Posted in Secondary Sundays

SS:Love is Not Enough

Hello, there stranger.

I know that lately you’ve been distant, absent, tired. It’s okay… I’ve been there as well.

I understand that you’re starting to trip and slip your way out of routine. That is not okay, and should be remedied right away.

To distract you from all the sorrows and… obstacles of your day to day life, today I want to take you into a journey of abstract feelings and thoughts.

Today’s story is not about anyone you have ever known, or even encountered.

Today’s story is something a lot of people have lived through, something maybe you too felt at one point.

Today I’ll tell you why sometimes

Love is Not Enough.

Everyone at one point convince themselves that life could be so much sweeter if they only had love, that maybe it would all be better if they could just fall in love.

Love fixes everything.

But it doesn’t.

There are many times in which love is not the solution to every problem. Sometimes there are more things, problems, feelings, issues, fears, than love could ever explain or counteract.

I guess that’s also part of the problem: Love was never supposed to be enough.

Love is a feeling, a part of something greater and bigger and maybe even a bit scary. Love is not a whole. It is a screw desperately trying to hold onto all the little pieces that make up a machinery.

Love is foolish and smart and selfish and helpless and kind.

Love want and it takes, and it takes, and it takes, and it gives, gives, gives. But love doesn’t ask you what you want to give, what you want to take. It just does.

It acts, and it breathes, and it lives inside your skin.

Love makes you stupid.

Love makes a person go “maybe this is not such a bad idea, after all.” right before they abandon all sense of logic and duty and just lunge for something.

Love is dangerous for us, for the less than vital parts of the machine. We can be traded and reused. We can be thrown away at any second, all the machine needs is parts, and there are plenty to spare.

They are just waiting for us to slip up, and when we do, we are thrown away.

Not Jade though, he was special like that. He was a screw, just like the rest of us, just another part of the machinery that was only supposed to hold and maybe witness. But he was liked, by lots of people. Definitely by a lot more people than the regular screw.

Being a screw means that you must keep your head low and take orders, it means writing in small pads dates, numbers, information, tips, everything that you are told to do. You must be an invisible force, take and take and take and take and never give back.

Unlike love, screws know exactly what to take and what not to give.

Jade was not like that.

Jade loved the idea of taking, of improving and helping. He truly believed being a screw was something good, that he could change the world just by relying simple facts and clinical information to the rest of the machinery. But he was not so fond of the idea of anonymity, that he was only supposed to take, that he should never be seen.

And he liked it even less when he met her.

I will not give names here, because it truly is in your best interest not to know. Just know that she was someone else’s assignment before Jade asked about her, before this other person was moved somewhere else, somewhere warm and calm. Somewhere cold was something that hardly ever happened in the winter time.

Jade saw her and suddenly he forgot how to behave like a screw. At the time no one cared, it didn’t matter to the rest of the machinery that maybe he was a bit compromised, that he cared more than he should. For the machinery it was all about facts and percentages, compatibility numbers and success rates.

Jade saw her and the machinery allowed him to observe her.

And he did. For weeks he was as relentless and careful as he had always been, jotting down numbers and patterns, times between meals and phone calls. The machinery was pleased.

But then something changed.

No one knows exactly what happened or how. He had acquaintances, and people who’d greet him on the halls on the way out, but screws weren’t allowed to have friends, to be anything other than they already were. So no one ever knew what happened.

Was it love? Who knows.

All I know is that one day he was a screw, he fed the machine all the words and facts that it needed to be happy and keep on working, and then the next… there was nothing.

Silence.

No words for the machinery, no notes to his supervisors.

There was nothing but an empty bed in the morning, and strewn papers all over the place.

There were facts and words, and lies, lies, lies, fed to the machine for days before anyone could have noticed.

A younger screw was called in to work on the case. This particular person was smart and agile, they had a good success ratio and didn’t particularly stuck out in a crowd.

They were chosen because of their ability to blend in and being forgotten.

Screws were particularly good at noticing things no one else did. They were trained for years not to miss any details. If anyone was going to be able to find Jade, it would be this person who lived their entire life being unnoticed in a company whose sole purpose was to notice, to see, to analyze.

They were perfect.

