I stay in bed for 27hours. In that time, I catch up on my shows, I read a letter, I cry, I write, I cry again, I consider eating, I don’t eat, I write some more.
I wake up super late feeling muffled. I watch another show. I cry. I think about that letter. I get up. I unpack. Almost everything is dirty. I feel guilty for not buying presents. I realise I came back with a lof of books. I don’t realise that I am making a pile of things that smell like Bali. I stop every now and then to smell them– the lemongrass soap, the sweat, the incense, the palmtrees, the heat.
I shuffle around the room, still muffled, with a tan that makes my skin feel more like home. What happened just before the moment threw my arms up and said, ‘I want to live, damn it’? I don’t know. But I did it, I said it. Is this what I am mourning? How easy it was to feel alive in Bali? Am I mourning the freedom of devoting so much time to my happiness?
A while ago, someone I love deeply stopped talking to me. I didn’t ask questions. I didn’t think about it at all. It hurt too much. I just learnt to live without her. But she wrote to me last week and she asked me how I was and I told her the truth. Rather, the tip of the truth, which is that I am better, but being better means reconciling with not trying to be happy. It’s too hard and devastating to try and be happy. I think I’ve kind of given up. Can you only kind of give up? I have accepted that joy does not come to me naturally. And because of that, I look closer. There is no point in tripping over everything in the attempt to reach some distant light.
I guess Bali freed something in me. I guess that’s the best souvenir. I think maybe that’s the key– not to try to be happy, but to try and be alive.
And the moment I was about to post this, a song came on, and I laughed, because barley sounds just like Bali. I laughed and held my hands up to my face and then I wasn’t sure what I was doing, laughing or crying. But I don’t care which one. It is what it is and I was doing it. Is there a word for laughing and crying at the same time?