You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over.
But one thing is certain.
When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.
That’s what this storm’s all about.” —Haruki Murakami
so she held him
she held him like a video rental
no sense of ownership
just a gentle knowing
that he would have to be returned
in working condition
so he touched her
he touched her like a carpenter
admiring the craftsmanship
of a much better carpenter
just the honest appreciation
of something that would later inspire him
to build a better self
“Show me a magic trick.”
She looked at him, doe eyed and unable to contain her excitement. She was twenty.
“Okay, pick a card.”
He smiled and handed her the deck. He’s built, dark, not a showstopper but has shoulders that feel like they could take on the world.
“You picked the king of hearts, right?”
“How did you know?” She furrowed her eyebrows, trying to figure out the trick. “I keep getting that card! He likes me. Maybe I’m the queen of hearts.”
“You think you’re the queen of hearts?”
“Show me a magic trick.”
She passed him the deck of cards. She is now old and frail, but the light hasn’t gone out from her eyes, not yet. She is seventy-five.
“Okay, pick a card.”
He shuffled the cards and handed it to her. He is now old. Too old. He can’t remember his tricks as well and his movements are not that smooth. He is eighty.
“You picked the king of hearts, right?”
She smiled and placed her card back into the deck, and gave her old man a kiss on his forehead.
“How do you always know?” She frowned a bit and cleared up what’s left of their meal. “It’s not fair. The card followed me because I’m the queen of hearts. That’s how you know.”
He chuckled a bit and started coughing,
“Come on you old geezer, time to take your medicine before you are gone for good.” She turned to the kitchen to fetch his pills.
He opened the top card in the deck while she’s gone.
It was the three of diamonds.
So she held him
She held him like a video rental
No sense of ownership
Just a gentle knowing
That he would have to be returned
In working condition
So he touched her
He touched her like a carpenter
Admiring the craftsmanship
Of a much better carpenter
Just the honest appreciation
Of something that would later inspire him
To build a better self
It’s my grandfather’s 79th birthday today and we had a family dinner. I’m glad I made it.
Grandpa has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and though it’s not deadly, yet, he is too old to be going for chemo and knowing how proud he is I guess he refuses to do so as well. His memory is failing, and he is losing the stride in his walk. It pains me more than a bit.
The last time I lost a relative was my mom’s side grandpa and I was too young to know and understand the grief and feeling of loss. At 19, I guess I can make an attempt to describe what loss feels like. Or the feeling of loss. It’s like watching sand going through your fingers, except it’s something worth more than sand of course, something that is precious to you. These precious things are ground to fine particles that makes it easy to slip through when you are looking, or not looking. And you try to hold on but you can’t. You can only watch them disappear slowly until there is nothing left. There is nothing you can do. You can try, but it’s still disappearing even if you’re trying to hold on.
I’m not really good at dealing with losses. I know how I said that we carry on their strength and live on. But it is still terribly painful. Isn’t it.
So please. Please. Treasure those whom you have. I know it’s a cliche to say that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. But I don’t wish that on you.
I wish that you know what you have, and that you know it’s value.
And how do my parents handle this? I can’t imagine myself in their shoes. I think for now, I just want to complete my studies soon and get back to where they are. I want to share their burdens, not be one of it. And if I wish really hard for it, maybe I’ll be able to get it?
I am scared. Terrified. Alarmed. Disturbed. Horrified. Discouraged.
I should sleep.
I awoke to a strange whispering before going to work at the insurance brokerage. I couldn’t quite make it out, but it was a woman’s voice calling to me. I walked straight into my job, quit loudly and righteously in front of a boss I hated, kissed his secretary, whom I’d been lusting after for three years, and marched out, triumphant.
I went down to the docks to watch the ships come in and met a sailor who said he was looking for deck hands. That day I left my condo, car, phone, gym membership, everything. As the ship lifted anchor, the world cracked wide open. I didn’t realize until that moment that I had spent five years of my life in the ranks of the walking dead.
For a long time I moved from port to port. Every so often I would meet a woman while in harbor and I would fall in love, get a job on dry land and attempt a new life. But time would pass and again I’d hear that strange whispering at night urging me onward, and the next morning I’d volunteer on another ship to Anywhere But Here. Only on the open water did the whispering quiet. Until I met Lorelei.
Lorelei was named after a beautiful maiden in German folklore who leaped to her death on the Rhine because of her lover’s infidelity. The rocks in that part of the river are shaped in such a way that, when the wind is just right, sailors can hear what sounds to be a voice calling to them. Shipmen, lured by the beautiful voice, invariably met their fates in the treacherous, rocky waters.
The daughter of a captain lost at sea, Lorelei had a tattoo of a mermaid covering her entire back. She had sea foam eyes that could drown any man. She arm wrestled merchant marines and bet on horses. She was a poker shark, a short con artist and a mother of twins who died during childbirth. At night she would cry for them in her sleep. Knowing her deep sadness scraped the barnacles from my weary heart. And for the first time in a long time, I lost my sea legs.
