Part 2 : يحرق قلبي

Continued from Part 1

I sent flowers but you said you didn’t receive.
You said you didn’t need.

Last week this girl would have ignited butterflies in my stomach and a frisson of excitement. Now it’s like my guts are packed with summer dried mud and the strength just left my limbs.

I could feel her absence.
It was like waking up one day with no teeth in your mouth. You wouldn’t need to run to the mirror to know if they were gone.

You said you loved me and I took you at your word, over the years you became part of the bedrock of my personality. I’ve spent much of adult life trying to shake the graft that is you. I wanted to be indistinguishable from you. But now I wanted to cut the cord and set it aflame.

The sooner you realise, the better it is.
Some people are magic, and others are just the illusion of it.

I might be addicted to the darkness of my seclusion from the world, but I can’t rid myself of this figment eating me from inside. The fact that I can’t remember what I’ve forgotten.

I wanted to look for what I’d lost, but I couldn’t figure where to start. And once I started, in hope that if my roving eyeballs catch a sight I might recall what it was, I couldn’t stop. Because I looked through every atom of every object in my vicinity the number of times I count sheep every night, and I still can’t sleep.

What difference does it make anyway? I should probably light a cigarette and head out.

I think I heard a knock at my door. I paused for a few seconds for a second knock to reaffirm I was not hallucinating. Who could it be? I usually don’t have any guests here.

No, I don’t have any guests at all. The last person to have visited me was the landlady, collecting rent. That was the last time I saw another human in this apartment. The rhythmic knocking escalated slowly into soft banging on my door.

“I know you’re in there.” It was Arabella.

I didn’t want to face her, but I could imagine her face peeping in anxiously though the keyhole. Her eyes must have frozen over like the surface of a winter puddle, robbing them of their usual warmth.
She was standing there, and even though she took a huge step back from life, I wanted to reach in and tell her I no longer cover my antecubital to hide my scars, that I’m not a hopeless addict anymore. But she wouldn’t believe me.
I wanted to rekindle her heart but the insides of her being are too damp with uncried tears and mine packed with dried mud.

I resisted the urge to rush to the door and treat my parched eyes with divinity once again.

“That day you just left without saying a word. Are you okay?”

I didn’t answer.

“Please tell me, I’m sure I can help.”

I couldn’t answer.

“Please, open the door! I need to talk to you. I’m worried about you!”

Sometimes, even whispers turn into echoes.

There was a long pause, an unusually long pause. The sobbing was followed by an onrush of tears and loud crying, and my patience was blown to smithereens.

She was weeping, yelling and calling out my name. Sympathy, regret, anxiety and indignation blended to make narcissistic self pity, and I refused to get up. I felt numb.

But all echoes turn into whispers, eventually.

Amidst all the odd self loathing satisfaction, remorse kicked in.
At the end of the day, she’s my best friend and I can’t bear to see her this way. I sprang up with exasperation mesmerizing me, and rushed to the door as if I were to knock it down.


My keys.

I’d lost my keys.

Where’re the damn keys?

For the nth time, I began tearing my living room apart.

Where could I have left the key? The sense of urgency soon eclipses my short-lived cerebral gratification.
Forget the key, I’d rather break the fucking door!
I try to barge through the door, but either I overestimated my strength, or the door suddenly turned into a wall.

I sprinted towards the window, and ripped the dusty blinds apart for the first time in my lifespan at this apartment. I saw Arabella walking away, and I helplessly watched her stroll out of my life one more time. The window was jammed, but I didn’t give up. I hit the glass in order to break it, yet again I overestimated myself, screaming inadvertently.

As the light from the window illuminated my apartment, I could see the scum I was living with. Once again, I was secluded with my deserted thoughts, my refurbished anxiety, and my insomnia.
Now that she is gone, am I left with any purpose to live? Am I not any different from those low-lives striving to shovel their way through life, achieving nothing and dying in vain?

I sweep the dust away and look for the key, I can no longer stay in this shithole, I want to escape from this reality I call routine. Before people think of me as dead and sign me off as a corpse, I must remind them of my existence. I’d moved up the blinds for the first time in a long time, but why is it so bright all of a sudden? Street lights can’t be that dazzling, and daylight is fainter than my skin in this weather.

I lift the top of the trash can, the insides of which are not any different from me and my apartment, and fish out the refuse from it. I catch a glimpse of that lustrous ring I’d tossed away, with a sense of resurgence.
No, I can’t let those memories haunt me once more. In a trance, I fling the ring away, and it hits the bedroom door, creaking loud enough to get my attention.

