Love & writing

When did I write last? Why? Where have I been.

The page seems so blank, like never before. Someone told me to write again. I thought, why not.

Blank scares me these days, more than ever. I’m unused to writing, there, in public, for all to see. How did I used to pour out my heart like that? Why?

I’d like to get back to writing, the way I used to 7 years ago. Stories. Poems. Even if they sucked. Can I do it? Do I have it in me? I start, and it’s like … the page is SO white. But they say first you write a sentence, then a paragraph, then a page, then two and three, and suddenly … there you have it.

I’m shy. I feel stage fright. But there is no stage. Just me. And you. And what we say is lost among billions of words that unfold and multiply in the vast space of the Internet every millisecond.

Alas, you are not a writer until you believe you can’t write. So maybe I am a writer. Or just a girl on a couch, her lap draped in roses, holding onto old sentiments.

This boy is special. He’s young and cute, and he teaches me things I thought he didn’t know. I’m not sure which I’m afraid of more, love or writing. Which I believe I can’t do more. Which is my greatest failure in life. Failure is a strong word to use at 27, when you’re so young, still coming into being, still coming to grips with your world, yourself and your surroundings.

That’s what they both do — love and writing — teach you to reveal yourself, little by little, and linger there, hover in uncertainty until you do it with grace. Eventually. First you do flail. You doubt, you lose your balance. You trip. Then you start over. And every time you start again, the task seems harder because you have the heaviness of knowledge with you.

Children must be masters at love, then, masterful writers. Because we go through writing and erasing and rewriting over the traces, recalling fragments of what we used to be. Children forget. They go, and they play, and they laugh and take in new experiences with no second thoughts. Without judgment. They just are.

The goal of choosing to put yourself through writing and rewriting, loving and mending and loving again, then, is to learn how to untwine the tethers of experience and remember how to be.

Could I just be? That’s why I want to find my voice again. To just be. And why I’ll never give up love.

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We lay in the sheets naked. “I like you a lot,” you said to me. I stopped you. “You still do?” You nodded. I love you too bubbled in my throat, and I kissed you to stifle it again. This was the closest we’ve ever come to perfection.

Dating. A strange place to cram an easy thing like love into. It wrapped and sealed us in so that we could not see anymore through the plastic. We could only see each other, each other’s shadows. The light entering from the top helped us cast each other’s shadows. But we must never have looked up because all we saw was shadows. Dreadful spaces of black, smeared against our walls. Eventually, you became my ghost. I was ashamed of you. I missed you.

I came back to you yesterday. Your eyes lit up like fireworks when you saw me. I counted the steps it took you to find me through the crowd in your apartment and waited for you to come to me after every pause in conversation. I searched for you although you were not far. From the corner of my eye, I kept an eye on you. Your ears, your back, your eyes. Your eyes, still and insistent as you talk, peering behind your glasses. I missed you. The dress I wore was solely for you. “Like 20 presents in one,” I joked with Jane about the pink bows peppering the fabric.

You had 20 choices. In my view, you had 20 and more. All you had to do was look for them. Find them. Make us work. You weren’t ready. I was idealistic. I wanted it all, not a compromise or our happiness pressed between walls. I wanted you, whole and complete. You didn’t see it. You missed it along with the 20 other little crumbs along the path that would have led you to the answer. And as the sun grew heavy and the shadows stretched out longer on the road, you chose your answer. There, in the weariness of sunsets, you came up with the best that you could do.

Your way led us to a safe, familiar place. A bed. A sheet. A few guests lingering in the living room, wondering whether you’d come out again or whether they should go. She’s back, their whispers rose and reached your ears as I entered again, alone this time, without my friends. I left them in that crowded bar. I needed to find you. Your bows were all around me, 20 drawings stuffed down my throat, all identical, all around my body, waiting for your hands. You took me in your hands then, you lay me down in bed and tucked me in. I was drunk on memory, and you took care of me. I waited for you to return. There in the darkness, I whispered to you. Reviens. Come back, come back, come back. You heard me.

This morning, I wasn’t surprised to be naked. I always felt my best when I was naked near you. I still do. Guilt replaced by giddiness, I laughed and pinched your nipple. You let out a scream then, and though I wanted to laugh and hug you, I said I was sorry. Compassion. I missed you. I wanted you to know. I wanted to practice what I didn’t then, wanted to see how it is to nurture a person rather than his shadows. Wild and sincere, my reactions shed light on your actions. I finally spoke my mind.

We went on like that until 2. You wanted to get up earlier, but I reached out to you again. I put aside my pride for you, and you listened. We are too close. We shouldn’t do this, you said. We should stop. Do you want me to move then? You didn’t speak. But your eyes, round and insistent as the white space enclosed in the ink of an “o”, said it all. It was like us, really, that manner in your eyes then … you and me, enclosed in a space of wonder, a pause out of life for a few seconds or hours. It was the best you’ve done all along, almost canceling out the fact that it’s over.

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this song….

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on day 6

or is it 5?

well, on day 6, you lose track. i guess that means that on day 4 or 5, you’ve stopped counting.

that was fast.

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day 2, part 3: lasts

my last photo at his place, 5 a.m., saturday morning

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day 2: part 2

on day 1, your mind wonders, “why, why, why.” on day 2, you spend less time wondering, and more time remembering. it’s little glimpses rustling through the folds of every day life that remind you what you had: a guy who happens to wear the same glasses brings back the shine of his crystal-blue eyes. a couple holding hands after grocery shopping brings you back to that first date, when childlike and excitedly you raced to see who’d find the ginger first. a mention of a diamond ring reminds you how he never believed in marriage.

“would you ever do that, date someone forever but not marry them?” asks your friend over coffee. her boyfriend’s looking at you too, curious about your answer. you blink.

it’s not depressing or sad, day 2. it’s just a mild recognition of what’s at hand, a mellow passage through your day, a slight hint of fear in the back of your mind of the rest of the time without him.

the “saddest” thought: this in your life is over. it will never come again in this lifetime. you crossed paths for a short time, and now it’s over. there will be other people sure, in both your life and his, but you two will never be together again. you’ll never have those moments of quiet understanding, a simple joy at being near each other. those moments when you didn’t look past the day in either direction, and just waited, in each other’s embrace, talking, laughing, oblivious to time and things and most of all the invisible calendar, edging you closer to the next square set out for you.

ay. my heart still doesn’t ache. it’s containing itself while the mind does all the work now. i think they’re still a good pair, these two, still working to save each other.

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day 2:

as predicted, day 2 is much better than 1. why? well, because it’s calmer. i value the time i have to myself, though it’s about to be broken up with my friends who are on their way here. it’s ok, it’s what you must do. but i wanted to come and record quickly, that this morning i woke up, showered, de-cluttered the kitchen counters, re-organized the kitchen shelves, cleaned my room and put out my french books.

it’s really peaceful in here now. i’ve opened up the window, and the sound of  leaves rustling at the touch of the wind reaches my ears. i’ve loved living here, especially for this reason — that beautiful sound, that makes me feel like i live in the countryside. that i get the best of both worlds: a hectic city full of opportunity and a soothing vacation destination right by the river. i really love it here, and when your heart stops clamoring for the past, you really again notice the present.

i have lots to do today, and it’s all good.

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