Book That You Can Never Read

You can read my words but you can’t really understand my sentences, you can’t understand why I paused after a certain sentence or why I ended a sentence with an exclamation mark rather than a full stop.

You can read my headlines but you won’t grasp what I’m trying to say, you won’t know if it’s a misleading headline or a headline that has nothing to do with what I’m truly trying to say. In other words, you can’t sum me up in one headline.

When I write about loving you, you’d think that I can’t sleep at night thinking about you, but the truth is, I write about a familiar feeling; a moment in time when life was wondrous and I was mesmerized. A feeling that struck me once before that I couldn’t forget.

I write about how you made me feel because I loved that feeling — not you.

When I write about missing you, I write about the person you used to be, the person you pretended you were or the person I thought you were. I write about whom I thought you were and the things you made me believe in. I miss the rush of emotions, the whopping smile on my face when I saw your name on my phone, the bright future that I painted in all my favorite colors and the moment I realized that I’m capable of loving unconditionally.

I write about missing everything about that phase but that doesn’t mean I want to call you or I want you back. Missing you serves as an inspiration not a final statement. You can translate my words into your language but it still won’t make sense because you and I speak in very different languages with totally different connotations. You can try to read between the lines but you’ll always find them blurry and murky because you interpret things according to how your mind operates and your mind is a maze.

My words are a reflection of me; they can be contradicting, they can be wise, they can be childish, they can be insane, they can be idealistic, they can be flawed, they can be harsh and they can be fragile. My words can be a lot of things but they will always be real. I’m an open book because I write about the finest details but you were never detail-oriented so you will never understand the depth of my words.

My book is open, you can flip through my pages or highlight my words but you will never be able to pin me down, because it takes more than reading from a distance to know me, it takes more than a few words to figure me out and it takes a lot more than reading to know my story but you never had the courage to finish the story till the end.

So you can read my book a thousand times but you still won’t be able to read me.

 

Advertisements

12 Days Seemed Like 12 Years.

It is one thing to have a best friend. It’s another to have that friend also be your room neighbor. You’re no longer just friends. You become something of a family. And when they have to leave after 12 days with you in the dwindling time you even have left together, it becomes a very sad sad day.

With your absence, I lose a partner-in-crime, a drinking buddy, a Whatsapp best friend, series marathons, late night revelations, a telepathic partner, a confidante, a news source, a personal life and gym coach, a cuddy buddy, a souse-chef, a mother and so much more. However, this absence only reminds me what it means to have friend like you. It reminds me how special these bonds are and the importance of people like you in my life. Its friends like you that know me better than I know myself. It’s this kind of friend that reminds me that I deserve better when I need to hear it, and know when to keep their mouths shut when I need to figure it out for myself. It’s these friends who are by my side without ever having to ask. It’s these kinds of friend like you I know were meant to be more than just college roommates, but lifelong friends.

As you embark on this journey on your own, you understand that this is only the beginning. That soon enough, we will each begin our own path in pursuit of fulfilling our own unique desires and dreams. With your day of departure fast-approaching there is only one more time where we can spend entire night lying in bed watching series (Breaking Bad), talking endlessly about girls, discussing future wedding plans, contemplating our futures, while not giving a fuck or understanding how close the departure and future really is. But that future is the scary part. We’re being tossed into the world (and by world I mean moving back into our parents houses looking desperately for jobs) like a chicken with our heads cut off, not knowing what to do next. And not only will it be the first time in your life you may not be returning to institution, but it will be the first time in a very long time that this physical separation between you and me is more than just temporary. But again, it’s this kind of friend that I know were meant to be more than just college roommates. We are meant to be lifelong friends. So no, I’m no longer that sad you’re leaving, because I know it’s not the end, but only the beginning of what’s to come.

P.S. It hurts when you lose someone close to you on the very same date and month.

3 AM

It’s 3 am and the night still asks me about you and all I can do is ask the night to let me sleep and bring you in my dreams and maybe one of those nights my dream will come true and the night will stop asking me about you.

It’s at 3 am that the night hits me and asks me about you. It asks me how you’re doing and I still don’t have an answer. I like to believe that you’re fine but a part of me doesn’t really want you to be fine without me. The stars ask me if you still shine everywhere you go and if your smile still brightens up anyone’s day and I can’t help but say yes, because even if I haven’t seen you, I know that you’ll always shine even if it’s dark inside you. And sometimes the night and I wonder if you miss me and if you’re also looking out the window waiting for a miracle.

