The listener

18 Feb

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He could feel the burden lift off his shoulders as he neared the end of his shift. The booth that he had been entrusted with was starting to feel like a prison he had unwittingly signed up for.
He began packing his belongings when he spotted a woman walking towards the booth. He ducked under the small little desk, hoping she wouldn’t see him. He knew he’s job as a ‘listener’ wouldnt end for another 5 minutes but he simply didnt want to listen any more.

Listening used to be fun, it made him happy that he was helping another soul relief its burdens but having been stuck in this booth for the last 3 years made him weary.

He shifted his weight clumsily while hiding behind the table and knocked the chair behind him over (he was a rather big fella you see).

“Are you still open? I won’t take long.”

Damn chair.

He pulled himself up from his hiding spot and took the seat next to the veiled partition.

“Yes, for another 5 minutes.”

“Thank you.”

He sighed silently as the woman began her story.

He wasn’t paying any attention to her words really – they were all the same.
Man and woman fall in love, he falls out of love and she begs him to stay. He refuses and she breaks into a million pieces.
It was like all women were schooled to react the same way, all they needed was the right moment.

Young and old, plain or beautiful.

They were all the same.

He was getting impatient and rolled up his sleebes to check the time when she asked him

“Will he finally see me if I did that?”

He chose the easiest and most noncommittal answer he could think of,
“Its your choice. If you think it’ll work then do it.”

“Alright.”

He sensed desperation and resignation in her voice.

They all sound the same..”

He reminded her that his time was up and she has to leave.

“I understand. “

He heard her skirt rustle as she stood to leave. The door creaked ever so slightly as it was being pushed open. He waited till he could no longer hear her footsteps before he stepped out of his booth.

Her voice was strangely still lingering in his mind; she sounded really familiar, like he knew her from somewhere a long time ago.

He shook the thought out of his head as he stepped out of the building.

The sun was still up, and he turned his eyes downwards to avoid its glare; and thats when he saw it.

A shadow.
Growing darker and smaller as it neared the ground.
He looked up to see her red skirt fluttering in the air as gravity pulls it closer to its heart.

It all ended with a thud.
Her head had smashed in from the impact and there was blood everywhere.
Especially on him.

I know her..

Her face was half gone but he remembered her.

They met in the hospital where she was sent to after she was beaten half to death by her boyfriend.

They spoke.

She asked for help.

And he told her to look for him.

He told her he could help her.

Silence

15 Feb

Silence.
Nothing but silence.
Deafening silence.
She stared at her bedroom ceiling waiting for some kind of sound, but nothing.
It was driving her crazy.
She rolled over to her sides and picked up her phone to see if he had replied but nothing.
Is this how its suppose to end?
On a Valentine’s Day no less.

He didnt end it explicitly, he just said “take care”. What was that suppose to mean? She needed closure so she pushed and probed but silence.

It was unbearable.

That silence was unbearable, as was that gnawing feeling at the bottom of her heart.

It was a feeling she couldnt put down in words.

Her heart felt heavy.
Like it was made of lead, sinking with each waking moment.
Every breathe she took felt like a burden, like her lungs were full and that she could take no more – any more and they would burst like the balloon she popped yesterday in jest.

What a difference a day made.

But she wasnt sad.
She stared at the mirror in the bathroom, at the face that was staring back at her.

It showed nothing.
Blank.

She thought she might be suppressing her emotions so she tried to make herself cry but it didnt work.
Her eyes were as dry as beef jerkies.

Beef jerkies.

Ha.

She tried to force a smile instead, but the corners of her mouth wouldnt stay up without her fingers propping it up.

She got hungry so she headed to the fridge for food.

Empty.

Like my heart.

There were biscults left in the cupboard so she grabbed one.

Tasteless.
Bland, like it had no reason to exist except to fill an empty gapping hole.

Bland, like me.

She spit out the dry bits, reached for a cigerette and beer and stood by the window watching the people below.
Still trying to figure out what was wrong with her.

The beer and cigerette felt tasteless too and people watching was taking a toll. She crawled back into bed in an attempt to sleep it off but all she got was the deafening silence from her phone.

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She

13 Jan

Quiet is the night,
Are the stars,
But not her mind.

Alone she sat,
With her headphones on,
In the park,
As the cold winds sweep her hair.

Her face,
Illuminated by the street lamp,
Casted a fragile beauty that was indescribable.

That was what she was.

A mystery,
A melancholy-ly beautiful piece of art,
Waiting for her artist to claim.

Not to merely be displayed,
But appreciated and enjoyed.

Her cigarette burns out,
And she looks up into the sky,
Looking for the moon,
Looking for the stars,
But all she saw was darkness.

She takes a long deep breathe and brushes off the ashes that linger.
Her countenance rearranged itself,
And she became what was expected of her again
As she walks into the bright lights of the busy street.

