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Sixteen

1.) I think, those were the days when I should have been a little more reckless. In a way that I assumed more control than I usually did — in a way that I stopped letting them get a hold of me, everything I say, everything I do. I think it’s time to let go, to let loose and show them who I really am — but that isn’t the case. Beyond this husk of a person they deem in a forever-lasting nadir, the prickling of skin and the drops of blood as if they were shed tears. In the kindest, most terse way as possible — I concede to them; maybe I am magnanimous to some, to others I am just the word weak instilled into the waking world over and over.

They wouldn’t understand, anyway. After all, they have killed a facade that exists only to please them — they will never take grasp of the complexity within. Culminations of thoughts; this is where the diaries and notebooks filled with tear-seeped prose you told me to burn are kept away. This is where the ink spills in the ungodly hours of the night; just as how you spill wine and grab at throats — laugh them off like your trembling was a joke.

2.) I am absolutely in love with the piano. The way my fingers run over the keys, the gentle lifts of each finger every jump, the palm of my hand caressing each note and playing with emotion that I never knew I bore before, the brash presses that consummate itself into light kisses on the ivory. My eyes are still learning to recognize the sheets; associating each corner and knowing immediately where to position my finger. I still have trouble figuring out what letter comes next, I’d have to recite the alphabet in my mind — which is sort of a testament to my current ineptitude at sight reading. I will get better, though. In a month’s time, a few lessons here and there — certainly without a doubt; I have progressed. There is so much to learn, so much more to do before my fingers truly run over the keys and play over them; I want to sound like a symphony. I want the world to understand that I have a message behind each note, that the stumbling girl who barely locks her feet with the pedals is more than what they see her to be. I want to be a symphony that forever resonates, in one way or another — in the minds and hearts of all those who give themselves to listen; for all I want is to in return, give them something that is worth hearing, something worth remembering. “Let it ring,” is perhaps the best expression that I try to give out, even from my lessons in a tight room with nothing but a piano, the array of books I have amassed and the cold breeze that fluctuates and syncs itself with the sound. I want to be a symphony. I want to be remembered. I want my sound to resonate; even to just a single person, be known to them all the heart and prose I have left into the ringing of keys around an auditorium, behind the glass door where a broken piano resides. Let it ring.

3.) My longing to make a name for myself is resurfacing once again. I know that it’s something that you shouldn’t wish for — like love; but it would certainly be grand for it to come. In a way so that people stop bumping past me, nearly knocking me over with not even a sorry returned, for the malignant glances to come to a gracious end and instead; some smiles and kind words seem oh so enchanting and delightful, but they are merely wishes, desires – fixations of a woman I am long not. It will come, perhaps it will not (and I am gloriously settled on the latter to occur). Que sera sera.

4.) I’ve grown fearful of words — one of the only things that truly scare me. The way that the slightest shift in tone scares me into thinking that I have become nothing but a playtoy; it’s like that lingering fear that the world around you is construed for your existence (as prideful as that sounds), you are the star of a show — Truman Show-esque, of course, the delusion is a real thing and sometimes it feels like I am on a steady downspiral to mental instability.

The way I flip against report cards, thin sheets of corrugated paper that ultimately decide my future – my intellect and worth as a human being; the characters that are precisely laid out, yet others just last-minute inputs by people who refuse to acknowledge the amount of power they wield, the debilitating future that weakens at their hold. How I flip through words and press my fingers against the only light in a darkened room, my only companions the fog of the night and the whisper of the rain against decade-old roofs; sometimes the absence of words is more terrifying than seeing them there. You see; you can always disfigure a person, dismember the essences of their being and yet they will always rise up, they will find a way to reign — that is humanity’s call. The moment you take their voices away; the only thing that lets their thoughts escape from the entrenches of a mind, that is when death occurs.

I am so afraid of the words that others speak, I am so afraid of my own inabilities, my ineptitude to share — every single time I stutter, every time I have too much to say and lose sight of what I never had aligned. I am so clumsy, so young and naive; yet I know that I have so much to say, I know that this is why words litter the pages of notebooks, why the garbage is filled with crumpled up looseleafs and why I am so enlightened by the verbose — the eloquency in the myriad notes that are deemed as run-offs of a mind. I do not want to die, I do not want my soul to die out; I wish to convey all that I can in the strokes, the fingertips sucking themselves into plastic buckles and ticking like an erratic pitch of dissonance. Do not let my fears run true, do not let my fears converge itself with the lightning and the thunder. Those are just pleads, and perhaps I am powerless against the wishes of the wind and the erasure of fantasies — but nevertheless we beg because we know that there is a sense of pity and urgency — in each and every diminishing love note.

