Serendipity

Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way? I demand unconditional love and complete freedom. That is why I am terrible.

253

What would you give up for the love of your life?

What would make him worthy?

I have lived enough or am perhaps simply weak enough to admit that love can sometimes not conquer all. There is bitterness to be found in counting copper and your smile still haunts me.

I have learned that forgiveness can be found at the bottom of the glass, and regret follows if we only bend when it is too late.

I used to think that ours was an unbreakable bond, now I know there was simply no one pulling at the strings. We had never really been tested before. It turned out most lies we tell eventually crumble.

There are men who warm you and there are men who burn like fires, who swallow you up in the smoke, leaving only dust and memories. The men who protect you are more often the ones who break you, they know where to push the buttons, they know how to hurt.

He will remain faithful even in his infidelity, and you will be his forever treasure. The perfect solution to all his broken promises, the unjustifiable reward for all his selfishness. But he will love you like you have never been loved before. His love is strange and all consuming, you won’t know how to survive without it.

I still wish you more than happiness. I still love you with my crooked heart.

252

It takes so little to ruin a person. All you have to do is know where it hurts. Pain doesn’t always dissipate with time, only if you’re lucky. Not all of us are blessed with the ability to forget, some like to hold onto the past, because it’s the only part left that means something. Some like to think it might come back one day, wishful thinking is the only thing holding them together.

There is a fire and a dullness in drunks, they know they burn everything around them so they try to drown themselves. If you’re the reason that everyone who loves you is constantly hurting, you do your best to kill what hurts. Being dead can be easier than being sober. Letting things break is always easier than fixing them. Breaking ourselves is easier than putting it back together. People rarely take responsible for the mistakes that matter. We won’t even own up to the little things, those small white lies we tell to make life easier slowly become our reality, eating away at what’s left, crooked pieces and emptiness.

There is an anger and sadness in him, you mistake regret for remorse. You feel obligated to love him because no one else would, not if they knew the truth. You are the only good part of him left, he made you for worship. Then comes the time to collect, you lose yourself in the glitter and lights, the magical life, the envy of your peers. He builds you up so high you don’t dare to fall. You know you’d break into a million pieces and he wouldn’t stay to pick them up, he lacks the patience.

There is a loneliness in his company. No one remembers how to feel when the chemicals wear off. Your eyes glaze over each other at dawn and you forget how to talk, are we still supposed to be nice? There is a meanness to him, and you try to dull his sharp edges with easy comfort, only to end up bloody. There is a darkness to him, the wrath of a narcissist. I keep telling you darling, this story won’t have a happy ending.

251

It will rob you of something intricate. In your desperation to be watched, to be remembered, the catastrophic amount of stress you will experience from the urge to impress will swallow you, it will turn you into a shell of who you used to be.

People will stay acquaintances because it’s safer that way, and because it becomes harder to have conversations when you’re used to hiding behind a screen. Social anxiety is a euphemism we made up so we could sound special instead of broken, because we won’t admit we broke ourselves.

We started caring too much about the wrong things, about celebrities whose lives consisted of shallow superficial highs that we pretended to be uninterested in but only because we know we could never afford it. The perverse satisfaction of knowing you have a little more than others, it will turn you. You will become difficult and unpleasant to be around.

You start to suffer for the wrong reasons. Pretending to be happy because it feels good to have others think you are perfect, no matter what is really happening behind closed doors. You start to become proud of how well you hide the ugly truth. Your image starts to become more important than your soul.

You forget how to love and start to believe it was just a way to sell Valentines Day cards to the naive. You mistake his dangerous obsession for gentle infatuation and convince yourself that masterful manipulation is just a cleverer way of caring. But it’s also the greatest indicator of his capacity for violence. He’s the type to leave cities in ruins.

You think empathy is for the weak. You mock the less fortunate or feign compassion depending on the circumstances. You know you worked hard for everything you have, so you start to believe they must deserve their suffering. You scoff at the insinuation of a privileged life, you forget it’s all relative.

