I’m walking on deserted, black sanded beaches. The waves are washing the ocean’s salty water over my feet. Already, my step is untraceable – it’s memory washed away at creation. Maybe I’m dancing; maybe I’m just wandering. I’ve walked into abandoned houses, breaking into an unknown history, marvelling at the decayed construction. I got lost in the Balinese rice fields, to the point only technology could bring me back to my temporary home; just to spend the warm sweaty night entangled in dreams of you. And as I wake, I collect these images as I would seashells that no current can take away. How backwards this paradise dream is: rain during the day, but a clear starry night. Just like how I am here, but you’re not at all. Yet, how I love this state of wandering wonder that took away all doubt that I’m at home with you.
The attic is bright and sunny, with all the roof windows over my head. I’ve opened them, so the calming summer breeze can chase its welcoming cool through the house. The sky is blue, only decorated with a few spots of white – it won’t rain for the coming days. The city’s sounds are safely tucked away far underneath me, I’m alone but not lonely.
I’ve been thinking about you a lot my friend. On how to explain to you how unbroken yet broken I feel, and if you possible could have an answer to questions I don’t even dare to raise in my mind. You’ve been an enigma I can’t seem to crack, and all the while it keeps me riddled how at home I feel with you. Whenever I see you, every time I see you.
So for now, all you do is make me smile in the most unexpected of times. For now, I’ll just think of you on this bright and sunny day, whilst the summer breeze is chasing in the city-sounds and fond memories. For now, I’m alone, but knowing we will meet again, I don’t feel lonely at all.
We met on the same place as four years ago. It’s a different life now, but it doesn’t matter because we are reliving the past. You smiled, put your arm around me – for some reason we’re still so used to each other. You smile, I smile, you talk, I talk – we talk. You pour me a drink – the same, but with a cruel twist of time and topped up with double meanings.
She walks in and you go back to her. You smile, she smiles, you put your arm around her – for some reason I’m surprised how well you know each other. You talk, she talks, she smiles again. I finish the drink and leave our history in the past. I go back to being myself, and you just went back to being the stranger I once knew.
I have always wondered why four is your lucky number. It’s not in your date of birth, nor an exact amount that ever proved to be of meaning for you – it was nowhere to be found, except for this sheer feeling of luck that was connected to it. It was a question you could never fully answer, so it became uninteresting to ask.
Why do people perceive taste so different, why do some of us enjoy sweets more whilst others enjoy crisps and other salty snacks? Is this connected to the taste buds, sense of smell, or is it wired in our brain – how our receptors work?
How much can we change whilst staying the same? Is there really a core ‘self’ that is impossible to shed? How much have I changed in a year, rethought, retouched, and rewired – but still not much of a sweet tooth. Where are the borders of change, and if they at all exist, are they solid, or shifting?
Could it be that your lucky number connects to the four seasons, that it fills a year? In this past year, have you reinvented your own self – rebuild you – deleted an old identity? Have you shed your past, or do you still think of me?
Just briefly it felt like spring. Was it due to the sudden rise of temperature? Was it because the sun finally won the battle against those boring light-grey clouds of winter? Or was it Valentine’s Day – Did it feel like spring because butterflies briefly upset my stomach when I heard your distant, uninterested voice?
He, on the other hand, wakes me up by softly kissing my neck. We wander on a wonderful adventure in this state of half-sleep. His warmth is welcoming, chasing winter out in an alternative way. He sent me flowers, so I smiled every time I walked past them. We had breakfast in bed, pleasantly surviving on our tiny island away from the world. When he leaves, there is no sweet talk, no saddening goodbyes. He will be back for philosophy, red wine, late drunken nights, and body language.
Yet, he doesn’t shake me. He’s not in my daydreams – he’s just there. He is my wonderful temporary comfort. His goodbyes are not soul-crushing, his absent not devastating. He does not leave me delusional from longing. He is not you, because you are everything, except here.
It was a long day. A day of running around and I’m finally home, exhausted. I let myself fall onto bed, close my eyes. I breathe in, hold the breath for a moment and breathe out. All is well, I smile; it was a good day. You haven’t been on my mind at all, but there you are again, just in time for dinner. It’s a memory: We’re sat next to each other in the sunshine and you’re on the phone. Even though you’re next to me, I’m lonely; the conversation is taking too long. You’re next to me, but so far away. Our eyes lock, you smile apologetic in your attempt to finish the conversation and return to me. The memory fades out, you never returned, I won’t let the memory finish – it’s a beautiful, terrible, history. I stare up to the ceiling: it’s white, blank, just like my mind. Now it really is time for dinner, so I get up and leave you behind.
The clouds were covering up the city; I could only see a few meters before the view was caught up in a white cold pillow. It’s a funny thing: fog. It takes away sight, but at the same time makes the world appear lighter. Nighttime was suddenly mixed with the brightness of tiny water droplets, suspended in the atmosphere, reflecting the streetlights. It’s even a better play on word in Dutch: mist, the same word for missing. Just how I was missing you, as I navigated my way back home through the unidentifiable landscape. You are fogging up my mind and somehow making it appear brighter than it effectively is. I was shivering, I was smiling, I was lost in my own city; yet, I didn’t feel lost at all. You made me delusional and I translate this illusion to magic. I don’t want to give up this shimmer of hope. For now, let my world appear a little brighter before you blow my house of cards down – and the fog dissipates.