I tried to hold it down with Lorelei. I really did. I was happy with her, at peace. But, in a moment of weakness, I didn’t make it home one night. She knew without my telling her; she had cleared out all of her things by the time I made it home. Sometimes, two people in love develop a sixth sense for such things.
Ashamed, I searched everywhere for her—if not to win her back, then at least to tell her that I was sorry. But I never did find her. To this day, whenever I’ve stopped long enough to get comfortable and at peace with anyone or anywhere, I hear her whisper, urging me onward toward a place I’ve never seen before.
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath” —Regina Spektor
Me: You break my heart. Now I’m so sad.
Jane: Do you have one?
Me: Oh my god, Park just gave me the middle finger. Why?
April: That’s like “hello” for drunk people.
Benjamin: How are you not tired.
Me: I was an A level student.
Donovan: What’s wrong with you?
Me: So many things, where do I start.
Me: I…dislike her so much I want to point a hair dryer at her and blow.
Shivering and sighing.
And he vows his passion is,
Lady make note of this
—One of you is lying.” —Dorothy Parker
Counting down to end of term and dreading the flight home. I’ve come to hate flights, to anywhere. Hours lost for no good reason. And the feeling of staying up for almost a day without sleep, or short hours of sleep next to a stranger in a cramped, flying object is a little too much for my anemic nerves to withstand.
Currently spending my time looking for a flat to move into. I like residence but I can’t help but be stifled by the idea of a small room, one that’s almost like a jail cell. I have redecorated it to make it seem less like one, but once I step out, or open my windows and see nothing but walls I feel suffocated. Fingers crossed for the viewing this afternoon, I don’t want to jinx it so I feel that it’s best not to talk about it. Knowing my luck, the stars sometimes align against me to deprive me of what I want.
They said the weather makes people miserable. I say miserable people makes people miserable. I try to be happy all the time. Most of the time. I laugh a lot. I wish people could still find traces of summer when I’m around. But I get cold, I get cold sometimes and it’s hurt people. Especially late at night. I was told by sad eyes that I’m so warm on the outside and so cold on the inside. And that saddened me. I think that people shouldn’t try to pry too deep because at times my own thoughts and behavior frightens me.
I think about my family a lot. I miss them and I miss how alright everything feels when they are around. When we are together. I am starting to appreciate them a lot more than I did when I was younger. All children should know that they are not blessings to their parents until they can start giving back.
And for now, regarding people.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for anybody is let them get away with a lie. Keep it in when the lie falls flat. Believe, act like you believe. Insecurities are hard to hide and an effort should always be appreciated.
Sometimes, you should try to care more, even if you really don’t. Look for the good in people, try to see it from their point of view. Try to understand that we are all different and just because one is not the same as you does not mean it’s wrong.
Sometimes, it’s okay to open up to people. As hard as it may be. Talk to people, force yourself to talk to people you don’t know. Smile, smile a lot. Be interested. Be real. Be silly and be serious.
Sometimes, don’t take yourself too seriously.
Who did you think you were anyways?
Jewel: You don’t like peas?
Jewel: Yeah you picked them all out.
Me: Oh I thought you meant world peace.
This pride is crippling. And I’ve always wondered how a person with no roots love. I have everything but sometimes, in the deep chambers of the night, I feel lonely. Though throughout the years I’ve come to appreciate my solitude at times. Whenever I get too close, I need a break from things, from people. I run.
I have everything. Perfect family, imperfections in my body, thoughts. Overtly obstinate at times but it doesn’t bother me. Not to mention all the lovely, lovely company that I have.
I should be happy. Why can’t I be.
I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.
And what do I have, some cash in my pocket, freedom and thoughts that run deep. At times I pause to think about things that would happen, but with the change of fate doesn’t. I don’t have peace of mind. And without that, you come to realize have nothing. You think you have everything, like the Greek sculpture of Aphrodite. But when you go too close, you see those cracks and flaws you aren’t supposed to see. And it ruins everything for you.
In an effort to avoid
The things that annoy you
You hide far, far away
And life just passes you by
Are you gonna give up? Are you gonna give out?
Ain’t that a shame
You’ve got no one to blame
But your conscience
It doesn’t make sense
I know that only too well
So tell me
Did it happen one day
When the day that you faced
It just didn’t bring
Anything more, anything more than despair
By Chelsea Fagan
You deserve to look in the mirror every morning and see someone that, though not perfect, isn’t trying to be. You deserve to walk past the billboards and commercials that show staged-and-Photoshopped images of what and who you are supposed to be and laugh at them, secure in the knowledge that you are wonderful because you are real. You could imagine that the models themselves must be so much greater in person when not reduced to a pose and a cheesy tagline — maybe they are at their most beautiful when just stepping out of the shower, hair still wet, and excited to go eat a good breakfast — but you don’t compare yourself to them. You deserve to love your body simply because it is yours, and it is capable of so much.
