Takes a deep breath and exhales. Pauses for a moment. Then begins to type.
It’s been months now. It feels longer, like this has always been my life. If you knew what rages inside me, you too would see the flat cloud formation at the top of the storm. I rain over myself, pull up all the roots, violently sweep everything out of my heart. Something’s got to give. I’ve always been the kind of girl attracted to darkness like mosquitoes are to light. I like a good fight with life. You can never win, but you can’t get any closer to sharing the reins with God, either. Even if you know you’re going in the wrong direction and will have to give them back.
What can I say? The voice of reason is soft, and my heart is so fucking loud.
From the height of my balcony the world seems smaller, easier to tame. Easier to love. Sunlight lay across my knees. I feel like an episode of my life, one that keeps repeating itself. One I can not bear to hear myself typing alive and place on an imaginary shelf. ‘This past doesn’t need to be reused in the future,’ I repeat like a mantra, biting my lips and my fingers and thoughts. No blood comes out, only hurt. I am not even brave enough to bite hard.
I sit there quietly, late into the night. I’m feeling everything, everywhere. My intensity is both a blessing and a curse. It comes with great responsibility, and a greater need for transparency. Not for the faint of heart. I love with both my hands and all of my fingers. When I hurt, I hurt in every colour, from every angle, in any lighting. Other feelings are bland, beige, tasteless. Mine grow into a thick, coarse darkness I have to keep kicking until it bleeds daylight all over again.
The morning was only growing colder. The streets were still dark. He crawled down roads, staring, as if looking through a window; drenched with old, haunting images of days that now seemed to never have been.
He stood waiting, coughing. The chill of the night had entered him. The lamp by the bed was broken so he lay in the dark for the best part of the night, counting the hours until dawn. There was a strange rage inside him and it was fascinating being so angry.
Melanie is the product of somebody’s imagination, a character in a story still being written. As she develops – as she is being developed – she begins to question her existence in between her maker’s writing sessions. Why can’t she remember her childhood? What do the blank spaces mean? Why does she not feel free in the world? And, most importantly, what if she wrote a book where the main character is far better, stronger, and more beautiful than she could ever be? After all, books are written all the time, and always for the same reason, she suspects.
this post was published in Letters of Love
I hope this letter finds you alive – all senses and engines burnings – and well. It might find you waiting in line at the Christmas market. It might find you taking a break from sitting in the sun. It might find you in your most uncomfortable outfit, a little too full of life to start cleaning the kitchen and a little too empty now that everyone’s gone. It might find you in the light, in the dark, in the back of his favourite café, in foreign places, in your parents’ car, in between her cream-coloured pillows, before, after, in the midst of chaos – only, I hope, not too late.
Every second of the day is a question that only I can answer – and, because it keeps asking, I am no longer giving it the truth. I say this, but it could have easily been something else, and the best part is that no lighting strikes me down when I push back my sleeves and craft a different answer from the day before. Nothing actually happens at all if I get bored of repeating myself. I am inventing, creating myself one hot minute at a time. I am rarely who I say I am for much longer.
‘I write because nobody listens’ was the first thing I noticed about her. She had scribbled this phrase on the first page of a notebook left open on the table. She had fiery red hair, wore little make up and had on a loose black dress. There was a homemade sign up on the wall saying We serve freshly grounded coffee, and a mild smell of cinnamon in the air. I quickly ordered an espresso and couldn’t think of anything anymore, but days with her. It wasn’t long until the lights in her eyes turned off. Ah, the implications of a smile.
“The world is not made up of atoms; it’s made up of stories.” – Muriel Rukeyser
“A week? A whole damn week?” she complained.
That wasn’t what she had planned for. Then again, it wasn’t her who planned it in the first place. Rolling her eyes at the sudden, unpleasant thought, she walked slowly across the room, towards the window. Staring out absently, she wrapped her arms around herself, feeling the unease settling in.
“Ah, she talks! A week indeed,” Tomás nodded in agreement in the back.
Her new place was clean and cold – like a cell. You could feel like a queen if you lost your bad thoughts, she lied to herself. But you just had to make them known to everyone, didn’t you?
One day, you decide to take the lead ropes to your life back. To do that, you need to go up to the top floor of the building that is you. You need to knock, say your name, make friends with your inner dragon, and ask him to share the power. It’s terrifying, but it’s the only way in.
And so you draw a breath and leave, ready to fight with all your little might. Sure, you know that he’s the source of all your strength, but what else do you do on the way up to visit a dragon, but talk to your own reflection in the lift mirror about how you’re the baddest?
The street shines glossy black after the rain. Pavement cafés are crowded, and vehicles hiss by – their roars constantly approaching, breaking, receding. I watch them holding my breath, forgetting to blink. I am alert, but null. The restlessness of the city mirrors mine tonight, and slowly tempers it.
I’ve always enjoyed lights, noises, explosions. They came to me like divine permission to sit back and enjoy the ride. The world was happening. I wasn’t in charge of firing it up or holding it together. What a relief – for the shortest amount of time, not needing to be in control.