The moon asks me if I will ever forget you, and I can’t help but confess that I’ve learned to forget everything in the past but I couldn’t forget the way you made me feel, I tell the moon that I learned how to forget everyone who hurt me but I still haven’t learned how to forget you. And even the moon can’t forget you because it’s always full when I’m missing you. The skies ask me if I’ll ever reach out to you and I tell them that I’m scared of not getting a response but the truth is I’m scared more of getting a response, I’m scared of hearing your voice and I’m terrified of loving you again. And sometimes the skies make the night a little bit warmer when I think about you.

I wonder if the night will ever stop haunting me at 3 am to ask me about you. Sometimes I think the night is lonely and missing some company but then every time I bring someone else, the night gets colder and moon disappears.

I think I’m bound to spend my nights remembering you and there is nothing more I can do because the night was not made to be alone, the stars were not meant to shine above a broken heart and the moon was not meant to hide behind the clouds. The night craves love and intimacy, the night needs two souls bound together by its beauty, comforting each other from the troubles of the day.

And it’s the like the night conspired to keep me up until you’re back to me.

It’s 3 am and the night still asks me about you and all I can do is ask the night to let me sleep and bring you in my dreams and maybe one of those nights my dream will come true and the night will stop asking me about you.

To The One I Left Back Home.

But I want you to know that wherever this home may be, miles and miles away or a block away, I will always love you and you will forever be my favorite home and you will always be the reason why I will keep on fighting and I will try to win.

It’s been a hard journey but I’m finally heading somewhere, the road is still long and the destination is not crystal clear but I’ve finally learned how to drive in the storms and keep on driving until the sun shines again. I sometimes wish I could just go back home and not have to deal with any of these hurdles, but I feel like maybe something big is waiting for me at the end of the road; something told me that I need to go find myself away from the comfort of my bed and the warmth of your hugs. I had to leave so I can grow, so I can be the person you told me I was; the potential you saw in me that I couldn’t see in myself and the person you wanted me to be.

I have tried to find people like you to make the road easier but it was hard to find anyone that could replace you but I learned that you will always be irreplaceable and it would be unfair to compare anyone I meet to you. I’ve met a lot of people who did not resemble me, who did not even speak my language but I found so much value in our differences and they trained me to find the balance in sticking to my roots while trying to understand them. I realized there’s so much more to explore outside the realm of our little jokes and our familiar conversations, outside the luxury of not having to explain myself or wonder if someone misunderstood me and outside the silence we never really feared, but here, silence makes you think, it makes you question, it could drive you crazy – silence is petrifying.

I often hear people complain about the distance or how much they missed home and I would always say well they should just go back, until I was repeatedly faced with the same feeling and I almost booked a one way ticket back home but I didn’t want this to be the end of my journey. I didn’t want to come home the same person that left and I didn’t want to come home without a fight, I didn’t want to come home when I haven’t battled anyone. I wanted to come back as a winner, a champion or a fighter, someone who fought till the end, someone who tried and someone who didn’t let you down.

Because it’s the fight that keeps you going, it’s the lonely days and the tearful nights, the disappointments and the heart breaks, the setbacks and the naysayers and it’s those who want to bring you down who keep you racing to the top. No one said it would be easy to start over and if I can’t handle the stones I encounter on the way then I don’t deserve the diamonds that I’m searching for. But I want you to know that you keep me going more than anyone, when everything is bleak, I remember the nights we spent laughing and singing randomly as we chat, I remember the nights we held each other tight whenever one of us was hurting and I remember all the crazy memories we had and the silly things we did and these memories make me feel alive. They remind me of how lucky I am that I have people like you to come home to, they remind me that no matter how far I wander, you’re still close to me – closer than ever.

And I want you to know that I will be okay; at times I may get lost and at times I may struggle to stay in touch with you but I will never completely disappear, I will never not know where I am or how to go back and I will never forget where I came from.

I want you to know that I didn’t leave because of you, I left because of me, because of the person I was becoming, because of the person I was turning into and because I started to feel like I didn’t belong but I learned that home doesn’t have to be one place, that you could have many homes in your lifetime but you’ll still have one special home you loved more, one special home you miss, one special home you had the best times in and I think I want to live in other homes for a while, I want to see what other homes will welcome me in and I want to have as many homes as possible before I decide to settle in one.