On the mend

25 Jul bette-davis-heartbreak-love-pain-quote-text-Favim_com-60040

bette-davis-heartbreak-love-pain-quote-text-Favim_com-60040
It has been a while since I last thought of you.
I like it this way.
I think maybe this time round, I really am over you.

Honestly, there was a point in time where I thought I would never get over you.
That was how intense my feelings were.

And then one fine day, you broke my heart.

Consciously or otherwise, it was a good thing for me.

Sure, it hurt.
I spent days typing messages to you, and then deleting them before I could hit the ‘Send’ button.
I spent nights crying in the shower, nights crying in bed whenever I thought of you.
There were days where I’d break down on my way to work because I saw someone who reminded me of you.
I cried watching White House Down because I knew if I was in that situation, I could never rely on you to save me (not that I’d ever be..).

But eventually, all that crying has to stop.
I can only afford so much tears.
I got tired of crying, and of being miserable.

The moment I decided not to cry anymore, my body started mending the broken parts.
It started looking for distractions that I never knew existed, or appealed to me.
I think its amazing how the human brain works.

Slowly, you started fading from my thoughts as it shifted to other things that made me happy instead.

I think of you occasionally.
I do.
I did.
I still do.

If you’ve ever really loved anyone before, you’d know that it it impossible to completely erase him or her from your memories.

Nor is it possible to completely forget the pain once the memories come back.

But its ok.

Pain changes people.

Outwardly everything is still the same but deep within, something is happening.
I’m not sure if its good or bad yet.

Either way, I’m not complaining.

I like changes.
Always did.

The breakdown of a relationship

1 Jul

All breakdowns happen over time.
The parties involved are usually incognizant of the start or trigger of the breakdown.

Maybe some do, they just didn’t want to admit it.

After all, to admit you’ve been making a mistake for as long as you have, can be a rather intimidating thought.

And so, we amble along with our mistakes until it reaches the breaking point.

And then we ask ourselves what went wrong, when did it begin, why didn’t we see it coming.

Seconds, minutes, hours, days, nights, weeks, months and years.

We start looking back for clues to what happened.

It becomes an all consuming obsession; we cry, we blame – ourselves and them.

We exhaust ourselves emotionally and physically seeking the origin of the breakdown so as to avoid it in the future.

But.

We are creatures of habits.

Once we have the origins, the cause – and we realize it’s consequences, will we, do we really learn and avoid making that same mistake again?

Their breakdown began just as everyone else’s.

Quietly and slowly.

It began quite unconsciously really.

It started innocently enough – taking up only a small portion of their lives and time.
Eventually, it got bigger and bigger.

The lies came out and then the messages and emails.

He tried to explain them away, she tried to believe; and then she stopped.

It was the same story over and over again.

A conversation about Turkey

12 Jun

chickman
*This is a pretty long post, but just entertain me and read on..*

It started out as a very normal, post holiday conversation about my most recent trip to Turkey.

I usually call it the post holiday mortem report.

THe usual questions always pop up -
Q: How was the weather there?
A: Freaking awesome..! Nice sun, cold winds, low humidity, longer daytime.. simply gorgeous. I wish I had time to check out the coastal towns coz’ it would have been perfect.

Q: Picked up any cute guys?
A: Nope.. They did all the picking up instead.. Asians are like hot stuff there for some reason.

Q: How is the shopping?
A: The emptiness of my pockets and the heaviness of my bags are the best evidence to the shopping experience. I literally spent every single cent I had because I liked everything I saw.

Q: What’s interesting there?
A: Everything! I guess it really depends on what tickles your balls? But as usual, I found everything fascinating – the depth and mix of cultures as well as history in Turkey is not something one can fully appreciate or understand in 1 trip.

Q: Why do you go back so often??
A: Really? Very often meh? This is only my 2nd trip… (-_-)”

I answered them as diligently, dutifully, respectfully and honestly as I can.
Really.
I tried, unfortunately not all questions warrant in depth answers.

Now, because of all the unrest that have been erupting in various cities in Turkey, the conversation I had with this particular person took a more interesting (in my opinion at least) turn.

Q: Turkey is a Muslim country is it?
A: Nope. They are a secular state but a majority of its population are Muslims. They’ve been that way since the Ottoman Empire dissolved? The process to how it happened is pretty interesting, I’d suggest you go read up about since I am no expert in this area…

Q: Oh. Then what’s up with the protests and riots?
A: Umm.. The root of the resentments go way deeper than what is being told in the media I think.. Again, I’m no expert. You might have to go check it out yourself..

And the conversation goes on and on about the state that Turkey is in right now and blah blah blah..

I stopped listening after the last questions, and started planning my ‘escape’ from the conversation before I blew up in that little annoying piece of shit’s face.

