Good morning. I can see the look of surprise on your face and I know that is because I am in the kitchen. Don’t get too ahead of yourself, darling. I’m not making breakfast or anything like that. Do you smell food? Do you see anything that resembles food? No? That’s not what I’m here for.

Yes, you’re still in charge of cooking. There’s no need to be overly dramatic about it, honey. You’ve been in charge for years. The whole of 5 years that we’ve been together. 4 years, if you feel like counting those couple of months in which I tried to be a little domestic during our first year together. You do remember what happened right? Yeah, I’d rather not think about it as well. Well, hey, I’m glad your bowel movement is back to normal.

What? Oh, right. Why am I here again?

I’ve been sulking.

The oven is turned on not because I plan to leave the earth Sylvia Plath-style. Don’t expect cookies to magically appear as well. I just like the heat that it produces and how it warms me up. Do you ever think our apartment’s way too cold? Sometimes, I do. No. Most of the time. I like walking around barefoot and during the first few years, I could. Now, it’s just dreadfully difficult. The floor is cold as ice. See? Try it. It will freeze you to death.

This place is extremely cluttered and cold.

Look at our bookshelf. Remember how we used to stay up late just to arrange them? Alphabetically, autobiographically, geographically—depending on our mood. How come we stopped doing that? That was so much fun from what I remember.

Hey, funny story. The other day, I found my old purse. I forgot that I kept all our tickets in there—tickets to shows, movies, and events. We stopped going to those as well. Together, I mean. I still go to shows. Just last week, I paid a lanky kid fifty dollars for his tickets to Bon Iver. It was a magical night and I sort of wished you were there. I remember when we’d embrace and sway along our favorite songs. You would kiss my forehead and I’d feel like the luckiest girl in the room.

Remember when you’d stop whatever you were doing just to point to your tiny radio and say, “It’s our song.”

What else. Movies. We watched a lot of them. I’d cry in all of the stupid parts and you’d wipe my tears away. You held the popcorn and the beverage while I concentrated on the screen. Last week, I watched a screening of Schindler’s List on my own. I cried my eyes out and I felt what it was like to be truly alone after so long.

I’ve been bonding with myself for months. Or has it been a year?

How are you?

I’m sulking because I want to.

I’m just wondering when we stopped being lovers. We live together, but we rarely do anything with each other. You still take up the space beside me in bed, but the separation is clear. It’s one huge wall that I can’t seem to destroy.

You don’t even hold my hand anymore.

Is it because I got old? You got old too. I mean, look at your head! Your receding hairline! I pretty much look the same as I did the day you first met me. Sure, my arms got a little bigger and I may have gained some flab in the stomach area. But those are minor details compared to what changed in you.

Yes, I’m wearing nothing underneath this shirt. I know it’s your favorite, but it was dark and I had to put something on. Do you want it back? Seriously, you can have it. Here.

Why are you looking at me like that? Has it been long enough for the sight of my naked body to startle you like that? Should I take that as a compliment?

I am trying to tell you something important here.

This is me. All of me. I am right in front of you like I’ve always been.

Why can’t you see?

Posted at 10:51am and tagged with: fiction, work in progress, lonely beings,.

The world breeds billions and billions of people every year. Nobody should expect every single one to be happy. The number is always odd and therefore, someone always gets left out. Amidst a sea of happy hearts, one is sickly and tired and angry. Look at the city, look at those feet tirelessly wandering through the streets. Directions are uncertain, motives are insignificant. Mechanically walking about as if life’s meaning is out there walking along with them. Everyone hopes to bump into it. There’s anxiety. A crucial need for saving. It can’t be helped.

"Okay, I’m going to hang up now. You won’t love me anyway even if I stay on the line."

"You’re free to do what you want, darling."

"See? I hate it when you say things like that. Why can’t you at least pretend that you care?"

"It’s four in the morning, Georgia. Get some sleep. We’ll talk again later. You know my number."

"What if that stupid boy Mitchel answers again?"

"He won’t. We’ve got caller ID. I’ll know for sure when it’s you."

"Sometimes I wish you were real."

"Oh, but I am. I’m always here. I’m as real as anyone else in the world."

"No, you’re not. You’re just an idiot who listens to people for a living. None of this is real."

"Trust me. I’m real."

"Fuck you."

How sad is the heart left out by the world? It beats for nothing. It wants to die and survive at the same time. If you really think about it deeply, it should be admired. It deserves recognition of some sort. It’s bound to live alone forever, but it tries and tries. It’s been stomped on by so many, but still, it tries. There is hope in it. That there’s one other heart in the world that’s meant to find it. But. We know that day will never come. So, why?

I remember very well the last time. There were red sheets, pillows, and alcohol. A shirtless you lying motionless, smelling of pineapple and cigarettes. It’s so clear to me still that I feel like I’m there again. In your studio apartment with one king size bed and no couch. Hardwood floors, white walls and ceiling, barely lit, and filthy. The feeling: apart from the many questions in my head including, “How did this happen?”, there was also, “Please let this be real.”

"How many times have you fallen in love?"

"How is this going to help you, darling?"

"Just answer the question."

"Plenty of times. I’ve loved so many women in my life that I know what it feels to be alive and dead at the same time."

"Then you’re lucky."

"Why do you think so?"

"I’ve loved so many, too. But no one has ever loved me back."

"But I didn’t say that any of them loved me back. Still, they made me feel things and surely, that must mean I’m alive."

"For some reason, I refuse to believe you."

"You’re a cynic pretending to be a romantic. Nothing will ever please you."

It’s a baffling thing—existing without anything. Not even a set of instructions. Everyday, you wake up without knowing what it’s for. Why not sleep your life away instead? Why not jump off a cliff? Drive recklessly, run across the freeway with a blindfold on, tie a rock onto your feet and jump into the ocean, stop breathing.