But I want you to know that wherever this home may be, miles and miles away or a block away, I will always love you and you will forever be my favorite home and you will always be the reason why I will keep on fighting and I will try to win.

I’ll Never Forget You

I’ll never forget you no matter how hard I try.

Missing you is a thing I have gotten used to. It’s a thing I’ve been forced to get used to. It’s a shame because it’s so easy to forget the people in your life who you knew never cared about you. But to forget those who used to love you? No. You can’t forget that. 

I don’t love you anymore.

At least, not in the way I used to. It used to be a 24/7, “till death do us part”, “you are going to have my kids” type of love. Now it’s a “sometimes I smell you in the air”, and “sometimes I miss the way you held me” type of love. It’s not filled with substance. Now, it’s just filled with silence, with old Facebook pictures and a “hey, how are you?” every few months. 

Isn’t it mind boggling to think that a few years ago I shared every single thought that popped in my head to someone that is now frankly, a stranger? How does that happen? At what day did it all change? Was it in the morning when you saw the sun and knew that I wasn’t yours anymore? Was it in the evening when you saw the moon and thought it was more beautiful than me? I guess I’ll never know.

I don’t have false hope about us anymore. I know it’s over. It’s done with. It is just footprints on the dirt that has been covered up by the seasons many rain falls. And guess what? Knowing that doesn’t make me bitter anymore. It makes me happy that at least once I got to experience something worthwhile. It makes me happy that my heart knows how to love. 

But I can’t forget you. Not now and not ever. I think a part of you is stapled onto my heart forever. Or maybe you’re painted on it. Permanent brush strokes that make me happy and sad at the same time. It’s weird how time can get you accustomed to missing someone. It’s almost like I’m content with it. Because I know I’m surviving and that my heart is still beating even with the paint brushed on it. And that’s all that matters. 

I am reminded of you only some days now as opposed to every second of every minute. It’s kind of nice. I see a kid with lanky legs and I smile because I see him in you. I see a couple kissing on the street and I laugh because I see us in them. It’s haunting. But, maybe it’s a nice ghost instead of a scary one.

I guess this is called acceptance. I am finally accepting all of it. I’m accepting that I will never forget you. And that trying to forget you would just rub salt on my wound. I’ll always share a crack of my heart with you. And I think that crack is painted “Red” because it’s the album we listened to all the time together.

And it’s nice. You’re always with me even though you never will be. It’s nice to know, I’ll never forget you no matter how hard I try.

 

P.S. I know that’s how you feel now, don’t you? 🙂

Depression.

It’s making plans and not being able to fulfill them. It’s calling a friend and pretending you’re fine for an hour, only to collapse on the floor crying afterwards – they’re going back to their life, imperfect, stressful, complicated, as it may be. You on the other hand, are just back to your non-life – or had you ever left it?

People speak to you and you can hear the words and you can feel the pain of the people around you. You hear them scream, cry, argue with each other because they don’t know what to do about you anymore and you don’t even manage to care for them. You feel detached. Or so you think, as the guilty feeling that arose when you realized you were the factor to your own destruction sinks a little bit deeper; you know they’re hurting because of you. Yet another thing you’re destroying. You lie in bed gathering the necessary energy to make this day a good one, and as soon as you’ve stepped out of your room the only thing you want is to get back to bed – in there no one can hurt you and you cannot hurt anyone. This is not true of course, you hurt the same anywhere, but at least in here you can be who you truly are: the shadow of the person you once were, locked up in your own pain and despair.

You feel foolish when asked the reason of your illness, surely something big happened to you. You were well fed, had a loving family, pursuing brilliant studies, you are twenty and there’s so much you could do in your life. There must have been an awful reason that justifies your current state. But there’s not. And even if there were a reason people could relate to, it wouldn’t mean they would understand what you’re going through. You avoid the pain as much as you can. Depression is insidious; when it first starts you avoid it by performing your daily activities, ignoring your demons that are eager to resurface. Until you cannot any more. Until you cannot pretend that you’re fine. Until the pain creeps through every one of your activities. You look for other ones, actions that will help you numb it. Not get over it, or get better, just shut the pain. For a minute, or an hour, even for days. Just ignore it for a while until only a few things can make you forget (reading? Watching tv? Doing crosswords? – All those useless and unproductive activities that will lead you nowhere but at least keep the suffering out of your mind for a moment). You fight the pain, stress, anxiety that sinks a little deeper everyday. You fight it until you’re out of breath, until it’s so big you cannot hide from it anymore. You fight it until it takes over and you’re left with nothing but your sorrow.