You start to look down on people who are not necessarily less intelligent, nor less hard working, but simply less fortunate. You discuss people by listing their accomplishments and assets, because that’s the most interesting thing about them. You become dull and petty, incapable of having a meaningful conversation.

You die a slow death long before you stop breathing.

250

I always thought no matter what happened I’d always have you. This belief was like an anchor that kept me grounded through every storm. Friends could let me down, boys would come and go, but you’d always be my person.

I don’t know what to think anymore.

I have never felt so loved yet so alone. Life has never been better but I don’t know how to be happy. Everything feels meaningless now. I don’t know what is the point of it all. I don’t know how to love the way I used to. You said it was stupid, the way I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I have tried your version of love, careful calculated passion, turns out I am no good at it. I’ve always been bad at math.

Do you ever wonder how many steps back you’d have to take for life to be the way it should? What if you never went to that party? What if you never kissed that stranger? What if he never crawled into your bed? What if? What if? What if I can’t fix anything? What if I’ve fucked it all up and it’s broken forever? What if? What if?

What if I miss you so much it feels like I’m dying?

I wish we could skip to the ending so I could stop reliving the past, replaying the events of that night over and over in my head, trying to work out where I went wrong. I wish you had called and said happy birthday, and we could pretend for one day that everything was normal again. Then maybe we’d keep pretending. But it’s too late, it’s all worthless now, and I wish I was dead.

249

It takes a special kind of toxic selfishness to alienate someone from those who love them the most. It takes a total absence of empathy to resolve to a level of possessiveness that can only be explained by deep insecurities. You absolve yourself of all your mistakes by claiming that you were wounded, but weren’t we all? No one has ever escaped the tragedy that is life. No one has ever lived a life without loss, without pain. But suffering does not entitle you to wound others. Your pain does not excuse the pain you deliver, two wrongs don’t ever make a right. Some mistakes can never be forgiven. Death does not release us from all our sins.

There is terror to be found in arrogance. The sort of egoist who will only think of themselves, their love for you is merely an extension of their narcissism. You make them feel good, so they love you because you make them feel good. Your existence enriches their life, you exist to make their life better. You don’t understand the difference yet, but you will. You think a love composed of romance is foolish, I think your love has no substance.

I understand the appeal, it would be hypocritical for me to assume I would make better choices under the same circumstances. I have made worse choices before. There is a level of perverted comfort to this experience, when they have carefully manufactured your surroundings to make you feel that you’re the centre of their whole world. What more could you want than to be the centre of your lover’s universe? There is no escaping this sort of infatuation, we all fall.

But darling I see cruelty in his eyes, you see it too. You could have said “I love him, damn it”, and I would have understood, I would have done my best to. But how could you love a monster? You have to absolve him, you needed a defense more than he cared for. It wasn’t difficult to recompose the narrative. It’s always easier to blame someone else.

I understand, but I guess I had still expected better. Some betrayals are worse than others. Some cut you to your bone. You bleed even when you’re smiling. But I miss you still. I miss you so much I think I might be dying. You’ve always told me I’m sentimental to a fault, you’ve never been wrong about me. But I could never change, I never want to. Once upon a time you would have understood the hurt. The best thing about people is that they change. The worst thing about people, is that they change.

248

That warm feeling in your soul when you’re just beginning to fall in love with someone.

The impatience for you to wake up in the mornings because I’ve missed you after all that sleep. Trivial things like remembering my drink order, watching me struggle to decide between two options and ordering the forfeited one for yourself so I can have both. Reaching your hand behind to grab mine when we cross the road. Kissing me at the intersection while we wait for the lights. Winking at me in the elevator when strangers intrude. Taking me in your arms possessively and declaring: ‘mine‘. I am still in awe at how good it feels to be ‘yours‘.

Digging through the past for stories not skeletons because I’m curious at how you became yourself. Putting up with my childish antics and finding them endearing rather than irritating, promising to let me take advantage of this honeymoon phase for as long as I can. Accidentally calling me ‘darling’ and rushing to defend your mistake, insisting it was meant sarcastically. I let you pretend.

