Story

110.

Hush now, they say, I see someone in the store. Oh, it’s just a mannequin left unattended. Who cares, we’ll just put her back into the closet where she belongs. Wait, woah! Why is she lashing out? Perhaps she is a robot instead of a mannequin, but they’re all the same.

Women are walking catalogues, don’t feel personally harassed if eyes are watching every moment. If you are wearing white, you’re challenging the rain to make it translucent. Don’t wear skirts that are too short, you know people are waiting for that gust of wind to blow a little too strong. Walk in an alleyway if you dare, pray for it to be empty or else be prepared to be drugged. Girl, don’t be too friendly at the party or you’re flirting with trouble.

When people pinch your bra strap or steal your hair ties, let them get away. It’s a small matter, and as they always say, boys will be boys. Boys tease the girls they like. Feel the sting on the cheek and whisper that it’s okay, sometimes people get mad. The partner always buy roses the next day. Kiss and make up, no?

Keep your mouth shut, it’s not proper for a lady to speak unless they are spoken to. Did I ask you, asks an authority figure angrily. I don’t think, perhaps you will begin to say, but the Mad Hatter says, if you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk at all.

Pretty one, you should remain a flower on the wall. Walls can’t talk.

You play with gold glitter as a child, scrapbooks messy but grow up with pepper spray simply for wanting to go out alone to watch the midnight dance of a thousand stars. Sometimes it’s beside your pillow as you sleep, for even home is not the safe place you hoped for. Picked locks and rummaged belongings, does privacy even exist anymore. They say that being in a crowd will keep you from harm’s way, such as family reunions and shopping malls. But can you say no to that older relative who insists that you sit on their knee? There are hands that brush too close.

Yet, this is the cry of the lighthouse: (more…)

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108.

For this long I’ve been alive, strength sufficient to indent these thoughts in a space semi-tangible. What else can I say but thank you, despite receiving servings both beautiful and ugly, brutally honest and honeyed double.

Moments are all I am, and my memory, no matter how decidedly powerful, cannot serve as an anchor in life’s unpredictable tides. Yet I am aware of the compass from above who leads me on even into unchartered waters. The crown of stars I await in my waking dreams glisten charmingly.

This I know in the voyage: to try and try, to write and write, to love and love even more.

100.

He said, you’re not like other children

The disappointment of a father evident

Hiding the tears of a sobbing wife

Shunning leers from prying neighbours

 

He said, you’re not like other children

Depending on the boy’s mood

He cries profusely into pillows

He makes mad crayon sketches across the wall

 

He said, you’re not like other children

Finding symbols in things unmeant

Hearing what others cannot

Seeing all the colours in invisible light

Feeling the cracks on the floor

 

He said, you’re not like other children

Insistently speaking to a twin who is not there

Drawing friends with no eyes

Watching trapped bugs melt in spider webs when others would choose to play with dogs and cats.

97.

Pinpricks of light, wandering stars gravitating toward a force bigger than their own.

Though frequently perceived as shy and ordinary, small and obtuse, two individuals are running to chase a distant falling. Eyes that forget to keep to their feet, fists clenched are released and raised frantically. Darkness and tangled roots, damp grass and twisty trunks, feet that meet and trip.

I’m sorry, she says abashed, picking up the other’s glasses. I’m chasing a shooting star.

A hand stretches to take what is his, and a smile grows across the face.

So am I, he quietly admits. I can’t let something beautiful die without anyone ever knowing it. It would be a real waste.

Blink.

Would you catch it with me?

91.

She dreamt of a stranger, his fractional smile a mere flicker before he disappeared over the building’s edge.

This wakes her up, filling her with irrational tension. A haunting peculiar for it is a place never seen before, with a faint touch of the ethereal.

Who are you, she quietly asks with an arm outstretched, but her words are simply mixing with oxygen.

Weeks go by, and it remains a sequence that slips in uninvited from time to time. The same wakefulness will capture her utmost attention, but there is no clue. Until one day, in the most ordinary of ways, she sees him in a street full of people. And mad is she, certainly, to have glimpsed a cordial curl of the mouth?

His gaze averts, and she pursues. Though foolish to endure without reason, she will not be deterred. They arrive on the rooftop, a scene startling alike. His foot leaning by the end of all that is.