You can’t fall asleep and often cry yourself to sleep. You don’t want to wake up, only go back to bed, for it is in your sleep that your brain tricks the pain the best. You try and fall back asleep hoping that if you sleep long and often enough, it will make it go away. Confronted with the incomprehension and skepticism, you sometimes, selfishly and foolishly, wish that you had a “real” illness. A tangible one. Something people could see, could relate to. Something that would make what you’re going through real, make you feel like less of freak and more of a person.

But it is real. Depression is an illness. It doesn’t need reasons good enough for other people, or even rational ones. All it needs is for these reasons to be good enough for you. Is it written somewhere that because you’re not starving to death, or because you’re smart and have a loving family you have to be happy? Does this mean everyone who doesn’t have those things should be unhappy? The pain is real. It’s not laziness, it’s not procrastination, it’s not a caprice. Just like after a hard fall, you’re unable to move. Only, no one can tell you how long exactly it will take for the injuries to be fixed and for you to move on with your life.

However dark the place you’re in may be, never forget that so many people suffer from the same illness. Depression is real, your pain is real, and it was never said anywhere that you were not allowed to be unhappy. Lastly, depression is not who you are. It is an uncontrollable wave of emotions, a disease that is hard to fight and sometimes makes you wonder if you are made for life, or if there is something profoundly different between you and the people around you who are not suffering from it. It is hurtful, and violent, and destructive. But it is not who you are. If you feel like you’ve lost yourself, you will find it again. If you don’t recognize yourself in your looks, or your actions, it is not because you’re becoming someone else, or nobody at all, it is because depression has taken over all the space.

I try to remember those things every day. My disease does not define me. But it is a disease. I need to stay hopeful that things will get better. I need to work at it. No matter how bad I feel, the only way I can really fail, is if I don’t even try.

You And I Are Each Other’s Star.

I like the way you make me feel. The way our bodies seem to know each other, the static that transfers in your touch, or the rush I get when I stare into your eyes. We’re connected like that, in strange and terrifying ways we can’t even explain. But we know. Somehow we just know.

When I was little boy, I believed in that human bodies were like stars, floating in this expanse of sky. Directionless. Bright. I believed that our lights would burn and burn and burn until we’d find the one whose brightness matched ours. And then we would set on fire and shoot across the sky together.

Sometimes I still believe that—that our souls are bigger than they seem, burning thousands of miles away from this ground we walk on. That we’re shining bright and beautiful, waiting for our fates to align, our bodies to crash into one another. Waiting for an explosion. And then we’d know it was love. We’d know.

I like that idea, that love is something we cannot define, but inherently understand. Like how our hearts subconsciously pump blood to the entirety of our bodies. Or how we breathe without thinking. You and I, we are like stars who crossed paths somewhere in this incredible expanse of galaxy. We’re burning, melting into one another. Growing bigger, brighter. We are filling the world with our light, getting ready to explode and flash across the sky in all our glory and grandeur. I’m ready for it.

Perhaps the path we orbit on will eventually change, perhaps we will shift to brighten other planets. But I can feel your warmth inside my heart, traveling like electricity through my cells.

I cannot find the right string of words to explain how I’m feeling, what this is, or who we are.

But it’s love.
I just know.

How I Grew Without You.

Now all I want to do is talk about loving you.

I keep writing sad words.
It’s like my brain is programmed
to only write about my longing for you.
But right now for once,
I want to write about loving you.

You were my happy song that
I actually loved listening to
without rolling my eyes.
You always were my major chord.
My sun that never set.
My moon that never dropped.

How lucky am I to have had you like I did.
All of you, soul and body.
All of you so sweet.

Before you,
I only thought of myself as a weed.
The kind that grew too slowly
without recognition from the gardener.
But then you picked me and then you chose me.
Your favorite flower.

Now, years without your nourishment
I still stand tall.
I don’t droop anymore.
I don’t wilt with you
on my back.

I stand straight.
My spine aligned and
all my petals intact.
I don’t need your water
anymore.
I don’t need your soil.
I grow on my own.

