To them I’m probably just a complex jigsaw combination of false hopes, a lady-shaped nightmare with a smile made of sunlight. To them I’m probably just a poor parody of a wench from 500 Days of I’ll-Break-Your-Heart-Anyway. The girl who chose to not choose them.
I keep on wondering if it is so bad opting to protect my heart instead of tying it to theirs. Wanting to keep it warm and unscathed instead of risking it in a field I do not know how to play in. Am I being too selfish for not wanting to get hurt? I have collected so much pain before and I don’t think I’m ready to add more.
The problem starts with hope, I guess. Of limits and understanding that “no” means “no”. The problem is we speak different tongues when it comes to the interpretation of these fleeting things.
Tracing the root of all my faults takes me back to this one fact: I always crave a piece of someone’s soul when I talk to them. This world is so fond of building walls that I consider it a treasure if someone ever lets me peek through a crack and lets me see, for a handful of vulnerable moments, what universes they are made of--what galaxies of dreams they keep in the coves of their hearts, what stars are burning in them that keep them going when they wake up to rains of doubts. Maybe I have become addicted to this and just became too afraid to admit it to myself.
I could not pinpoint the moment where this began. Perhaps after I got drunk on so much fiction I started to blend it with my all too chaotic reality? Is this a side effect of constantly tapping into the nearest emotional source when I’m piecing together a poem? When losing myself in the music of dead songwriters? When I’m trying to make sense of all the color splatters on paper when I’m trying to paint? When I’m fighting to stop myself from shredding bedsheets and vandalizing hotel walls?
You see, I want to claw away at the trivialities. I want genuine listeners. I want sounding boards. In return, and with their consent, I want to drown in the clouds of their thoughts, because sometimes mine are too dark a place to wander in. Sometimes my head isn’t a good refuge, that while in there I sometimes find bruises on my knees after getting up from a fervent prayer. Monsters were born within the walls I’m building, and it was me who made it so.
So yes, I try to get it, that tiny peek at someone’s soul. Small talks often just skitter on my skin and drop to the ground, forgotten by the loose minutes that we use to gauge the person we’re trading words with.
When they’re honest enough, I offer a bit of myself too, because that’s only fair, right? That’s what friends do. I offer it willingly--a slice of my galaxies, a glimpse at the warps and black holes in it. My problems and fears and happiness. Trust as the beginning of good friendship.
The visits in each other’s solar systems only became too pervasive, only became unfair, when the other party demands more. No, they don’t want to be friends anymore. They demand to see my whole universe. They demand to own it. They demand they become my sun.
But don’t you see, love? My universe is under repair. It is so close to crumbling, and I intend to get it in order first before letting anyone be a part of it. I’m barely holding it together with my scraped fists, I’m panting and catching my breath to keep the stars aflame, I’m wrestling my personal demons when they are threatening to devour every space in me, and I’m dying, I’m dying, I’m dying every day so I would keep myself alive. I want to be alive some more, please? Is it too much to ask? When I say I cannot let you in, your heart is not the only one disintegrating into dust.
So to the guy who left a trail of hyperboles in your wake when I turned you away, the guy who scribbled horns on my personality and showed it to everybody behind my back, I guess I cannot blame you. Sorry you misinterpreted me when I listened to your darkness, sorry you thought I was your light. I’m not, and never will be. You can weave all the fictionalized version of a tale where I like you back, but I’m not going to be sorry for choosing myself. Know that you can still be happy, though. Know that the rainbow’s just around the corner.
To the stranger who taught me the Physics of Letting Someone Down (the energy is inversely proportional to the one you use to lift someone up), thank you. Thank you for adoring all my madness, from my fascination with the moon to the randomness of my derailed thoughts when insomnia won’t let me rest. I hope you understand when I refused to be “yours”. You told me you wish sometimes that I would like you back, that you missed me when we don’t talk, that you love me and the poetry in me. I’ll admit I can’t force myself to believe all those, but I hope you keep your own heart intact and use it to care for the other girl who seems to be the person here who can give you what you want (I know about her, yes). She doesn’t deserve to be just someone’s Back-Up Plan.
To the guy who tiptoes on the same wire that I do...you’re kind, and I don’t think I’m the right recipient of that kindness. You said you thought of me when you went to this faraway country, and when you got home you gave me a proof of that. I don’t deserve it. That poem too ancient that your tour guide cannot translate it? The satisfaction of knowing that you “made me happy”? I don’t deserve it all. It would be so easy if I could just hand my feelings to you in a teacup, but I can’t. I’m empty now in this side of my life, and I can’t give anyone what they want. What you want.
To the girl who said I broke her heart and won’t tell me why when all I did was open up...I wish you all the joy you are trying to find. Playing a game of this kind is not on my list anymore; understand that I have so much on my plate that I want to throw up when I see them all. I don’t need puzzles like this, and I won’t chase for answers you wrap in mystery to bait me. I’m exhausted. Just try to be happy, all right?
My fault here, I think, is that I don’t always subscribe to just shutting people off. I say “no” but instead of letting them just crash to the ground, I cup my hands together so I’ll know they’ll have a soft landing. That’s the mistake--they think of that as affection in disguise, they think of my actions as a signal to not take my “no” seriously. What am I supposed to do to that? What am I supposed to do with myself?
It’s my fault that I’m at the eye of all these emotional hurricanes. I thought I’m getting them safe to the shore when in reality I’m wrecking them some more. But who could understand that it affected me too? This hurricane didn’t just break these people. It fractured me, too.
This has been too much, but letting this all out is a relief. Someday, perhaps when I’m done mending my universe, I’ll let someone in and smoothen all the cracks in it, all the traces of the broken parts. Maybe by then, I'll know why I did what I did. Maybe by then, as they say, all these hurts will make sense.