Falling in love to the same song with a different person, because there is cruelty in romance. So this is what it feels like to fall level headed, no butterflies in my stomach but only a calculated passion, reinforcing the suspicion that this is where I belong, what I’ve always wanted. The freedom to let go and fall, trusting you to catch me every time. We’ve made our share of mistakes, the tragedy of meeting the right person at the wrong time. We’ve tasted betrayal before, but it hasn’t left us bitter. I’ve heard of love like this before, lets make it better.

247

There’s a reason I haven’t apologised. There’s a reason I feel entitled, even angry, still. When I loved I left no doors unopened, I was ready, ready, ready for you to come in, to make me a home. The epitome of love is not selfish romance, it’s not two people kissing under the rain in a rose garden. It’s family, it’s beginnings and promises of a lifetime to come, I wanted the sort of love that would ache.

We did not meet so young, we did not have perfect excuses for our failures to be more than what we chose to be. You had no excuses left, I was running out for you. Every day was another day that you refused to change, which in a way was choosing to not be with me. Every day you took another step away from me and I’d run to keep up, I loved your shadows.

I have learned to keep my tongue in cheek, to win less, because small victories are not worth celebrating, especially alone. But I did not know how to let you go. I had forced myself to erase the concept of a life without you. Now I am trying to re-imagine this new life, but it is not as beautiful as my first design. I drew you perfect.

There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, but I know only one. Break your own heart, shatter it to pieces, make them watch. Tell them you still love them, and it’s slowly killing you. Tell them you won’t ever love like that again, no more, no more. I dream of happier endings but I don’t tell you anymore. No more, no more. My heart’s been broken but it doesn’t hurt anymore. No more, no more.

246

There is darkness in all of us, mine is simply louder.

I’ve never been good at taking life or people in small doses. I prefer a more lethal injection, to live recklessly, to love wildly, to be so close to someone that you breathe them in, you forget who you are, you let the good fill you up and the bad consume you whole, every heart break is an evolution, a transfiguration.

I’ve come apart again, crumbling in his hands, falling for pretty words and prettier lies, gentle kisses and dangerous eyes. I watch my own insanity merge into his skin, our infatuations mistaken for passion, every scar and every bite intended to mark his territory, I get lost in a simple word: mine.

I dream of holding your hand. Something about a subtle wave, a small gesture as we navigate through the crowds feels far more intimate than kissing or fucking. I dream of being owned, body and soul, in toxic quantities, I want to forget, I want to let go. I want to be taken, used, beaten, subdued, ravished. I want to feel safe when I come undone. The gentlest touch comes when you’re half asleep but still remember to pull me closer, I feel my head pressed against your chest and your heart beat steadily sends me to slumber. The night is young and full of wonder.

245

Love is…
Socially acceptable insanity
Unsustainable
Unattainable
Little white lies
Broken promises
Drinking alone at 3 am
18 missed calls on a Saturday night
4 deleted voice messages
Waking up to empty vodka bottles

Love is…
A birthday cake with too many candles
Red roses
Box of chocolates
Her favourite perfume
Meaningful silence
A perfectly harmless lethal injection
A beautiful mistake
Breathing next to each other
Drinking tea in the morning

Love is…
A slap to the face
Bloody cheeks
Bruised shoulders and broken bones
A kick to the stomach
Promises to change
The right shade of foundation
A perfectly timed embrace
My missing chapter
Your broken heart

244

I have an overwhelming urge to unplug from this world. Delete everything, disappear for a bit and go on an adventure. Or disappear for a long time and stop caring whether anyone remembers me. It kills me that there is a type of freedom I could never taste.

I want to kiss you again. For my own selfish reasons. I want to know if it would still feel good, or will it be muddied by guilt and invite more regret. ‘No one will love you as much as I did’ can also mean ‘no one will hurt you as much as I did’. A narcissist won’t be able to tell the difference.

‘I don’t love you’ can be the best lie you ever tell yourself. The last time she kisses you is a kind of death practice, you will grow to appreciate her absence, solitude brings new perspective after all. Or you kill her for leaving and tell yourself that’s what makes it true. Love is worth protecting. You’ve always been a fighter.

