Maybe I’m a Dark Star

“To know one’s own state is not a simple matter. One cannot look directly at one’s own face with one’s own eyes, for example. One has no choice but to look at one’s reflection in the mirror. Through experience, we come to believe that the image is correct, but that is all.”
― Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

I met all kinds of people this year; each one kind of left a bit of themselves behind. And the world that I’d created for myself, with my own ideas of black and white and acceptable grays, ultimately came crashing down. Things changed in the last one year. It’s funny how you realize you’ve changed by small simple things. A song doesn’t make you feel the way it used to. A fragrance doesn’t stir what it used to inside of you. One passive sense at a time, you realize, you’re a different person.

It gets harder every day; accepting that you kind of forgot color exists. People can be blue all their life, and for a fraction of a second they come in contact with someone yellow, and suddenly, just like that, they’re green. It’s nobody’s fault really, it’s a pigment thing. But that’s how long it takes for someone to change you. One look, one smile, one interaction; we’re all dynamic, ever changing. It scares me sometimes, how much I let people affect me.

And I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then. I believed in true love, I really did. I’m not so sure anymore. People seem to be living out of convenience more than anything else. I can’t love you because you’re too young, too old, too far away, and too inconvenient to love.

Oh, but I can. If only you’d let me.

So many people.  So many nonentities that now constitute my world. So many times I tried to keep myself to myself. So many cages put up and torn down. To what avail?
At the end of the day, we’re all just people, trying in ways we know how. The trouble is that we’re almost always on a different page. Haven’t you realized how your idea of a happy ending changes as you progress through a book? One can’t sit on page 7 thinking of all the hidden opportunities, new characters and plot twists that lay ahead and still hope for love to catch up.
It’s not something that catches up with you.
It sneaks into your life when you’re least expecting it, at the most inconvenient of times, and it makes you question things. And while you’re still contemplating and wondering, it begins to run away. And then it’s up to you to catch up with it.

But opportunity is an ill-mannered guest. And life goes faster than it comes to you.

I think I may have let it go once. I may have thought about it too long, and it may have slipped out from right between my fingers. I think that was the day I became a little evasive. I met a lot of broken people after that. We had chemistry, we had space and we had the capacity to love. And then I felt terrified because I realized that once people are broken in particular ways, they can never go back, and this is something no one ever tells you early enough and it never fails to astonish you to see people in your life break one by one. You wonder when it’s going to be your turn, or if it’s already happened.

Is that why it’s not working this time? Have I forgotten how to love right? Maybe I love differently because I’m a different person now. Maybe I love differently because even though that song doesn’t make me feel the way it did, I found another song that does.

And you can’t hear it, because it’s on the inconvenient end of your playlist.

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Arrested Feelings

I slept on the couch last night. I felt like a visitor to my own life.

The coin spun thrice in the air before it landed on the cold marble floor. Even so, it continued spinning, displaying unnecessary theatrics as I held my breath waiting for it to decide for me. My head prayed it was tails and my heart prayed it was heads while my stomach and lungs prayed the coin would just stop spinning. It slowed down and I lowered my face so that my eyes were an inch away from the coin, a million thoughts passing through my head.

Do you know what the word xeno means? I chanced upon it once, a long time ago, I don’t even know what language it belongs to. It was explained to me as the smallest measurable unit of human connection. How beautiful it is that someone made a word for that. Moments that are fleeting and random, yet enchanting. Isn’t this a strange thought? That the people we’re walking right past are people that we could have real connections with. What happens if you just keep walking past people? How do we forgive ourselves for all the people we leave behind, all the people we don’t allow to affect us?

Cosmic collisions are uncertain, we find each other on accident, there is no meant to be. You don’t choose the tides, yet your heart chooses who you call. But then again, for something that single handedly keeps the body alive, the heart’s a pretty stupid organ, don’t you think? It continues to hold on while the head is letting go. It holds on to this person so eager to learn about the strange, dusty and awkward answers I offer so earnestly  as I mumble in my sleep about my inspirations and ambitions and insecurities. I bare my soul in staccato rhythm and he listens to all my disconnected stories.

There’s so much lost in between thought and action, half my feelings are just consumed in themselves in time. Yet, people underestimate how erotic it is to be understood, how divine it is to have someone respond with a passion you seek on utterly random chronicles. It’s exciting when you find parts of yourself in someone else. And at the end of the day, it’s always words that undress you.

Not everything is meant to last, but sometimes, just sometimes, you find someone who loves like you do. And it’s worth the fleeting moments. I ignore the coin and pick up my phone.

Xeno is a strong thing.