5.) Love is always compared to the same things, over and over. I simply want you to know that love for me, extends beyond all the metaphors and allegories we dream up in the afternoon downpour. It’s every warm embrace from people who have needed to come home, in a single instant — it is the joy of feeling something after nothingness for so long. It is longing for kitchen counter escapades and kisses laced with caffeine and morning anti-depressants, it is never needing to say ‘sorry’ and the clandestine ‘I love you’ in every hook and knot.

6.) We are in our entirety — statistics at the core. Humanity and thoughts summarized in digits and checklists, psychological tests rip us apart and dig into our core; how easy it is to piece out a manic pixie dream girl when she calls herself unique. A number for when you are born, a number ticked off at every age, the years count up and so does the hourglass in which you abide by; your every action and word summed up in phrases — categorize you in sayings that have been said a thousand times over and prayers that have been wished for and never granted a million times past. You wish to feel, you wish to live, you wish to make a name for yourself, you wish to touch the stars and give them to a heart that you will never truly understand — you are binary and code condensed.

Every now and then, I feel that we are extraordinary, that we are the uncountables — as much as we are not. Perhaps we stray from the norm, we deviate as millions of others attempt to; the artists that paint in figures that no one seems to understand, waiting for their deaths so that the strokes could finally be worth more than wasted paint. The writers who have lost their voices and find meaning in the smallest glitters of dust that wash away the sacredness of countertops wiped with alcohol solutions over and over. Maybe we are infinite, maybe we are divided by zero, maybe the reason why we create and create for them to lose track of all the numbers that comprise ourselves is because we are more than a lifespan, more than an age and the days we have lived and the days we never made a difference in. Divide by zero, numbers raised to negatives so incomplete you cannot comprehend – they forget and label us, but at least we are not written down into digits. We’re impossibilities that made it — and in this grand scheme, that’s beauty.

7.) I am not emotionless. I am scared. I am scared. I am scared. I am scared. I am scared.

8.) We list things that we are in love with, we list things that supposedly mean a lot to us — putting them down for the world to see if the world wishes to see it at all. Those feel so wrong — I’m lying to a world that lives to dissuade me. Perturbation always overcomes, I emulate shadows and figures that seem so beautiful, that roses stain their cheeks and their lashes are outlined with snowflakes; pale skin that runs across them is as cold as the arctics and the rainstorm that brewed over my windowsill, bronze fingertips glow like the sun and make me wish of copper and satin, in a way I know they beg of their superficial magnum to not stain my views.

But I still hate myself — more than anything, I feel that the world cannot be blamed and the only blood that should be shed is the skin surrounding my carpals. I hate that I am not the people I love; I hate that I will never see myself as good enough, that the paint will not match the shade of the skies and the auroras over the horizon, that I cannot even capture the clouds that shadow over the lux as it floods the canopy.

I tell you, I think I try to tell everyone that I love those things because they give me a way to mask how hollow I truly am. In praise of lists of things that I am not or lists of people that I cannot be, I am nothing but a shadow that wishes to emulate and wishes to change from a person that countless others have sworn as zombified, hollow and sunken — give me some pretense of contrite, grant me the era and time to step into a new epoch. Everything is copacetic, everything is merry – I repeat and lie to myself and to everyone who sees through me. I am translucent, after all — there’s no hiding the shallowness of a girl who does not even know how to pronounce her own birth name.

No matter how much the bullet points flood one another, I think that — my only true love is in the name of another.

9.) But that doesn’t make for a good story, nor a good self-introduction.

(It’s okay though. We are so much more than paragraphs enlisted to summarize ourselves for the pleasantry of another’s viewing experience. They can’t see us nor understand us yet — they aren’t ready for what we have to offer, for what we have to give. My lists will only run of you, my lists will only truly be you; every post-it note sorry and smudged pigment on the flyleaf. You, I repeat. Only you.)

10.) I feel that I experienced my mid-life crisis seven years ago.