‘I still love you’ is a lie we say because it sounds better. ‘I never loved you at all’ is what we say when it hurts the most. It’s almost always too late for an apology. By the time you need to apologise it’s already too late. These scars will never fade.

You never really lose control though, do you? You’ve always been the master of the room, playing the pieces like puppets, singing your song and watching them dance to your tune. You looked me in the eyes as you twisted the knife, you intended it to hurt. You meant every word. Winning is still everything to you. It kills me that she can’t see it. I refuse to play by your rules.

I break everything I touch. I see the monsters more clearly, I’ve met your kind before. The casual charm, the nonchalance, the steady denial, the cleverly embellished narrative, the lack of remorse, the reluctance to change, the arrogance, the pride. I want to break you in half. I want to throw the first punch. I want to taste your blood.

243

Why do we love the sunset? Do we admire the colours or do we cherish what it represents? Another day, you’ve survived another. There are days that are easy and there are days when you lose the fight. There are days you breathe peace and days that you’re lost to the storm.

I should have kept quiet. I should have seen the signs, known what was coming. I’ve seen love like this before, I’ve tasted the bloody roots, I’ve left a mark or two. He remembers every bit of nightmare I put him through. Our addictions were never as problematic as our affections for each other. In this twisted world you can be proud of specific substance abuse. You could mistake it for achievement, you needed to reach a certain level of success to have these sorts of problems. Only the poor are degenerate alcoholics. When the whiskey is top shelf you can hide behind the facade of good taste.

Whenever I lose a friend I find myself wondering how they would feel if I were to die in an accident the very next day. Would they regret not picking up the phone? What if they never have a chance to speak the truth? Suddenly I find myself filled with a perverse sense of satisfaction at the idea of denying them that opportunity. I fantasize about having the last word.

But I don’t really want the last word. I don’t like to let go of people. I still believe that there is meaning to be found in this world. So I find myself extending the olive branch, time and time again to those who may not deserve it. I let myself get hurt over and over again by those who have let me down before, on the off chance that this time it might be different. Because there is always the perfect possibility that it could be different. I let my crippling depression and my never ending optimism compete for control, and I am accustomed to losing the battle. I have my scars to prove it.

But I love you I love you I love you. I could never let you go. You break me but I can’t walk away. I am shattered and yet I am still. Be the sun, be the stars, be broken but unbent. Be the song, be the wind, be the rose and the thorn. I have loved you, I did my best.

242

I let people affect me too much. I’m terrible at being alone. I detest crowds but loneliness consumes me. I don’t pay attention during conversations but I reminisce the past. There can be such a thing as too much reflection. I am too comfortable with myself, I make others uncomfortable. I say I love you too much, I mean it too often.

I obsess about men the way Chinaski obsessed over women. I can fall in and out of love in the space of three minutes. I can fall in love with a smile, a raised eyebrow, a sly grin, the way he runs his fingers through his hair. It’s been lucky for me, in a way, how much society has liberated women. We’re still judged, viciously sometimes, but we are free to do. Free to suffer the consequences, but no longer burned at the stake. You can be anything as long as you’re willing to pay the price.

I have paid in name, in rumours, in lost friends. I have witnessed undisguised contempt and disdain, up close and personal. I have hurt myself for redemption, but I will never have it. I can laugh away jokes about rape, violence, the darker the better. But I cannot laugh away betrayal. The moment when you realise you were alone all along, they had taken you for a ride, and now it’s time to get off, you’ve reached your destination. You’ve lost all your value, not that there was much to begin with.

It’s a crude wake up call, when you think you’ve finally reached a point of self acceptance, to find one of those closest to you still looks down on you for the very essence of who you are. Everything you represent, what you love and why you love, it’s not good enough. You’re not good enough. You’ll never be good enough for them. But you know love, you have felt it. It runs through you like a river, you breathe it, you are the light. So may the bridges they burn light your way.

241

I need constant reminders that this is meaningless. It doesn’t matter how important you think you are, how real all of it is, there will come a day when we’re all gone and none of this will matter to anyone. It will be like we never existed at all. Billions of years will feel like a split second to the creator of this madness, if there even is a creator.

