Somehow, things ceased to matter: political affiliations, advocacies, philosophical subscriptions, hazzards, impending earthquake, pol-econ framework of analysis, social media clammor, mainstream vanity, involvement.
Their values unravelled and their corpses filled my life, converting the uninhabited house inside me into a crowded graveyard.
I’ve began avoiding people, especially those I know. Their presence subjugates my existence and wrapped all I could be in a sargasso of anxiety. I’ve ditched all social calls and all the paths I used to take. I worry, everyday, that I might bump into someone I know. I recede in the background and desperately beg invisibility to render me unnoticed.
This way, I feel safe.
But, in the midst of all this, at the heart of my isolation, there’s this deep-seated hope inside me that wants the mad universe to take over and, in the dappling vines of jasmine and wild narcissus, to make me bump into you, specifically and always, and to no one else.
You were angry at your grandmother for losing her sense of equilibrium. This afternoon, she tried to stand up and she fell, face flat against the cold ground.
You screamed at her, you cursed her — her existence, her physical weakness, her remaining days — and you wished, blatantly, for her to fold her laboured breathing without noise and tuck it neatly in the drawer, never to be used again.
The neighbors hated you because of that. But you ceased caring.
I hated my father with all the passion I can muster. But unlike you, I fear his death. I don’t want to deal with the funeral arrangement and all the necessary, customary matters. I don’t want to attend to everything after everything — abandonment, beatings, screams, deceits, betrayal.
My clan will disown me if they hear me say this. But like you, I have stopped caring. Family is a very messed up institution, you said. And they perfectly know where it hurts.
I think of you often, on times like this. The books we’ve read, the poems we’ve written, the vile, blasphemous things we’ve confessed without rehearsal, the hesitations and half-eaten plates and the raw, unacceptable passages we’ve nailed on our blood-dripping chests.
I think about our burdens. The expectations we find repulsive. Your dying grandmother. My autocratic father. The family we did not chose, the one bereft of warmth. The people we’ve been wanting to flash out, the tyrants we’ve been condemned to live with.
We inhaled the world and built a gallow out of our stifling regrets. We lay on our backs on the soft spirals of aurora borealis. We savoured our distractions and celebrated our impending demise, the graveyard beneath our skins, the barren land inside us, the sunken places where flowers and visitors freeze and crumble into oblivion, the echoes of our footfalls battering the pavement, the stubborn refusal of the night to exhaust its heartbeat and the loathsome desire of the despicable god who ruminates the expansion of his seething underbelly.
We’re the estranged vivisection and you are right. It would take a miracle for someone to love us dearly. (July 6, 2017)
I’m about to say the surefire way to go against the very grain of expectation: the Young Blood publication tastes bland.
Went to the beach again today. In my better state, I would have jumped straight into the ocean and reveled in the current and folds of the undulating waves. I would have screamed in pure delight.
It’s funny, somehow, the things I learnt about you.
A month ago, I was gravely disappointed at how you have insulted the realm of reason. I have expected more from you but I guess you are not mentally — let alone psychologically — capable of identifying and resisting the superficial belongingness stemming from false acquaintances.
You are just like them, a failure and a parasite who find comfort in justifying your own incompetence.
Last week I met her, your former colleague, and she told me what you did. You go to the office at 11, take your lunch at 12, she said. And you never return until past 4 in the afternoon. You failed to see the gravity of your every act, and your cognitive faculty is too dull to process the magnitude of your negligence.
You said I am the unsympathetic one but you have been wrong all along. Of the two of us I was — and I am — the sympathetic person and I understand things and people and you don’t. But you pretend to do so — the same way that you pretend to be on time and never late when your bosses are around.
Worse, you could not bring yourself to care — you self-absorbed parasite who cannot move past the remains of your lover who has deserted you long ago.
You harboured anger towards those you should have given your solicitude, all the while deluding yourself that you are capable of love you are not. You have successfully devalued the complexity of that experience and wielded it as a shield for your cheap ego.
I could elaborate all the defense mechanisms you have employed — denial, regression, sublimation, displacement — but it will only defeat its designated purpose. You have already unveiled yourself and exposed your own pretense and incompetency and above all, absence of honor.
You have done damages that your tiny mind will not be able to grasp. You’ve delivered a razor-sharp pain that your non-existent heart will never be able to understand.
In the first day of your colleague at work, you told her you are the supervisor before rudely asking for her identity. You like that huh, a drunken sense of power that will never bring back your past lover no matter how loud you cry in the social media but makes you feel in control, somehow. It’s a defense mechanism called displacement.
It’s funny, somehow, the things I learnt about you. You are just like them — selfish, imprecise, and short-sighted. A chronic liar and a usurper. You pretend to be but you are never the sympathetic one.
I was that person all along.
No, I don’t expect the insides of your mind to be coherent and organized. I don’t believe there is a single person on Earth who possess that kind of well-regulated consciousness.
I no longer know how to go on with life. On one end, I feel like I am forced to live an existence I no longer want. I want to check out and be done with it. I just want to be dead, somehow.
Sunday morning I woke up and was informed about your passing. I literally jumped out of bed — did not bathe, did not change clothes, did not do anything but ran, as fast as I could, to see you.
I was not around when your accident came. A random stroke of bad luck that swept you away from me.
You were already wrapped in a black plastic bag when I arrived. They said your eyes were still open — those golden eyes that see through my inner-workings and understand me so well.
The easiest course of action was to simply throw your body in the dumpster and get on with life. It’s what normal people would have done. But you, of course, deserve better than that. And I, as we all know, am not normal. So I roamed round the village to borrow a shovel, all the while ruminating about your death.
You were passing through the door, they said, when the wind blew. The door slammed down your stomach, hard — so hard you cried in pain, ran away, and disappeared. You’re pregnant, and was due to give birth this March.
There was no shovel.
Sunday morning I woke up and learned about what happened. The wind, your disappearance, the conclusion of your existence. They said your eyes were still open — those golden eyes that see through my inner-workings and understand me so well. You died away from me, in pain and agony.
There was no shovel.
I took a hammer, an ice pick, and a knife, and began digging your grave. I don’t want to throw you in a dumpster, you don’t deserve that. If anything, you don’t deserve to die at all but I dug and dug and dug and did not stop until the hole is wide and deep enough to accommodate you in comfort. Since I was not able to save you, that is the least I can do.
I removed you from the plastic bag and laid you down. Despite everything, your coat remained shiny, that patch of black that means so much to me. I looked deep in your eyes, and for the final time I closed it down. I placed your toy with you, a ping pong ball that you loved to chase.
Then slowly, with all the strength I can muster, I buried your body.
I am not sure how I managed to accomplish those — I just did. It was one of the most painful thing I had ever done in this life.
Tonight, I learned that a black cat was spotted around the place, twice in a row. I have not seen the feline personally but they told me that she looks like you. I wonder if she also has yellow eyes — the color of street lamps in a cold, foggy night.
I wonder if you would visit me as well. I wish you would. I will hold the door still so the wind, no matter how hard, won’t callously sweep you away, not this time. You’ll eat tuna and chicken and everything you like. There will be a celebration.
A merry, merry one.
*To Fishy Morgan Le Fay (April 2016 – March 2017)
Whatever friendship we have, I want it to flourish. I’m aware I am not very good at maintaining relationships, and this is precisely where I need you most.