The flute and life

He sat next to her and played his flute. Those sad tunes still make her shiver after all this time. For a fleeting moment when he looked at her she seemed like the person he’s known all those years ago. He felt close to her, connected, and it made him feel safe. 

It quickly passed though, and the sorrow he’s known for a while now took her over again. He played the tunes he knew hoping to reach into her again.

He missed her. He missed how she would be all bubbly in the morning. He missed when they would chase each other around the house, laughing like two overgrown kids not noticing all the bewildered looks they would get. He missed the times when they would talk about their feelings without fearing all the bottled up anger. 

He only felt weak when he was alone, and that’s why he was always terrified. He did not want to disappear into the colors of the background like all the others did. But in his loneliness he already has. 

Had he the power to give her life again from what little he had he gladly would. It would all be worth it, to make what little he had really matter. He just wanted to make her wild again, make her feel alive again, and maybe – along the way – she’s be happy again. 

And it would all be worth it. 

He played his flute and she lay her head on his shoulder. It was heavy with all the weight of the world she carries on her mind. She sighed, tired and weak, and he cried, tired and weak. 

He pulled her close and kissed her cheek. “I love you,” he whispered into her ear. 

And he played his flute, as she went to sleep. 

The flip of a coin

They sat silently trying to look anywhere except at each other. The flowers were dying. The sickly sweet hunger was spreading slowly but surly across the ground, inching closer to our feet dipped in the cool springs that have gathered around us.

Has it been decades or centuries? I wouldn’t really know. We’ve been built up and broken down time and time. We’ve been there for each other, angry at each other, we’ve known love and hate and what it is like to feel both at the same time.

I flip the coin for the millionth time, hoping this is the time I finally get a third outcome, something you and I can rally behind. You smile sadly at me, I’ve always been your favorite idiot after all.

Remember when we were idiots roaming the streets in search of dreams that grew on trees we couldn’t climb? Back then, we threw the coin and it landed on a million different outcomes, and we felt we wanted more. Today, the coin has only one face, and we hate it.

We breathe loudly, pretend to be free, when our wings of dreams have been clipped angrily and fed to their desperate, hungry hounds. I want to think of something witty to say, something that will melt the ice that’s taken over your soul, but words slip through the cracks they’ve left in me.

But if I can’t take your pain away, then I have truly become useless. If I can’t paint you dreams like before, then I have truly lost. If I can’t fight anymore, then I have truly fallen.

The hunger creeps closer to us, ready to consume what little we have left. We’ve lost the best of us to them but now they are after the worst in us. They’ve cut down the trees and trampled on the dreams, as they laughed at us as we scrambled across trying to gather what little bits remained of the grand dreams.

It’s too late to dream, but way way too early to be consumed. My eyes give up the search, and just turn back to you. Let their hunger creep up on us, as long as we have each other, they will never know how to consume us.

And we may yet find another way.


The time to remember

I lay face down in the sands till I’m finally at peace with the scratching at my arms and the corner of my eyes.

I am not lonely, I am just spending more time thinking. I’m not depressed, I’m just suffering a deep, deep pain in my soul. I don’t know what I’m thinking, nor do I know what pain is like, because I have forgot what the alternatives really feel like.

We make small conversation, we talk about the weather and the friends we used to have. We twirl our toes as we sit cross-legged, tiptoeing around what really matters. We would like to feel ‘normal’ again, I’d like to spend time with you that is ‘normal’. We rush to avert ourselves from our reality, and devour every moment we can pretend things are fine as they are.

We try to speak of hope, but the shadow looms above us. I lie to you all the time, but it’s only because I yearn so hard to believe that lie, and you are the only one who can help me do that. Take it away from me, and you’ll just have the bare-bone remains of a man who lost all hope. I don’t want to be that man.

In a purple haze the conversation drifts to the times we try to forget. We sit in an elastic silence, threatening to break if it stretches further. It has been five years already, what remains of us of the angry, defiant young people who went out that day? Do you even remember what it feels to shout out at the top of your voice in defiance, siphoning the strength of those who stand with you like a pillar reaching out to lightening in the sky?

