This is an emergency.
Moments of startling clarity and then, nothing. Days spent with you a fog in my brain. My mouth full of sounds that mean nothing in a room where silence reigns. I am collecting words like memories because my words and I, we don’t speak anymore. You’re no longer here and there is nothing to say to anyone else. There are moments I miss you so much I need to taste my own blood. This is the beautiful thing about pain – it makes the wounds sing. I long tell you of my days, what I have been thinking, to ask – how do you leave again and again? I make lists of things I want to say. Then another list of things I really want to say but don’t because I’m afraid who I really am will make you leave. You leave anyway.
Arid stillness. When the words come, they come pitifully, like dregs of water from a long- forgotten tap. Sometimes they emerge plaintively, then with despair, other times with nothing but desperate longing and a death wish to set things right at any cost. By any cost, I mean my own self. I remember, you are my apocalypse. You are beauty and terror incarnate. Your name is Helen. Your name is synonymous with leaving.
Guapa, my very being is a song about you but you are oblivious to me. How to just go on with brunches and dinner parties, holidays and road trips, people and friends, love and family, new shoes, new hair – something changes every day. It’s fresh and new and beautiful in all the ways I am not. Like a mountain, I’m just there. Like elevator music. Like list of credits at the end of a film. Like the colour grey.
If you are waiting for someone to call, the phone can be the loneliest place in the world. It is the audacity of everyday life where everything simply continues. Life goes on – the backdrop against which the drama of wars and inflation, birthdays, weddings and accidents, terminal illness, and the Olympics, is played. Whether she loves you or loves you not, it is business as usual. The world does not end. It is the worst kept secret of all time. The world won’t end but something inside of you, will. A something that won’t let you live and refuses to let you die. This, they do not tell you. I think to myself, we ought to be born with two hearts. One for living and dying. One for breaking and mending. Both yours.
We are so reckless with ourselves when we do not feel loved, so choosing to save yourself is an act of revolution. So they talk to me about the importance of loving yourself. They teach me how. The ways are simple and embarrassing. Tell yourself you’re amazing. Hug yourself, stroke your skin gently, hold your belly in your hands until the crumbling falls silent. It is unknown territory. I giggle when I look at myself in the mirror trying to soothe the awkwardness. I have not known this love and to give it to myself makes me shy.
Still, there are some days, I just wait to hear someone say your name so I can stop holding my breath.
This is an emergency. I repeat, this is an emergency.