I’ve always clouded my thoughts. I drown them in verbose descriptions of pedantic moments and scenarios. Little murmurs in time that mean nothing to be but late-night visions and blurs that make me shudder in fear for what I had left behind.
Every thought here existed in time, even for just a moment. I relay my fears onto drunken rants with the computer screen rather than eye-to-eye. That’s how I was raised, after all. A child of blinking lights and the whirring of fan blades.
I. Love is a fucking farce.
And I am endlessly contriving new reasons as to why it is.
Everything and everyone — all periods in time. I mark my years in eras and phases; a grand new epoch dawns every now and then, giving me the right to look back and smirk at how stupid I was before. This was the story repeated by my nine-year-old self as she opened her favorite red plastic table, unveiling the contents of old notebooks and Faber-Castell watercolor pencils; smirking at the little self-bound books (with staple wires and popsicle sticks, hole punchers and fastener clips) with short stories that she had made miniature novels and comics of. Scoffing as she turns the pages. This was the story repeated by myself at the age of thirteen, the dawn of video games and apathy. I kick back on my dying laptop, the sound of its machinery going against me — 400 dollars for something used every single day just isn’t enough. It takes six minutes to boot up when my current one takes six minus three to — in seconds. There is no new me, or old me to dream of; this is the girl that still never speaks her voice and makes up excuses across the chat for why the microphone icon is never turned on. I learn to be as silent as I am in class and in opinions in the realm of games. I get way more involved than I should. I forget that creation has surmised in my growth; and I remember nine-year-old me delving into web design and graphics, being more fascinated in how the game was made than how it was played. Sometimes in those moments, I remember the person that I wanted to become and who I have turned to. She would be proud, if she hadn’t forgotten.
Love is complicated because I experience it all at once; in its ultimatum in countless forms. Like god — I love you for doing this little action for me. It’s so simple but endlessly thoughtful, making my day and picking it up when I wanted everything to fall down and meet its demise. You are the little moments in life that make everything worth it, the rare exception to a universe of indifference that has forgotten what kindness is, and you don’t even expect anything in return. And god, I love you all — you bring me happiness in the most trying of times, and you are a family that I look up to — even if I know that you don’t see me at all in the way I see all of you. And perhaps that it’s just me who cares so much about what we had all built up together, but I swear that in small moments, and in the way you have all held on after so long; it just says that you care, and we’re going somewhere with this. I love you all for that, endlessly. Then in the corner it’s the god, we know nothing about each other, but I certainly wish we did. Since in some moments, there are people that are endlessly enticing and fascinating to you — I want to consume your thoughts and know everything there is to know. And I think I love you as I love the sky, thrillers, and love itself; because I believe that there is something within, a spark ingrained within us that makes us something more than this. Maybe it’s partially because I see myself in you, or because I envision us looking down at the sunsets and conquering them with our free-spirits, sheltered by everything that rains down against us; how we have swept up mountains and become self-proclaimed bombardiers of our own selves and of the world against us. We’re shadows of other people (or I like to think that we are, since we’re just strangers, aren’t we?) and I am the one that darts past in the corner of your eye. I’ll always think of us. But I’ll never push through with it; and never will my voice seep through or even mean something. Never will the complexities that I have envisioned past us manifest itself into something that I can truly understand. Never will I receive the fulfillment of reading your story, or knowing you.
And just like that — I am part of the anger that I have against love. How we turn something that is so fucking powerful — the lifeline that beats in tune with the melancholic requiem of the world. Games, unsaid words. We pity ourselves in appraisal of lethargic poetry, dump remnants of what could have been when it could have been solved if we just said it. We have to turn love into a game, and that’s what makes it so disgusting — we have ruined it. Taken the most beautiful thing out there and battered it out of worthiness. When we ruin love, and what it could be, we ruin ourselves. Losing it is going blind of everything out there. I turn sunsets into what-ifs instead of acting out dreams that had played in my head for thousands of moments. I turn the vision of that corner into a taunting image that tears at me with could-have-beens. And everything I love and everything that I seek to be a part of shuts me out, reminds me that this is something that I will never be deserving of. That no matter how much I love, they’re right. No one will really ever truly love me.