There’s not much that I remember about it, it was probably about some shallow nine-year old thing, which I presume was when I treaded the third-grade classroom; the dawn of Linkin Park and attempting to be emo for my lyrics were of death, sadness and other-things-that-are-really-sad-and-punk-for-nine-year-olds in comparison to the Bruno Mars on the radio that I was forced to listen to in school (and dreaded, of course — but I was too meek to ask them to turn the songs down, they weren’t that bad either — honestly). Though what can I say — there’s no choosing our past battles, it’s a fight that has entered its finale and has ultimately concluded to an embarrassing, cringe-worthy memory that I am better off not recalling.

One of the most life-changing things (in the smallest of senses) is the thought that it takes a dozen or so things to make a day what we presume to be ‘good’, and that it just takes one small thing to make our day ‘bad’. I don’t know what to feel about it though — as much as I love the stars and the galaxies, the astrals and all they bring — it’s disappointing to know that when I look outside my bedroom window I am only greeted with the smog of the city. That I haven’t seen a flower in full bloom except in pictures and photographs, that everyone around me seems to treat my existence as a prop in the novel of their lives. After all, we live in our totality for a number of good days amongst the rest which are majorly bad. I live my life in longing for the days of which I finally have a sense of freedom — that the ones with authority over me will recognize for one second that perhaps I have grown tired of waiting and waiting, that as much as they would disagree — I believe I handle maturity as well as I am content with handling death.

But what do I know, I’m sixteen, just turned sixteen — actually. What do I know about the world, what do I know about death and famine and all the other diseases and illnesses that seem to be all the rage, the sorrow and heartbreaks of death and what more, what do I know when I talk about wanting to die as if those were all jokes?

I guess that I myself, am an enigma — my thoughts are unstructured and are a cacophony of someone who was thought to be intellectual, aware. This is an affirmation of the fact that I am waiting — waiting for freedom, waiting for the good days, knowing that they will never come. This is a march in the middle of May to say that my God — I know what I want and what I need yet I still won’t have it because I am stuck in an arroyo of doubt and miserly. I will never get what I want until the day I die, it seems — I will never find that single percentage of happiness in days of sorrow and woe because I would never be given the chance to. My days will forever be bad, fuck the dozens of ‘good things’ when the best thing that has ever happened to me still can’t be in my grasp, when the good things in life and the desire to just step out of my door are long-gone wishes because they aren’t ever going to occur. After all, my mid-life crisis is long done and gone; it seems that I never really was a fan of waiting.

11.) It’s been raining a lot recently, nothing has made me more happy. The aroma of a tender pour has always brought back nostalgia for times that have long faded from despondent, melancholic childhood memories. If freedom was in my veins, I would go out and seek redemption in the deluge. A souse to a dry spell, if only I could drown in the floodwaters.

12.) Vertigo is overtaking me, the numbness of withering indoors — like stockholm syndrome as a prisoner of my own abode. I told myself, I swore — that this time, I would change; yet the days are just pulsating against one another and I have long forgotten to cross out the ones that have passed over like a gale. This is why I have always loathed summer; the waking in the noon and the regrets of losing hours of time — the naps and waking up in the darkness and my eyes refusing to shut themselves, creasing over with guilt and sorrow. Losing my mind, dementia in the summertide; I haven’t felt the sand caressing my bare heels and yet I already see myself at the bottom of a whirlpool. I have never loved this calefaction, and again and again I swear to myself that I will wake up in a tide of crystals and ice — I’ve always favored the cold; I want to be lost in hailstone and permafrost, I want to sink low and never have to look up to a sun that refuses to forgive myself for letting go.

13.) The canvases I tore are nothing compared to the art that you’ve already placated.

14.) My longing to feel the engines whirring, the cramped legspace on budget flights only to descend into an airport that is exquisitely unique and unidentical from the one I emerged from is surging — I wish to get lost in the afternoon park lights and to taste food; share digits on calculators as our only method of communication, count down the exact hour the sun descends into its gentle ebb towards reflections on the beach. Let me walk into grand gardens with flowers I do not know the name of, push me past crowded museums with sculptures and paintings we have long lost the essence of. Find me in the corner with the charcoal embedded into my hands and my phalanges swishing a crude rendition of masterpieces I cannot call my own.

