Vun, two, ha ha

You wonder sometimes if you’re just a dramatic brat so starved of any sort of personality that maybe this is just something you drummed up to be interesting. You’re not sure whether that thought comforts you or makes it worse, because if it is simply something you cooked up, then you could end it just as easily. There was never any definitive reason that made things turn this way, so maybe it could be something you came up with while bored. You’re sure of that some days. On the bad ones, you’re not.

You felt what you felt and even if there had been no basis to it, no causative event, it was still real. Tangible. Something bitter you could always taste at the back of your throat and feel weighing down behind your eyes and on your wrists. Something heavy and oppressive and uncomfortably silky that fashioned the jagged lump that was permanently lodged in your throat.

For a brief while, you thought it had gone away for good.

It hasn’t.

There are good days, that turn into weeks, and then months. Months where you genuinely believe it’s gone. But then you’re reminded of all the ways it’ll never go away.

You do things to try and cheer yourself up.

But that slimy, sour mass of a mini black hole that seems to have set up home at the base of your stomach sits stubborn and powerful as ever. Scoffing at your pathetic, weak, whimpering attempts at retaliation. You debate giving up.

Not in an everything sense, but little things. Little things that are never noticed by anybody else but weigh warm and heavy and suffocating against your skin. Little things you gently set on the ground and then on fire.

You think it’s hilariously stupid how those little things ever even mattered to you.

Lie on your bed and breathe. And stare at the ceiling and sleep. And when the sun’s out, get out of bed long enough for a few quips and obnoxious laughs and once the house is essentially empty because everybody is at work or school, climb right back in and lie on your bed. And breathe. And stare at the ceiling. But don’t sleep, because sleep is a break your body seems unwilling to take.

The sun is setting and then you are asleep. Soft sheets and soft pillows and soft sighs.

Wake up a little later on in the night to a quiet house. To muted light coming through the window and through the crack under the door. Sleep is a break your body is unwilling to take.

Lie on your bed and breathe. And think of all the times you laughed so hard it hurt. A stabbing pain at the base of your jaw, the side of your ribs, gripping your stomach–uncomfortable and painful. It’s unfair that you laugh and your insides twist and break and give way as if they weren’t built to accommodate a joy this vast, a happiness this loud. Yet your body is perfectly content harbouring a black hole, nourishing a discontent that should have been too much for it to take. A star is dying inside of you. Made of matter compressed and pushed into a tiny space. Everything that wasn’t right that you inhaled anyway, nestled amidst organs and arteries beating red and steady–enveloping it in a warmth that is yours to be loved with but is swallowed by that swirling fog at the base of your stomach.

Your body is a traitor, and your mind even more so. And you don’t know what to do. How to teach it to be more welcoming of delight and less so of misery.

So lie but don’t sleep. Or think a little too deep, lest your heart goes the way of your dreams–hacked and torn out of existence in the absence of sleep.

Yours Truly,

sign-off

And The Chicken Crossed the Road And Other Nonsensical Titles.

Gone astray. Breaking point;
break down point.
Stitch it all up.
Glue and magazine strips
Don’t work.
Sew it all up
Needle in and out,
Piercing skin, the veins,
the heart.

Out it spills,
Can’t stop
Won’t stop
Lock it away
No time,
Not yet
Never enough time. Not now not ever.

Over and over,
Every year
It’s never gone
Always hovering
Sometimes higher up,
Out of sight.

A dull gray,
Not concrete,
Not dark, not solid

An inky gray.
Hovering.

Ravens, high up,
Sleek, shiny, free
A stone. A single pebble–
Wings glistening,
Then dripping red;
Bloody.
Falling, spiralling
Into the gray.

I Spiral, Therefore I Am.

I wish I could be as eloquent about the whole thing as Sylvia Plath  or Stephen Czochywatshisname but I know that’s not happening so I’m not even going to try.

Instead let’s focus on the happy:

I discovered my sister cheats at scrabble today. When I confronted her about it she threw a word tile at me (her chosen mode of communicating that she was no longer going to spend the afternoon placing plastic pieces on a cardboard square) and huffed away to complain about me with Kid #4 who, in turn, had just had a fight with Kid #3. Both of them spent a very pleasant hour listing the shortcomings of elder siblings while Kid #3 and I continued with whatever it was that we were doing, blissfully unaware of the curses being cast at us.

We just played the Game of LIFE and I may or may not have had a mini breakdown somewhere in there. But we’re going to conveniently move past that to the bey-blade battle Kid #4 and I had. He won. I have never known such shame.

We have also recently acquired a plastic tent-playhouse or whatever it is that its called. It was fun assembling it with the cool pre-rain air blowing in.

I have forgotten the art of making conversation now so I think I’ll just go. I apologize for the pathetic-ness of it all.

Sorryaboutwastingyourtimeokaybye!

Yours Truly,

sign-off

I’d Like It To Mean Something.

