Sentimentality Hour: Thoughts on leaving Edinburgh

These days, everyone I meet is a ticking bomb.
And to everyone I meet, I’m a ticking bomb.

There is an expiration date to be revealed with every new interaction that wishes to renew itself, and once the cat is out of the bag and running underneath the bed to hide from the constraints of reality, they always say:

“I thought we had more time together.”

 

We mutually agree on this regrettable truth. We both begin to bitch about the system of foreign affairs and visas and “why can’t we just live in a place with no passports and discrimination.” We toy around with the idea of a green-card marriage like so many tv shows are doing as of late, before dismissing it unconsciously when we promise each other “to visit”. For a single second I feel like a risky investment before I remember that friendship should be more intrinsic than that.

 

There are few people I could stay for.

To stay would be synonymous with falling in love, a “once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity”, or having a reason to justify why I should aimlessly float here rather than somewhere else. Sure, there are my friends…so many friends and lovers whose lives I want to watch flourish. Whose moods I want to help lift when they are drooping into the dark depths of circumstance when routines are crushed by spontaneity and anxiety. But love is not enough to convince the customs officer why I should be able to exceed the limits of my Tiers-4 that took months worth of queuing in awkward waiting rooms in nameless buildings and forgotten downtown districts. I think of those who ponder “wanderlust”, and all I can reply is that “Sometimes, the desire to travel has less to do with curiosity for the world and more to do with aimlessness, fear of commitment, and missing out. A fundamental lack of a sense of belonging and fervent need to fit somewhere.”

 

I’ve found a place. It’s here. I’ve found a person to sing harmonies with who makes me feel like the world is only a beautiful place, as long as the guitar strings keep ringing in the tunnel with great acoustics. I’ve come across groups of likeminded individuals who want to make shared ideas into reality. I’ve started to understand that definitions of soulmates and the nuances of attraction. How to look passively at another person who shares no blood but has the same passion that runs in very different kinds of veins, and letting that be the main fuel of unconditional affection. I’ve come alive in the span of these past 4 years time. I’m ready to let my roots dig themselves deeper into this Scottish soil that seems to grow nothing but Brussel Sprouts and potatoes, to play around with snow drops and burnt patches left by barbecue kits. I could buy a dog, or a plant, or a membership to the theatre, because these are milestones that signify: “I shall be here for a while.”

 

But now, the decision at this point is “to fight” or “embrace”. Do I tackle each day like it’s the last one of its kind I’ll be able to experience for a while, or live in denial until the last week I get to feel “not bothered” about walking 15 minutes and go out of my way to see a friend? Do I break unsaid promises forged by familial obligation? They have given me everything but an identity and a voice…They gave me the prompt and the resources but I have crafted my own story. It started here, and this very important chapter is coming to its climax, and that scares the hell out of me.

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just in case

In case I die
These are all the words
that I want to say to you,
but I won’t because
it’s not the right time.

When it is the right time,
I want you to read them
and remember how much
Just one person thought of you
In this life that I have lived,
And it has been
a beautiful one:

I love you.

I love you with the greatest compassion.
I look at you and think of the million moments shared,
Eating
Laughing
Watching movies that made our hearts twist and turn,
Lying in bed
Dreaming
Thinking of the future
Reflecting on the past
And how thankful I am
To have been a part of your journey
Developing slowly
All the struggles and discoveries

I look at you and recall
Every wonderful moment
Every painful pang
Every mundane and exciting time
That allows me to reminisce
That allows me to confess
How lucky I am to have met you
All of you
Everyone I have seen
And hugged
To become
a part of my heart.

I have tried to remind those close to me
How precious they are
And I will tell them time after time…
You are loved.

How you are loved!

How I love you
Exceeds the limits,
Is boundless as the sky we gaze into
During the loneliest nights
And the exhausting mornings –
Surpassing perception
So that it may only be an intangible amount
Because it is immeasurable by the literal.

Unimaginable,
Regardless of all the gifts
All the shoulders to cry on
All the food cooked
And all the clothes I’ve put on you
To keep you fed and warm.

All of the gatherings
Where the only mission was to pass the hours together

All the reunions
Whether the gaps are hours or years
Whether the distance is a few miles or thousands

All the lovely eyes that I’ve peered into and felt safety and empathy,
Kinship and friendship
Romance and adoration
Coated by the affection
I hope I have adequately given.

