dear confessions

March 3, 2012

i have kept you inside for so long, i don’t know what you’d sound like out loud. dramatized you at times; minimized, too. some of you belongs to me, pieces of you do not.

i have told countless stories from my imagination, recited endless tales of my adventures, dictated words to describe memories of others, heartache i’ve heard of, and even stale jokes whose punchlines i cannot recall. but i’ve kept my secrets inside.

in the cliched words of most writers, you have been bottled up. kept safely from the world, or so i thought. i’ve believed that if i kept you to myself, no one would notice. that if stayed silent, i could not regret the words.

and so i sit here‚Ķ drowning in the quiet storm that surrounds my thoughts, gasping for breath as you slowly incase my head with a deep haze. my brain won’t turn off because your screams are getting so loud. i feel the need for you to pour out of my body.

you don’t wish to break free from my heart, you never existed there. you don’t need to come out of my mouth, that’s not the funnel you’re looking for. your energy is ricocheting¬†inside me like a fly trapped inside a glass bottle desperately bouncing off the walls until it finds its exit. but i cannot find where you are, and so i cannot set you free. i’m not sure what you look like, so i don’t know where to search for you.

i only know that you exist. somewhere deep enough to hide from me, but painful enough that i know that you are there.

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dear 14 year old me

January 4, 2012

my father used to tell me to guard things. he taught me that reputations, when tarnished, could never recover. spewed cliched statements at me about how they take lifetimes to build and moments to destroy. begged me to be conscious about every choice i made and what this would mean when i’m gone.

he called me a diamond, and said i was worth my weight in gold. but warned me that diamonds, when scratched, lose all their value. the kohinoor cut into its 105 carats of clarity and color, can turn from a treasure into a stone with one scuff, he’d say.

and like all daughters, i argued. i bargained my way into believing that it could be cut up into smaller precious gems, so it would not be ruined forever if something were to happen.

but like most daughters, i matured. learned there was truth to what he said. that his words held wisdom that comes with the years. that his advice of sanctifying the things we care about extends beyond reputations.

i learned the hard way how many things it applied to. noticed how one extra pint of red paint into a yellow pale could ruin the perfect shade of orange. found out that when you toss your favorite silk dress by a heated surface, the shine goes forever, the pleats never sit the same. pushed aside the material damages, and realized the emotional ones are deeper, more important.

discovered that some things heal, even when cracked, but that they’re never actually the same. discovered that it’s not just bones that break, but people. discovered that when purity is lost, it’s irrevocable.

and now i wish i could turn to my father, and beg him to fix things for me. return to that time when i was 14 and challenging him. explain that i understand and that i’m so very sorry that i didn’t hear what he said. that i’ve learned my lesson and need to un-break everything inside me.

but the light from the noor is gone. i’m broken.

dear pain

December 28, 2011

sometimes i mistake you for strength. i’ve convinced myself that nothing great can be achieved without you. i’ve read books and research to confirm that. discovered theories that tell me the hours i can expect to feel you until things get better. dissected histories of people who achieved much more than i’m trying for – and they all have the common factors of endurance, will, and not surprisingly: you.

but what twists and turns did these theories take in the dark corners of my mind that made me believe your existence is a sign of greatness to come? what fallacy did i rely on to think that if greatness means having to put up with you, that your existence will result in something magical?

why did i not doubt that as soon as i felt you, i needed to dig deeper to understand where you are coming from?

why did i not remember that pain is sometimes a sign of something wrong. that putting up with your aching might lead to my destruction and nothing more?

why was i so determined to see you as a sign of promise that i couldn’t identify you for what you are doing to me?

so focused on building my strength that i thought the only way to do it is through you.

but when you come in the form of fatigue and exhaustion; when you come without the promise of reward; is that when i build more strength by ending the pain rather than enduring you?

dear wishful thinking

November 13, 2011

how lame of me to turn to you like you can solve my woes. as if you have the power to relieve my ambivalence – to take me out of the grey area into a more comfortable black or white space. to return me to a time when you did not exist and my day dreams had no trace of illusion, only fantastically entertaining whimsical thoughts. i was not wishful then, only thoughtful.

how immature of me to rely on you as a crutch for my sanity. as if your existence in my mind has the force to numb my pain – to turn me away from reality and set me on a path that will heal me. to distract me from the symptoms long enough to find a cure for this disease.

yet here i am: reaching out to you like a hopeless abandoned lover grabbing at the seams of your dress.

wishing i had noticed, and noted, all the goodness when it was still there. ignoring that it is gone. untraceable.

wishing i had known it was temporary and fleeting so i could have, would have, captured it in some way. forgetting that moments are only shattered fragments of memories.

