Warming Me Up

He’s been staring at me for a few minutes now, and I’m starting to feel uncomfortable. I tried to make a joke to show him that I was fine, but he didn’t believe me. Of course he didn’t believe me.

‘What did he do to you this time?’

‘Who’s he?’

‘I don’t know,’ he shrugs. ‘I never know.’

I give him the look, then look away.

‘Nothing,’ I say, taking a deep breath.

‘Oh. Then what are you doing here?’

Good question.

I rest my chin on my knees and stare at him from behind a curtain of hair. But what can I say?

That people have stained me again with their sad endings, and their sadness has mixed with mine? That pieces of me have been scattered everywhere and I feel like a blank piece of cardboard where once there was a beautiful puzzle? That I need his closeness because in a world as cold as ice, his warmth flows like lava and mine like drops of blood coming from a paper cut? Do I say all this? I’m not so sure.

‘I just came to talk,’ I mumble, almost to myself.

‘There we go,’ he smiles. ‘I’d like that. You have so much to say.’

I smile back.

‘But don’t give me facts, dates, or definitions. Don’t tell me about someone who hurt you, someone who loved you, someone who broke you’he grabs my cup of coffee and finishes it before I can protest‘I don’t give a shit. We all have the same set of stories. Tell me what you learned from it.’

‘Ah, I don’t think I learned anything this time either,’ I laugh.

That’s all I can say.

I am transparent.

‘He’s done something to you again…’

‘People are always doing something to me. Or they don’t do anything at all, which is even worse.’

‘I want to tell you something,’ he says in a soft voice, taking my hand in his.

This is what I came for.

‘Mel, you’re bouncing between extremes as we speak. I know you like to feel alive, but anyone can have a bad life. It’s not even… life, it’s just surviving through shocks. Wild, yes, but still survival. You think anger is the most powerful drug that keeps you going. It gives you drive and energy in exchange for peace and quiet. It takes you out of your everyday misery and makes you a heroine in your own world, where you fight windmills and guys you meet at the bar who offer you the beginning of a great love story. I look at you and see the most beautiful gift you can give someone, but you’re already wrapped, ready to deliver. You become extravagant, ostentatious, unwanted. You make me doubt your worth. I see you. You’ll do anything to get rid of yourself.’

I hold my breath.

‘You don’t see serene Mel,’ I protest.

‘You are not serene Mel. We’ve never met her.’

His words are wise and cut me open.

Maybe the reason this Mel keeps coming back to him.

‘Your anger is starting to work against you. You’re becoming cynical, beautiful. Insensitive to life. And you wanted it so much.’

I look down at the floor and think about how I do indeed feel happily ever trapped in the illusion of freedom and boundless energy—the two things that were supposed to be the fuel for my fire. The two things I’ve been too afraid to use so that I don’t waste them too soon and lose them forever. The two things I’ve been soaking in fear for far too long. But he quickly lifts my chin back up.

‘I think you’re mind-numbingly bored lately, up there in your little waiting room, so you’re taking all the stacks of magazines and wrong people and strong cigarettes and distractions you can find. But you’ve kind of exhausted all your options, haven’t you?’

I put my arms around his neck and mumble something, but he doesn’t listen. I don’t blame him.

‘Mel, if the wreck of the day always turns into priceless memories, how are you going to keep an open heart?’

Dear him.

‘Sad people are like blood clots waiting to kill you,’ he says, running his fingers through my hair.

I love you the most, I don’t say.

‘You don’t need anyone to lick your wounds if you learn a few things.’

I take my empty cup and sit by the window, but realise too late that it’s already been emptied. He grabs a chair and comes next to me.

‘There must always be enough room in your heart to let the light in, to let new people in, to let better people in. To let yourself in. Never fill yourself up to the top with feelings.

Don’t compare. Something you fill up with feelings will always shift the balance in its favour. So let the new thing show you a few tricks before you reject it.

Put your heart into it, but don’t forget to take it back at the end of the day. Your life is the most precious thing you’ll ever have. Don’t give it away to others. No one needs it.

Finally, stop wishing for what you once had. Be excited about how fast life goes by, engage in experiences, in feelings, in dynamics, but never forget that there’s a fine line between curiosity and superficiality. Never cross it, or you may not find your way back.

Learn to live a beautiful life. Laugh at it and laugh with it, and anything you want—make it yours. Love more than you crave love, and know that when life takes and doesn’t give back, it’s because you’ve the potential to take care of yourself in that moment.

Don’t glue all the long-lost, rained-over, half-broken pieces back together. You’re better off without them. Don’t dress up. You work best as a blank canvas, a wide, airy, white space, a clean face—and a tan. Take only what is necessary, Mel. Take only what you love.’

‘I’m not so sure about what I love anymore.’

‘Well, it’s two in the morning and you are having a stupid conversation with me. I could point to one thing and not be wrong.’

I can feel his heart pounding hard, so I lean back and allow him to hold me tighter. Slowly, he runs his fingers up and down my shoulders. I love his touch. It’s always so gentle, so full of life. It fuels me up better than all the love the Universe is supposed to send back to me, and better than bitterness for sure.

I mumble something about how sorry I am for driving him crazy. He says he’ll give it all to me in writing and let me read it and then ask me questions. I want to know what kind of questions. He says the first question will be why I still feel sorry for myself and the things I do and say, and then kisses my head.

He would not be wrong, no.

2 thoughts on “Warming Me Up”

Something on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s