It suddenly gets much colder, and I shiver at the glimpses I see of the living, vibrant creature that rose from the ashes we were born as, to become something more than anyone ever imagined. I cuddle closer to you for warmth, but your skin freezes my fingertips, and send spikes into my brain as I lay my head in your lap.

We are legends no more, we are not even fantastical stories like we thought we might be. We are just whispers spoken of in the dark of nights by those cuddled around a fire, trying to realize why the fire burns cold rather than warmth.

We fall into silence again, but the stories well at the corner of our eyes. They’ll joke about it and blame us again, and we’ll die again. They don’t know that one day, we would not rise again. And the worst is, we won’t even be remembered anymore, nor will they really care.

They won’t tell our stories, they won’t tell our tales, they won’t honor our dead nor respect our remains. At the end, when the plague spreads endlessly, it will all fail and wither away like it always has. And when we fade back into ashes like we always were, the taste on the tip of our tongues will be all that remains.

And it’s worth it, a thousand times over.

There’s always time

We all recognize the passage of time and know that we all will, eventually, die. However, most of us fail to really grasp that. The truth is, most of us go through life like we will live forever. That is not necessarily a bad thing. The truth is, we do indeed live forever – until we don’t live anymore and then it doesn’t make much difference. I was one of those people, until a life-changing event brought everything crumbling down, like the dry petals of a dead flower, changing my perspective of everything completely.

Suddenly, I realized that I will not live forever. In fact, there’s a very good chance I will not live for very long. At that point, everything in my life changed. My perspective of the world, the way I approached life itself, was completely altered. I learned so many things that I don’t think I would have ever known if not for that event.

I learned to appreciate so many things that we usually take for granted, just because I’m not sure how long I will have them. I learned to appreciate every happy moment I spend with my loved ones – to truly savour it and enjoy it completely. I learned the value of a few minutes stolen out of our busy schedules to share some laughs with friends. I learned to remember those and fall back to them on bad days, and to wait longingly for the next time, if it is to come. I learned that it is often smart to take that phone call you wanted to delay because you had too much on your plate – for someone on the other side it could be their last chance to not lose the plate. I learned how important it is to sometimes decide to be late one day to work so you can have breakfast with your family.

I have learned the value of time spent with friends and loved ones, no matter what is done at that time. It could be silly laughs or serious talks – sometimes it’s comforting silence that doesn’t even need to be filled, but there’s always something special in every one of those encounters. I have learned that my friends and loved ones are the biggest gift I have been given in this life, no matter how often or rare I see them, and these slices of time that I steal are the diamonds I will have on bad days. And I have learned that nothing, nothing in the world is worth fighting or losing a friend. There’s too little time in life for that and when the dust settles, all you’ll have to keep is regret for all the time you wasted.

I learned that I was lucky with most things I was handed in life, and that is something to be thankful for. I learned that being able to work, and to believe that you are a productive unit of society and humanity, is extremely rewarding. At the end of the day, once what little time I have is over, these little tidbits are all I will leave behind and all I will be judged upon. I learned that I had two terrible years at work, followed by over nine years of wonderful jobs. If you see me complaining about that, please call me an asshole.

I’ve also learned that there were so many times when I was indeed an asshole, but I’m not really ashamed of them. In a way, I learned out of these times how to not be one, and I have strived since then to be a better person. I have learned that it is fun to try different things, that in a way we can define our lives through the number of new things we encounter and how they change us. I learned that there is good in everyone, the truth is we just often fail to see it – or don’t bother to look for it, or are too preoccupied with preconceptions to care. Once I started looking for that, everyone I met was shining bright, and my world was a much better place for it.

I learned that, when the time comes to take a stand, there is only one right place to be. Life is made of grays, I don’t believe in black and white, but there is only one right shade of gray – and that is where one should be. I have learned that very often, that shade of gray may have nothing to do with me, but that this is completely irrelevant.

I learned that I don’t want to be angry anymore. I don’t want to be hateful or vengeful or spiteful. I realized that every time I was any of those, I hurt myself more than the other person. It burns into you and even when the dust settles, the burn marks will still be painful.

I learned much to change my life and to see it through the lens of time. Above all other things, I learned time.

Numb emotions

20150806_225151It has all culminated into utter confusion. There was a time when things were clearer, when they made sense, when there was more to life than waking up and going to bed. I tried to remember when exactly did life, and everything that comes with it, slip between my fingers. I don’t even know that.

