12.9.11

Runaway

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runaway-pola
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you don’t see this enough in books or movies; no one wants to tell you these things. but they happen. they’re real.

feeling alone. being alone. you have faith it’ll go away once you know who it’s about. you’re lonely because you’re an only child. you’re lonely because you have a brother but no friends. you’re lonely because you have a brother and a whole busload of friends but no boyfriend. you’re lonely because you have a brother, a whole busload of friends and a boyfriend but no -

finish the sentence, never stop wanting. but realize, understand. it’s not them, it’s you. in this place with 6 billion people, you’ve built an island. dug the moat with pale empty hands that refuse to hold on. filled it with the tears you’re always crying for no one and everyone. it’s what you do best.

you can be happy and still feel the knives in your feet when you turn around. uproot tendons and bone through scar tissue, long as the breaths you draw in this cold air. swallow stones. try to fold hope into fingernail clippings and creased sheets.

throw the cup away, dust yourself down. it’s not them. it’s you.
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4.9.11

Intro

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i wonder if i’ve ever told you that this blog was built on a promise? 365 posts, a year’s worth of writing – that was the deal. no less, no more. call me a sucker for punishment, but it seemed like the only way to keep me updating the blog.

and in the pathos of the previous year (or two), it really did slip my mind. i wrote because i wanted to. i wrote because i felt like i had to. all those jagged slipshod sentences that passed for entries; this was my method of therapy. 

but i was picking through some drafts today and it hit me. 365 isn’t that big of a number as i once thought. it’s almost here, after all. what do i do when it finally hits? it might be stupid to stop blogging because of a childish promise. then again, maybe the things i type have gone stale. i’m not deluded enough to imagine that i’m a writer by any stretch of the word.

and to be entirely honest, i haven’t been writing much at all these days anyway. i rely on scribbled notes and half finished entries from a long time ago. clichéd as it may be, it’s because i’m happy, and the words don’t come easy when i’m like this. the boy has faded. my feelings have faded. the hurt is there, but only when i’m dredging it out. and even then, it’s so insignificant that i just don’t care. 

so maybe keeping that promise is the right thing to do?
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intro-pola
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this is the 361st post.
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9.8.11

Guest Room

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evan keeps wondering how, wants to know the so-called secret. try to remember what you’ve done to get this far. oh yes. day in day out, smile like people are looking. even when you’re alone. if you lift the corners of your mouth fast enough, you push back saltwater and involuntary gasps.

you hate sweet things, but that’s okay. pour sugar into someone else’s mouth. bake. pretend that the hurt filters through your fingers into the flour. think one happy thought for each eggshell you break. sing to your soon to be cake while it  tans in the oven. scratch out names in leftover frosting. wipe clean.

go for a walk when everything’s quiet (but not too quiet) and bring along the soundtrack to your life. wait for the moment when the music swells and drips down to the feathered edges of your hair, then run. run! don’t ever stop, not even when your shoes fly off and a woman with a dog shouts at you to please come back, you left something behind.

write letters to people you’ve never met, on the back of jumble sale flyers. leave them at the first doorstep you see when you get off the bus. write letters to people you used to love. use them to papier-mâché a box, then paint over the whole thing in your favourite colour. this box; put letters into it. letters that you’ve written to people you love now. promise yourself that you’ll send them someday.

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guestroom-pola

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evan, do you understand?

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5.8.11

Hello, I’m In Delaware

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this is the three years ahead you thought it’d be, you see yourself 
rushing through unfamiliar songs hoping
this one is gonna be the one
sad sad song to make you cry
because surely someone out there knew, felt
the same pain you did
wrote it down in minims and bars and glass tipped words
you want the release without the blood but there it is
you’re biting down hard on your lip (and your fingers
and the scream you must always keep swallowed)
there’s the hook, there’s the turn, there’s the note
that’ll take you far away from yourself
on the 102 bus in repeat

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2.8.11

Beth/Rest

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breath fogged up in these branches 
like smoke
like the smoke in your lungs that you crave so much
you might never know this but
i heard what you said when you thought i was sleeping
and oh wow you’re right, i am weak
i’m egg shells and paper folds
i can wear skulls on my fingers
you still see a heart on a sleeve
but it doesn’t beat for you
not the way you want it to

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beth.rest-pola

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28.7.11

Stranger Strange

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stranger, stranger, strange you should be listening
like a river to the end of my curdled song
nobody knows what madness could come along
now if you see a being borne into a trap you free it
they know kindness when they see it
stranger strange would it come if you could call it?

