We Are Like Time and Other Things I’ve Got on My Mind

He asked me what I did and I said I didn’t know. He said I had plenty of time to decide. I said I’d been here too many times before.

I would like to play a game in a circle of friends, in which everyone writes down what they love and hate about themselves on a piece of paper, and then what they love about everyone else. I would like to see the surprised faces.

Just when I’m feeling like an ugly itchy sweater, someone I kind of knew a long time ago messages me with an article from the New Yorker. Thought of you! The truth is you never know who is thinking about you or how others think about you. The truth is that the more I see myself through my friends’ eyes, the more I like  myself.

It occurred to me the other day, how ironic it is that I miss who I used to be, seeing as I did everything I could not to be her. It makes me sad. Maybe I wasn’t so bad after all. But I’ve already changed. And you can only change into something else, never into what you were, because you can’t unknow or unsee of unfeel. We are like time.

The more comfortable I get with my body, the fatter I get. It still feels wrong. I still have dreams of thinness.

I look at photos taken in my early twenties and I look so slim and fresh and sweet and I wonder what the hell I hated so much.

My desires are splitting me in half. My life is King Solomon and the baby with the baby going to neither mother. Half of me wants to get a charming little apartment and my own plates and to frequent antique markets and to get a cushy 9-to-5 and play trivia on Mondays. That half wants a local bar and a group of friends who all know each other. It is tired of dating and just wants to meet a good, charming, funny man with whom to bicker. It wants a manicurist who knows me by name and a cupboard stock-full of spices. It wants to stop scrimping all the fucking time. Even as I write this, I am convinced that this is what I want, for sure, no doubt, 100%.

And yet.

There is the other half that remembers how free I felt in India. How being on the road is when I feel most comfortable with myself. There is the half that thinks getting a manicure is irresponsible when there are people who don’t have enough to eat. That half of me that doesn’t want to live for the weekend or be trapped by owning things. It wants to fight the traditional definition of success, make a career out of wholesomeness and soulfulness. It wants to let go of materialism, to roll up its sleeves and help in a real way, not just by boycotting companies that test on animals or posting articles about sexism on Facebook. That half doesn’t think it’s lived in enough countries or had enough love affairs. Even as I write this, I am convinced that this is what I want, for sure, no doubt, 100%.

The thing is, the best I will ever have is an almost home. Everyone always talks about how exquisite and exotic it is to go to international school and have lives and friends all over the world. I rose-tint that life myself. I boast that my best friends live in Athens, London and Budapest. I joke about being a nomad. I excuse my lack of commitment in career and relationship. But no one talks about how to be international is to be alone. No one talks about the grief in the understanding that no matter where you live, most of your favourite people will be somewhere else. No one talks about how you’re always going to be missing out something. No one talks about how you leave a little bit of home everywhere you move so that, eventually, you don’t know where home actually is. And so you just keep on moving, keep finding new people to love and miss so you don’t have to think about how you already love and miss, keep haha-ing about having too much air inside you.

Somehow I know I will never be lonely again. Maybe I hit capacity in my twenties.

Current mantras: I am safe. I am loved. I am powerful.

I feel better than I did when I started writing this post.

“It’s really hard to be a rebel when you hate getting into trouble.”

“You know, I was thinking, watching Third Person… Do you ever write about me?”
And I laughed. But I thing is, I don’t. I don’t think I ever have. And that’s when I knew I wouldn’t see him again.

“Sometimes my centre is so ripe; I am of this world, but not in it.”

“I know I love myself because I’m sleeping naked again.”

“If you don’t like your face, change your eyes.”

“I must be the only person that uses yoga as an opportunity to self-punish.”

“I am so used to missing people that it almost doesn’t matter anymore.”

“The hook was hope. As if his regret was the proof I needed to believe that I am loveable.”

“Maybe we attach too much importance to external praise.”

“I think that if I could be with someone for a year, I could be with them forever.”

“Forgiveness is easy when you’re happy.”