Yes, I am actually exercising extreme self-control.

Little piece of shit then asked the killer question – Which side are you on? Will you go back again?

Which side am I on??
Am I even entitled to choose sides?
This isn’t my battle, I haven’t experienced what they have been experiencing.
What or who gives me the right to pick sides?

I am a bystander.
Watching the events unfold from what/ where ever I can glean information from, and the media hasn’t exactly been very helpful.
The information that was disseminated reflect their different interests in the country.

Most importantly, I believe a country should be defined by its people, and not by religion, politics or its politicians.

No offence intended but I think religions are just another political tool invented by power-hungry men as another form of control over the mass populous.

I refuse to pick a side because this is not my battle and it is not my right.
I did not see for myself if indeed the reports were true, that police violence against the protestors were what sparked the initial round of violence.

What I did encounter, however, were the people.

In the last 15 days that I’ve spent in the country, I have been constantly overwhelmed by their generosity with a complete stranger like myself. I have been overwhelmed by their generosity and willingness to share whatever they have, be it stories, shelter or food and drinks.

I did not witness the riots or violence, but I did witness the pride and passion the Turkish people have for their country.

Young and old, men and women.

There was an unmistakable pride and joy in their voice and twinkle in their eyes whenever they talk about their homeland.

I witnessed their excitement at meeting a stranger like myself being as in love with their country as they are. That unmistakable joy they have when introducing me to the different parts of their country, store and homes.

I will return because of these people I have met.

When I finally had access to international news, then did I realize how bad the situation had become.

I wanted to go to Taksim to see for myself; to understand the violence that the media was portraying.

I wasn’t looking for a thrill, an adventure or excitement.

The media was confusing me more instead of giving me the answers I needed.
I simply needed the truth, to understand and see for myself.

That night that I couldn’t sleep and decided to make my way towards Taksim.

The train services had stopped so I dropped at the furthest station I could go and decided to walk there. A dude dressed in slacks and with an Anonymous mask saw me and asked me if I knew where I was going.

Taksim. I need to see it for myself.

He didn’t say a 2nd thing and turned me around by the shoulders, and walked me back.
He told me it was getting ugly and that it wasn’t my battle.
I shouldn’t be there because I will get hurt.
To him, I was an innocent bystander and should not be involved.

Dude actually accompanied me all the way back to the hotel.

He told me what he was fighting for and why he fought.
And that sheer belief he had in his ideals touched me in a way that I could never have felt.

We grew up in a country that is clean and safe.
We grew up in a glided cage, with everything in black and white.
We were taught to pick sides a long long time ago and we no longer know how not to be that way anymore.

These protestors, they are different.

They are fighting for something they believe in, for a future they want to have.

We, as bystanders have no right to judge or choose sides.
No matter which side you choose, someone loses.

Right or wrong is matter of perspective.

Everyone that I have met on this trip were more than eager to help and keep me from harm.

You can say I’m naive or stupid for trusting strangers I’ve met so easily but I stand by my faith, that all men were born inherently good (except the dude who smacked my ass while I was shopping in Grand Bazaar..) and I have been very lucky and fortunate to have only experience the goodness of Turkey and its people.

So yes, I admit I may be biased.

But as I’ve said before.

A country should not be defined by its religion, politics or politicians but its people.

The Turkey I remember, will always be defined by the people I’ve met, by their generosity, pride and passion, and not the violence that has thrown it into international spotlight.

I understand that when I do go back again, it may be a completely different Turkey from what I remembered it as, but it remains to be seen if the change would be for worse or better.

I choose the latter.

I have faith in the people who I have met, that they would want to make their country, a country they love so much, better than it has ever been.

So yes, I will definitely go back to Turkey again for everything it has given and shown me.

Places and memories change, but I know the Turks won’t disappoint me.

I did not tell annoying little piece of shit all these in his face, or I might have slapped him instead,
I simply told him, with a big wide smile,

“Yes, of course! I’m not done with Turkey yet.”

He stared at me blankly and shook his head, repeating all that he said previously.

I continued smiling and switched off.

Some people are simply not worth my efforts.

Sleep baby, sleep

11 Jun

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Sleep baby, sleep.
Stop thinking about it.

Easier said than done, sweetheart.
My mind refuses to stop working.

What are you thinking about?
Who are you thinking about?
Where is your mind heading?

I don’t know.
I’m trying to find my peace.

I’m tired, I want to sleep.
But I can’t.

Why can’t you sleep?
Where did your peace go?

I don’t know.
I’m trying to figure it out too.
I don’t know where I last left it.

You need to rest, sweetheart.
Leave your worries at the door,
Close your eyes.

I’m trying, I’m trying.

Think of your blanket of stars,
Shinning in the darkest sky.

Of the cool salty sea breeze,
Rustling your hair.

