It occurred to me that, at some point, I had stopped referring to this living (blooming, aching, weary) build of flesh and bones granted to me as ‘my body’ and instead of as ‘this package’.
I meant like a cardboard parcel. Human-shaped. Easily flattened out, has to be handled a certain way up otherwise the contents would be jostled terribly. Things might start breaking. A pandemonium quiet and tumultuous in the way it is concealed.
A bruise which sprung out of nowhere on my shin I remember referring to as a sudden indentation on my given shell, as though my actual self was something else completely and remained intact, untouched. A paper cut and a scrape against a table’s corner. Trivial incidents that serve as small, stinging reminders of the ineluctable fact of our mortality with which our brittle bodies have been crafted so tenderly - how muscle sinew and calcium bone snap and shatter under the right amount of stress. Red iron sap leaks from lacerations etched deep enough across our layers – some so filigree fine we don’t notice beads of red forming until we pour salt on the wound. Or lemon juice. We fall off our bikes, we skin our knees, we bleed. We can be emptied this way.
(“Why do we move?”
“Because we are limited by space.”
“Why do we age?”
“Because we are limited by time.”
“Why are we so vulnerable to damage and pain – and death?”
“Because we are limited by material.”
“What would we be if we weren’t limited by anything?”
Without skipping a beat came the response:
feel free to give me prompts and requests!
HAHAHA YEAH IT WAS REAL HECTIC FOR THE FIRST LIKE 4 OR 5 HOURS but it went smoothly afterwards alhamdulillah yuy now we can truly empathize with the pemudiks on their journey home what an experience……
a two hour drive turned ten
my sister’s head on my shoulder for a pillow, bone against skull
the skull wins.
denim knees plastered together
folded, packed, cramped
knotted limbs, last flicker of patience
sanity dissipating silently
to somnolence; God save the driver,
my father who will deliver us from
this turmoil of a traffic (God willing) and to
our uncle’s lodge in Lembang, our Promised Land,
where we shall rest
for at least half a dozen hours before braving
our migration back to Bandung. Amen.
your soul is air, your being light
escaping from the gaps between
my hungry bone fingers
which were designed to hold jewels like you
the way a sieve is used to haul water from a well.
you know what i mean.
the ones that slip easily between
the bars of birdcages and into the sun
leaving me behind to watch in the prison
of my own rib cage, pining for a taste
of your sweet light once more,
and once more after that.
neon shirt, like the wind
that stirs the sun-soaked leaves to dance
your free spirit frees me.
How comfortable it feels to be in a room with a hundred unfamiliar faces and notice, among the various congregations of friends and social-gatherers, a handful of lone souls unbound to any other - how detached, physically, from the lot of established and cozy social circles apparent. In each one of them I find myself.
Let’s busy ourselves pretending to be completely engrossed with our cell phones together! Let us occasionally exchange fleeting eye contacts, only to avert bashfully our gazes, as though it were an accident that we were casting pining glances across the room as we ache to speak with certain anybodies. We can pretend not to acknowledge the unspoken yearning written on each other’s faces, masked well behind a bored, nonchalant facade (mastered by people like us, see, the ones who often find themselves wandering aimlessly by the punch bowl wondering whether to have thirds or fourths, then go home), to close the distance between two strangers and spark sweet small talks.
We are on opposite sides of the room, but I don’t mind that you never take the initiative to approach me. Your reason is perhaps your lack of interest - I don’t blame you - and mine the absence of courage. But that’s okay, let’s stay this way, I take comfort in imagining that we are alone, but we are alone together.
One girl in kindergarten used to treat me as a treasured guest when we played houses. She cooked me fried eggs and served me tea and complimented my dress (which was identical to hers, as we both wore green skorts and white tees). The next day on the turf she stomped on the puzzle I was working on and I didn’t say anything as she scattered the pieces asunder.
(I usually don’t say anything being drawn into these kinds of scenarios - a detrimental habit of mine I’d cultivate as I grow.)
I was quaking in my knee-high socks. If I can recall, that was the first time anyone has ever revealed to me their second nature in the most brutally honest way possible. I thought I would cry, but then again, maybe she was just as distraught as I was. In her own way. But when she made a motion for my wrist I crawled off and sprinted to the slides and the small complex of plastic houses. I left her alone. She stood in the distance for a while looking at the puzzle pieces at her feet. I busied myself at the dumb phony stove and pretended I did not hear her wailing for someone - anyone - to come play with her.
I am a coward. I am a coward.
Somehow I managed to avoid her until the end of the year. In the closing of our end-of-year concert I caught her staring at me. So I braved a smile. Her lips were stone, her gaze hollow. She looked away and my knees buckled as I descended the stage.
I am a coward. I am a coward.
Before he left, he promised Hanai he would write to him at least once a week.
(Hanai was reading his last letter from Tajima, which had been buried deep in the bottom of his desk drawer and carried with it the stench of last winter’s frost.)
i’m gonna frickin do that thing where you write a sentence with a new vocabulary in it (because i direly need to expand my vocab + i’m inspired to write stuff but have no substantial tale to tell, and my english is poor):
Sakaeguchi; mother prompt.
also a reference made to this precious gem
“What do you remember about mother?”
Sakaeguchi looked up from his homework. His brother sat across the table from him, nonchalantly tossing a baseball into the air and catching it repeatedly with his left hand, which was fit into a well-worn glove. It was a question he rarely asked since mother passed, Sakaeguchi noted. But being the youngest out of three, Sakaeguchi figured he would be the most curious, with the scarce memories he retained of their mother, now long gone, and whose existence may have seemed fabricated to the tune of a fable – and how he burned with the feeling of knowing, but not quite grasping.