I’ve become a figure of apathy. Loving things without expectation. Loving things without ever thinking that anyone or anything will love me back. That’s how it works, and how I win. Love taught me to loathe myself. It’s the only method of surviving. Love to love, not to expect it back. We all know how it feels to be at war in a world that has never loved us. We all know how it feels to have fought so valiantly, so callously brutal in defense of things that we have been endlessly passionate for; love is not gentle or kind. It’s twisting. A psychological horror that rips apart your chest, the tendons that pull you together threaten to break themselves.
I’m still a fucking victim. Here’s to the song that’s playing because of all of you. Here’s to the letter that’s signed, sealed, mailed on with postage stamps of places where I imagined we would travel to; the same handwriting that went through all your let-downs. Here’s another fucking love letter in the form of a hate letter. Fuck it all, love.
But trust me, there are some days where the everglow is just right; where the absence of stars turns the horizons into abysses that would swear to swallow me hole. I have fallen — headfirst, tumbling down, at the speed of light — into the idea of loving the concept of nothing. Of a black hole swallowing itself, of the universe expanding so greatly that we can’t begin to comprehend it, of our distances growing infinitely in our eyes when at once, we were all together, in a single supernova of a tiny dot that did not exist with space nor time. And we grew apart and fell apart; until now we are cosmic wanderers, astronauts searching in vapor trails of stars and dreams.
Love was there, at once. We grew apart like the infinite expanse of the singularity that began it all. We learn this from underpaid teachers and classrooms that I swear I would be fine with dying in as long as it was somewhat near you. But realistically we will never touch, never find each other — and space itself, everything, there’s no pull for us to be stringed together. We fall apart.
II. Red over Blue
I’ve watched my own country turn into a decimated wreck of two-sides that don’t know what’s more important anymore. Righteousness or the state of their nation. I’ve listened to people tell me to not make a big deal out of the presidency; the presidency doesn’t matter and all, don’t whine about it. “Let’s just watch and see what happens,” when we were born with blood that has scorched tunnels and skin, veins that course with adrenaline and intoxicating passion for the land that we have been raised with.
Die with the god that you pray for. Die because you have learned that in the face of blood and scorn you still trust in a plan that has never been laid out. Wither with the world for you never think that there is still something out there worth fighting for; we are the stories of failures that have turned into legends, of ancestors that we praise who look down at us. We die early and realize things too late. You watch and see what has happened and you become the demise that you skin in dilated pauses.
This is such a dismal reason — but when you love something and have no power, that’s how it goes. Lay the fucking flag over my coffin. Let this be the story they tell on the news, it flashes by and is forever forgotten. The website that a bored girl sweeps through in an afternoon and becomes a shared Facebook link that travels around her social circles, picked up by the news with a changed name and story until everything expires.
It’s one thing to be angry over stupid policies and moronic actors slash boxers-turned-incompetent-senators and one thing to be seething over the resulting bodies dumped on streets, public discourse and rampant propaganda that runs through. We’ve come to nowhere. A point of no return; my fellow men have memorized copy-and-pasted rants and responses that are their go-to’s in search for support and evidence with likes other than true facts.
My heart is waging a war. I want to go through any lengths at all to help you, let you find reasons and spill pieces of what I know so that you could (maybe) understand with me. Or two, I know that this is going nowhere. Two that is currently in action. You’ll never listen, but I want to make a difference. I’ll watch from the sidelines, of the pages that turn and the secrets and lies you exchange. Of the public voices that chant of lies and the sun that beats down on their faces. The everglow; a mixture of foolishness and mistrust. Of hope that has manifested itself into banter against each other instead of against the common enemy.
But I am scared.
I don’t know what I ever expected. This is the voice that stands in front of four and can never be heard. Someone who will never be fucking taken seriously. I’m burning out for things that I believe are worthy — tired of having to prove myself for abysmal reasons when I know that I’m worth more than this. I make jokes out of this story. “People are afraid of change,” when at night we figure out why we are never good enough. Why does no one know our story when we have had it weaved since grade school. Illustration-padded textbooks written by underpaid teachers and skewed perspectives. The ones with strange dithering and dichromatic tones.
