Tales of Anielou

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.

To Fishy

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)

The hydrangeas of my beating heart

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.

Over the years I have stacked my collection of broken relationships, its rubble piled one after the other. I wish I can say that I have felt even a slight pinch of regret, but I did not.
 
I am a cold, heartless woman governed by technicalities and logic. In my quest for knowledge, other people do not matter to me.
 
You are an exception.
 
You said I feel things deeply, and yes I do. But I am not very good at expressing it. I understand the process of human emotions, the stimulus and response chain, but my feeling aspect remains largely undeveloped. You knew this.
 
For some reason, with you, I can be vulnerable. You listen to my random thoughts, no matter how haywire and frightening they are. I send you messages in the dead hours of the night, or when I’ve no one to talk to, and you soothe my personal demons with your every response.
 
I let you see the landscape of my loneliness and curiosity, the hydrangeas of my beating heart. I’ve led you by the hand to this dark, tired world that is inhabiting me.
 
At times I noticed your confusion — a certain answer you hold at the back of your small smile. At times it worries me.
 
I am a haunted house, long abandoned by civilization and time. Ghosts walk on my floors with their shackles and bones, my doors and windows creak in secrets, my rooms breathe in emptiness, my curtains drip in memories and pain and longing. I am consigned to oblivion.
 
And then you arrived.
 
And you keep me in check. You said I’m erratic, you pointed my mistakes. You propped me up. You dressed me down. You stitched my pieces intact. You did not flee out of contempt and panic. You did everything out of love. And I appreciate that.
 
I never asked this favor to anyone before, but if I ever run faster than this life, please, chase me. Don’t let me build walls out of isolation and cobblestones. Don’t let me shut off this world. Save me from cynicism.
 
Remind me there is hope.

Syl’s Shadows

I’ve listed down all my writings, and I will cross them all out tonight, so tomorrow, I could ask you to have coffee with me.

You, my favorite person of all.
 
You said your life is like a fig tree, with branches sprouting everywhere. One leads to the prestige of the academe, the other to the beauty of poetry. There was also a branch with a husband and children, and one for a recognition you never got when you were still breathing.
 
You were there, you said, at the foot of that tree when all the leaves fell and wrinkled and turned black.
 
You will understand me, I trust. Mine is almost similar to yours. But it isn’t a fig tree, no. It is, you see, a diverging and irreconcilable route.
 
And I am here in the crossroad, unable to move and, like you, unable to choose.
 
One of the paths leads to security. A way back to academe. A standard existence in a normal society — husband, children, career, recognition. This is what I am expected to choose. It’s an asphalt road with flashy cars zooming past, here and everywhere.
 
The other trail is wild and ravenous and untamed. The lane is wet and muddy and filled with adventures and long shadows — golden sands and rough waves, stories about pirates and gypsies, sound of cisterns and scent of sandalwood, caves and a crown of purple thistle.
 
You are right, what you wrote there. Choosing one would mean losing all the others.
 
Like you, I cannot let that happen.
 
Maybe in a parallel universe, this tragedy never transpired. Still, I want you to know that I understand why, in February 1963, you chose to kill yourself.
 
And if by some mischief of a chance we find each other in another time period and plane of existence, please have coffee with me. We will talk about our days. We will sort this mess out.
 
We will ease the pain. We will make life worth living and bearable. And no matter how impossible and bleak it may seem, we will find hope.
 
And we will guarantee that this time,
we will never stop hoping.

Songs of the Seabirds

Lately, I’ve been contemplating what it could possibly feel to cease existing. Your body buried deep down below, the surface of your graveyard decorated by fallen leaves and occasional flowers from random visits.
 
I don’t know what would be more painful: the process of leaving our mortal frame or the possibility of being forgotten, eventually.
 
Dying, in my mind, is an obligation I will have to carry out. I do not want illness or years to take away everything I have been and could ever be; I have resolved to snap the last thread of my life using my own method and my own hand, in my own time.
 
When meaninglessness sets in, I take folding my existence and tucking it neatly as an imperative commitment.
 
I was in an empty playground last night, like I was in an empty playground when I was in kindergarten. I took the empty swing, pressed the tip of my shoes on the ground and let go, like when I was four.
 