They delegated responsibilities, all the cases they were supposed to already be working on. They moved back  from the warmth and into the unforgiving cold.

It didn’t take them long to find Jade and  the unnamed woman. They had moved, the same way wayward screws were advised to do so once they were let go. Never stay in one place for long, never cross path with another unassuming person, never look back, never stray from your path.

They were shocked to see the quiet and simple person walk up to them on a white afternoon. They were all wearing grey coats and scarves, gloves, and hats with washed off colors.

“Jade,” The smart and agile person said. They sat down beside them outside a cafe and offered no other explanation.

The man and the woman who no longer went by their previous names stared at them in fright.

“Excuse me but I–” The man who did not call himself Jade anymore started, but cut himself off before the screw could silence him with a look. “I didn’t expect they’d send you.”

Something like surprise went through the screw’s face. They weren’t used to be recognized.

“You did not?”

“I thought I wasn’t as important,” The man said in a rush. “I thought they’d send someone else. I thought I’d have more time.”

“You know who she is, though.” The screw shrugged. “She’s much too important to let go of.”

The man didn’t say anything for a while. The woman stared at both of them in contemplative silence before she addressed the screw with careful words, “He told me you were supposed to be my observer.” The screw shrugged once more, they were not allowed to talk to her. “May I ask why?”

The screw remained silent. The man sighed.

“Could you give me some time? For old time’s sake?”

The screw looked at the man, really looked at him and the strangeness of his words, and they saw him.

There was a fog that lifted, a feeling that was not supposed to be there. And the screw mourned for a moment the person they had been and would never be able to return to be again. As the fog and the drowsiness left, they knew they would never be able to go back.

“Jade,” The screw said again but this time they had a voice, this time they remembered. “They will come, if I don’t take you back someone else will.”

“I know.”

“You have to leave,” The screw said, but this time they stared at the woman. “If you don’t leave they will come for you again, and again, and again.”

“I know,” Jade said.

“You need to leave her. They will never stop looking if she’s there.”

“I know,”

“You will have to disappear,”

“I know,”

“But you don’t want to disappear. You want to stay, you want to fight,” The screw pointed out. They were, after all, expert at noticing things and reading people. “But you can’t. If you fight you will die.”

“I’ve nowhere else to go.”

The woman stared at them in stunned fear.

“Cromly,” The screw said after only a second of silence. “I’ve got Cromly, I’ve gotten Cromly for a while. If you go to them, they can get you a new life. You’ll be free.”

There was fear in Jades eye, but there was something else: Not hope, but admiration.

“Cromly,” He said, slowly.

“Cromly. They’ll get you out of here and into the other regions. Once you cross the second border no one will ever be able to find you again. No one would dare to.”

“I can’t leave her like this,” He argued.

“You can’t take her.”

“Cromly would—“

“Cromly can only hide her. If you go through the borders, they’ll forget you. If she goes through the borders, they’ll hunt her down and kill her.”

“Oh,” the woman said. “Oh.”

They separated inside a train station.

The screw will never forget that, just like they will never forget anything else ever again.

The screw walked into the train and stared at them while the doors closed. They were holding hands. She was crying. He was sobbing in silence.

They were looking into each other’s eyes and repeating names and times, and routines. They were making a list of all the things they needed to forget but wanted so badly to keep. They wanted to keep so many things. It was there, in the way they held hands like they would never be able to touch anything as long as they lived. It was in the way their faces tilted toward each other but never touched. It was in the way their feet shuffled as the train announced the last minute boarding.

It was there when they kissed and cried.

It was there when they pulled apart.

It was there when they walked away.

It is still there, as the man lies his head against a cool pane of glass to look outside to a world he never thought he’d see, but couldn’t enjoy anymore. It’s still there in the way trees sway to the compass of the wind and water ripples as birds gently touch the surface of a lake as they fly.

It is no longer there, in the vacant look of two pools of liquid spring. It’s not in lingering fingers against soft fabrics on clothing stores, and giggling voices that want to read every book in the world.

It’s still inside the screw’s mind, because they will never be able to forget that longing, how it looked, how it might feel.

That screw will live in longing, a different kind. To know, to hold, to experience…. maybe even to forget.

