in the lives we lead.
And as ridiculous as this is going to sound, I think that a friendship can only be formed when there is a meeting of two hearts - when there is an ability to agree, disagree or agree-to-disagree, when there is a sharing of memory and history and when there is a certain volume of candidness and confidence - but not everyone holds out their hearts, not everyone wants to go down so deep.
My point is - sometimes, the emptiness in certain conversations suffocate me. There is nothing more frustrating than faking laughter or more tiring than faking excitement.
There is no loneliness quite like being surrounded by the wrong people - and it really makes me long for the right people a lot more.
I wonder: how will I remember this place when I leave?
Before, I thought I would go home and carry on with my days and nothing will have changed. I thought that this year here will become nothing but a distant memory, significant only to my own mind.
But now, I think something has shifted inside me. Now, I think I will go home with new eyes and new love -
this summer girl is missing her summer country.
every other night, you like your supper with some late night TV
but tonight, you sit at the dining table, facing me
but we both look down at our bowl of noodles and slurp noisily
to make up for all the words we refuse to say
you had handed me a bag of plasters and ointments
i will be alone when i fall sick next
alone on a foreign land
and you told me you couldn't think of anything else to get me
you had already bought me boxes of herbal tea for when the weather turns icy
and i said thank you
i know the unspoken words behind each gift
i know the thought and affection that made you
sit at your office computer and think of all the contingencies,
all the emergencies, and walk to the pharmacy
i hear in your voice as you tell me to drink more water, sleep earlier, go to the doctor's
i hear what you dare not say
i say, yes, yes, okay, okay
and i hope you hear what i dare not say too
you want to tell me that you will miss me, that you are already missing me
and i want to tell you that i have been crying myself to sleep for a week
but we drown these words with others
we hide them with the pearls and hand each other oyster shells
we disguise them as foams of the sea and send the waves ashore
over and over and over again
behave yourself, take care of yourself, call home
i will, i will, i definitely will
i also want to tell you
don't be sad, it will be less than a year before i see you
please don't be sad, please don't cry
but we don't have that kind of a relationship
(i hope you hear them anyway)
//i am already missing home so, so much, and i know it's silly! because i will only be gone for a year, two at most..but life isn't made up of years..it's made up of moments and i'm missing out so much :(