Some nights, when I have the good dreams (the ones where I don’t die and where you’re nowhere to be seen), I imagine myself in a position of power. You know, somewhere that I will never truly be in real-life. Then, as everything that is involved with me goes, it spirals — actually — more like plummets down into oblivion. A hell where I scream, the strains of my throat pounding against the headache and rhythmic dissonance of my heart. And no one listens. Not a single person.
(Wavering in the background is the flag. Thin breezes tug at its creases and let it unfold and relapse back again. A detoxifying mark on the world against it, it soars against the sky and is sworn to never touch the ground. We stare at it and glue our eyes on the fragile cloth.)
I want to disappear. I want to burn the nation and everything that everyone has stood for — it’s dying off in a slow one, anyway. Let’s make it painless and quick. I want to stop crying at what we are becoming, moreso what we have already become.
Coming from different voices and reasons, different walks of life with the pounds we dump on our pouches — it’s all the same. We’re morphing into malignant beings that have forgotten what we stand. You either don’t give a fuck or have become a monster, and they are practically synonymous.
Sometimes, I wish I could play the savior. Whether it’s wishing that I wasn’t born as a girl so that people would listen to me more, or those times where wish I wasn’t in this god foresaken body (I claw on my skin until it bleeds, that’s the kind of hatred I’m portraying here). Rolling dice and wondering which feature of mine I should trade to swap sex or look even better. (Because fuck you, I am the background character of my own story. This is a novel and I have stood at the edges the whole time. I am the rim dweller and the one who is sinking downwards. I was never one to look at.) Sometimes, I wish that I could change the world with a voice; as if signing up for sheets and filling my daily readings with rejection letters and disappointment is going to make a change.
Genuinely, there is a love for my nation and a need to educate and share — but with the state of it all, that will never happen. Sometimes, I wish for the stray bullet to fire across me. Maybe someone out there would arrange a collection of my writing, a decrepit hearsay of all my speakings against the tragedy that has caused my own. The world will notice it, momentarily. Some people will change. My voice is going to be a boisterous crackle in my posthumous eternity.
But that’s what I fear, exactly.
The flag mimicking my own death. The cries of all who knew that this was not the right way only being heard when everything has been laid to rest. Only when we have perfected the death and torture of something that we have so-called love and sworn to protect will we realize that it was more than what it was worth. Because we only swore to love it, when we never really have.
Because these are the people around me. Who say, “Stop whining about everything. You’re making such a big deal out of it, they deserved it,” to the bodies that are laid to rest that I have passed by on the way to school — broad daylight, teaching us that the sun is not enough to ward off the sin of mankind. Or who spit in my face and dare tell me that a fucking dictator who orchestrated the killing of thousands is a hero. But this is something that you had all already done, and a fate that I will live on. Take this to your grave, and bury the love that you had along with it. If this is the kind of love that you pour out in celebration of; just dance on the ashes of living for we have become an anarchy. Red over blue, my friends — just the way we like the fall of it all.
III. In Retrospect of It All
Because as much as I love the concept of the world, it isn’t what it seems to be. If you think about it, it’s an extremely unfair model skewed towards those more fortunate ones (and even if you were in that place you’d still be utterly regressed to feel disappointed and find reason to have sadness in your life, since it’s the universe’s greatest constant) where you feel only small moments of happiness to compensate for what is 40 percent nothingness and 60 percent anger, or sadness, or if you’ve been accustomed to both — even more nothingness.
But everyone know that the world is unfair. Everyone knows that they’ve suffered for a majority of their life and only have redeemed themselves for a small portion. That’s the norm, the unwritten, unspoken rule in the minds of all that roam the earth. We live for the small euphoric high. We live amidst pain and agony for the temporary happiness that can’t last for more than a day or so.
