Thank you, that’s a really wonderful thing for anyone to hear. But if you really were my friend you would’ve told me this in person.
you like, your pupils dilate. Those small black pinpoints at the center of every human eye grow larger as they are met with the sight of the object of your affection.
I’m glad the color of my eyes are dark, muddy brown or off-black, the same shade as my hair. Not quite black but not light enough to be mistaken as brown from afar. I’m thankful for this because I develop romantic inclinations for people I shouldn’t.
Someone with whom I share a scandalous age gap.
A person of authority I could never be caught in public with.
Someone who is committee to a person who isn’t me.
I am drawn to the taboo, the off-limits, the unattainable. When I am in their presence, I must follow my better judgement and keep my distance. Talk to them without a trace of playfulness, look at them without a hint of lust. I can’t give away any indication of my quiet infatuation. I can’t allow them to detect a single sign that I have interest in them. I can’t allow them to see the pupils of my eyes dilate when we make eye contact.
My dark eyes, they hide the secrets of
Zodiac dress I got from a friend. Did I mention my friends are the best.
My mother clicked through pictures of houses for sale in subdivisions on a laptop she barely knows how to operate and pointed one out to me.
"Look Chelsea. Do you like this one?"
I stared at it; it’s new and perfect paintjob. It’s two storey facade with a garage and second floor balcony. The freshness of it, the normalcy of it. Such a picturesque house for a nuclear family of four, a mother with pearls around her neck, a father with a tie around his, two children with beads of sweat around theirs. I shook my head.
"It’s too normal. No character. I would never live in a house like that."
I wouldn’t. Surrounded by such untouched newness, with no ghosts haunting its halls, no scandalous stories the walls could tell if they could talk. No scribble, scratch, or stain left by a previous resident. How could I live in such a place when I’ve lived in an apartment complex where a friend of mine slept in the windowed terrace, the glass window and sliding doors opaque from the winder outside and the warm air from the heater inside meeting on a pane of glass to form a foggy kiss.
How could I live in a house with gleaming hardwood floors when I’ve lived in one where my blood- punched, smacked and ripped out of my veins stained the cold tiles.
How could live in a house with no extra residents when I’ve lived among displaced spirits, the swift reflection moving behind me in the mirror, the unnamed, physically nonexistent pianist who banged on invisible keys on a piano made of air who kept me up late into the night, the lady in purple that I would find frolicking in my room on occasional early mornings that melted into the walls when I looked at her in horror.
How could I live in a house with a view of dirt lot when I awoke on winter mornings to gaze upon the pure whiteness of a Korean winter covering every inch of exposed surface on the 16th floor of my building; to see and smell the blossoming cherry blossoms and magnolia trees and honeysuckle bushes during the spring; the marigold, burnt orange and brown during autumn, the utter greeness of summer.
How could I live in a house on an end of an asphalt road when I lived in a bungalow on the edge of a circular pathway where my handsome neighbor with horrible scars on his arms stopped smiling at me when he heard someone else call me babe, eyeing the “I [heart} Guam” keychain he gave me when I first moved there like he wanted it back.
How could I live in a place so airy and filled with sunlight when I live in a white stone townhouse facing opposite the sun so it is perpetually dark, dreary and suffocating, with a staircase haunted by a gilded clock and a terrace where I smoke as my neighbors watch me with disdain, too scared of me to tell my family.
I could never, would never, live in a house with a freshly painted white picket fence.
I could never, would never, live in a place where doors don’t open and close by themselves, or where the walls would have nothing scandalous to shock me with if I dared them to tell me what they’ve seen.
I don’t understand why I’m doing this. Pushing everyone away. Declining invitations, or vaguely agreeing and not showing up, not even apologizing when my friends text me angrily asking me where I was. I don’t understand why I just can’t fucking reply to messages. I let them pile up, not wanting to click on them because it would indicate that I’ve read it and then I wouldn’t have an excuse for not replying. I don’t understand why I avoid certain friends when I see them out and about because I don’t want to have to talk to them. I don’t understand why I’m perpetuating my own loneliness and isolation when there are people who want to be around me.
I wonder how long I can continue this before everyone gives up and leaves my life forever.
Humanity’s deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.”
Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
Her eyes were immediately flooded with light as she opened them to face the early morning sun. She was where it all started, where life originated, what makes the Earth unique among all the other planets in the solar system. She felt the water lapping against her skin and her hair floating lazily around her head, sticking to the side of her cheeks and forehead. The utter blue-ness of what she saw was comforting. The sky stared back at her with a level of familiarity, the wispy clouds lining the horizon billowing in the soft wind. Her white dress clung to her flesh like second skin on her naked body, but there was no one in sight to see her. The waves have carried her ages away from everything. Everything that made her happy. Everything that made her sad. All she was left with was peace, as she floated in the cerulean ocean under Earth’s closest star. She could have swum. Anywhere she wanted to go. Any shore was within her reach. The shore of home, the shore of a foreign land. Nothing would have stopped her, No storm, or giant wave. Poseidon was on her side. But she didn’t want to swim anymore. She was where she belonged. The place where it all started, in the same water brought on earth by meteors millions of years ago. She allowed her body to sink gradually, as if soft hands were pulling her under the surface, the perfume of salty air wafted around her nose. Her eyes were last to be submerged and caught a last glimpse of the world above water, the one who’s beauty captivated her, the one who’s ugliness saddened her. The silence was eerie and absolute in the ocean. She was so small in its vastness, being swallowed whole by the earth, yet she wasn’t at all scared. She looked up at the rippling beams of light. She looked below at the dark, endless void.
It was so peaceful.
She closed her eyes.
I don’t understand why people encourage each other to suppress their emotions. When their friends cry, people shush them and ask them to please stop crying. When their friend is mad, people tell them to calm down. When their friend is hurt, they tell them to get over it. I disagree. Suppress emotions? That’s what I’ve been doing for half of my life and look where that’s gotten me. Suppressing emotions will drive you insane. After repeatedly blinking back tears for months on end, you’ll lose your ability to cry altogether. If you never allow your anger to be exposed, it will fester, burn, and simmer inside you until you eventually explode. If you never let anyone close enough to hurt you, the lonely emptiness throbbing in your chest will screw with your entire ability to feel. So when my friends cry in my arms, I tell them to keep crying until their tears run out and their eyes are swollen shut. When my friends get mad, I fuel their anger and encourage them to rant.
Calm down? Hell no.
Be so mad you want to punch a hole in the wall. Wear yourself out and purge all the anger out until none of it is left. Better now, before it builds up.
When my friends get hurt, I don’t spew forth bullshit to make them feel better. I let them be hurt. I pat them on the back but don’t do much else. I let them go borderline suicidal. Pain makes people stronger. Pain makes people wiser.
Cry if you want to cry. Be angry if you feel angry. Get hurt when someone hurts you. Emotions are a good thing.
Don’t suppress them, feel them. That is how it feels to be alive.