I Am Sorry I Never Got To Know You.

Gone at 17. Can anyone understand how terrible that is?

The last time I remember seeing you alive we were all at the street stall, almost two years ago. It was summer, I know, because we sat outside on plastic chairs with red plastic cushions and ate noodles and momo. There were plastic cups — blue on the outside, white on the inside — filled with water, next to cans of soft drinks and pitchers of iced tea.
I know these details because they were always the same details. The only thing that changed was that you left us.

You were standing in the edge of the stall with a paper plate. Going back for chowmein with some more sauce. I was almost done making plans for my next date while you sat eating. We were both tired of not being able to make our own choices.

I don’t remember what we talked about. I don’t think it was anything. Couldn’t have been. We knew each other like it was ages since we met. I remember I might have asked you if you were having fun. You might have rolled your eyes. But I do remember you saying, “It’s a girlfriend thing,” with a shrug. Then, “It’s always like this. Worth it.”

You were my father’s co-workers son and almost everything I know about you I know secondhand. Most of it from your brother, who would come out to camp often every summer when we were boys.

The night of your funeral your brother and I drank a bottle of whiskey. It was awful. He told me how great you were.”He loved to have fun,” he said. “He was always so full of life.”

Gone at 17. Can anyone understand how terrible that is? You waited your whole life to have your freedom. You knew that you wanted to be left to make your own choices when your time came. Then to have that taken from you.

Those days before and after your funeral were too sad to ask anyone how things were going on. I brought flowers to your grave. I said I was sorry for not being with you. I knew that an endless string of apologizing flower-givers for the rest of my  life would not fill the hole. I felt it in the hollowness of my consolation. I heard it in the afternoon when I was talking to her over phone and watched music videos. I knew that feeling would come at unexpected moments throughout your family’s life. The feeling of missing you would come to them out of the darkness and silence and loneliness. There was nothing to be done about it, which made it worse.

There was a service for you at the school, and hundreds of your friends came. They all knew you better than I did and that made me feel even worse. Kids of all social classes and race, boys— they were all in tears. We held a candle march watched slide shows and a lot of the pictures were of you with groups of other kids. You seemed to be part of a lot of other people’s lives.

Our bonding is strong but this messed us up. It led to more tragedy, more of us dying, and even though it was years ago, we still aren’t the same. We never will be. I couldn’t help you. Couldn’t save you. I was powerless and now you are gone forever.

I wish I knew you better. I wish I had seen you get older. I wish I could have watched you get that time you had waited so long for.

You were the kind of guy that other girls kill for. The kind of guy who would be cherished till the end of our life. You must have been something. I’m sorry I never got to know you.

I miss you.

P.S This goes to someone who was once the most important person in my life. Someone whom I lost almost two years ago. Wherever he might be now, I pray that the Lord be with him.

I’m Sorry, I Had To Say Goodbye.

The universe had different plans for us in store.

I never wanted to have to miss you.

On mornings when the sun slowly seeps through my shutters and crawls warmly over the blankets that envelop me, the gentle summer breeze holds the sorrow at bay. A small smile spreads across my face at the thought of you deeply inhaling the bold scent of your morning coffee, staring at the roses you have pruned to perfection. I can feel a breath of your touch extending down my arms.

All I want is for the winds to keep me safe, to keep me numb from the pain that wracks my body from the realization that we’ve lost you in this lifetime.

I never wanted to have to need you.

On afternoons when the flowers open themselves to the skies and the neighborhood children mill around, the birds’ joyful songs flow to my ears and drown out the moans of grief that threaten to spill from my throat. A chuckle rises instead, flashing back to the life lessons you exaggeratedly extended to your grandchildren. I can see a glint of pride in your eyes and a shadow of a smirk on your cheek. You already knew that we were all in good hands. You just had to be sure.

I never wanted to have to live without you.

On nights when the clouds scatter and the constellations burst through the darkened horizon, the hopefulness and perseverance behind a lonely cricket’s chirp chisels away at the guilt that weighs on my chest, like a focused sculptor. Tears stream steadily over the curves of my lips, drifting along and collecting the rubble, grain by grain. I can hear a whisper of your voice in the unforgiving silence with the breath of a forehead’s goodnight kiss. All I can do is whisper Sweet Dreams into the void.

I had no choice. The universe had bigger plans for you.