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strangerstrange-pola

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this is the closest thing to a goodbye that i will ever give you.

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11.7.11

Thanks To You

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thankstoyou-pola

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the lies you tell become memories because you want them to be true. but they’re only your reality. when you fish them from your head; your mouth. the words you say to us, they’re laced with impossibilities and untruths. and yet, we begin to pretend too. we remember things that never really existed. so we feed on your contagious beliefs and make them our own.

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4.7.11

Storms

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sometimes i think about the boy. not the boy now, just a boy. and how he walked with his knees turned out.

his name is evan, but that’s just what i tell you. he steals things from me all the time – iced strawberries, pens without caps, pockets of sleep in a day in a night in a day.

the staccato beat of his laughter as i press a sneeze into his shoulder once again. when he drives me home, his fingers tap out the intricacies of a heartbeat on the steering wheel. he used to want to be a doctor, you know.

he held his forehead against my cheek once, feverish with love and the stomach flu. guy fawkes night, bolstered by chivas and loud whoops – his sigh traced a pathway down my spine.

two hours after we first met, he looped his shirt around my eyes so i wouldn’t see him streaking down the hallway for a dare. and i sat there giggling in a fog of filtered light. the sound of his bare feet kissing the marbled floor. away. towards. this unveiling like a mottled sunrise.

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storms-pola

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i feel that if i can last the month without seeing him again, then it would mean something to me. like not licking the sugar off your lips after eating a powdered doughnut. everyone says i can’t. they tell me it’s impossible but… i want to try anyway.

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30.6.11

Mare Mortis

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if you have to ask, you’ll never understand. when it’s your name being sewn into the corners of my mouth, the tips of my fingers. the fabric of my heart. that’s why i won’t sing anymore. that’s why i wear these clenched fists.

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maremortis-pola

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that’s why it hurts to breathe.

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23.6.11

The Last Time He Saw Dorie

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this suitcase is empty. if i wanted to, i could climb into it and lie there with my knees tucked under my chin until someone tipped me out.

this heart is empty. if you wanted to, you could climb into it and stay there forever with my hands and your hands and the way we used to look at each other when we thought we knew everything there was to know about love.

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lasttimehesawdorie-pola

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two more days until i’m home again.

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22.6.11

Daniel

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daniel-pola

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there is something about sadness that is addictive to me. personal unhappiness cuts the deepest, but i can feed off someone else’s bitterness too. it’s a fine line though between encouraging it and merely observing. i sit there day after day, listening to the sound of their voices (hearts?) breaking and i still can’t get enough of it.

maybe because it makes them more relatable. after all those years of people mocking me for wearing my heart on a shiny red button, it’s almost comforting to know that fragility is a human trait.

and yes, i am disappointed that i relapse so violently every now and then. it’s  funny… i keep thinking that i’ve moved on but then those strings are still there, pulling me back into place.

here’s something to laugh at though. today’s string was unbearable spelling exacerbated by simon & garfunkel. i’m a sucker for a misspelled word.

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31.5.11

Fight

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it may seem ungrateful, but the only words you sing for me aren’t even your own. and yet the words i write about you – for you – they’re the only things i have.

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fight-pola

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23.5.11

Loving Strangers

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lovingstrangers-pola

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it’s the funny bone of my brain that drives me insane. the things people say are like brick walls and table edges. if i shake it, it won’t go away. i can’t pin it down into a feeling. you can’t touch a ghost; everyone knows that.

if i can’t name it. if i can’t trace its shape in my mind. if i never find out how to live with it. if i have to live with it.

then i am not the person i pretend to be when everyone is watching.

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14.5.11

Roslyn

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my throat closed up when you said you’d never been anywhere else, never got to travel the way i do. but you don’t know. every place that i’ve stood in for the last three years; each empty sidewalk, rooftop and riverbed. all the corners of all the rooms. you were there with me.

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roslyn-pola

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9.5.11

Nice Thick Feathers

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i found this at the back of my closet two weeks ago.

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everyone wants that catharsis, that being able to let go for certain. i try, but you should know me better than this. after all, how many times can i say that i’m sorry before i forget that i’m actually supposed to be sincere?

but then again, you told me in a song once that words are all i have to take your heart away. and i did, didn’t i? took everything you had just by making you believe i could care enough. all those times, you thought you were special. you thought you would be the one.

so here’s your cliche. don’t spend it all in one place; people might start to think you’re as gullible as you look.