“I mean, yes, the ones that hurt you the most are the ones you love the most. It’s inevitable. Not the ones that love you. It is you that loves them that hurts the most. But I think that their love for you is what heals you and allows you to move on from that pain. That’s when it becomes part of a stronger foundation. But when on love is not coming through to you, that pain becomes ugly. Barren. A sharp thing inside you. You can get used to it, and it can become part of your foundation. Once you pass through it, you are stronger, wiser. But I don’t think you ever really get over it. You just develop calloused fingers so it doesn’t hurt to hold it inside you anymore. This kind of pain will always exist, even when you forget to remember it. And so, yes, it is possible to never want to see someone again, even if you’ve forgive or forgotten them or both.

Some things are so traumatic to overcome. They take up so much energy and strength and perseverance to heal from, that once you’re on the other side, you can only be relieved that the door is behind you. Sometimes you are so grateful it’s over, you never want to think about it again.You will never open that door again, not even to get to the good bits.”

“We are more haunted by the those we hurt than the ones that hurt us.”

This Song is Called “I Only Think About You When I’m Sad”

Intimacy. It’s what I crave and also what terrifies me the most.

A friend says: “I’ll be friendly towards him. But if you want me to punch him in the face, I will.”

I have learnt to love from my mother and she loves like a lion. (How do lions love?)

Fear does not protect us. It is walking around a strange house at night–barefoot, blind, scared. Then sun will not come up until we’re comfortable with the darkness. Or, the sun will come up, but the night will always follow, so we must learnt to feel safe in the dark.

A friend says: “If you’re devastated, be it. There is no beauty or freedom in holding it in.”

You have to live without love, learn not to need it, in order to live with  it.

We feel better just by being with each other. I guess that’s called love.

“We have a lot of brothers we never had.”

“Asking someone to love you is listening to your heart’s desire. Pride is how you pick yourself up afterwards.”

Telling a cat nuzzling a book, “You can’t get affection from a book,” then, amending that statement…”If you can’t read.”

The key to controlling time is to think about it– or not.

We never stop loving anyone or fall out of love completely. It fades but can never disappear. Or the you that loved them gets smaller as you evolve and change. But the you that loved them will still always exist, even as a small, forgotten room in the mansion of your morphing soul

It is possible to be happy with the thought of past distress. Surviving trauma, and finding you still have the ability to laugh and love afterwards, means everything will be okay, always.

How many people have we walked by again and again in various suburbs or cities or even countries, and we just don’t know because we don’t know each other?

Sometimes we are better at playing the role of ourselves than actually being ourselves.

Lips are so much more intimate than tongues.

We cannot support equality if we do not include ourselves.

Qualities that turn me on

1. brilliance

2. generosity (of spirit, of wallet, of self)

3. power. confidence.

4. laughter (to do and induce)

5. comfort in non-conformity

6. good manners– the little things. goodness.

7.  loyalty* (this includes fidelity)

8. affection. affection. desire.

9. INTIMACY

I am a puppy with love but rarely meet people that excite me.

“I fell in love the way you fell asleep; slowly, and then all at once.” YES.

You learn not to need people.

thoughts on a berlin morning

we sat by the canal drinking beer and eating blueberries, talking about the things we usually talk about, noticing the ways we’ve changed. there is grey in our hair.

i am sitting by a big window in an apartment with high ceilings in berlin. i have already written this but i lost it somehow and i cried before i tried to remember. berlin is very german. things it seems to have a lot of: smokers, italians, wheelchairs. things it has few of: smiles, sunshine, good wine.

it’s in the lingering fingers. running through my hair like water. pressing the bone at the back of my neck like a button. i am liking these moments because there is no directionanxiety. his fingers and my skin are not exclusive. i like the way i’m skimming from boy to boy, collecting lovers like souvenirs. there is more freedom is belonging to several than belonging to one.

when his fingers found the crescent line of my jaw, i threw an arm over my eyes and rolled over, leaving a hand still in his. because there was too much sunlight and it seems that i am still scared of being seen. perhaps this is why my mood ripens at night. i am brave in the dark.

a she from a long time ago invited me out clubbing last night but i couldn’t be bothered to deal with the anxiety of the unknown. i might regret the no because i’m almost thirty and when will i get the chance to go clubbing in berlin again? but i have regretted many things and none of them have broken me. we stayed in, drinking organic red wine and watching youtube videos. when i went to sleep at four am, they seemed bemused.

a someone is playing the piano is the apartment across the courtyard. the sky is still. the sun has ripped through after a grey morning. there is a smell of cheap cigarettes. and also croissants.

