“One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”

– W.E.B Dubois

    

  

I woke up (well not that I was sleeping very much anyway) just when dawn was breaking over the clear, boundless expanse of sky, and had a nice minute of watching a warm palette of pink, orange, and vermillion slowly inch out the cold blue of the night. A thousand other phone cameras were clicking alongside me. 

A few hours later – pushing away the dangerously attractive but very self-harming idea of in-flight claustrophobia – and a few yogi-like positions too (the impossible curl! the suicidal ball! the neck-breaker!) I pull the window shade open and am blinded momentarily by the sun. Soon the clouds part and we are greeted by mountainous ranges (why sister why are we not visiting Yellowstone or something), before specks of concrete-colored grids emerge; houses, cities, settlements. I feel weighed down by them. 

We soon fly past the city centre, and the skyscrapers look no more than toys, as do the streams of cars that reflect the sun’s rays. Even our plane looks only like a plastic toy held up by wire string, the kind found over a baby’s cot; what is it doing in the sky? 

  
My friend very elegantly described L.A, or many American cities for that matter, to be built for the purpose of cars, and so ends up as an endless maze and expanse of concrete highways that come across as rather cold. 

Have I grown to want out from cities?

Exercising

The expanse of human folly greets me like the coffee that slides over the rim of my porcelain cup. With all our struggles and painful consciousness that keeps us tossing and turning in our sheets at night, you would think that more would have been achieved; that we would have been lifted up beyond the behaviour of the creatures that roam beside us – without as keen an intellect as we claim – and that we the hunters, would never be hunted.

– – – –

Warily, two lovers eye each other. Only two inches apart, yet separated by the chessboard of their thoughts.

Manipulation, calculation, aggression, then attraction. Whoever that said love was a game was damn right about it.

They edge around each other the way a predator eyes its prey, cautious, pacing, each unbending in will, waiting for the first move so a reaction ensues.

They torture each other the way prison wardens do : just enough hurt to push one over the edge, just enough to keep life barely there.

Lovers: Why do they act as everything except that which they are meant to be – in love?

” Oh cruel, incurable woman, listen to that bird. It sings better than you. It sings of the sun, springtime, and love. That tiny creature is better constituted than you, because you can sing only of suffering and doubt. ”

– Lélia, George Sand 

Amidst the dazzling, cosmic tapestry of thoughts and emotions that swirled around her, (set against a backdrop of a pounding headache) she realised that what she really wanted to do, was to reach across and slap him.  A fat, tight slap that would resound for hours; a fat, tight slap that would pull him out of his scattered mind that simply couldn’t understand why. 

Exercises

Oppressive days where, the moment you wake, you are inextricably weighed down by the previous night (both activity and a relentlessly long and terrible dream), and also the heat of the day. I draw up my blinds and the sun’s obnoxious warmth and rays beam straight into my face, as if challenging me to feel assured and take chances with my laundry. 

My mother is happy of course, sitting in her cool and while air-conditioned space, while I slug it out in the oven of our kitchen whose oven only adds to the cauldron of fire that runs down my face in little beads. Keep sunning the laundry! she tinkles cheerily over the phone. 

At noon, I decide that I have to get out of the house. A well-charred body and a pool of vomit will be the only clue of my existence should I stay. 

This is terrible. I meant to write the above in the exact way I thought it – angry, feisty, and possibly boiling with annoyance at the heat – and not make it sound all sad, sobby, and as if the paragraphs were going to lead to a big! exciting! attention-grabbing! tale which served a purpose (an urge to type porpoise instead hurhur). Sadly, dear reader, my words will not create any epiphany for you nor quieten any burning questions you have of life – I did not mean to trick you into scanning through my words. 

What I wanted to write about was how we all have those days where everything bad and all the ugly feelings (that will not hesitate to tear a hole through your mind) course through your body from the very first waking moment, and lo and behold, you push the warning button a few more times (because why not?) to complete the total self-inflicted agony, just for good measure. And also the twisted feeling of satisfaction. Your insides feel terrible, as if someone were running a sharp, silver blade along your spine to your gut, and there they twist and probe and stir and stab your gut, and then run the blade back along the spine, lodging it firmly at the top, so that for the whole day you are held up only by your misery. 

What I also wanted to write about was how when such spinal puppetry tangles you up, maybe try to get good at being okay, which I think usually entails doing something you genuinely enjoy. Watch some cartoons, call your dad and hear him make strange unfathomable noises over the phone, or think about what it’d be like having a cat; a sense of self should be there. 

Very often, we wait and bide our time, hoping – wishing! – for our desired epiphanies to occur, being so hung up on a resolution that might not ever occur, forgetting to look around and more importantly at ourselves. Mine occurred a minute ago while I was dragging a mop across our stained floors trying to erase the bad decisions of mindless customers. Why have I been discounting myself, forcing myself to live under the shadow of things I know only fragments about, piecing that which I know together with my morbid imagination? (Not that this is a bad process: always keep one eye awake at night)  

Perhaps that’s why I get tired easily now (apart from my aging age): Being sad is tiring. Haunting yourself is harming. Targeting your own joints to attack is regressive. I’ve (everyone, actually) got all this joy inside of me (thank you for the cliche Today I Am Thankful For… exercises, brain) that I don’t think should be wasted on something that I can’t control. Not to say that I’m going to stop caring, but that I know I have better priorities to… prioritise? Hur. 

I’m in the last few months of my gap year, and on the next few months towards eternity (figure of speech) , and if there’s one thing that I’ve learnt, it’s that in the end, you’re the one deciding what to do with your own rudder. 

Time to stop looking at the cookbook; time to start thinking about and making a stone soup the way I want it to be. 

Trust 

Trysts

Trying is trying. 
——————————————

say We

then

make Your decision for us. 

——————————————
I follow breadcrumbs of disappointment that lead straight into your big, loving arms.