I know other things though. I know that I’m being dragged through life, while friends are dragged to death. I know that I want to read, but I don’t know what the book is about. I know that the dreams and nightmares are here to stay, and that I will never make peace with them no matter how hard I or they try. I know that every other day I need to cross one more name off the list, and pretend I can just be grateful for the time I had with them. I know I’m not grateful, I know I will never be, and I know I’m sick of settling for scraps in my search for inner peace. I know that no matter how hard I try, those seeds I bought will not flower here.

In fact, I don’t even know if I’m happy or not. I’m not sure if I’m hopeful or not. I literally cannot identify emotions properly anymore and it scares me. I like to think I’m able to see the good in the bad, that I am able to empathize with those on the other side. I like to think that every time I fall I will get up. But the truth is I don’t know what is good and what is bad. I don’t know which side I’m on in the first place. I don’t know what happens when I have that fall that’s impossible to get up from. It’s like feeling uncomfortably numb.

Today, I sat down to write notes on everyone I would like to be. Only then did I realize that I wanted to be a perfume. I would be inconsistent, persistent, and non-existent. I would be unbound by emotions, and free to not try to relate. Or I can be lemon ice cream, with that fun sugary bitter zest that tingles the spine. I sat back and crumbled the empty paper into the trash, worn out by relating emotions to people.

Perhaps there’s beauty in the simple things – just enough to get us through the day by day struggle and make us feel just a little bit more alive. Now if only I could still find those simple things…

The dreamy bloom

Trust me now and block out the universe. Refuse it. Abhor it. Let’s find our own rhythm away from this all and dance to it – just let go and move out of sync of their world. Imagine anything and let it be, but more importantly take me there with you. Rebel against their reality and choose the little fragments that we love and believe in.

Peel away the world and look at everything that’s waiting behind it for us. The way we want it, the way we dreamed it, building it like Lego bricks the way we always imagined it. I just want to be with you and no one but you as we do this. Let’s smash our dreams to little bits and build something new from the shards. Even if they don’t fit together, who are we to decide – the misfits of the world?

Let’s drive away then fly away then evolve away from this all. Take my hand and let’s build our own soundtrack and tune out the noise of their world. We do not owe them anything nor do they have the right to expect anything. Like black petals blowing on the winds, we don’t know where we will land nor do we care either. We do not need to take root anywhere we don’t believe in, we can phase out and exist on our own plane of thought.

I’ll slip into your smile and lose myself in the freedom as I break my restraints. We will draw fantastic beasts and ride them as mad wildlings when we burrow into the purple soft pus of our wounds. We don’t need them to lick them for us, we’ll find worlds there and be one again. I’ll listen to the groaning of our crippled limbs and we will rise to its rhythm and tear the skies apart in our anger and our love.

Take my hand and trust me and let’s leave this all behind. Somewhere, somehow, no one cares if things make sense. And that is where we will finally bloom into an idea beyond control.

The drums

I miss you brother, even when I do get to see you I still miss you. We sit and talk like the old men we are becoming, rather than like the young angry youths we are inside. I guess that is their final joke isn’t it? That’s the one the spectators will laugh about the longest, the one they will remember after you and I have faded like they always wanted us to.

Something has changed in us hasn’t it? In all my memories you are dancing around like a fiery entity out of control, igniting everything and everyone you touched. You took my hand and I followed you to the frontline, knowing I might not walk back again but never caring. I am proud to have known you, proud to have stood by you, even when you didn’t see me. It wasn’t physical anymore.

I still hear the drums my brother. They wake me up, they jolt me when I’m sitting at my desk in the office, confused and disoriented. Sometimes I look out the window and I forget where we are, because you are not out there anymore brother. I still hear the drums, and I hear our footsteps to the drums as we crossed the river. Our fury was enough to bring down the bridge that day had we wanted to. Like ancient tribal beings of lust and hunger we fought through. They had woken the sleeping dragon that spurned us forward like armless berserkers and we would not back down. We stood together and they would fall before us.