We’re always running through life. Scrambling for that promotion or grade or interview that’ll catapult us to the very end of the race so we can finally settle down for a comfortable, peaceful life. Except we spend the wonderful lives we’re handed worrying and running to the finish line—because (and maybe that’s just me) we don’t think we deserve it yet–so we jump through hoops and do things we don’t like so we can say we earned the wonderful life that awaits us; that we worked for it and once you reach the finish line, the time to reap the rewards will come. But before we know it, we sign up for the marathon, and are running, sprinting, leaping. And this is our life.

I’m not talking about stopping to smell the roses and all that…I’m saying you don’t always have to step on the thorns to get to it. There’s more to things. There has to be; our life cannot be all about the finish line. Because, there isn’t one. After that one job position, there’s the one above that, and after you pass that very important exam, there are about a hundred more in your future. Going through all the unpleasantness thinking it will all eventually end is not what we should be doing. Because it won’t. This is our life.

The sooner we accept that, the sooner we decide if that is enough. And, if it isn’t, the sooner we can work at changing it.

Because right now? It doesn’t seem all that worth it. I don’t know how adults do it. But I better learn how to because I’m part of the race now. It’s all about beating that other person to the trophy so we can move on to the next level where we run to beat another person to another trophy and then another, and another. It won’t stop. As much as I’d like to believe it will, it won’t. There’ll be competition to get into a college, then competition to beat to excel in it, then competition to beat to be the best at what you do. And then competition to beat so you maintain your position. Somewhere along the line, we grew up, you and me. And we can spend the rest of our lives wondering how it happened and trying to figure out ways to stop it. But this is our life.

I’m tired already. But we don’t have to take all the bad thinking the good will come later. This is our life, and we decide if it’s worth it.

I’d just really like it to be worth it.

download

Yours Truly,

sign-off

Teen-o-ritis Is A Real Thing Right?

This is not just the drama queen in me speaking. For once.

I’m a textbook case. Of what I have no idea, I just know that I am one. Sometimes when you walk there is a sudden pain in your foot—searing and quick, like the kind you might get from stepping on a pin or a pointy rock—but there isn’t any external or known internal wound to cause it. It’s just a phantom pain with no origin or story, there is just the consequence of going through eye-watering agony as you flex your foot this way and that, trying to work it out. I am a consequence of something. Of something terrible that left me devastated, ‘cept I don’t know what it is.

I mostly just pushed it aside for the past few months, thinking I was just going mental; slowly descending into the abyss of confusion and consequences—the biggest and most painful of all being me and all that I am. I have the trust issues of an abandoned kid, the cynicism of a divorcee, the random thoughts of a bitter, albeit silly, philosopher and the world views of a man whose world was ideal, yet I’m none of those. I’m a normal 16 yr old with a normal family and a normal life. I’m not a bitter person; I don’t expect the worse—really, I don’t. I don’t expect it. I’m optimistic about the things one ought to be optimistic of. I’m scared of things one oughtn’t to be afraid of.

So, I don’t make sense. I don’t understand myself sometimes. I don’t know how to say it, and I never know if I’m making any sense, I just don’t understand myself. I find myself thinking these thoughts that never crossed my mind about things I don’t even know of, and I have no idea who I am, or why I am. I’m a character who has all the personality traits, but no backstory to explain their existence.

People have reasons for being messed up—broken families, broken hearts and broken lives—I have everything bright and shiny. I don’t understand myself. I don’t know why I have trust issues—I like everyone, yes. And I never think about them distrustfully, I just never let them get too close. I’m this person they think I am, except I know that’s not the real me because if it was, then I would be simple and understandable and trusting. I’m not saying I put on a facade, no no, I don’t pretend or act like someone else. The person they know is me. But not, at the same time. I like them and I believe in the goodness of people and all that jazz. I just never get truly close. I feel gratified when something goes wrong, and pray that it doesn’t at the same time. I don’t make sense.

If only it were as easy as that...
If only it were as easy as that…

I’m a result of something. Something meaningful and rational–it’s what I hope for anyway. Because I don’t know me. And it’s not just the usual not knowing who you are as a teenager thing, it’s something else. Something is wrong and I don’t know how to fix it because I don’t know if it counts; I don’t know if any of it is real—really, if all this is just in my head, then that means nothing is wrong, right? But something is. I know it is. I think it is.

'I keep thinking I'm a Big Mac with fries...'
‘I keep thinking I’m a Big Mac with fries…’

I’m a textbook case. Of depression? Anxiety? Teen-o-ritis? No, not any of those. I don’t know what it is. I don’t make sense to myself, I live the life of someone else, think the thoughts of someone else, wish to be something else. I have no story. Nothing to lend me…personality. No hardships, no good luck, just a messy mediocre. I’m a consequence of something important; something that hasn’t happened yet, and perhaps never will.

I think too much.

A Letter

Cradle to grave. It’s a promise you made and one which I know I make very hard for you to follow through on. I know I don’t say it or show it enough, but if there ever was someone worth admiring in my life, it would be you. If you were to read this, I know you’d just give out a disbelieving laugh and simply wave it off, but you are the most forgiving, the smartest, strongest, bravest and prettiest woman I have ever met. And I’m sorry for being such a brat all the time.