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8.5.11

Just Like A Wall

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i want to be more eloquent than this. if i could manage to put into words the things i really want to say. but there is-

you in a cloud of smoke i walk through. on the way to the pharmacology lab. in my lungs. you. people stare when i breathe in. breathe you in. you.

it doesn’t even sound right in my head.

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justlikeawall-pola

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2.5.11

I’m A Sucker For A Kind Word

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i want you to fix this. say that you can make it better, that there is a special kind of glue you plucked from the stars that holds everything together. even hearts like ours, that were always apart to begin with.

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iverundeep-pola

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28.4.11

Hold Nothing Back

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keep in mind that feelings are never lost. you wear them on your skin like a favourite perfume, but instead of evaporating into the infinite space around us once we’re done with them, they sink into you.

maybe you sewed your seams shut so nothing would escape. they’re still there. and you’re terrified because. every word, every gesture, every single moment in the afterward. something’s going to cut you open again but you don’t know what.

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27.4.11

Love Is A Fast Song

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every day that i don’t see you in someone else, i smile a little more. it’s what really defines us, you know. not what we remember, but what we forget. and i just realised; it’s been two weeks since.

happy belated birthday. i’m so glad i missed it.

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watercolour-pola

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20.4.11

There Cannot Be A Close Second

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thewaterisdeep-pola

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i’ve been in the best mood lately. just thinking about it makes me even happier. here’s a fun fact: the highlight of my day was when the washing machine was done with my laundry. it played this little jingle that was so cute; i swooned into my fabric softener.

and since it’s been ages since i ended a post with a terribly written description of what i’m going to eat later, here’s one now.

tomato and basil pretzels with peanut butter, three bowls of orecchiette with a cream and mushroom sauce, an avocado and sundried tomato salad (Greek yoghurt dressing and topped with boiled eggs) and a grilled cheese sandwich. and yes, i’m well aware that i’m going to be in for a rude awakening once my metabolism starts to slow down but that’s for future D to worry about! i know, how disgusting.

oh, and happy easter in advance everyone!

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15.4.11

Bring Me Your Love

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maybe i was lying when i told you that i didn’t love you. i don’t know. all that matters is the fact that i said it. now it’s out there. i can’t take it back. i can’t pull it back into my mouth.

but you can say something too, if you want.

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moon-pola

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8.4.11

The Geese of Beverly Road

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runtome-pola

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it rained today. a staple embedded itself in my finger while i was preparing my physiology report. the bus came too early, and then too late. the sandwich i had bought with such hope tasted awful. i missed a phone call that i’d been waiting for since march.

there is a cul-de-sac at the end of this road and it is quiet. i stood there tonight watching the sky. there were so many stars. the only sound you could hear was the faint hum of the generators nearby. deep in the cavity of my chest, my heart hummed along. it rained today.

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6.4.11

Mistaken For Strangers

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last night, a streetlight exploded above me. i saw the shards rain down, a stray spark caught in each one. it was so bright and beautiful and scary. i remember holding my breath, hoping it wouldn’t end.

then it was over, and i watched the pieces lie on the pavement, still shiny but not illuminated anymore. someone was standing next to me, wanting to know if i’d been cut. i opened my mouth to tell him that something this wonderful couldn’t possibly hurt me, but it sounded stupid even in my head. so i nodded, and he walked on.

when he had gone, i sat down on the curb and started to cry.

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glow-pola

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4.4.11

Terrible Love

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leave-pola

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if you give me a reason to leave, i’ll take it
you know i’ll take it
recycled words can only keep me here for so long

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20.3.11

Empty Out Your Stomach

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i waited all week for a letter that never came. i cooked my first meal in this empty apartment after lugging back five grocery sacks. i painted my nails violet, then strawberry, then black. i sliced my finger open while washing the dishes. i watched the moon from my balcony.

i felt something in my chest sink when i saw tokyo tower that morning.

but time passes. we keep walking. people are resilient. i used to think that it wasn’t right; that we were just pretending to be normal. now i realise that it’s the only thing keeping us alive.