Forget that love is not enough, that people suffer, that people take and take and take, and even if they give back, sometimes love is just not the answer, but the riddle.

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Posted in Poetry

To my High School Self,

 

I know I will never be as brave or as afraid as you were.

I know I will never have to hold myself up the way you did.

I know because of you that tears taste like stormy oceans in the morning,

and that I have fingers that claw and tear people apart

just so they don’t have to brave the cold alone.

 

I learnt with you the power of words

– and of silence.

 

I’m sorry that loneliness was your teacher,

and and that your hands never met warmth.

I’m sorry that there are stories you’ll never share,

I’m sorry about the ghosts and the mirrors and the darkness,

God so much darkness.

 

I’m sorry that you could not be braver or more afraid.

I’m sorry that you had to carry dead bodies with you,

holding hands in a chain of despair

for all the versions we had been.

 

I’m sorry that hands and lips and thoughts–

I’m sorry that you cried, and I cried, and you cried and I laughed.

 

Hair is softer than we thought it was,

lips are warmer than we thought they were,

and salvation is sweeter and bitter at the same time.

 

Love was love was love was love was a lie.

 

You bit through your tongue so you wouldn’t have to lie.

I remember the taste of blood in the back of my mouth,

like a foolish lover that wouldn’t let us die.

 

Oh, how you loved to die.

You died everyday for a year.

The bodies piled up, and up, and up, and up.

Dead bodies wherever the eye could see.

And you held hands with them all.

 

I know touch–

I know fingers and hands and arms,

I know things you never knew.

 

I wish you had known that arms hold the way fingers touch-

gently, nervous, loving-

that you can love someone without losing the lie.

I wish someone had told you that love is love is alive.

 

I wish life had given us flowers and giggles and an adventure after the other.

 

I know you wished for arms that hold like fingers –

careful, scared, beautiful-

that you could’ve loved someone without the lie.

I know you believed that love could be alive…

if it wasn’t with you.

 

I’m sorry that it was never with you,

I’m sorry that you had to lie.

 

I’m sorry, above all, that you died,

that I’m holding your hand the way you used to-

frightened, sad, and lonely-

I’m sorry that you never loved you the way I do,

that you never could.

 

To my high school self,

I know.

I’m sorry.

I love you.

-L.

Posted in Secondary Sundays

SS: Back con Track

Hello,

Welcome back to a new Secondary Sunday.

Today we will talk about… About…

I guess today we will talk about art

Let me tell you some things about art. Art is beautiful and soft and cold and wet and horrifying. Art can stick to the roof of your mouth if you’re not careful. It can slide down your throat and make you feel like maybe home is not as far away as it was before.

I have been home. I have been someone’s home. I have been my own home.

But I have never been art. Art demands something from people, but in a passive yet unrelenting way.

Art demands that you look, that you understand, and pay attention and learn. Art makes you feel things that make no sense. Makes you understand things about yourself you don’t want to understand.

You know someone like that. Or maybe you don’t, maybe you think you do but in fact that might be a lie.

I guess by this point you are used to the lies. The ones you tell and the ones other people tell you.

This person didn’t want to lie to you, or to anyone for that matter.

You understand that sometimes we reach a point in which lying and our lives are not completely under our control.

This person is like art because they demand that you understand them in a soft way. They don’t need your understanding or even your attention, but you do.

Do you remember them?

You do.

You walked by their store once. There were different sized hand prints along the outer walls. You remember, because you paused for a couple of minutes to admire a child sized yellow hand print placed right beside a lime green paw print. It was interesting because the paw print was almost as big as the child’s hand. It was interesting because it told a story.

You like stories.

You like objects that are able to hold stories.

You often talk about the memory of objects and how much they are able to retain. You don’t talk to other people though. You talk to yourself. You talk to me. Thought often times you don’t know that you are talking to me.

You talked to that wall. You touched it with uncertain fingertips and shaking hands. It wasn’t cold that day, far from that, and you didn’t know why you were shaking.

There were other hands there, but only those two caught your eye.

As you stared, you didn’t notice another pair of eyes looking. It wasn’t the usual pair of eyes. It wasn’t someone taking note of you mental and emotional health to make sure you weren’t going to become a problem to society.