I know I hurt your feelings sometimes and I know I shut myself off. I know it seems like I don’t come to you a lot when something is bothering me, but that isn’t because I don’t trust you or know that you would help ( I know you will), it is simply because you have enough on your plate with four kids and a full-time job and with all the problems you’ve been facing the past few years at work, I doubt you need the stupid insignificant troubles of your teenage daughter on top of them. I’m sorry about always being in my room even when you come home early just to spend a little extra time with us. I’m sorry for all of the thoughtless, mean things I have said to you in the past (and there have been quite a few, I know), you have to know I never mean any of it. I love you. Even if it seems like I don’t lately.

And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. –John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

I know I come off detached, and I know I can be frustratingly stubborn when we do fight. I’m sorry about that too. You deserve the best, and there is nothing I’m sorrier about than being unable to give it to you. I’m sorry about all the times I have raised my voice at you and been disrespectful and selfish. I’m sorry about all the movies I’ve missed out on watching with you at the theatre and cited unimportant school work as the excuse.

I’m sorry about being such a typical teenager. I try hard not to be one, but I know I fail. I’m sorry about all the times I’ve fallen short. Disappointing you is and always has been my worst nightmare. You really do deserve the best and I’m sorry that I’ve never been able to be that.

You take a lot of crap from me, and despite my many, many faults and mistakes, you’ve always been there with a warm hug at the end of the day. I love the way your neck and hair smells and there is nothing more comforting that being wrapped up in your arms. Nobody hugs like you do. I’m sorry that at the end of a long, tiring day at work, you have to come home to a blaring TV and two fighting, crying babies. I’m sorry about all the times I’ve fought with Sam, I know it pains you to see us not getting along (we get along a lot better now though, despite what it seems like).

I’m sorry about making you feel unwanted sometimes. It’s not intentional. It’s scary how much I still need you despite being 16 already. Aren’t teens supposed to be able to figure things out by themselves now? I try to do things on my own, because, as you keep reminding me, you might not be around one day and if (God forbid) that ever happens, I need to take care of Kid No 2, Kid No. 3 and Kid No. 4. I guess it comes off wrong sometimes.

You truly are a remarkable woman. You have a career and a challenging job but still manage to be there for your kids; I know you feel guilty sometimes about being a working mother, but we truly are lucky to have you. You’re a fantastic parent and I love you. As does kid #2, 3 and 4. And these just might seem as empty, obligatory words, but you are the most wonderful mother out there. I’m sorry I’m not the daughter you deserve.

mom   

I’m sorry it seems like I’m drifting away…I’m not. I wouldn’t know what to do without you. Everybody has this voice inside their head, right? The voice of reason and humanity? Well, the voice inside my head is yours. (Speaking of voices inside my head makes me seem slightly mental, doesn’t it? Oh well.)

Its Mother’s Day this Sunday and I figured it was finally time to put all this out there. I’m sorry about the past few months with the decade and stuff.

I love you mumma, I really do. And I’m thankful. For the years you spent watching Scooby Doo and Popeye and Tom and Jerry with me; for teaching me how to dance and write; for buying me all those books and for going to all those stuffy book fairs in both cold and hot weather just for me. For all the stuff you’ve sacrificed over the years—like peace of mind and privacy and quiet time. You’re the most selfless person I’ve seen and I would be proud to become half the woman you are.

When things seen absolutely dark and unending, being cocooned in your warmth and that comforting scent lets me know it’s all going to be okay. You’ve been my friend even when I’ve stubbornly pushed you away.

ma

I’m sorry and I’m thankful, and I love you with all my heart and more.

Yours Truly,

Kid No. 1

P.S Happy Mother’s Day 😀

Can of Worms

What am I? I am fallacy. I am a voice you need—nay, yearn, to hear. I am that which I need not fear. I am you, and I am she.  I am all those I need not be. I am what I cannot be.

I have won cockfights in Estonia and have understood—and conquered!—the Indian political system. I write heart-wrenching war stories during the middle of the night—in my sleep. Why, just the other day I’d been treading on water for six straight hours.

I fought in the revolution of 1857 and figured out the workings of the teleportation device. I was six, when I discovered the meaning of life and its purpose, but was too busy saving the world from killer cyborgs to have the time to write it down. I taught Elvis everything he knew.

I convinced Sinatra to give up the bottle and winked and nudged Einstein as we ridiculed the appalling imbecility of the human race.

And so, today I stand to protest against this indignation. This gross violation of the sanctity of my self.

I have no justification. No apparent tactic for persuasion.

I am what I am. Warts and self-obsession and all.

I am no refugee; no poor victim of this harsh world. I am what I want to be and much less. I am no convenience, no easy sentence. No I am a trilogy: long, winding, frustrating and intense.

I am what I saw and where I saw. I am what I heard and all I smelt.  I morph into this and sometimes, into that. No sir, I am no easy sentence.

I search for some sense of importance—of validation though I look down at those who “conform”. I am she who loves all, and that which she spurns.

I am incongruity and inconsistency. I am which wasn’t meant to be.

I am wonderful at masking my narcissism under pretty words and grand punctuation. I am theatrical. I am apologetic.

I am truth. I am me. And I’m sorry.