2018 and ghosts don’t grow a day older.
If memory is flexible, this is what it should remember:
The cold frigid air of midnight
Lightning broken and thundering drum
Cosy steamboat and unrestrained laughs
Shot in the dark, silver tail of the sky.
Not only these, but
Conversations leading to undiscovered roads
Upturned shoes of sleepiness
Eternal rounds of strawberries
Strangers then, now siblings in Christ.
Dear memory, please don’t become undone.
You say, that for a person so magical surely shooting stars would work their wishes for me.
I deny this a hundred times, yet I will embrace it as a truth if it will bring you back to me. This is what you do: without waiting to test the truth of my apparent character, you vanish into smokeless vapour.
Time drifts. I have taken dozens of dandelions by its roots and lain awake for 11:11s but you remain obscure to me. The sound of my breathing is too claustrophobic in this quiet.
Before you took to your leaving, I have expressed my affections: that to me you are a glowing ember, that I drew ever so closely to your brilliant being. You only smile and hope to be so, but tell me over and over to be realistic lest I am disappointed. I wonder now if I have piled upon your shoulders a burden overwhelming, that my feelings a net tangling the feet.
A lighthouse, this is what I will build as I wait for you. If I am to you a light, I will make this stand on a ground where the oceans of many meet. Day by day will I see myself on the edge, writing letters and throwing bottles of hope into the gulf.
If I am to wish a wish come true, let it be that one will come by your line of sight. Small as it is, may it rock your boat and set a wind in your sail to the shore where I stay.
You are a sailor, lost in your distant wandering and let my pieces be the north star that guides you home.
I am caught up thinking about the future, though it is not something I do often. I do not see it as a feasible thing to do, to muse on multiple unknowns, and the way a possible moment ahead wilts simply because I had forgotten to water the seed once sown is frightening to consider.
Yet I am thinking of all of the people I have yet to meet, and might still. Who knows what stories will fill these blank pages, and will the ink bleed dry too early?
I wonder how are all of you. How do I speak and give attention to each without sounding lost or despicably biased? I do not know how, but I will try and try, over and over.
Are you lonely and hurting, whoever you are, having to hold your own mind to keep it altogether.
Are you happy and filled, perhaps after a meal satisfying and sweet, almost tripping over a piece of broken glass by the bin.
Are you angry and desperate, at the world that will not move the mountains to reach.
Are you sleepy and tired, a face on the other side of the world, a tinsel of stars outside the bedroom window.
Are you nervous and tingly, set for a path mysterious, one that may lead you to me.
I know how life can take a turn for the unexpected, for I will be changed for always due to my 2017. Maybe it is both thrilling and fearsome, the way I may continue to face more twists and strains. Maybe my spirit will find itself bending under the weight of these journeys.
Where am I going?
I may ask this from time to time, say it to the ocean whose stunning roars will drown my shallow doubts. I still do not know, but I will hold on to the broken seashell gifted to me in a land far away, where its cool waves have once capered among my feet.
I continue to look at the road after things are long gone, and this is how I meet you.
A child, that’s what I should have been, but I was one attending secondary school. People see you in places alone but in my case, dreams led me to you.
Did we say hello at first glance? This I cannot recall, but I knew from the very start that you were different. Your manner and the way you speak, you cannot be from this place.
We might have met at other places, but the park is the venue I remember best. We would sit on the bench and talk. You had a way of loosening my tongue, despite my reticent nature. Your voice, it was a low hum, calm and strange. It follows me even after I wake.
And then, you vanished.
Or maybe, I did the vanishing after all.
I am angry, incredibly angry, at my failing memory. Desperate for a clue, often trying to understand how our communication broke. When did I lose my way? They say that people of your kind disappear with age and time, when the need for a companion no longer exists but how dare you, how dare you share so many moments and carelessly disappear afterwards?
You were a phantom and I thought of you everyday.
Are you still waiting at the park? Because I no longer know how to get there.
In the darkness, I still see you.