 

A River in Egypt?

Even as a child, I was a knot. High-strung. Tangling thoughts just because I could. I always defended Friday 13th. I liked it just because it was thought to be unlucky. Maybe I always knew I was a black sheep. What’s worse? Being a black sheep and knowing it, or thinking you’re a black sheep when you’re not?

Consider this: thoughts are placebos. 
Again. Louder.
THOUGHTS ARE PLACEBOS.

We are what we think. And my mind is mean. Harsh and relentless. For how long can someone fight their own mind? How can they win? Where does your mind end and you begin?

My eyeballs have been swollen with tears for weeks; my tears are constantly en guarde. Why? Why?

Where does it all come from, this voice that tells me I’m unloveable? Also, unloved. How can my own mind, my own life make me claustrophobic? Don’t I control my mind? Didn’t I choose this life?

A few months ago, everything was coming together and now it seems to be draining. Maybe it’s me who is draining away. 

I am making myself into glass when I could so easily succumb into sand and be washed away. It’s taking all my guts to stay on the painful edge instead of toppling over. So I am stuck in no-man’s land: not okay, not not okay. But still, I am glass, and I crack, crack, crack.
I don’t have the strength to not crack. All I can do is not let too much water in. All I can do is keep reminding myself that I am not hopeless. But that’s like a kid holding a match at night, telling itself that the sun will come out before the match burns out. 

I have never felt quite this way before. I am not not okay. I am just a narrow, long pit of non-colour. I am not quite hysterical, but The Panic visits daily, sometimes twice. I am not sad but I cannot stop crying. 

Maybe I’m just bored.

Yes, that’s it. I’m bored.

Two-hundred and Sixty-six: The Perfect Breeze

It’s the evening of The Perfect Breeze.
The one that feels like kisses and safety.
I am walking on a road framed by neon signs,
one little anonymous atom in a big city pond.
There is honeysuckle to my left,
scents leaving trails of sighs across my cheek like a lover’s touch.
I long for these streets during the day,
for the songs of life that helter-skelter through me like a spontaneous, relentless tune.
I see beauty parlours, bubble-gum pink,
with late-night, last-minute customers primping and preening.
I keep going. I am a mess.
I am Johnny Walker headed for Johnny Walker (neat).
If I was a number, I would be eight.
Am I late? I don’t know.
When I walk, nothing exists except for the road.
Every now and then I look back,
searching for the beacon of a taxi cab and when I see it,
I’ll stab the air with my hand to beckon it to me.
I reckon it would rock if we could stick out our arms
and hail cabs for every problem.
But here, surrounded by fluorescent pollution,
I think: knowing how to get from Point A to Point B isn’t the solution,
because the letters always change.
I need to learn to jump on other trains of thoughts.
To fly into my imagination.
To ride ideas.
To find corners where I thought there was nothing but dead ends,
To search for names of places in my dreams,.
To brake when life throws me red lights.
If I can learn to navigate the map of my mind,
then I needn’t be so scared of this journey.

Two-hundred and Fifty-nine: I Have to Find You First

 

I want to crawl under your skin and sleep there,
listening to the tattoo of your heartbeat, soaking
in the heat of your sweet words. I want to graffiti
my name in the little lines of your irises so that
every time you blink, you think of me. I want
to sew our fingertips together, E.T. and Elliot,
souls flowing into each other constantly.
I want to cut off your lips so I can walk around
with your kiss on my forehead forever. I want
to lie with you, sixty-nine, head to toe like Pisces,
and start consuming at the same time so that
by the way we eat each other’s navels, we’ll be one.
I want to drink your thoughts and powder them
with my smiles. I want to do all these things but
I have to find you first.