Of the fresh sun drenched grass, Beneath your hands.

And of the soft warm sand,
between your toes.

Close your eyes and think of those.

Find that peace, and go to sleep.

I’m trying sweetheart, I’m really trying.

The Truth about Love

3 Jun

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“I won’t do this movie because I don’t believe the love story,” she told Selznick. “The heroine is an intellectual woman, and an intellectual woman simply can’t fall in love so deeply.” 

Ingrid Bergman

She sat facing the mirror, putting on her makeup.

Afterall, what good is a woman if she cannot even look good for her lover, right?

It was a terrible infatuation; she fell hard and fast even though she knew how wrong that would be.

He wasn’t married (thank god..) but he did have a good woman waiting for him at home, and she knew she wasn’t his first affair either but like every romantic would say, love is indeed blind – you cannot escape your biological wirings.

It was difficult in the beginning.

It still is now.

But she’s starting to learn how.

He asked to meet her last week to celebrate his new freedom – he’d just broke up with his girlfriend.

She felt a slight corner of her heart soar – finally she’s no longer the 3rd party; there might be a chance for them to be together.

That thought put her on cloud nine for days, and then he asked to meet her again today.

He seldom sound that excited, she could feel it in his voice but she could also feel a certain dread grip her heart.

She saw him walked through the doors with a brilliant smile. It made her smile.

When he settled down, conversation flowed as it usually does, and then he told her the news.

He’s met someone.

She wasn’t the usual pretty type, but there was an aura about her.

As she listened to him describe her and how attracted he is to her, her heart grew heavier and heavier.

Eventually, it stopped feeling.

At the end of that meeting, she decided to take a long walk home instead of her usual bus.

Her heart ached with each step she took. She wanted very much to cry, but she couldn’t.

She reminded herself of the truth about love.

Nothing but a chemical effect.
It makes even the most intelligent lose their wits.

Once that effect wears off, you’ll realize how silly you have been.

She wondered if she had worn off the effect or is she still lying to herself as a solitary tear rolled down her cheek.

“I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.”

Al Pacino

3 Little Words

1 May

helene klimt
I think they are over-rated.
Definately over-rated.
I mean, I haven’t said it for a very long time because I couldn’t find anyone to say it to.

And yes, even though I think it’s over rated, that doesn’t mean I don’t think it means something.

It takes a lot of courage to say those 3 little words.

They are like the windows to my soul, those words.
Windows that have been closed because the wind hurt me with their cold harsh ways.
So you see, I’m really just following my nature instincts here to protect myself.
And if you are interested to know, it really does take a while to open up a window that has been jammed shut.

Ask any one who has had the privillege of trying to pry a stuck window open.
It takes time, and not to mention, effort.

So don’t rush me, give me so time.

I can’t, and don’t know how to say them easily.
Its like I have a nature aversion to them – I start stuttering, my tongue gets thick, my palms get sweaty and I feel sick in general.

You get the picture.

I can see how disappointed you are whenever you think “this is it! That’s when she’s gonna say it!”, and I don’t.

Yes, I can see that.. how your little glimmer of hope fades away as I try and change topics.
As time goes by, I see that glimmer less and less, I didn’t know what to think of it other than you giving me time to sort my thoughts out.

I have taken some time, and worked my kinks out, and I’m finally ready to say it.

I love you.

There.
I’ve said it – I love you, more than I expected to actually.

And I’ve started pacing the room, clutching my phone anxiously, waiting for your response.

Nothing came.

This. Was. Not. Suppose. To. Happen.

I half expected to ‘hear’ you smileacross the virtual sea at my acknowledgement of my own feelings, but nothing of that sort happened.

You were not supposed cajole these words out of me, and refuse to acknowledge them!

What am I suppose to do now??

Disappointment was starting to kick in, so did dread and anxiety.

The phone was now my arch enemy for the silence it perpetuates.

I laid down in bed, exhausted from all the pacing, anticipating and eventual disappointment.

A few hours later, the enemy finally gives in and rings with an incoming text -

:) I know, I love you too..

How Gender Studies Saved My Life

1 May

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

I remember the first time I entered a Gender Studies classroom. It was two years after completing my undergraduate courses in literature at NYU. Undergrad had not been the best experience for me. A starry-eyed freshman new to NYC, I soon realized that to be taken seriously in class I was expected to live by theoretical texts penned by dead white men. A far cry from my alternative under-funded public high school in Minnesota, I struggled. It wasn’t only that the theories discussed in class were challenging, but I found more and more I did not agree with them. As an 18-year-old student I did not have the language to critically engage and be taken seriously by the professors who worshipped these schools of thought. But I went through the motions and continued school, because that’s what I was supposed to do — right?

Fast-forward three years and I completed…

View original 1,440 more words

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