Six years ago when I had had more than enough I asked someone I barely knew to meet for a cup of coffee, and she said yes. In that single decision, she gave me back a city I so wanted to love, and so much more than that. Today, I do not wish to ever imagine my life without her. She is a joy. Tomorrow, she takes a big step. She is leaving her city. The one she has come to call home, but it is for the best possible reason, to pursue their dream. To make their life what they want it to be. I know that they’re worried, they are still caveating the decision with, ‘We’re going to give it a year.’ I would add those words too were it me.
I know that this is the best choice for them. I have been reminded often the past few weeks of something I told another dear friend, ‘The only regrets in life we have are the risks we don’t take.’ I know those words to be true. I also know those words have sometimes gotten me into trouble, but they have also lead me to paths and people whom my life would have been less without, including the friend leaving their city. Selfishly, I sill wish she wasn’t leaving.
I feel like I am almost back to where I was six years ago. Only, instead of wanting to be anywhere but there, I long for the city’s familiar streets and sounds. I miss the freedom given to me since the city and I came to our truce, I ask nothing of her and she takes nothing of me. Now, my talisman, the one I could turn to when I felt myself turning back, will be gone. I never thought I’d have to make this journey without them again. I have to ask myself if I have changed enough to be able to go back to her on my own. I do not know if I have.
May the 4th. As she leaves and as I return, may it be with us both.
Filed under (In)sanity, I am
I can’t help but think of you these last few days. Every thing you ever said was wrong with me, they see it too. Only it’s no longer an issue. Where you told me that I never let you into my life, they say that too. But then I open the door. When you said that you didn’t know who I am, they say that too. Yet I find myself answering their questions. When you would tell me that I needed to do something more with myself, they say that too. I know that it is because they think I can be more and not because they need me to be.
All that time you spent, I told you I listened. I heard everything you said, if only you hadn’t been bashing me over the head with who I am at the same time, you might have noticed. I was who you wanted me to be. If you hadn’t pushed me to the point where I had to push you away, if you had shown me in any small way you wanted me in your life, if you had only believed in me the way I did in you.
…I might still be yours.
Every day. Every day at least some words. Always something. Random questions and continued conversations. I kept you company as you went about your day, I revelled in your exploits and listened to your stories. A morning greeting. A night-time wish for sweet dreams. The last person you’d speak to so many nights and my first on just as many mornings. Except today.
With no more words than necessary you tell me that you don’t ever want to be without me in your life. All those moments lost, there can’t be any more. I hear the request beneath the words but I know myself, I know you better. I would never break a promise, so to you I would never make one. Instead I tell you all that I can, I need you in my life. As long as I know that to be true then I know I will keep you. Your words have troubled me for some time. You don’t ever want to be without me, but every other word you say tells me that you don’t know me. That me you do know, directly opposed to everything you are.
I ask you why you choose to keep me in your life. You tell me you don’t know. I don’t know why either, but I know there should be a reason. I will make no apologies for who I am. Not for you or for anyone. I have been shown that the very best of people choose to keep me, not inspite of who they think me to be but because of who they know me to be. Even if I doubt myself when I’m with you, I do not doubt them. Because they are in my life I know you are lucky to have me in yours. When I am blessed with them, that I choose you, speaks more of how I feel for you than any of my words could ever do. If only you thought enough of me to feel even a fraction of the same.
Eighty-two. Today the first of how many? No longer sure of the truth of my reasoning. No longer sure if I can stay.
You tell me that you don’t ever want to lose touch with me again and in return I tell you that I need you in my life. I can’t be who I need to be without you, so I’m not going anywhere. Only the person you don’t want to lose touch with, I’m not sure I’m that person any more. If I’m not, then surely my promise isn’t broken. My promises to you, the only ones that are only ever at risk.
In those quiet moments, in the spaces between the breaths, that’s when you come to find me; that’s where I am always waiting for you. When you no longer hear the words you need, you listen for my voice. When you cannot see your worth, I show you what I see through my eyes. When your life is not what you want it to be, I offer you mine. Unsure of what any of it means any longer.