I don’t want to leave this world without having said what needs to be said,
and so I’ll say it now.

Just in case.

Just in case
I perish suddenly
Without warning
Like how they die in the movies
And leave everyone at a loss.

I have loved all of you
With all the love I have been gifted
And all the love I have ever known.

So even when I am gone,
I live on inside of you,
Keeping you strong
Even if you think you’re wrong.

These words are cliche,
Because love can be quite simple,
There is no complicated mechanism
That needs to be made.

But I will dedicate my whole life
As a romantic gesture to you all
And hope that makes
you blush in awe

Never letting you forget-

You are loved!
You are loved!
You are loved!

Contemplation #1

Your mind
is
fast to dry,

Slow to mould,
to try refine.

You’ve the glasses,
But still blind-

Sighted by
specific “whys”.

Too deluded
to deny.

Too afraid
to dare defy.

With the norms
you have complied.

Not emotionally tried.

Looked inside yourself,
and lied.

Searched inside yourself
and cried.

Expectations
to abide.

Locked your true heart
deep inside.

Wished to free yourself
and sighed.

For a part of you
has died.

you

you
a tall container of emotional idiosyncrasies that no one would ever see unless they
talk to you
necessary to invite you to spew out your mental insecurities and reveal deepest secrets
excreting what exactly makes you
you
making sense of all that you choose to do
and why you smile at sad things

from these lenses of affection they are a changing shade of colour every time you tell me something
new
that exposes a novel part of your soul to me
making the solid colours swirl like the palettes of the galaxy
shining and twinkling in some parts
and pitch dark black in others

i feel like i have this
very prized telescope
being able to look into you
like this
that you have so hesitantly given me because you are afraid that
whoever knows your preferred method of taking tea
will also be able to hurt you

that whoever knows of your childhood fears and current guilts
will use this knowledge
to bring you harm

that whoever has such a peculiar interest in you
may be malicious indefinitely,
taking these precious details about you
to ridicule and reduce to stupid habits
most likely due to the fact that someone has harmed your heart
before

i have come to learn that those who i have loved
and who have hurt me
have never done so intentionally
and all had happened due to miscommunication
and a refusal to admit
and answer questions
that had difficult replies

talking honestly makes everything better
at least,
i believe
most of the time.

so while you hold yourself so rigid and afraid to open yourself up
horrified to see some spillage of some undesirable aspect
you should know that people are hardly ever judging you.
and if they are, that is more a reflection of themselves than you
since people are more prone to be ruthless to themselves rather than others
and that you deserve to be cherished and valued
than to be apprehensive of someone who wants to gift you nothing but
love and kindness
even if you cannot detect or refuse to admit it –

you
a lovely human who has so much to say
and so much to do
unable to access the courage to loosen up the grips of protective latches
or to be vulnerable and confident and strong on the surface
like how you say i am whenever i emerge.

i am these things because i draw strength from your quiet bravery
i am overtly terrified and shielded and overwhelmed
i am only able to admit this because i want you to listen and understand
that i understand
even if you don’t want to talk about it.

and that you are beautiful regardless.
and that you are loved by a lot of people.

little idiot man

I want to take your head
and clasp it so tightly that the shape and size
morphs into a clump

as if your scalp and brain was made
of orange play-doh-
I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

But the texture is probably dry and crumbly.
Efforts are futile to make anything of use.
That’s what happens when you play with incompetent clay…

You might as well have a handful of poop.

Narcissist

People often ask if I’m a “narcissist”
Because they catch me
Looking in the mirror
More frequently
Then is
“socially acceptable”.

Quite the contrary.
Actually,
I need the reflection
To assure myself
That
I am not a piece of shit
Nor an ugly basturd
Nor am I undeserving of living
And that I am
“Okay okay okay”

“I’m okay I’m okay I’m okay”
“I am human and existing”
“and imperfect”
“And that’s fine.”

This mantra,
combatting the ferocious mind plague
That has afflicted me
Since my early teens
Used to be something
Very different.

It once was a chant that declared
“You are worthless
You are nothing
You are a fat little idiot
Who will die alone”
And included all the words
That shouldn’t hurt you
But do.

And I have come too far to care about what other people think of my odd habits.
And I shall not revert back to how things used to be.

I am strong. I am kind. I am honest.

This is what is important.

So I’ll be damned if I let anyone make me feel bad
For assuring myself
Like this.