It was a few minutes before midnight. You can see smoke rising up and some crackle of light coming from a small store here, a two-storey house there. The excitement is so heavy in the air. So heavy that I can feel it weighing down on my cranium. Outside, all lights are lit in anticipation of the final countdown. The old year is almost walking past behind everyone, forgotten and maybe forgiven for all its troubles, maybe thanked with joyful hearts or pursed lips.
I used to love the New Year. But not that evening. Not when the fireworks feel like they are all simultaneously bursting in my head, I can see them like electricity behind my eyelids. Not when the heat of so many busy calderos and stoves are inside my body cooking me up to a weak, sweaty mush of a human being. It physically broke my heart to know my family is a 3-hr flight and drive away while I was there hating every passing second as I hear the neighbors counting down to the New Year. I tried to count myself down to sleep amidst the all-too-familiar noise and confusion outside.
In the darkness, behind closed doors, I promised myself that never will I feel so alone as I did that night.
3…2…1. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cut Off.”
She passes by without her knowing that i am following her with a peripheral stare. And as she walked away, while my eyes catch the last billowing folds of her gentle skirt flowing in the wind, I know things have changed. I do not recognize her anymore. And she probably does not recognize me. All we have are snatches of our past life together. They are only months ago. But now they seem like an entire lifetime away. We have grown apart. That is sad. I would have liked to be her friend more. To talk to her about life at school, life at home, life with ourselves. There would have been many things to talk about and rant about and laugh about while waiting for class, on the way to the comfort room, or while standing in line at the canteen. But I guess things are too awkward now. I could have followed her. Run to her, even. But I didn’t. Because I didn’t know what to say after the first hi-hello is said. So all I did was fold my arms on the table and bury my face in them as the world around me detaches and the sound of everything is distorted by my memories of the day we first met.
I know this is a photo challenge. But when I read “Gone, But Not Forgotten“, I remembered my past friendships and this image formed in my mind. There was no way to show it but through words.
Something always brings me back to you…
I have always thought about writing as an act of getting naked.
You come home to yourself, drop all the baggage on the floor, peel your clothes off and throw them into the laundry bag of yesterday, wash the glitter down the drain, dust away the day’s worries, and slip into the comfort of your own skin. You close the door and open your heart into words that ebb and flow, much like the quick typing and sudden backspacing, moving onward, backwards, onward again. Fingers that slightly hover over the keys, much like pauses between conversations when we let awkward silences between what we say and what we don’t say magnify what isn’t there and what we don’t want to hear.
But ultimately, we write.
And it is within the jungle of words and hanging vines and lines that we try to make sense of the chaos in our mind. Eyebrows furrow deep into what we are not trying to say when we want to say something. We choose chaos, and chaos chastens us into submission. Caught in the middle, you try to meddle and get lost and wonder…what were you trying to say in the first place? But in the first place, there is no first place. There is only now and you try to stay with it, but you lose yourself and that’s fine.
Sometimes, you need to get lost to get home.
…It never takes too long.