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lunar-pola

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6.3.11

A Camera Lens & Careful Days

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borrowed from my diary, dated the 28th of December 2010

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i had a dream last night.

we are sitting on a hotel bed, surrounded by people who are either tossing cheap vodka shots down their throat or attempting to abscond from the room for a quick smoke.

someone (probably PD) starts a noisy discussion on one night stands. he gently places his hands over my ears. i take a long sip from a paper cup filled with coke that has gone flat. under the covers, his legs are wrapped around mine.

what day is this?

i think… i think we’ve just finished our exams. everyone wanted to run away. this is where we ended up.

so why bring us here again?

i’m not sure.

there is a brief commotion at the foot of the bed because someone has stolen the last bottle of Jack Daniels.

let’s get some fresh air.

since it’s so cold at this late hour, the rose petals are delicately frosted. the stars are beautiful. in the distance, a car is disappearing into an unlit street. he lays out a sheet of discarded newspaper for us to sit down on.

why did you really bring us here?

in the morning, we will find the 100 dollar note that BB had folded into a heart for me, outside my room. he takes the bus home. when i am finally alone, i fall asleep for seventeen hours.

his hands are very warm. the garden is quiet. i wonder who else has sculpted a memory here.

something happened to you here, didn’t it?

so quiet.

this is where i fell in love.

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27.2.11

When Paula Sparks

 

i was all geared up to write a post about me leaving again for university, the blurred view of a rainy city from my window and how each time there are less items in my luggage bag. but sometimes things happen, inconsequential little moments that pick at your seams so you come undone. i fell apart because of one stupid joke that wasn’t even directed at me.

you see, everyone thinks it’s ok to mention the boy to me now. they assume i’m over it; there aren’t any tears in public, no drunken declarations of how wrong i was. i fell out of love, this is my punishment. i don’t get to be sad. sure, superficially it’s one step above being perceived as the bitch but… i’m not happy. i haven’t moved on.

just because i’m not in love with him doesn’t mean i don’t love him. i still worry about him, i want to sit with him for hours until the sunrise hits our faces. sometimes i even get a little jealous when other girls flirt with him, but that’s probably because i’ve always had a problem separating being in love with the idea of being in love, and actually being in love. wow.

it’s knowing that i used to be ‘the girl’ that gets me at times. i know, how petty of me. sure, there were other girls before me, and there will be other girls after me. just like there were other boys before him, and there probably will be other boys after him. but in my mind, in my tiny self-crafted world, he was ‘the boy’. i wouldn’t go as far as to say that he was the one. i never even thought about marrying him. i planned no future for us.

but maybe subconsciously, buried under folds and bones and skin, i wanted that. i thought i’d found it, i thought i could force it. honestly, i don’t know if this was love. was i really in love? am i still in love? right now, it’s hard to believe anything else could ever hurt this much.

and that’s a good thing. because once i asked him if feeling nothing was better than having a broken heart. he smiled at me and said, “it fcking hurts, but i want it to hurt. that’s how i know i’ll fall in love again someday.” cliched as it may seem, i believed him.

at the beginning of this post, i talked about the realisation that each time i come and go, there are less things to carry in my bag. somewhere in between, i also started to empty out the contents of my chest. perhaps as time goes by, i’ll think less about him. i’ll stop writing about him. i’ll curl up inside myself. i’ll learn to fall in love all over again.

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thecitylights-pola

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19.2.11

Fate

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maybe you don't need to be moving on; just moving. empty vessels like broken hearts are filled with the saddest things when you stay in one place for too long.
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16.2.11

To Be Happy Now

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for a heart that's been damaged beyond belief, mine sure doesn't have much to show for it. no scars, no bruising, not even faint fingerprints where i thought (i know) he was holding on. i remember the way my hand felt in his on that last night. burning burning. skin remembers these things.

if i really love him, i will be happy for him. i tell myself this every time i have to walk away. i chose this, i did this to myself. but hey, someone drew stargirl on my ankle while i was asleep. i'm alive. it hurts, but i'm still alive. 

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31.1.11

Hello Dearest Love

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people say you can't turn back time but they're lying. i did it last friday with the boy. three years ago, the boy was just a boy, a normal boy i could see, hear and touch without feeling like i'd drop dead if he ever left. that's probably what most (unhealthy) relationships become. every heartbeat is a reminder that you've placed your life in someone else's hands. you're an eggshell, you're a shell.

if you read my previous post, you'll know that my only resolution this year was to be more like stargirl. what you might not have guessed was the presence of an unspoken resolution. not even a resolution, really. more of this unbearable exigency. i repeated it over and over again in my head - tell him tell him tell him - to make sure i wouldn't forget.

so after dinner on friday, when he asked me if we were ok, i opened my mouth to say yes. to say i love you, we're fine. but i didn't. i told him everything and i waited. he looked at me and asked me if i meant it. for a brief moment, i wanted to give in, pretend that i had been joking and we could just forget i'd said anything. then i looked him straight in the eye (which scared me because i never do that with anyone) and nodded.