Take me back to a makeshift home after the last train ride takes its leave, growth from luxurious suites towering above the city to inns and lodges with strangers you slowly get acquainted with over the weeks you spend as a tourist in a city you do not speak the language of — into apartments you rent from people who pay you no heed after falsified first visits, handshakes and smiles to be summed up with pixel-perfect stars.

I want to be a stranger in a place where there is no urgency, where every street name is a newfound discovery and the aromas of the bakeshops call out to the memories of your childhood anti-eschewals. The only familiarity I’d feel is the pattern of your palms as they hold into mine like an anchor — though I am just as lost as you are. Print out the maps and the rings of your phone that you forget to pick up over and over, there’s nothing more beautiful than being lost in a world where you do not belong — I’ll warm you up with the dusty woolen airplane covers; and find you a thousand times in the afternoon sunlight while we find our way back. We’ve always agreed that it’s something else, that the songs we listen to and the translations aren’t enough to capture them in their full glory — we can only help to learn and discover and see if we can piece together something that has been torn and divided, only remnants of its true self. There’s something mellow in the scent of a world where you can actually see the clouds in the sky.

15.) Above all, I think that roots to the fact that I simply want to be with you where we can be free. Where we aren’t perturbed by a million things that endanger us, where the glances and the stares and the judgment is all non-existential and all we have to take in is the starlight in each other’s eyes. We can rediscover ourselves in fields that are strangers to us in our entirety; and in a way, all this lack of dust and contemporary run-downs stem to a rebirth of our love. Dirt and graphite that pave the middle of fields that you would only deem as ‘eternity’, the floor for our dances, a waltz towards time and endlessness, love and numbers that have always seemed against us that we no longer seem to care enough to count.

All of the stars above us are the same ones we have seen from the bedroom, when we describe to each other the colors of the sky and the sound of the wind rustling against the narra trees that are older than we. But now, in this moment of being foreigners to all but each other — they seem to shine so much brighter, they shine this time – for us.

16.) Most of all, I feel nothing, that nothing has changed. Not in the sense that it doesn’t feel particularly special when you go home from an extravagant day out, celebrating what is; only to wait for the clock to strike and hit the day where you age should change. Maybe — it feels different because our minds are keen on being far more pedantic, perhaps the sudden change in vibe, the distinct transfiguration of our mind and soul occurs the exact hour and minute of our formal entrance into this world — all literal blood, sweat, and tears?

But perhaps I am not lying when I say that I do feel nothing — I laugh, and moments afterwards, it doesn’t end in an awkward abrupt dénouement. It simply dissipates into nothingness, null, desolation, a vacuum, destitution — so on, and so forth. The kind of words that you form in your drunken sorrow, despite only having lifted a cup of self-pity. There’s no reveling in the moment, it’s a forgettable entry in an expanse of a life just as easily forgotten; taking steps forward in a life they scream at me to enjoy, to be grateful for – when I simply never asked to be breathing.

They’re right, in a way. Apathy is not the sinking, it’s not convulsions at night and terrors that beg of us to just shut our eyes and scream when we know that no one is ever going to come. Apathy is walking through all of your fears, the demons that have sunk your gut and exist to plague your thoughts; bring you into bouts of existential crisis and to tear the strands on your hair just as your mind bodes itself in self-destruction — looking all of them into the eye, and walking past them; because you fear nothing anymore, you simply lack the will to. All your demons commit themselves to discord, they pound themselves away due to literal anarchy; you are no longer there.

Losing the will to see things in any way, awakening from bedsheets you have lost yourself in hundreds of times — only to spend each day surviving for you have forgotten how to live long ago. It’s tragically familiar to me, in a way that I cling onto the oldest of things and the palest of colors to see some semblance of personality, of character in a soul that has once thrived but is now just a constant repression of everything. This is why the demons are scared of me, why I walk the street without looking both ways, why my mind slowly stirs and tells me to smile when I should smile and when to sniffle and pretend that my heart is pouring in melancholy, why I take the stairs even when the lights are out and push on the metal hinges; not even thinking of the possibility that they never open themselves again. In a way, the lights that corner the ceiling are ignominious, the candlelight fares so much better when my fingers brush over them – the lights will spark out and die but there’s something beautiful about the candlewax, the fragility of its life and how you can blow it out in a hush.

It makes me wish that perhaps a wind would gust over, and the wicker in me that is only thriving to survive – blacks out. Another match will come, someday we will learn to live better – if there’s enough in us to continue.

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