You could mean the world to someone and then in the blink of an eye mean nothing at all. I had watched her fade into a ghost of who she used to be, buried under his shadows. I let her convince me that she was happy and I believed her, I thought love came in different shapes and sizes. Some were always more volatile than others. I sat by idly as our values fell out of sync and I let her slip away. The nausea you feel when your entire world is crumbling but you can only watch it burn. I let the smoke swallow me.

Don’t you remember? He is not your king, your maker; he is fire, he burns. But you are the sun, you are the sun. Don’t you remember? How it was to be carefree, to not feel the weight of his world on your shoulders. He breathes lies. Now you are the one. You are the one. Don’t you remember? When we laughed under the stars, when our hearts beat as one. But life goes on. Life goes on.

Now I have loved you and failed you. I have found you and lost you. He followed your heart and there was no space for two. He will break you then save you. He will hurt you then mend you. He will crush you then raise you. He will love you and kill you.

240

I get lost inside people. I spend so much time trying to understand them, I forget who I am in the process. I’d do anything to get inside your head, to be someone else for a moment, to imagine how you’re feeling, if only because the narcissist in me wants to know how I make you feel. I want to know if being with me can change you, as being with you has changed me.

I need something more than time or effort or feeling. I need chemistry that can’t be manufactured by words or actions. Some inexplicable connection, something intangible that grabs you by the throat and makes your heart pound against your chest so fast that you forget how to breathe. The first kiss feels like a punch. I leave marks on his chest so his other lovers would know that I was here.

His palm strikes my cheek and I’m awake for the first time in weeks. I feel the weight of his body closing in on me, and I kiss him like I was afraid to say “I missed you.” I wear my bruises with twisted pride and he admires his handiwork with childlike glee. We are bad for each other, we know how to bring out the worst in each other. I can see cruelty in his eyes, no hint of remorse. I adore the cold, calculated sadist. I crave the satisfaction of making him lose control. I smile innocently at his rage, I become his worst addiction.

I understand obsession, I have a perverted desire for the absurd. He’ll never love me the way that I need to be loved, so I’ll never grow tired of chasing his approval. I’d rather be heartbroken than submit to a mediocre love affair. I’d rather be hurt than feel nothing at all. I kiss him like he’s my favourite mistake.

239

I feel always on the run. Always fleeing from the past, away from old horrors, ready to let cobwebs conceal the skeletons long ago buried. Running away from old lovers who terrify me to my core, knowing full well what they are capable of now. They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but they did not see the wildness in his eyes, the venom, the urge to wound. His desire to see me suffer far outweighed any affection he ever felt for me.

I want to be honest with you, but I know some stories are not meant to be told. I want to be truthful, but I know lies can sound better. I want to be close to you, but my affections can be exhausting. I crave intimacy but I have trouble maintaining eye contact when we’re speaking. I want to know your hopes and dreams but I’m afraid you’ll laugh at mine. I want to fall in love again but I don’t think I have any heart left over. These days I am more sick of pleasure than you are sick of pain.

I used to think that I was addicted to earthly pleasures, to tangled bodies and messy ecstasy, fleeting but gratifying. I glorified hedonistic living. I was always too afraid to admit that I desperately yearned for intimacy, for closeness, for the brief respite of being understood. Love was never simply unbridled lust or delicate fantasies, love was your kiss good morning, the feel of chapped lips on my skin, and indecent whispers that tickled my ears.

But maybe I have to lose myself in the darkness before I can recover the light. Maybe I have to taste death before I can appreciate every breath. Maybe this absence is supposed to teach us a lesson and no matter how harsh the truth may seem now, we can be forever changed for the better.

 

i used to think love was a tragedy in waiting

i had watched it drain the life out of people

leave them blue, bruises painted on their wrists,

their lovers held them so tight and never let go

i thought that was how the stories are told

i never knew love could fill you up

make your heart beat in sync and the joy of your laughter could

send me to sleep

and i could wake up in the morning missing you

after hours of not kissing you

i could yearn for the taste of your lips and

i never knew love could exist without hurting

until i met you