"A letter. I love letters."

"Who wrote you, Georgia?"

"Someone from long ago."

"Well, let’s hear it."

"Sorry. It’s private."

"Well, what do you call me for?"

"That’s also none of your business."

Georgia, I remember the days when I was fifteen and you were seventeen. It was a small town made up of less than a thousand people. I was reading a book by Jane Austen that you hated. You sat beside me and smirked. "It’s about love," I said. You looked away. "Everything’s about love, Anne. You just have to know how to read between the lines." You smiled and I only remember falling into your blue eyes—eyes that revealed a deeper sadness than I’d ever seen before. It was sickening. But I stared until tears slid down my face. I tried not to blink, afraid that you’d disappear and then none of it would be real. But I did and then you were gone.

"Peter, I’m not real."

"What are you saying, dear?"

"Stop calling me dear. Or darling. I am not real."

"Would you like to talk about it?"

"All we ever do is talk about it."

"I don’t understand. I’m sorry."

"That’s what I get for five bucks an hour, I suppose.

"You don’t have to be so mean. Are you lonely?"

"I’ve always been. Weren’t you listening?"

"But there’s so much to live for. What about that letter?"

"Anne. I could have saved her. I had the chance, but I didn’t do anything."

"Who’s Anne?"

"The loneliest girl in the world."

"How do you know?"

"I broke her heart."

Posted at 9:50pm and tagged with: fiction, lonely beings, work in progress,.

Things that confuse me:

Math equations. Break ups of my favorite couples. Books I’m too dumb to understand. Fifteen minutes of fame. The scent of flowers. The existence of Mondays. Classical poetry. The smell of coffee at this hour — you’re unemployed. Your side of the bed is empty. Where are you?

Things that make me mad:

Faded friendships. Mean people. Uncomfortable shoes. The familiar stink of public restrooms. Leftovers scattered everywhere. The ants that are feasting on them. Your dirty clothes on the floor. Coffee stains on my favorite table. The fact that I can’t find you right now. Did you leave?

Things that make me want to cry:

Films with devoted lovers who don’t end up together. Books with well-meaning protagonists who die in the end. TV shows with awful dialogue and unnecessary plot twists. Unbearably good poetry. Sad, bastard music. That first bite of wasabi burger. The sight of a packed suitcase by the door first thing in the morning. Or are you planning to?

Things that make me want to (sort of) die, or cry harder:

The thought of going to work tomorrow. The price of my favorite chocolates. Reading books that don’t interest me at all. Bumping into your exes. Seeing pictures of them in your wallet. Unresolved problems. Tabloids and the people who read them. Clubs — the ones that involve dancing and not talking, at all. The thought of you leaving. Did I say something wrong?

In this crappy apartment, we built a life that’s livable enough for us to grow together. Happy and somewhat normal. We’re not like most people—we feel too much and say too little. But we’re in love. Isn’t that enough?

We talked of planes and passports. We talked of memories—the ones we choose to forget, the ones we want to make, and the ones we regret. We also talked of the future—in some icy country, with huge backpacks on and not enough money. Never enough money.

Also, plans: building our library of songs, films, and books. Things that bind us together. I have wondered many times what would become of us without them. Then, I knew: We’d still be us. And this would still be great.

Things that make me happy:

Chocolates and junk food. Good films that make me feel like a better person for watching them. Good food that doesn’t make me feel guilty afterward. Songs that make me feel lucky for being alive. Everything that makes me feel. My decision to check the coffee table where there are plane tickets to Alaska. Remembering that our anniversary is today. Realizing that the packed suitcase by the door is in fact two — one for you, one for me. Most of all, you.

Posted at 8:14am and tagged with: fiction, blah, work in progress,.

I walk faster than anyone I know. I’m not in a hurry. Just tired of life’s stillness and misery. I rush past kids by the street asking for some change or the cup of coffee in my hand, past troubled co-workers bellowing about meager salaries, past miserable employees handing out unwanted fliers on the newly erected condominium by the bay. I walk so fast, I can feel the wind slicing through my skin.

Once, I met a boy the same way
girls usually do. I built
my whole world with his promises,
his love as base. He was my rock
while I was just a season.

I once tried to run. Joined a silly marathon. I learned that walking fast is different from running. And that running for a long time is hard. Which is why I decided to stop. I tried, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready. Every kilometer felt like a marker of so many things I’ve tried to run from in the past. And every sweat that dripped from my body reminded me of you and me, together under an oak tree, reading to each other under the merciless sun.

He told me, “You are beautiful.”
I believed him. Then he told me,
"Goodbye." I insisted he stay.
Because I am stubborn and weak,
I wasted away my youth and
what was left of my spirit
in waiting.

My love, this is what I’ve become: I exist without presence. No one listens, no one notices. I shout in pain silently, tearless cries of pain. My teeth are crooked, my eyes are half-blind. There is beauty around me, but I cannot see it. I try to read our favorite book, but its pages have turned blank. My skin sags and wrinkles a little more each day. I cannot even feel my own touch. And yet. My heart remains the same. It aches and aches, but it refuses to die. It is my predicament.

I held you close to me
and whispered, “You smell like
my favorite flower.” I kissed
the skin under your ears. It was
smooth and promising. I laughed
and you asked me why. I said,
I don’t have a favorite flower.

The lamplight is flickering. As I reach for my crook, I accidentally push a framed picture off the wooden table. Shards of glass scatter on the floor. There is a picture and I take it without turning it over. My hands quiver violently, nerves threatening to burst, as I rip it into tiny pieces of nothing.

Posted at 1:43pm and tagged with: fiction, lonely beings, work in progress,.