I look so different today my friend. They have doused that fire in me when they took you from me. Now I’m old and dying, and when I see the look in your eyes I often consider taking my own life for failing you. I don’t regret one bit of it. If I should have to do it all again, I would do it all again happily over and over again, and live through this again and again, to be with you again and again my brother.

I can still hear the ringing in my ears, a hundred metal bars banging against the railing. We were a fearful visage to behold, while our hearts cowered in fear themselves. We knew we could be maimed, but never broken. We knew we could die, but we could never lose.

Today we are maimed, we are broken, we are dead and we are losing. They’ve sucked the life out of us when they smashed those pearls that we fashioned our dreams into into a thousand pieces. Look at us today brother. We are so much older, but not a bit wiser. The wrinkles on our faces are not marks of laughter anymore, but of the pain we bear. We kept lists till they were too long and our friends became numbers rather than names. But call on me brother and I will be there. I will be weak and feeble and useless, but show me that fiery dream again, and I will stand again by your side.

On that day

IMG_2390One day we’ll walk out into the sun again and we’ll stand together like we did before. It’ll be a peaceful, bright early morning. The midday sun will not burn us as we talk of love and dreams. You’ll speak like you did before, and I’ll smile like I did before, and the little kids running around will chase the bubbles of fantastic dreams that come out of your lips and giggle when they pop them and the colors splash on them.

On that day there will be no more tears. I won’t cry for you again, nor will I see those little pearls at the corner of your eyes as you close them in pain. There will be no place for pain anymore. There will only be us and we will be grand. We will never talk of hopelessness again. We will only talk about the small and simple things we will do, and no one will ever think they are grand. But to you and I, they’ll be ivory towers we climb to court the stars and befriend the comets.

We will smile at the passersby who will look at us, smile back and never recognize us. But we won’t really care if they know us or not. The only thing I’ll care about is you next to me my friend, and how we laugh as we catch broken bits of chatter from others out on the square to enjoy the sun. No one will ever turn their heads down in fear again, never again my friend. We will raise our heads and scream our thoughts out and the elements will bow down to our wills.

On that afternoon we will bring down all the walls. For the first time ever, we’ll finally see each other for what we all truly are – balls of blinding potential just waiting to unwind. We’ll all unwind and tangle and untangle and flip over into a maddening display of color as we trade bits and become something larger than the sum of us all. It would be a good day for all my friend. There will only ever be love for each other. It will guide all our actions and in it we will finally find deliverance from centuries of frustrated line drawing to mark our mental and physical territories.

We’ll dream into each other and become formless, we won’t care what we look like or how others see us anymore. We’ll be endless thoughts and float on an endless sea of creativity where we will be the gentle trickle and the raging storm. The destruction they bring will have no place among us. We will only ever build dream upon dream, never believing there will ever be a ceiling – and if there is one we will just burst through it and build on as we become limitless. We will finally be us. Just us. Not them or their thoughts or their demands. On that afternoon we’ll walk hand in hand, my friend, and we will be free. And only then will we know what it really feels like.

The setting sun will smile at us for all we are. We will finally become what we were born to be after hundreds of years of struggle to find our place. In that orange-red hue we will splash water at each other in the fountains of youth. We will share our tales with the pebbles and the dust for a fleeting moment before they go and spread them across the earth. For all will wait to hear of us my friend. And the sun will smile at the kids hopping through the grass where we once spilled our blood and be grateful to have seen us on that one day.

On that night, we will lay back under a sparkling night where the full moon will never set. We will defy time itself, for that day will not end, nor shall we wake up to what once was again. It will be eternal and so will the people with us. We’ll sit in a circle and hold hands as we make up songs of our glory on a night much darker than this one. We will sing of love, of our hope and for the ones we lost along the long winding road. We will sing in peace, we will sing and our voices will not be heavy with the burden that was forced on us.

On that night, it will all be ok again. It will all be worthwhile and we will know it. And we will be together my friend. We will not be stories in a dusty book or pictures on a fading billboard. We will just be us, and the world will be us.

Withering roots

He stood in the sandstorm defiant but weak. He knows it was happening, it was only a matter of time. In arrogance, he’d dug his roots deep into the ground, dreaming of giving it life. Instead, his roots have long since died – they were only gold and glitter in his mind. But deep inside, they were fragile – they were dying like the dust particles strewn around by the wings of a butterfly.