She walks slowly, terribly afraid to see that moment. When she is but two steps away, his voice breaks.

Do you trust me? are the words uttered.

Take a deep breath. Nod of the head.

Close your eyes, he murmurs with a faint smile, and she does.

Hands curve themselves and then, the lightness of being. A scream. They are falling into gravity’s coarse arms. There is no comfort in the aforementioned thought.

He whispers against her ear, believe.

And believe, believe in facing the unknown courageously and this is when they fly upwards by the spread of his wings. Her eyes widen.

You’ve always been too afraid to face the end of your dream, he says with a gentle smile. And now you finally know.

64.

He is found in the midst of chaos and split silver. Cracked mirrors and loose shrapnel.

I can’t take it anymore, he mumbles brokenly.

Do you know, do you truly know what it’s like to be unseen? Alone in a crowd, or to face a reflection that will not see you in the eyes?

I am in a mental museum, full of the dead and the past, and I’m here beyond opening hours, trapped in a space that won’t let me go. Even if there are others here, they exist past the velvet rope that I cannot cross.

And in spite of it all, I am the joke, for I find myself like air — I’m afraid that I may disappear if someone does touch me.

If no one thinks of you at all, he painfully asks, do you truly exist?

The shadows breathe across the ruined floor.

People don’t remember the moon until it hides behind the clouds, she whispers softly. But I’ll have you know, that I always have been looking for the moon. You do to me what the moon does to the tide;

You draw me in.

(And even on days when I don’t see you, I know you’re there.)

58.

Once, I wrote this for a contest entry. Since nothing happened, I decided that I could leave it here.

In this world, time travelling is a right. It is not a mere privilege belonging to the well-dressed elites. No matter who you are or what you have done, it is a unique situation where implementing this right is as simple as walking through an office door. A specific one. Alongside the fact that as we all know of our typical government institutions, the waiting line makes for cheery company.

Numbers are taken even as one waits in increasing impatience for the special appointment. Feet are tapping, constructing an unintended chorus of tap dancers if one listened close enough. Here, silence is mandatory. No one wants to know why you are here to change something in the time frame. In fact, they would rather not be enlightened in this manner. This unspoken rule befits all.

A newspaper picked up for perusal is immediately dismissed. The state of the economy is no smiling matter and as it happens, yours truly is an entrepreneur in this field. There is no tomorrow, the headline contemplates. What is tomorrow, however? Is the stroke past midnight, or the voice that tells you keep going forward? We live in a sea of ambiguity, with no permanent anchor to hold us. This reckless freedom brings me to a particular attention.

In this world, the number one has not always been the first. (more…)

48.

I met a butterfly crusher once.

There by the beaten garden path, when my inquisitive eyes prompted him to say hey. He looked mighty curious, with a faded jacket and pale shoes. While my mother told me to avoid strangers, I stayed anyway. Sat next to him on the wooden bench.

Do you want to see a magic trick? is what he asked back then in an odd voice.

Child that I was, an evident yes.

He covered his right hand on top of the left palm before taking it away. The magic occurred, in which a turquoise butterfly landed neatly on his left palm, as though on command. (Later in my years, I found out that it was sucrose.)

It gently flapped its wings with a rhythmic heartbeat before he crumpled his fist.

Why did you do that? I remembered yelling. It was so beautiful!

Shrug of the shoulders, a cold look in my direction. Look, kid, he mused, the beautiful are foolish. They are fragile and insignificant, imaginative whims of someone who has nothing better to do. He dusted his hands and left me.

Powdered butterfly wings mourned itself at my feet.

Child that I was, I should have said no.

41.

Meet me at the pier, at the brink of moonlight.

In the dark, all our secrets and fears are washed away. Let’s take a seat, watch the waves glisten and make its comforting splashes against the dock.

In the quiet, we’ll just be two people. There is no madman or a hypocrite or a liar or a fool. There is no room for such things. We’ll just be.

In the shadows, we’ll see beyond ourselves. When your hand reaches out for mine, it’s my soul that you’re cradling. Be amazed at how such a weak thing could fight for so long.

In the sunlight, we would have fallen asleep. The guard would come along and tell us to get up on our feet. We do and part ways, and the night will be buried until the next time.