As much as I love the way the ocean ripples and turns into daughters of arid foam, of sea-green kisses and light blue rays — it still harbors the reflection that I so desperately want to slip inside to. Self devouring thy self, consuming one and bowing down into the ocean — finding the core and the essence of it all, in a lifeless, beautiful, slow waltz down towards the center of the earth. As much as I love the way the sky opened up and became one with the heavens, touched mountains and tore down towers and words — it is still the same sight that I swear I would stare at if ever I jumped off a tall building. My legs and arms would be tied, so it’s some sort of clean, beautiful mess; my eyes would be kept looking straight up, or forward. Towards a sky that has turned shades of pink and blue, they’ll laugh until they realize what went for it. A run against the breeze, shoes patted in a neat, conformed pair against the railing. Clapping and then agonizing dread. It’s not beautiful, it’s real. They’ll learn about it once they see it.
In other words, simply put in the most delicate of ways: Living is just not worth it anymore.
And I am empty. In the sense that I am reading lists of why it’s still worth it and I get bullshit like matcha tea, ice cream and friendship. In the sense that there really is nothing and that I am fine if everything just collapses, or if I just vanish and turn into nothingness. I know that there will be an impact, a small flurry and a hurdling run through of events that only a select few will care about — but after that, nothing. They’ll just know me as that girl who died, the girl who did this and died, and if I am lucky enough — they’ll actually respect me for who I was.
Because I run at the sunken tiles of the bathroom which has never let the water run in half a year. The same vial of liquid soap that I never had to change is running out. I am misplacing things at light speed and losing myself even faster. (I am an abyss and made of dark matter, I swear that the world will swallow me whole and consume me. The laws that we were once told to abide by will never stop the cosmic force of a rolling believer.) When I stare out the window, the sunlight itself is losing its glimmer – phosphorescence is one of the first concepts I have ever learned and fell in love with at the same time and it rolls off my tongue and sticks sweetly. Supple. Phosphorescence: light emitted by a substance without combustion or perceptible heat.
And I am jealous because I have lit up in flames. I mastered the art of bursting into a thousand elements of char and coal for the sake of lighting up and glowing in the flurry of places that I had once known. When I was born, it was decided — I will descend into a combustible catastrophic collapse; the world will know of the sparks within embers. Remnants of my self-destruction. And like the sky, I will blaze through, burning further as I am thrown into a projectile collapse destined to the straits of hell. Everyone will watch and see the fallen inferno that turns into stars and memories left as fragments onto the skies. We are trailing vapor on the verge of expansion to something greater than anything there ever was, we are the raindrops racing at the car window as the tug of the windshield wipers matches the sound of your own beating. The corner of the frame has never looked so demented as when we were tracing down the highway and dotting the overcast skies with our own thoughts on the souls of silhouettes, of motion blur fables and myths we have discarded.
On my own attempts at making those lists, they’ve become very specific moments in time with feelings that I will never be able to capture again. It’s just the thought of it mattering in a moment in time; when everything was infinite and nothing was in absence is what floods all the fears down and makes everything seem like okay. 3:42 of the early dismissal on a Wednesday afternoon when I drank coffee from a spoiling Starbucks tumbler. Against breaking plastic chairs of empty board rooms I feel like there is purpose in my life — the same purpose that turns drunkards into demons with authority and power; but where we differ here is that I know that I am nothing, I know I am the binding string that is the only one who believes in all of this and when the day comes where I just bluntly kill myself: everything will subside. It is a vision that dies with me, and in some ways I find that beautiful, but in other words tragic — since I do not live on in the spirit and passion of others that had faked pretending with me. 3:13 early in the morning where I woke up in a hallucinated daze induced by sleeping pills and anti-depressants; I go up for the first time without hesitation and slump on my chair and spend hours writing letters for people that I had never met and songs that I had never listened to. I wake up in the morning as normal and never tell anyone about it. When I look back, I’m convinced that I was on the brink of symphonies.
But what matters is, ultimately: we were not the hymn that would save the world. Not the household name to be exchanged by bored housewives and kids who don’t know anything better than the patterns of their television lights; the pulse of their remote and the way their finger reddens when it blushes over the fault. We are etched onto milk cartons, forgotten memories of soaked-up juice cartons as our feet dip the edges of the pool tiles.