I thought about birds in flight and mountains and lobsters at home, and then I saw myself closing the bathroom door. I filled the tub with water and made some bubble bath. I removed my clothes and got in, and I cried and cried and cried and made an ocean out of everything.
 
It’s a tragic event — the way our innocence passes so quickly and leaves us behind.
 
I wish I could still think about birds and mountains and lobsters at home, but lately I’ve been contemplating about ceasing to exist.
 
I do not know what could be more exhilarating: the prospect of finally vacating this dreadful existence or the possibility of reincarnating in another land and time period.
 
In a coastline some where, I hope, where rough waves never break on limestone, where hearts remain intact, where sea gulls sing and soar overhead, and where lobsters sit on the kitchen table.

Marshland

My internal landscape was once a wetland. Grasses and herbaceous plants sprout from the ventricles of my heart. My rib is a birch tree, a deciduous hard wood crowned with thin leaves. My veins are wild ravines. Inside it is the torrent of rain water that keeps me alive.
 
My heart is a beating water lily, eternally blooming on the lake of my blood. I was a sullen mist, and I loved it that way.
 
But they mistook my solitude for loneliness, the crowd, the clever engineers. So they loaded sands on their trucks, sacks after sacks. They opened me up, covered my wetland, and built a city inside me. They paved roads. They constructed buildings. They opened cafes and pubs and restaurants. They turned on their neon lights.
 
A rave party is inside me at night, and they won’t stop until I am filled with cigarette stubs and empty bottles and used issues and half-eaten plates — litters and grime that I have to clean every morning of my life. My gutter is overflowing and they call this happiness.
 
I call this wreckage.
 
I moved close to the bed, pulled the sheet and laid down. I tried to remember my by-gone world — my birch trees, my herbaceous plants, my wild ravines, my water lily — before I was converted into a rattling shell called Happiness.
 
You wrapped your arms around me and press your face on small of my back. My spine was a hard wood once, and every October it shed its golden leaves. “What do you want?” you asked.
 
The neon lights and the avalanche of noise from everywhere drowned my thoughts, and all I can do for my defense is curl my mutiliated body. “Love me until the end of everything,” I whispered. “And understand that this is not a plea.”
 
This is a burning desire to have my wetland back.

And then, it flashed again

As a person, I am not very religious. The world is aware of that. I subscribe to dialectical materialism and most of the time, I use it as my framework of analysis.
 
Though I cannot commit fully, there are narratives I like. Endless incarnation, for instance. The ceaseless cycle of death and life. I would like to believe in that, I really would.
 
I just cannot — not fully. There is a lack of evidence to prove its existence. Consequently, this lack of evidence cannot disprove it either, thus we cannot rule out the possibilities.
 
So I stand here, unable to have faith, unable to commit in anything. Still, the idea of higher realm and infinite universes is indubitably fascinating.
 
I was sleepless again last night. To give my mind some pre-occupation, I ran some experiment.
 
I want to know how far I can bend my cognitive faculty before it disintegrates into shards, so yes, for quite some time, I have been treating myself as subject to my countless experiments.
 
A friend of mine said I was cruel to myself but last night I had past life regression.
 
And I saw things and events — strange and beautiful and frightening. It was like watching a film in an old theater — snippets that rolled and unrolled and vanished and reappeared.
 
I saw the eyes of this kid — golden and clear, curious and observant. I saw this woman in Victorian dress, running down the hill on a bright summer day. The end of her skirt brushing against the tip of the grass.
 
I saw and admired the arch of a university hallway — towering and imposing and powerful. I walked in a corridor lined with endless doors and I walked through a forest and saw faces of dead people — drowned woman with a plant sprouting out of her mouth, dead men in their wooden coffin, in black suit and brimmed hats.
 
And everything went dark, like a closing scene in a movie, and then the world flashed again. And I saw grains and tulips, swaying in the wind. I saw small flowers.
 
As a person, I am not very religious. Everyone is aware of that. But there are mysteries I cannot fathom, those that continue to haunt me, even today.
 
And sometimes — from time to time — they save me. When mornings were hard and covered in shadows. When curtains were drawn and windows forgotten. When sawdust cannot dance and when light cannot pass through.