This person stared at you in the way people often stare at a piece of fiction, or art. They wanted to understand you, they wanted to see beyond what you were portraying. They wanted to learn and relearn your story.

They were often being looked at by several pairs of eyes… These eyes stared at her the way the first pair of eyes stared at you.

They were more complex and susceptible than you will ever be. What’s been done to them is far worse than what will ever be done to you.

You don’t drift away for as long or as far away as they do. And that is fine. That is perfect.

Keep it that way.

They don’t cry anymore.

Make sure you cry.

… You were crying that day. You had tears in your eyes as you stared at the story a wall would never be able to tell, and would forever keep.

While you traced the story that would never be, you were being stared at by someone who, just like art, has no birth or story, only an origin.

You didn’t notice them hiding behind long pieces of fabric hanging from the ceiling. They were holding pencils and sketch books in perpetually stained hands.

You don’t know their story because their story is not relevant to you. You will not live or die because you know it.

They might live or die, if you know their story.

It is important that you do not know their story.

They know this. They don’t care about this.

They have spent a lifetime not caring about this or anything else. They have built a wall around them and everything inside them just not to care about any of it.

You don’t know anything about walls and pieces of fabric. You know something about pain and longing that others didn’t need to teach you.

They had to be taught that.

You will need to be taught many things.

You will not understand many things. You probably don’t understand much of anything right now. Maybe you are wondering a lot of things right now.

I will ask you to stop wondering things right now.

You have a life. You don’t need a small studio covered in other people’s stories and memories. You need your own life.

You don’t have to wander around the world barely even making a sound with your feet, because sound is for people and you’re not sure you are that anymore. You don’t need to be the only memory people forget.

You don’t need to be forgotten.

So let’s talk about art. Let’s talk about the way art moves and stays, how it demands nothing but wants everything. Art doesn’t need things but it desperately wants them.

It wants to be remembered. It wants to be more than a memory.

Above all Art wants to move, and be, and hope, and live.

But Art is dead. Art cannot move like you do. Art can only look, and wonder, and hide.

You can never know Art, and Art can never know you.

But it tries. It’s important that you don’t.

Lie.

Don’t be Art.

Art can never understand you. Art can never live.

 

Posted in Personal Blogging

Hello

So, I’ve been trying to write this for a while.

I promise.

I’ve written some drafts and then scrapped the whole thing because I couldn’t make it sound the way I wanted to.

When I started this blog, I made the implicit promise that I’d try to keep a certain tone while writing. Not when I was sharing things that were meant to be sad, but when I talked to you about other things.

I wanted to sound cheery and happy and all that jazz…. but I couldn’t. Not right now.

I’m sorry I’ve been so absent lately.

I’m sorry I didn’t post the promised updates. Everything going on in the world and particularly in the US has been making me feel… honestly like shit. So I can’t pretend.

I won’t promise to come back next week in a better mood because I honestly don’t know if that’ll happen.

I kind of promise to keep you posted. That I’ll keep wiring small posts to let you know how I’m feeling.

Maybe no one’s reading this right now, and I don’t mind. I just want to leave this message here for a moment in which I look back and see this… gap where posts should be. I want to remember what happened and how I was.

I care and I worry about all of you out there, receiving and maybe even spreading hate.

I’m from Chile, so why do I care? I care because I have this thing called “empathy” and I really, really care about everything going on in there. I care because I have friends in the US. I care because I know this election has validated a lot of hateful thoughts and actions. I care because I don’t want to see people who’ve been through hell and back being forced to relive all that.

I’m sorry I can’t be bubbly today.

I’ll try again later.

When I’m done writing and re-writing the update posts, I’ll let you know.

For now, there’s just this.

-L.

Posted in Personal Blogging

What the Fuck US

Bruh, you had one job.

You only had to not elect the buffoon that has less experience and qualifications for running a country than I do for running this blog.

WE ALL KNOW HOW MUCH I SUCK AT RUNNING THIS BLOG.

I just….

you guys!

I’m still processing this.

I will not rant. Don’t worry.

I will post my scheduled updates tomorrow because WTF dude, I needed some time to think.

WTF.

fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck

GUYS

-L.