Thursday, 3 May 2018

I do not tell him

I am sitting in a microbus and the man next to me is getting a little too comfortable. I take a breath, and shrink myself in my seat, it's okay, we do this every day. Just 45 more minutes and we'll be home. He keeps touching my arm and I keep shrinking further. Another breath. I politely ask him if he can move a little bit to the right, he looks at me with appalled eyes, like I just accused him of something. Did I? I bite my tongue. I do not tell him. After all, you do not tell a random stranger these things, right? So I do not tell him. I do not tell him about the man who touched my thigh when I was a kid of no more than 13, then smirked at me, daring me to say something. I do not tell him about the man who threatened to slap me because I stood up for myself, or the man who spit at me for no reason at all. I do not tell him about the man who yelled "يا خول!" at me in the midst of a crowded street, I do not tell him how I felt then. I do not tell him about the boy who threw a stone at me and snickered with his friends. I do not tell him about how I dodge men in the street like my life depends on it, I do not tell him about how I'd rather walk through a thousand blazing suns than walk by a group of men. I do not tell him anything, after all, you do not tell a random stranger these things, right? Another Breath. He touches my thigh. Stomach drop. I pray. Even though God hasn't been exactly present. I wonder if the rules of physics would allow me to become one with the window next to me. I ask him again. He looks at me dumb and I envy him. I envy him because he is completely unaware of anything that does not revolve around his existence. I shrink and he stretches, like it was an invitation for him to take what presence I had and make it his own. He touches my arm, again. Fists clenched and jaw tightened. I can already feel my neck aching under the strain. How do you tell someone he's taking all the air you're supposed to be breathing for himself?
I am tired, of shrinking my whole being for men. I am tired of folding myself into bits, and bits, and bits so I can fit in whatever tiny space they allow me. I am tired of shrinking my anger so I wouldn't be taken for a (God forbid!) man-hater. I am tired of shrinking my niceness so it wouldn't be taken for an invitation to something I never asked for. I am tired of feeling like I do not deserve to occupy a place in this world.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

To someone

Everything is piling up on me and I am crumbling down under the weight. I've been having more anxiety attacks lately, it's painful, and it's more anxiety inducing to go out of the house wondering if I am going to have one in the next couple of hours, to wonder whom I am going to be with, and whether I'd like them to see me this way, to wonder if I can keep it on the low, wait it out without anyone noticing. I haven't been kind to myself and it's not making anything easier. I drink coffee when I don't need to, I smoke too much, and I barely eat anything at all and when I do, it's mostly nothing my body can thank me for. The sadness is cornering and smothering me; and it seems like the more I try to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, the more the tunnel closes down on me that I don't know if I can make it out. I was looking at old pictures yesterday, and I saw my mom and dad. They were smiling, holding hands, eyes lit up, they were happy, and they had the looks of people who didn't know what was coming for them. Before that I had come home to my mom looking like she just made it out of a storm. Bags under her eyes, her face paler than I've ever seen it, she looked fragile, ready to be broken at any moment now. Her voice broke with every sentence she spoke to me and I had no words to comfort her with. You see, whenever I opened my mouth the words turned into air. Do you think that this is what life will do to us eventually? Maybe that's what it's doing already. Dimming us down, breaking us apart, piece by piece until all the light goes out altogether? I hope not. I hope The Smiths were right when they said that there's a light that never goes out, and I hope to all that's holy and sacred in the world that if there is, we know how to hang on to it before it's too late.
Anyway, I am still always trying to embrace all those who need embracing, and I am trying to weather the storm.
Love always,

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

To Joel,

Dear Joel,
I've been taking French classes (Paris, the ever-cheesy dream), and I've come across a word. éphémère. It's been two months since I've seen this word and it refuses to leave me. It means something that lasts for a short while, and it's more or less the same word in English. Ephemeral; which really annoys me, because if we have a word like this, so enchanting, why do we insist on using a mundane word such as temporary? And it got me thinking that this might be the whole reason why people are so scared of things being temporary; it's the charm of the words. I know I sound a little bit like a lunatic, but bear with me. If you want to confirm my theory, weigh out forever and all its synonyms with this word, temporary. Eternal, everlasting, endless, hell even the word always outweighs it. Joel, ever-since I heard the word éphémère and I've had a certain infatuation with temporariness. Now everything fleeting induces this certain softness, lightness even in my heart. I think I just had an epiphany. Maybe, the reason why I feel such sudden lightness and softness towards this word, and the meaning it brings is because it's so close to my favourite word. Effleurer (which means to touch lightly). I am allowing everything to touch me lightly and go, Joel. And it only took me two French words, and a love that's calm.

