The strange familiarity.
Out of all human feelings, my ever favorite is familiarity.
Familiarity, more than love, more than passion, more than fulfilment.
I guess you learn along the way that constancy wins every race. The instant spurts of emotions, the temporary fire, the agonising excitement, they all fade away. The rabbit tires out quickly and the tortoise scores the gold medal. So it is.
I told Samuel today that humans are enslaved by their urge to move forward. He blinked–he always does on addressing ridiculous statements, and made a joke about idle hands and devils and whatnot. He could have argued that I secretly don’t stand by my own finding, that “enslaved” has far too many bad connotations to associate with what we’d both eventually agree is a human norm. But I suppose he spared me the trouble out of kindness.
I scrubbed my bare feet against his rug. It had an uncomfortable peculiar color but I envisioned it would probably feel warm to make love on.
“Turquoise is girly.” I mumbled.
“Don’t offend your own tribe.”
“Feminism is also girly. And I don’t have a tribe.”
He blinked, “I find your fetishization of lone wolves very amusing. I’ll paint your toenails. Tell me more.”
He grabbed my feet.
“I think the epitome of equality is never having to talk about it. We shouldn’t need to say that the tall and the short are equal; they are, but we needn’t say it. Uttering it nullifies it.”
He colored one nail crimson, “You always choose to ignore the inputs. In a world of your design, one with no witch hunt, rape, or women in burqas, the need to publicly state that men and women are equal would be nonexistent. Do we live in this fantasy realm? We don’t.”
“Awful color. And you’re wrong. We constitute our world. If we consistently need to establish that my lack of penis shouldn’t have anything to do with my constitutional rights then we’re implicitly asserting that it’s natural for it to do. Then equality would be a favor. I’m a woman and you’ve granted me equality because I worked hard enough to earn it, not because we are equal by default.”
He drew a rose on my ankle. it tickled a little. He whispered, “Your inner misogynist self finds soothing colors girly.”
“‘Girly’ is an adjective. It’s language. Only the butthurt political correctness enthusiasts would be offended by language.”
I could read the dismissal on his calm face and it was rather satisfying. My angry rants never disturb his rivers. It was our cornerstone.
“I messed up your foot.” He declared proudly and I smiled.
“Do you think you could ever go for guys? Like if you were in prison and were really horny?”
“And you’d take it up the ass?”
He laughed. I smirked. Prepared a speech on typical masculine pride.
“I just think it would be too painful to enjoy. I know what is going in your little brain. Cocky is derived from cock and we’re a joke to you.”
I thought that him thinking so was endearing. Security works in mysterious ways, one of which being embarrassing confessions.
“Would you fuck me on your turquoise rug?” I asked casually. The red rose on my ankle already distorted.
“No. I’d rather eat. I’m taking your active libido for granted.”
“Did you just reject me because you can’t stop thinking of black prison dicks inside your ass?”
“Yes. Also pasta.”
White sauce. And garlic. And a side of familiarity.
But they don’t warn you that perhaps after you’ve walked your thousand miles, perhaps all you find there, all that’s waiting for you on the other side, is a broken mirror: your horrified face, staring at you, calling you a waste of life.
Words fly around in your little head like armed butterflies, with swords; you can’t catch them but they won’t let you be… poking holes in the corners of your brain, drawing blood, bathing in your blood.
Victorious drunk lascivious soldier butterflies, singing their war songs, fucking their queen, claiming your lands.
Hide from people with me today, under a kitchen table, at the center of the universe. We’ll see their feet moving hastily, orbiting us. We’ll be their sun, but they won’t know it.
Be the Greeks to my Troy, demolish me, fool me once, twice, thrice: the shame will always be on me.
I won’t be your victim, we’ll do it in unity; it’s kindness.
It’s kindness to unbuild when your only construction is debris.
We’ll be the heroes of our time; we’ll be the martyrs of self-destruction. Our statues will wear scars.
We will be a stain. A glorified stain on an ancient history book that no one reads.
But I will love you, and I won’t loathe me, and we won’t break hearts.
We won’t break hearts.
I remember a time of my life where you were the coolest person I know.
I used to stay up all night with you, we’d watch a horror movie, something that marked the peak of my badassery as a kid who didn’t know much, or knew nothing at all.
I used to clone how you spoke, the cool words you used, how you secretly smoked.
I admired you. I imitated you. I wanted to be you.
Now your presence suffocates me.
I can’t tell when it all happened, we grew up, you grew old. I’m being cruel.