Because even as a child, I would wake up in the middle of the afternoon. Sweat beading down unto patterns and rupturing the pillow. My ceiling dotted with peeling paint and the wallpaper of the corner lingering onto mistakes as made by an anxious six-year-old. And on those days where all I knew was the sound of the television and the opening notes of my favorite television series; the sweet sensation of cold milk pouring down a throat and the stringy, condensation-blessed crumbling wreckage that I had left behind — I stare at the way the light turns into soft pastels as it hits my pink curtains (the same ones that I still look through today). And strangely, momentously, and picturesquely, my mind is drowning with feelings of immense dread, emptiness, wholeness, and everything in between. It’s on those moments where I verge on my own existence that I just think that everything can end right here and there — the song playing as the years drift by in seconds, when the radio used to play songs about infinities and front porches in mellow teenage boys that pattern their failures against one another. Everything is endless, and everything can end. If the world would end right here, everything would be alright.
Not in a bang, or in a slow burn — but just a brink. Something that was there, and just snaps out of existence.
(How can something be there… and just not?)
I’ll disappear like the world that I had fathomed in. The afternoon glow and the restlessness of my soul in its desire to dissipate and fade into the heavens, into the atoms and particles. I’ll play hide and seek with energy as it whizzes past me and forget the reasons for my own being. At once, everything will be so big — the stars that are millions of light years away and the sun that consumes me with a single touch (I wouldn’t dare fly too close to it) and then the crack of bliss and pain and anticipation for nothing, and nothing does my heart become. So small, in fingertips, so gigantic in dust trails and promises.
In retrospect, we can all disappear together. Like the pink afternoon hue and the sound of soft voices and footsteps outside the bedroom. Of the sweat left in my remains and the cold air conditioner that is the only accompaniment to my everlasting silence. I’ve learned to not exist, and to not be.
IV. Appeal to Be
It is in that state of unreality where we are all content to be at a finite, unending rest.
It’s found that I have more reasons to die than I do reasons to be. It all makes sense in this casket of a head, and everyone and everything is going to fight against me and quell on what I’ve pacified in the constraints of my mind. (They pretend to know who I am after mere moments and that is the most disgusting thing there is.) I am equated to sad characters on the television and the girl that they write sad pop songs about. I have mastered the art of not making the most out of my life, and the most disgusting part is despite being so settled on going out and make a change, a spark, an impact and a difference on the turning of the world — or the momentous constants of my own life; there will never be a single difference.
I won’t talk to you, and in one world we would have become something more. But in a million other ones (infinite ones, actually), nothing would have happened. In countless more we would have crashed and burned to the ground and it would hurt so much and have felt so good that I would be on the verge of wondering if we should have made it at all or let it all fade away.
But you know, if that’s all true — infinite universes and all that, this was not the one meant for me. There was a timeline where we had become something more; I confessed and grew up at the age of 25 not because I had learned to become apathetic at the core, but because I knew when to love and believe and how to become a capricious conjecture of childhoods that were lost. (We would have become so much more.)
But that is not the case in this world. Not the case in a world where I cry at stories delivered to my doorsteps while nobody else in the world fucking cares. It’s not the world that I wish to live in where I scream and have no one to hear me; I am a walking soul slipping through nightmares of empty auditoriums and falling teeth, trying to make sounds while nothing happens and the smallest glimpse of this unreality in real life, the deafening roar of my own eardrums against the palpitations and the sweat beads and the thunderous, roaring, reason to be; and then I stand on plastic chairs and the footboard of my mother’s bed and no one hears me all the same.
You see, I think we’re born with something that can never be taken away from us. Each of us, a unique thing, but a shared thing — in a sense. To many, it’s their sense of love; to the soldier in a war-torn battle that has dreamed of fighting all his life, it is the sense of nationalism and of pride (we celebrate them until today and we dance in memory of their sacrifices, we evangelize to pacify the wars that they had sworn against; they never wanted to die fighting they just wanted to die with a reason).
Not quite sure what mine is yet but I have a feeling that it involves my voice.
And god, I write in hidden journals and tear up batches of paper and delete webpages filled with tens of thousands of words that nobody will ever see. It’s not truly lost but in my eyes — it is. Nobody will ever find it. It’s lost there. Nobody bothers to take a glimpse until you’re dead.
V. In List Format — Antiquated for Your Sake
- I am running out of songs that have made me feel that certain way.