Though your soothing voice is slowly leaving and your wise smile fading, you remain undeniably special to me.
Years pass, and we grow up in ways unexpected.
Even so, by the way the warm sunlight bounces off your face and the crinkle of your inquisitive eyes, I know that I’ve held a love special for you.
I don’t know why I write of these things now, yet maybe I do. There’s been a gap in time, where we’ve spent our lives apart. While we’ve not faded from each other’s thoughts, change has taken one another for a ride.
We’re close, able to speak of many things despite differences. I remember supporting you in the hardest of times, to perceive your strengths when you no longer did, and you’ve had a way of making me try more, to do more. Never did you break me with your involuntary angry speakings, hurt as I may have been.
So have I, for I remain humanly faulty. In ways unintended, I’ve injured you, like the time I accidentally kicked sand into your face when all I wanted was to play. All I’ve ever desired is for you to grow well, and to stay honest, no matter how difficult the journey would become.
Held my weak hand with strong ones you did, through my terrible episodes when the nights seemed forever long. I recall those dark eyes watching me with such caring, a sight I could hardly believe lest I misunderstood. To trust in the tender attention of another is an experience incredible. Sing me to sleep and stories told, simply to battle the rage of my restless heart. Wordless conversations across the room, a little ruffle on the head.
While outsiders prodded at our relations, we remained steady. What more could I ask for?
I’m coming home, and I wonder deeply as to who I will be meeting.
Will it be, that your hair has grown in a new style, or that you’ve gotten new shoes I’ve never known of before? Are there unfamiliar hobbies picked up, or forgiveness to be extended? What have you done in my absence? Will I find in myself still a heart to embrace you?
I remain shy and impossible with fierce expression, yet may it be that in my soul there’s a bravery mustered to know you all over again, if there’s a need to do so. I don’t intend to be like a passenger facing backwards on a train, endlessly pining for what’s already gone.
I promise this in the quiet, where in a world permeated with outrageous displays of affection of loose kisses and meaningless tangled bodies, my pinky finger loops yours.
Hush now, let us feel the silence for a little while. Can you feel the heart beat? It radiates and colours these four walls.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
We are clockwork beings. Gears churning in our busy heads, springs of coiled energy impatient in fists and feet. There is iron running through our veins.
The human time is ephemeral, a root for fear. There is a people scurrying to outlive the countdown, outpace the stopwatch. Herbs and spices they employ, incantations and surgical knives will another seek.
There are three types of people in the world. Those who take deep calculated breaths, or those who are trying to catch them, or those who lose them.
And I am caught somewhere in between the three.
While it can be terrifying to see each person’s motor become undone in due time, borrow a little of that time to touch the silence.
Despite the changing of seasons, even the falling of autumn leaves will make the fearful realise that quiet dance of the clock is one to love.
When you ask him if he’s crying and he says it’s just dust in his eyes, believe him.
If you see marks echoed in their palms and their fists remain clenched, don’t pry their fingers open.
When you stand next to her inching closer and find the nimble shadow slipping away, stay.
If you suggest to witness the day end together and he escapes the watch of a sun drowning, let him go.
When you catch sight of the brittle leaves of autumn falling around her like a halo and she disagrees, don’t insist.
Listen, I say. For a time will come when all will change.
You’ll be trusted to wipe the dust from strained eyes, and the hand will loosen enough with a crawl childlike to hold yours. You’ll be gently astonished at the shadow that draws near, and there will be a company of two braving the nightfall. The face that once paled at the sight of death will regain its colour.
Listen, because too many people do the talking and are deaf to the voices that only the biggest of hearts will notice. There will be a time for speaking, but for now, listen.
P/S: And while they change, so will you. Move along even as you press your ear to the ground, for it is rude to stop and stare.
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…)
You were like the ocean, proud and relentless.
There was no mercy for seashells like me.
Time has a way of scaring all those who are tied to it
I am but a mouse watching the shadow of the night flicker by the lampstand
With each twitch I shuddered
Look at me, whispered the flower among the weeds.