I think I expected the admiration to grow with me but your achievements, that once looked so big, started to shrink and fade as the years stole more of you; as I stole more of them.
Now when you throw a joke, like the old times, I look at you and I pity you.
I look at how old and used and repetitive the joke is, how old and used and repetitive you are. I’m being cruel.
I’m scared I’ll be you.
I wish if someday I’ll wake up in the morning to see you, not waiting, not bitter, sticking your tired dysfunctional hand in the jar, snatching what ought to be yours.
I want to see you making yourself happy.
I don’t wanna pity you.
I don’t wanna tip-toe around you.
I don’t wanna hide you.
Fuck them for making you the you you are now.
How much emptiness have they filled you up with today?
He’d tell you about the green-eyed 20-year old who stole his heart decades ago
And the gap in his chest the size of her fist where God chose to hit him
He’d talk of oblivion and angry mornings and sunsets
How empty are you today? Not enough?
Remember when what kept you up at night wasn’t heartache? I don’t.
But I remember when it was too black and white you had to drown yourself in colors others splashed
And you’d draw a mountain on their backs each time you climbed over them
Did it feel like victory?
Did you fuck the melancholy away?
Are you empty enough? Not yet?
He’d fill his dark corners with names and stories, shadows crawling for company
He’d watch them ignite a fire he knows he shall step on
But the efforts, the blood, the sweat, the warmth
He’ll kill them. He likes his cold.
Remember when I asked you if the light meant anything?
It didn’t, we just didn’t know.
Next time you fill your gardens with artificial roses, would it remind you of me?
I hope it does.
How empty is your emptiness today?
Because mine is empty enough.
Have I told you I love you today? I haven’t. Because I don’t.
But before you worry, let me tell you something.
Sometimes I don’t love you, sometimes I don’t love anything at all, my heart freezes with whatever beauty it carries within and I don’t feel anything.
Sometimes though, I love, I love passionately, but it’s not you. Sometimes I love a stranger, my cat, a new movie, a quality, a dress, a book. Not you.
Sometimes I beat my heart up, I drag it to a public square after another, show the world how much of a disappointment this little piece of flesh and blood is. Whip it for all to see.
Sometimes I loathe you. Sometimes I think of hurting you, I think of breaking your nose, or your favorite antique, or your pride. I think of stabbing your aura, of sabotaging what we are, of rebelling and throwing you off your throne.
Sometimes I question my promises, I question my sincerity and the confidence with which I use the word “always.” Sometimes I realize we are fragile, I realize we are breakable, I get that we won’t last.
But sometimes, sometimes, my darling, I love you. Sometimes I love you so much my heart trembles with your weight. Sometimes I fall to pieces for you, count your stars, run your circles, fuck your demons, wrap myself in your white flags and burn myself in your fires.
It, too, passes.
“Who are you?”
You’d think that’s one of the easy questions, one of those inquiries you’ll always have a default answer for; “I’m X and I do Y.”
You’d use a name to identify a soul, and a position to mark your usually unfulfilled ambition, and then you’d sit back and relax, for that’s a question, unlike many, you can respond to correctly.
But you’re wrong.
Your name doesn’t mean anything; it’s a combination of letters set together in a particular order your culture agreed is acceptable. If you’re lucky, your name would be one of those you can trace and find a significance for, although the significance is almost always irrelevant. Your name is a repeated pattern that, without a face, doesn’t even deserve the capitalization. Your name doesn’t tell me who you are. It doesn’t tell me what you stay up all night thinking of. It doesn’t tell me how your heart aches. It doesn’t tell me if you find the moon beautiful. Your name is empty.
Your job doesn’t tell me if you’re happy, it doesn’t tell me how you got where you are, it doesn’t narrate your story, it doesn’t talk of your struggles, it doesn’t admit your shame, your pride, your loneliness, your stupidity.
And then you’d expose, or hide, a number; thinking your 35 years of living mean anything significantly different than another’s 17. You’d think the quantity guarantees the quality. You’d think you’ve got all the answers.
But you’re wrong.
When I ask you who you are, please, pretty please, reply with your favorite flavor of ice cream, tell me about your ex, curse the universe for being so unfair, cry, make a statement, scream, kiss me, tell me to fuck off.
When I ask you who you are, please, pretty please, show me something you drew, spit on the floor, tell me you cannot sing, ask me for forgiveness, lie to my face and lie good.
When I ask you who you are, please, pretty please, tell me you’re scared of death, tell me your parents disappointed you, tell me the sunset is overrated, reveal a secret.
But please, pretty please, don’t tell me your name.