Monthly Archives: February 2014

To The Broken Ones

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You are damaged and lost and struggling your way out of this deep shit, and I will do anything for you. I will rush home from a salsa party and skype with you because you are drunk and alone in your hotel room in Geneva and trying to contemplate how to get out of the dark abyss. I will be online with you in silence. I will stay up til later and not think about the time difference because you need someone who will listen. You will tell me that you started reading Paulo Coelho and I will tell you how terrible that is because he is dark and depressing and you don’t need dark and depressing right now. What you need is Bukowski and I will send his poems to you by email. Side by side with Hemingway so you can distract yourself from the pain even for a few stolen minutes. Yes, you have a broken heart, but I will not let you have bad taste in literature.

I know none of this will help–not my advice that I have stolen from self-help books, not Bukowski, not even the fact that you are hopping from one train ride to one European country to another. Over those long train rides to France, to Macedonia, and to wherever your map is taking you, brace yourself–you will remember her–the smell of her hair, the way the sunlight through the window touches her skin in the morning, the way her voice sounds in your ears. You will remember it all.

And in this unexpected nostalgia, you will feel more alone than ever. More abandoned. And you will be scared and caught off guard. And you will convince yourself that it is impossible to still feel that way after a long, hard year. But you will not be convinced.

Deep down, you know that eight years boil down to eight years. And no matter how you turn the world upside down, everything still amounts to the eight years you spent with her, and the same eight years that you will never get back.

You will feel heavy, and sometimes you will feel a gaping hole. There will be days when everything won’t make any sense, and you will try to forget with alcohol, with art, with expensive coffee, with the Eiffel Tower, with every girl you meet on the road.

You will cheat your heart, kiss beautiful girls you have a chance on kissing. And you will still be frustrated.

I know all of these not because I am any wiser but because goddamnit I am just as silly and hopeless like you. I’ve been there and I know how much it hurts. I was 18 and this boy charmed me with his music and I thought that was love. I lost my virginity at 21 to my college boyfriend in my residence hall on a winter night and thought that that was also love. And I remember crying buckets over a backpacker I met whose itinerary did not end in my direction, thinking that, too, was love. Most of all, I remember unkempt promises and wasted time and forgotten dreams and a broken heart.

So I will skype with you until the morning and listen to you pour your heart out the way you did when my Australian boyfriend disappeared, when my Italian boyfriend left me. And I will tell you the world’s number one cliche–it will be okay. Because everything will be healed and made new with time.

I will tell you that everything will work out. Because, eventually, it always does. Wounds heal, scars vanish, pain numbs your skin. Ten years from now, I won’t remember the thick accent of that French guy, or the way I felt when I had my first and only new year’s eve kiss, or the way my Egyptian ex boyfriend told me he loved me in the middle of the desert. I won’t remember dancing salsa with that Italian guy while listening to all his favorite Latin songs in repeat. I won’t even remember the title of those songs. And you will not remember the time you spent with her in Thailand, or that English girl you kissed on Christmas day, or that Aussie girl you met in Zurich. You won’t remember the girl you loved in a small island in the Philippines, the girl you fell in love with over tajine in Morocco, the way that girl from Macedonia held your stare, the way you were sure that it felt whimsical, and mysterious–none of these will matter. Everything will be forgotten.

But the thing is, I am a big, fat liar. Because we will remember. I will remember all of those boys, and you will remember all of those girls. And it will hurt but it will be okay. When you think about it, what kind of heart does not look back?

There will be better days. The pain will lessen little by little, the hole in your gut will decrease inch by inch. But I am lying and you will know I am lying and you will still feel broken. But please know that it will be alright in the end.

One of these days, you will wake up in the middle of the night and remember the way someone held your hand in the peak of summer and it felt comfortable. You will think of the way someone kissed you on a minus 4 weather and it felt warm. You will be reminded of how her hellos sent goosebumps down your spine and how her goodbyes left you chilling to the bone. You will read a certain book or listen to a particular song and everything will be back in a flash. It will never completely go away, but it’s alright. It’s okay. This is what breaks you but this is also the very same thing that makes you.