the thing is, i will probably never be able to identify the exact moment i fell out of love. i'd like to imagine my heart as a balloon with a tiny pinprick; emptying out all the feelings i had for the boy slowly and surely, until one day there was nothing left but a soft rubber shell. waiting for the next person to come along with a band-aid to stick over the hole, to fill it up with love again.

waiting for his answer, it made me realise how empty that balloon had been for quite a while. like a little girl who refuses to give up, i dragged my deflated heart on a string, pretending that it would still float. fly.

he says he's going to be fine, that this was the best thing that we could have done. went on about sinking ships and distances (physical and emotional) untraversed. promised me that we'd always love each other, although not in the same way any more. i held on to my sunken balloon.

and that's how i did it. built a time-machine out of lost feelings and broken hearts. i went back to the day i met the boy, when we were just friends. when he was just a boy. a boy. that's how he was always meant to be for me. a boy. i'm not sure if he's here yet, but i'm waiting for him to fall into his own time-machine and meet a girl. not the girl. not the boy and the girl. just a boy and a girl who hadn't learned how to be in love yet.
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18.1.11

Le Cygne

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i like to think of myself as perceptive, but somehow i always fail at reading between the lines. it's just like that online quiz i took, the one that shows you pictures of eyes, and you're supposed to guess what they're trying to emote. 42 out of 45, but i still can't do it in real life. sometimes i look in the mirror and realise that i can't even tell what i'm feeling.

oh i don't know, i wish i could do so much better than a carelessly worded blog post. there are so many thoughts that i want to elucidate, but they're always discordant and jarring, even as i'm shaping them inside my head. for a brief second, i almost manage to string them into a sentence that might work, but then they tumble into a hodgepodge of ugly words. 

so i'm just going to end this by saying that my hair is really shiny today and it makes me quite happy whenever i catch a glimpse of myself in the glossy sheen of our oven door.
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14.1.11

Brightest

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some mornings, i think, are harder to shed
those with the scent of sleep still fresh on skin
eyelashes flickering in the lambent light of a gaze
wanting to shake off the dust, the lucifugous sheet
that clings to the body long after i wake
remnants of chimera moments, almost real
how is it that something lost in a dream
is mourned with the utmost gravitas
as if i could never again
trace your bones, the hollow of your throat
see you illuminated under fireworks
on the first day of the first year
that i forgot to be in love
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6.1.11

What Took You So Long?

 

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so it’s the new year. how it crept up on me without a sound, i have no idea. i usually sit down a few days beforehand with a pen and my favourite writing pad so i can make a list of resolutions, but i guess i already knew subconsciously that there weren’t going to be many this time. just one.

my favourite book in the entire world is stargirl by jerry spinelli; it’s really good, you should read it. the eponymous character is who i’ve aspired to be all my life, but i’ve never really stuck to it. this year, i wrote it in magenta sharpie on my arm. stargirl. i want to be stargirl. the faded ink looks like a stretched out bruise – i’ve had six people ask me how i managed to hurt myself so badly.

but as i was saying, this year needs to be different. exigency, pure and simple, demands that i revert to times when i could vivify every aspect of my life with the sheer desire to be happy. can you believe that once, i snuck a kitten into my apartment just because i wanted to. want. such a strange word. i say it all the time – i want to go to italy! i want to own a cotton-candy machine! i want to be happy! – but when the moment comes, i let it pass. need surpassed want ages ago. i can’t do that to myself anymore. as of now, i am going to look at my arm every single day and remember. i must be stargirl. resolution right there people.

my friend Wall made me realise that there are so many things i have never eaten. marshmallows, marzipan, macarons and miracle whip (T____T). i don’t know why we only discussed food starting with the letter m. still, it’s not that surprising. unlike most girls i know, i wasn’t born with a sweet tooth so i rarely opt to try desserts after a meal. and even when i do, i stay on the boring path and pick strawberry ice-cream. no more. it’s not really a resolution, more of a keep in the back of my head thing. eat different food. stop picking the same three dishes on the menu every time i go to a restaurant.

and the last thing i want to say is that i am learning how to juggle (still not a resolution!). not just problems in life and university assignments, but actual physical juggling balls. so far this consists of me trying to toss a ball from one hand to another in a predictable and uniform rhythm. yes, i said a ball. apparently i am that one person who is entirely incapable of judging distance accurately. i will keep at it though. there are so many things in life that i could be good at, but they’re all out there waiting for me to discover them. master them. this could be one of them. this could be it.

hi you, happy new year!

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