Why hadn’t I checked the bedroom before?
I walk in and right there, alongside the door, I find the keys.
Sigh! I curse myself for not thinking about going in earlier, and reluctantly bend to pick it up, when the corner of my eye catches sight of my feet somehow not touching the floor. A quiver runs down my spine—as I look up—to see myself, hanging from the ceiling.


Part 1 : こいのよかん

I think I forgot something. But I don’t remember what it was.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. It was right there in front of my eyes, I even recall making a mental note to take it but it somehow slid out of my mind. Now it has been bothering me for a while and I find myself unable to function normally.

I couldn’t sleep last night.
I couldn’t sleep the night before that too.

Not because of my inability to find the things I’ve lost, but because there’s a multitude of thoughts in my head that I’d wish to forget.
Who is to blame anyway? I have been told to stick my head out and tuck some life back into my body, but as a schizophrenic I’m more likely to be an introvert, and an insomniac.

Despite that I have been counting sheep, trying to thrust myself into stargazing  a multiverse every night. For months I felt nothing, then slowly, slowly, the unraveling.

But during the day, I just want to remain in a corner of my living room, where a faint voice in my head demands me to bash through the apartment door, shrieking at the top of my lungs and remind the world of my existence, but without finding these things, I can’t afford to go out.

Daylight is an assault. Moving from one room to the other is carnage.
Grief makes children of us all, blindly searching for that which we desperately ache.

The world looks almost fake sometimes. Like the mountains and sky in the distance are a backdrop for a set. A green screen. I hate the places my mind can take me. The places that scream everything is plastic and nothing is real.

Why is it always dark in here?
Why do I feel so cold?

The only light I have in this room is of that static TV I didn’t want to turn off.
There’s no cable, no internet, no cellphone reception and no one to talk to but myself. I wonder why nobody ever rents this place besides me. But there’s always a creaking sound from upstairs and an eerie scrubbing sound coming from my bedroom, where I have been only once since I’ve moved here. I’m probably delusional already, this foggy mind of mine is nothing but an abyss of hate and self loathing.

Self loathing? Because of Arabella, obviously.

Arabella and I had been the best of friends since childhood, and honestly, she’s the only reason I’ve have been able to push my way through life. After my parents passed away, I felt devastated and if it wasn’t for her, I’d have been one of those people out there, living without an ambition.

But I chose a different path, I made her my ambition.

I owed my life to her.

There’s a famous Japanese phrase: koi no yokan    
It doesn’t mean love at first sight, the one we have been consuming in our mainstream culture throughout our life. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s that feeling when you are with someone that you’re going to fall in love with eventually. Maybe you don’t feel that right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.

No matter how much I long to see her, it’s my body that fails to cooperate. I can’t gather the guts to get out and knock at her door. When I miss her, I reminisce her through the fragrance of the organic cigarettes that she smokes amalgamated with her scent of lavender and sometimes I touch the things she used to touch, looking for echoes of her fingers.

In a room full of art, I’d still stare at her.

Blind faith though, was something she believed in with all of her heart, but not at the expense of tasting every last bite of the journey with a clear and open palette. And when she needs to shelter from reality, she takes a dip in my daydreams.

A week ago, I remember wanting to get onto my knees and confront a ring, but when I met her, she looked perplexed. Her eyes were wandering, as if they were searching for someone.

“Arabella, I—I wanted to—tell you—something.”

But as she turned her gaze towards me, and before I could bend my right forelimb she hollered to the man standing at a distance, clinging to his chest and kissing him.

I looked away pretending not to have noticed anything and put the ring back in my pocket. She gasped and rushed towards me.

Reluctantly forced a smile, turned around and took a deep breath. One of those feelings where you want to smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet.

That was it. I stared at them silently, and walked away without saying a word. Silence is the most deafening sound you’ll ever hear. It’ll shatter your brain, your heart, and by the end of it, you’ll realise it hadn’t even touched you.

She kept calling my name but I just couldn’t bear it any longer. I fiddled with the ring that was supposed to be on her finger and tossed it in the trash, hoping to discard all her memories with it.

I wonder where this part of you came from,
Was it hidden in the shallow of your eyes?

I had this feeling before but how did I not notice the evident? I find it strange how we fell apart, how there was no longer a sparkle when she looked at me, how her eyes didn’t light up anymore with chuckles when I cracked a lame pun, how she wouldn’t look back at me when I wanted to swim across the depths of this universe beneath her retina, through her mind, into her heart.

It’s much less picturesque without her catching the light.
Did I mention how difficult it is to find things in bleak luminosity?
It’s even worse when you can’t figure what you’re looking for. I guess I’ll have to keep searching.

Continued in Part 2.