Your happiness at the expense of my own. That was never the plan. Your presence completed me. Balance restored. Only you want something else, determined to turn my world every which way – and you always did. Everything I never knew I wanted, always you. When there’s no one else for you, you come to me – your last resort or your eternal solace? What am I to you? ‘The heart does things for reasons that reason cannot understand.’
…what are you to me?
Going through the motions but lacking any kind of sensation. Everything tasteless. Disappointment acknowledged but not felt. The heart aches. Not wanting to play this out in view of open eyes you withdraw.
In these moments you come to realise who holds you. Those whose arms wrap around you instinctively to hold you together before you fall apart. That one who tries to make you laugh. Wrong words chosen, but a slight twitch of your lips shows you that could you smile, you would. And them, the one you turned to, to take you out of your head. Seeming at first to care but then always their truer nature returns. This you knew. It is why you go to them.
The words unbelievable. Having to remind yourself that this is how you placed the pieces. Each one fulfilling the role assigned. You can’t be angry, only you are. Growing resentment that they would choose now to do this. Had the roles been reversed with a fraction of the relevance this behaviour would not be tolerated from you. Never able to see as you do. Oddly thankful that this you can feel. This gives you something other to think about. This was the reason why you made that choice again. Perfectly selfish, always guaranteed that in their presence nothing you feel matters. Your dysfunction showing. The tactic does not work.
Your thoughts undistracted. They always remembered your name. They always cared to ask how you were. Their voice familiar on the other end of the phone, you couldn’t help but smile when you answered. It feels heavy. The memory of that last time. You shared a meal in their home. They were supposed to be getting better. They wouldn’t let you hug them. Too much affection, you knowing your arms would embrace them too tightly. Them kindly insisting that it was only because they didn’t want you to become ill. Not even a kiss goodbye. Just wave.
The miles too many to travel I stay on my side of the ocean. Too affected by a sadness that should not be so overwhelming. Their loss, mine. I will miss their kindness. I will miss their laughter. I will miss their smile.
~ R.I.P. Auntie Norte ~
Their face everywhere. Now I choose to see. Too long that part of me denied, never gone. The shadow cast not them, but me. I realise that now. In the darkness where I stood and smiled at the light I know that this is what I have chosen.
That happiness, that joy, so many smiles. It could never be sustained. I was never built that way. Though surrounded, that’s not how I know how to live. Blinded. The brilliance too much for me.
With new words still lost to me and the old too hard to say I let myself be found. Unable to reconcile those parts of me alone but knowing I need both. To value what it is I have, to know the consequence should I let it go, I need to be reminded how many times I have lost.
I returned to where I knew I would be asked the questions for which I did not have the answers they wanted to hear. I heard the apology given without the meaning needed behind it. Unknown that the word that always fell so easily from their lips contained a promise to do better. A promise that could never be kept without the knowledge behind it.
Decision made. My life so very full. Left off-balance when the scales were tipped too far. I can no longer exist in extremes. The newly reclaimed piece needing to find its place without being forced. The picture incomplete without it. Slowly. Tentative placement. I need it to be whole.
When no one else was looking I knew I would go back. When no one else was looking I found myself finally hearing the words. When no one else was looking, I couldn’t be anyone but me.
I couldn’t waste any more of my words on you, so I borrowed these.
Do I know you? Have we ever met? You’ve got a smile I could never forget. Perhaps you’ve mistaken me for someone you know.
What’s that you say? Am I losing my mind? That’s just one of the things that I left behind. You must be talking about something that happened a long time ago.
There’s a look in your eyes I’ve seen before. It’s all too familiar but I can’t be sure. I’ve got a memory somewhere that looks a lot like you.
I’m still confused with these feelings inside. I want to reach out and hold you and I want to hide. Tell me, did I really love you or are you someone that I never knew?
If I forgot to remember your name and your face excuse me forgetting. I must have misplaced that part of my life that left all the scars…from the back of my mind, to the bottom of my heart.