His tears his the ground and the sand breathed life, but his sacrifice has died long before it was made. It was ridiculed, it was hated, it was shunned by all as he stood there wet in his confusion. The tears left trails of memories across his face like dry lakes and rivers. Death slowly spread up from his roots into his legs. But he just stood there, dying in the gloom of his despair and fears.

He’d never been the kind of person who would look at the future – that was the realm of the clairvoyant. He only knew how to dig into the dreams and chew on hope to sustain himself. He regretted the falling petals that left him bare to the elements of the chipping little axes. He pushed his roots down deeper as the singing continued to drift from far away.

The floating fish appeared in and out, one minute at his roots the other whispering in his ear. It was not comfort anymore, however. When it found him again this time, he was broken – the remnant of who he was when he bloomed in that fateful winter. Now it was too late for him. He had failed to make piece with his dreams and his fears, but they couldn’t care less. They both just stood there, unlovable witnesses to the rot eating away at his root.

There is no life in that soil anymore. What once stood defiant was now just one more sick lie made in the face of the piranhas that swam through the sandstorm. All he could see was their stealing little knives biting at his proud branches that once picked color directly from the sun. In a purple storm, the sandstorm consumed him, bringing him down to his knees.

In a last frantic attempt he cried out to the ground, looking for something to hold him in place – to save him one more time. But the ground had no life. It never did. He only thought so in his arrogance of blind. There had ever only been death that moved through his blood. He was born to a grand visage, only to die in the piss of failed dreams. He cried out to the sun, but he knew it has long since forgot him.

His roots withered, and the stings of the sandstorm took away his eyesight. All he could see was his lifeless blood, drawing out cosmic rays of life around the world. All he could do was sigh as the rot spread out through him, finally bringing him to his knees to lay with the other lifeless dreams that have died here.

Of loneliness

I only miss you all the time. It’s been so long, way way too long, and I feel so lonely without you. I keep hoping I’ll see you again sometime, that we will sit and talk and laugh like we used to when the world was still spinning.

I have tried to make sense of things since you’ve been gone. I tried to explain to myself why you are not here anymore. I tried to paint your face, but it’s always distorted. The colors are never right. The lines are always shivering. It’s never anything like you. I learned a lot, unlearned a lot, and moved on to end in the same spot again. Only this time, I can’t find you there anymore. I wouldn’t mind ending up here forever if I’m with you.

When it’s too hard on me, I write you letters. I write my heart out and it darkens the paper. I take one look at it and then toss it away. How can I send you something like this? I try again, I search for something to write – something to inspire your heart and make you smile again like the last time we met – but then all I have are demons swimming inside my head.

I used to write about tomorrow, now all I can write about is yesterday. You were my yesterday, you made it better, you made sense of the flow of dreams that crushed the rocks they threw at us. But when I try to write about tomorrow, it’s always lonely, and I hate the darkness because I keep thinking maybe you are there and I can’t see you – and that drives me crazy.

Sometimes I want to read to you. I mean, I know you won’t be listening, but I still want to do it all the same. The words may carry you to me, or me to you, and it would all be worth it. I never really know what to read you though. It’s all too purple, like that color a few days after you put a drop of ink into a bowl of water. It’s ugly, persistent and it isn’t going anywhere. I could read you the lies I write, I think you’ll like these at least. I think they will make you cry, then they’ll make you laugh, then they’ll make you cry again.

Once in a while, I go out walking and pretend I’m walking with you. The hard rough asphalt gives way to lush greens. I really just want to listen to you and your stories. I want to know what it’s like where you are now. I’d like to think you don’t think of me anymore. I don’t want you to even remember me, even though I can’t ever stop thinking about you.

Maybe when the flowers bloom, we’ll be together again. Maybe when the songs of the insects at night take on words we’ll meet again. Only we both know the flowers won’t bloom, and the insects don’t care about us, and all we have is sand bruising our skin now.

So for now, my friend, I sit back and talk to you again in the darkness, hoping maybe you are somewhere there. I talk to you about the weather and the shapes I see in the clouds. I would like to tell you stories, to tell you how I feel, but I can’t bring myself to do it, not after all you’ve done for me, and what I’ve done with it.