You don’t have to be fixed today. There’s nothing wrong in being damaged. Everything takes time, much more healing. If you have to be broken, then be broken. If you must feel pain, then so be it. Just don’t lose yourself in the process because I know you and I see your potential–in life, in love, in misery, in sadness. So, feel it all. Do not deny yourself these emotions. Claim it. It’s okay, you will breathe again.

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You Had Me At Fresh Blueberries

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I’m not writing about you because I did that with old flames, past flings, and forgotten loves, and you are not forgotten.

On the contrary, I think about you every fucking day. It gets annoying, thinking of you. It disrupts my daily routine and lures me back to the unknown. Quite terrifying, honestly. Believe me when I say that I try hard to keep things at bay, but the universe has its way to reel me back like an unassuming fish swimming carelessly towards the bait. And I find myself hooked to your line and sinker before I can help myself.

I don’t want to write about you because you’re not just some character who comes and goes in my life only to leave a fascinating story that I will tell at parties or night outs with girl friends when I had too much to drink. You know I can’t even finish half a cider, and there is no Mad Mex in Cairo to sober me up for the story telling to even get started.

Now, don’t fright. Don’t run away. I am not going to profess my big, massive, colossal emotional outbursts to the high heavens because it’s too early for that. I will not even mention your piercing blue eyes because they are a light shade of green to begin with.

What I would, if I may, is say out loud that Leonardo DiCaprio is not a good distraction because seeing his hair parted in the middle instantly triggers a recent recollection. And it’s not just my fascination with DiCaprio’s fine hair but yours. It could also be a photo on my newsfeed of friends trying N2 Extreme Gelato for the first time. As soon as I hit the ‘like’ button, I am immediately taken back to you–to that exact moment I had salted caramel and you did not deny yourself cookies and cream.

Ah, the inevitable beginning. You said we’ll go where the wind takes us and that’s exactly what we did. You burst into my apartment with fresh blueberries and printed photos of Abu Simbel. You are charming and told me stories of your contiki tour. You had me at fresh blueberries. You had me the moment you walked through that door.

You had me at dashes, and semi colons, and IMHOs and IRLs that don’t mean a thing to anyone else reading this now. But the subtext is there.

Sometimes, I wonder if eating all the felafel in the world will make you appear in Cairo even for a fraction of an apparition. What I do know is that sharing a cheap imitation of baba ghanoush with you is much more satisfying than any authentic middle eastern deli I am eating on my own.

I could be watching episode reruns of Dexter, I could be listening to the music of the 90s, I could be seeing disposable paper plates in the grocery section, and then telling my friends that ‘I am going to the drink to get a bar’ when you become most palpable. Most people won’t get it. They won’t understand try as they might, but I’m sure you would.

The Star has a different meaning because of you. To most people, it would mean those shiny, sparkly bits of twinkling bodies in the night sky. To me, it’s black jack, the roulette, the pokie machines, the pretend bets and pretend winnings and pretend drinking! It’s New Year’s Eve and everything else that followed after that.

Fourteen bottles of wine, wogs, office pranks, 9,000 steps around the cbd, endless cigarette breaks, glow sticks, Berangaroo, even the little mouse in a corner on Pitt St.–these are things I consider mine because of you. It’s the inside jokes and bits and pieces of anecdotes that would make perfect sense to no one but you.

It’s all about the overpriced bottled water you bought, the pigeons crashing in your apartment, the old man that got bitten by an aggressive dog. It’s the way I now have nightmares of life-size dolls and day dreams of plane crashes.

It’s all of these nuisances–the accumulation of inane snippets that lead me back straight to your bait and hook. I don’t know why it matters, or why your presence and absence is more poignant than the rest. What I do know is that the details of that summer weigh heavy on my skin that it is enough to last the whole fall. Maybe it’s the fact that we didn’t say goodbye but see you later.

And when the soon meets the later and my want outweighs my fear, maybe then I will speak up. Maybe then I will know. Maybe I’m waiting for winter–for things to freeze and thaw. But perhaps I won’t write about you even after then because I don’t need to remember. I am reminded every day no matter the season. You are alive and real, right here, right now, in my mind’s little cinema, where I see you in colors that don’t exist.