- Don’t you ever think about the fact that we don’t see stars anymore? That you can’t look up and let the worlds above swallow you hole? That I thought, as a child, they weren’t real since I’ve never actually seen them. We hate ourselves so much that we decided to hide them all. Punish ourselves with a trace of no astrals, without the beating of stars and the pulsing of light and explosions that we have robbed ourselves when the world has given it all to us — we could have hunted for galaxies from our rooftops and we are left with nothing but the toxicity of the own world we have decided to weave, and it is loathsome.
- Writing stories that no one will ever see. Maybe when I finish.
- We live in a state of war and agony. A few miles away we are lax until we are the eventide rush.
- I want to become more than the folded newspaper article.
- On the days when we find reasons I will always wonder why it took us so long to reach something that we were so deserving of.
- We hate reflections that our not our own. Loathe the twisted realities that societies around us have carved. I don’t know why we can’t understand that we are prehistoric — we surpass the grandeur of historical myths and burnt loose leaf paper. We would wear grass garlands around our hair and make our own coronations out of spun silver and gold.
We are not the mirror image of a broken soul We are free-floating spirits that are trying to find reason once again, trying to prove ourselves that we were worthy of basking in the gardens and sinking in the fountains of infinities. We are worthy to be serenaded underneath the glimpse of the moonlight and travel with whimsy in capricious battlefields where we are torn apart from one another. This is what I believe.
Yet no one else does.
- We won’t ever speak. We won’t ever speak. We could have been.
- Mute to the agony of the world.
- We keep falling in love with moments in the dead of the night. I want you all to see that the waking world is something worth fighting for. When we are half-asleep, half-risen, adjourned to the clash of the fight. Where we crave both sleep and have become one with restlessness. Only then will I believe, and it is known that because of that it will simply never be.
- An armada has risen below the depths of the sea. It calls for the lull of the world that once marched, of callous restless boyhood fighters. Play along to marching drums and question the realities of god. We are under a sun that has never given heed to us; we praise people who lie to us in translated enigmatic recalls of profound worlds that have been so utterly divided.
I do not believe yet I roam in crowds of people who do. I dream of terror, treated like a traitor from a world that has been spun to make the non-believers the victims. Melt into collapses, I fear the world for it has always been a sinner towards sobriety.
We run across the water. Sun-kissed tips. We still question god, and sing for a man that has never been.
- I just want to be better than your head’s only medicine.
- Believe that we are rushing rain waters. The tide that comes to an end when the rocks collide with the tsunami-ridden brittle ocean. Believe that we are more than toxicity to the world. More than the fallen sculptures and scriptures that mankind has forgotten, that the lesser portion of man strives so desperately to salvage.
We are life, of bleaching serenity — of evergreen stories that we have repressed. We are not always the antagonist — so why must we act like we are?
- Why can’t I talk to you? Why can’t I talk to you? Why can’t we become something? Why can’t we become something? Why am I nothing? Why am I nothing? Why am I nothing…?
- Some people weren’t meant for things other than to die. Succumb to the calamitous pitfall that consummates your existence; I will walk along with you.
- I want to share my visions to a world that doesn’t care about me. Maybe even just a single person out there would care, divulge in stories and tales that I have handcrafted so carefully and — to just know that I had make an impact, a single quiver in the timeline of the universe itself — perhaps that would mean anything enough, but it doesn’t.
- I am tired of being afraid of the sound of knocking on my door.
Literally or figuratively, these are the reasons why it is no longer worth setting. Perhaps it is because after it sets, I cannot see the deaths and births of stars, millions of miles away — the promises that had once littered our skyward destinations. We cannot see the reasons that let us stay here; that we are not alone. That this isn’t juts going to become nothing at the very end. Perhaps, in another reason covered through the depths; it’s because even if they were all there, bathing in one another and becoming one with each other — where we bask in infinities — we are all empty. We become nothingness at the end, and fall victim to a world where we could have been more. We are close enough to see each other but far too much to ever touch. (Perhaps knowing one another was a mistake in itself, a beautiful one at that.)
Where we swear to not be another speck in the galaxy, a dust trail of stars to be detected in the aftermath of the world.