You deserve to look past whatever is displayed on the outside, whatever code lingers on your skin to be read by society and neatly organized into some compartment about who you “are” — fat, thin, ugly, tall, awkward — and be even more in love with what exists within you. Of course you may have moments in which you regret past mistakes, or dislike a character flaw that you know you need to work on, or feel the rope of maturity tugging at your ankle saying “Come on, catch up,” but it doesn’t define you. You deserve to appreciate all of the wonderful qualities you bring to the table, instead of relentlessly harping on yourself for the categories in which you fall just a tiny bit short.
You deserve to look for love, if that’s what you want, and be ready to accept it when it comes your way. You might find yourself overwhelmed and even briefly in disbelief when you realize that someone actually loves you for who you are and wants nothing more than to be with you, but you should be able to embrace that unconditional caring with your own. You should wrap your arms around them and cover them with your whole body — flesh, bone, the ugly little cracks and scars that they can’t stop kissing — and know that you are a good person, who is worthy of such joy. You deserve not to question every person who gives you a compliment or tells you that you’re wonderful, not to wonder if they have some ulterior motive, or if you are somehow the victim of an elaborate prank. You should realize that you are worth loving because you are ready to love back.
You deserve to go through your day and take in the good parts, breathe in the good air and appreciate the little things that too often go unnoticed. You should know that a strong flower growing in a city sidewalk, a child laughing and blowing bubbles, or strangers that smile at one another and mean it are all things worth loving, and which make your day a net positive. You deserve to live your life for the joys and not the frustrating slights that are out of your control — to be able to say that, because you held the door open for an older man with too many bags on his arms, your afternoon was good. Though the profound effect these tiny moments of happiness can have on all of us are often lost in the shuffle of life and its myriad injustices, you deserve to look at them and see them for the victories of compassion and simplicity that they are.
You deserve to try, and give it your all, but be okay if you fail. You deserve not to spend so much of your life berating yourself for not having been “good enough,” especially when you’re not even sure what “good enough” might entail. Your job might be strenuous, your classes impossible, but you deserve to be able to do your best work and, at the end of the day, put your pen down and sleep well. You deserve to have a personal best that is good enough for you, to not constantly feel as though you’re outrunning yourself with expectations, to the point of sapping the joy out of a hard day’s work.
You deserve to be truly happy for others. You deserve a life that is filled with its own successes and triumphs, that is carved out in the image you desire, and that is not effected by the perceived victories of others. Sometimes others may get things that we wanted for ourselves, but you deserve to be confident enough with your own life and journey that someone else’s achievement is not directly detrimental to your own desires. You deserve to see success not as some finite pie from which we must all take exactly one slice, but rather a constantly evolving and growing garden in which we can all flower and reach the sunlight.
Perhaps most of all, though, you deserve to be okay. You deserve to know that a day in which you can just barely get out of bed because you are sad, or sick, or simply not ready to see the outside is not the end of the world. You deserve to know that moments of weakness do not make you fundamentally weak, only fundamentally human, and that sometimes we’re not going to be effusively happy, and that is okay. You deserve to be happy just existing and not constantly holding yourself up to a standard of fake smiles and forced cheerfulness. You deserve to not beat yourself up when you do not reach perfect acceptance of your body, your personality, the love you receive, or anything else that may come your way. Though you should know that you are worthy of these things, learning to be happy just in a kind of stasis with yourself is a long process, and you should know that we are all working on it. You deserve to live through all of your emotions, all of your states of motivation, and know that as long as you are treating everyone with kindness (including yourself), you have nothing to be ashamed of.
Sometimes I still can’t come to terms with how things turned out, even though it’s for the better.
Took the day off today and slept it away, I am happy and I’ve been so physically tired at the same time. But that’s nothing compared to being mentally worn. Being mentally worn is like a chronic illness that bugs you everyday, you walk and you breathe and you eat but you bleed without being cut. You feel imbalanced and get thrown off your feet easily. You’re losing a few senses every now and then, first the ears then your eyes and finally it accumulates to the point where you can’t feel. You feel nothing.
Physical illnesses are easier to cure, you sleep it off and you will feel better in a day or two.
Not moping or such, I’m looking at the bruises on my legs and wonder how did I get them. I’m still a little numb from things, but the snow, the snow inside is melting. I’m getting the sparkle that would put famous teenage novel vampires to shame back.
And I miss summer, I miss the people that I associate with summer. I hope all of you are well. Especially those who tend to feel too much. One thing I’ve learnt thus far is that you can be down down down in the slumps and lost everything but everyone else will be well like always. The world can always function without you. Everyone can function without you as well. But the world has never been able to handle those who are delightfully insane.
So like I always say, be good, be wild or be wonderful.
Please be well.