Yours always,

Sunday, 29 October 2017


Onism  n. "The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die—and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out you are here"  (In short, being aware of how little of the world you get to experience)

Imagine, a word, made up of only five letters, is the reason my chest feels like it's being pulled down by a 12-floor building.
A word, made up of only five letters, is the reason my eyes can't find it in them to give in to sleep.
And speaking of sleep, did you know that the average person will sleep 229,961 hours in their lifetime or basically one third of their life? Did you also know that this simple fact managed to keep me up at night for the entirety of  the past week?
Because if I sleep one third of my life, when do I get to live my life?
I read 10 books in parallel, not because I am indecisive, but because I want more than this world allows me.
I always experience things half and half, because I am here, but I am thinking of everything that could have been if I weren't.
I've always hated my limitedness. I want to burn each and every map that says I am here to the ground.
I've always hated having just one, really short lifetime.
The possibilities of everything I could ever be narrowed down to one life time.
The idea of all the lives I will not live, all the universes I will not get to see, all the conversations I will never get to have, all the music I won't get to hear.
In the end, I am only one human among 7 billion humans, on a planet that has 195 countries. One human, on a planet that has a billion worlds within.
Do I dare mention the idea of the existence of other planets, other universes? I think not.
It makes my bones ache and my mind strain.
I am terrified of the idea of not living, the idea that I can only be one thing, or a limited number of things.
I am being burdened with the weight of something that's not there. All the forsaken possibilities.
It's both agonizingly beautiful and beautifully agonizing to be human.
The agony of not knowing, the agony of having no control over anything, of having no control over being here to begin with. The beauty, the beauty of loving and being loved and getting hurt and all the in betweens.
It's all too much and it's still not enough.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

To Tom

Dear Tom,
Last time I wrote to you, I did so with an unbearable heaviness on my heart, a heaviness that kept pressing its weight further and further down my throat, claiming my body, inch by inch; my lungs, my heart, my legs, and those hands with which I am writing to you this letter at the moment, the hands that always helped me let go of my weight, that helped me scream metaphors at the sky when my mouth was choking on thorned letters; they, too, have fallen victim to the heaviness. It feels like forever, Tom, forever since I held a pen and didn't ache with every word that goes out of it. I have an urge to disintegrate my body, piece by piece, to understand. But I never can. So let me just tell you about the piece that has shown itself to me tonight. My longing. I long so much for the times I was lighter, for times when my heart found solace in the sky, or when the lyrics to my favourite songs used to make sense. Do you remember how much I cried when we heard Sleeping At Last's Saturn? You thought I was going mad; later on I told you how the line that went "How rare and beautiful it is to even exist" made me feel like someone held my heart between their hands and caressed it, how it sent fireworks roaming up and down my spine. You still thought I was mad, but you kissed me anyway. Now even as I write those words to you, it feels like I've already written them a thousand times. The light is leaving me, Tom. I am still trying not to use the past tense; how does one deal with the loss of the only thing that kept them hanging? I barely recognize myself these days; blank eyes, lifeless smile, empty words. All I want to do is detach from everything, and everyone. I am slipping away from my surroundings bit by bit, and it's not scaring me, it's comforting, but the loneliness isn't. Am I making any sense to you? Ironic, isn't it? A writer who can't describe how they feel. I'll stop here before you go mad. I miss you, I still remember the last time we met. The sun always seemed to follow you everywhere, hold on to your light, Tom.
Yours always.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

To Leo

I don't know exactly why I am writing you this, I am not sure exactly what I want to tell you. I just know that you're the only one who might understand the unfathomable, even to myself. I know you know what's coming next, it's the same old same old, really. I am so tried, Leo. It's like sadness lures me in, you know me better than most I am not romanticizing, but I don't know how else to put it. Sometimes I feel like there's something rotten inside me and it's the reason for my state, it's the reason for my constant despair and anxiety. I always have this feeling that something is chasing me, that something is going to get me for good. Sometimes I just wait for it to, you know. There is so much I can't say out loud, there are many things I am ashamed of, Leo. I mostly feel like I am looking at myself through a glass door; the observer is so much repulsed by the observed, sometimes I pity me, too. I am looking for answers in Bob Dylan songs, and I know he doesn't offer them, I am just desperate. I turn from song to song, from book to book, looking for a page or a line that would give me some sense of familiarity, anything that tells me that I am not so alone, anything that wards off this alienation. In a sense I know I am not _alone_, but it doesn't help that much, you know? Am I making sense? I keep going further and further into myself I don't know what is what anymore, Leo. This is the most I've talked to anyone since forever, but again, you know me better than most, this might be a quarter of the story. I love you, darling.
Yours forever,

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

I dare not call it depression

When I can't breathe because there is something so heavy pressing on my chest that it aches and screams, when something is clawing at my throat, blocking the air, blocking the words. I dare not call it depression.

I call it a dark pit that I fell into, a dark pit I can't seem to get out of, but I dare not call it depression.

When I cannot make it out of bed because I just can't face the world anymore, I dare not call it depression.
When smoking is the only self harm I am brave enough to do, when imagining my lungs burning with every drag I take feels satisfying, I dare not call it depression.

When everything that used to make me feel happy and limitless makes me feel blank, like a car ride, or a night walk, or looking at the sky. In fact, I don't even look at the sky anymore. I still dare not call it depression.

When the light in my eyes is dimmed, when the light goes out altogether. I still dare not call it depression.

When I fail to bring back any healthy habit I once had because what's the point anyway? I dare not call it depression.

When I break down 3 times in a row because I just can't take it anymore, I can't take being here, I can't take staying. I dare not call it depression.

When I can't stop thinking about the peaceful silence that will follow my last heartbeat, my last breath, I dare not call it depression.

I dare not call it depression, because I know that somewhere someone is having it worse and they dare not call it depression, so how dare I?

I dare not call it depression because I felt okay for 2 hours that day.

I dare not call it depression because I am scared.
I dare not call it depression because I am fucking scared.