wishing i could take back so much of my energy that i released to you, even though i don’t want it back.

wishing that i’ll have the inner strength to find some inner peace. to stop ignoring the unpleasant truths. to turn to logic instead of logical fallacies. to think wishfully instead of to use wishful thinking.

but then again, i was never good at that; was i?

dear memory

January 9, 2011

you unlocked yourself so easily. there was no warning you would come through so quickly, no knock to indicate your doors would burst open. you did not creep up even. you were just there.

as i stood on a staircase so full of you, i found myself in your shadows. you took me to places that made me stare into the past. relive giggles and laughs. awkward silences while i wondered what others were thinking. less awkward when i shared my thoughts. background noises so irrelevant even as they called my name back into the room.

just by standing in the same place, you forced me back down your path. one stair opened the door to a museum of thoughts. stood in a place you were. scents. sentences. sentiments. that you brought to mind.

then with a blink, realized it was time to let you go.

and like the silence of the alchemist; more obvious than the zahir; more painful than maria’s journey from brazil to switzerland; i did. released you into that space. abandoned you on that step.

your future tense more interesting than your past.

you’re no longer my memory to keep.

dear perfection

December 12, 2010

i’ve been warned to not want you. to think pragmatically about you. i’ve been told that i only expect you in my mind because you don’t exist. that if i keep trying to find you, i will only end up disappointed – chasing a shadow against a moving pavement.

i was warned because i wanted you. more passionately than a saxophonist breathing life into the piece between his lips. more wildly than his finger taps against its keys. more perfectly than his rhythm, his blues, that i feel reverberating from him.

yet despite how badly i wanted you – despite how much i was ready to sacrifice to work for you – with time, i believed the warnings.

with what i was told, it gave me comfort to know that i couldn’t get you because no one else could either. it’s not me, it’s you. the classic line that brings on heart ache to many, when reversed, only brings relief.

so i went about my days a little more content. my breaths became softer as i inhaled acceptance of the non-perfect creations i could make. my sleep slightly deeper as i evicted you from my mind and built in your space wants within reach.

but then, in a serendipitous twist, i stumbled upon you. i walked the streets of a city where you were everywhere. you existed in the perfect spheres of the creases in the pavement built around a monument that holds history beyond what it shares. you existed in the magnificence of the trees planted perfectly apart – far enough to let children and lovers run through the spaces between the trunks but close enough to let the top branches caress each other. you existed in the small specialty shops that lined the streets of the most unexpected areas – each with its own theme, its own perfect theme that held so true to the essence of the goods it sold inside. you existed in the savory and the sweet. in the creations for the stomach that defied the senses of the mouth.

you existed.

you did not exist in nature. i saw no sign of you in the clumsy river breaking through the bridges. no sign of you in the snow, fresh on the ground. you existed in creations of people. flawed people. people so passionate about what they were creating that they found you, embraced you, surrendered to the pursuit and discovery of your existence.

vous existiez.

dear past love

January 1, 2010

i re-read your card today. “we’ve shared countless memories,” you wrote. so why can’t i remember a single one? well, there are the tiny insignificant ones – the time we made nachos and ate the leftovers for breakfast for the next three days. the time you missed my birthday but then drove six hours with dead roses just to say hi (you forgot how much i dislike roses). i remember the way you smelled when you were close to me. sometimes i can still smell you nearby.

and that’s where my memories end. except for one last one – i remember loving you, more than i loved anyone before or since. but i can’t remember what i loved about you. i don’t remember what we spoke about. i don’t remember what you stood for.

but i remember the feeling. i remember my body trembling like san francisco when i said goodbye. i remember my eye lashes feeling heavy from the weight of my tears.

how is it that i remember a feeling so strong, but nothing to back it up? i don’t remember why i loved you or how it started. was it a more infantile love than something i can experience now? more immature than my memories? more superficial than the dead roses?

whatever it was, i wonder if it even existed.

dear 2009

December 26, 2009

the hardest thing for me is to walk away from something good. the way i see it, when you walk away, when you end it, it becomes a memory. and memories can never compete with experiences. you have been one of the most difficult years so far because you’ve brought a series of endings.

today i’ll go through one of the toughest. i’ve been preparing for it, but i don’t think any mental exercise will compare to the real world version. it’s the ending of a tradition, a long standing ritual in my life, that i took for granted since i was a child.

sure i bitched and moaned that it felt like a burden at times, but i took solace in the fact that it would always happen. never before have i been so saddened by an inaccurate assessment i’ve made.

the worst part is, i don’t know how it will end. will the physical finale precede the mental closure? will there be a new ritual created in a vain attempt to quickly replace the old? will my saturday afternoons feel forever empty the way the mornings have become?

i’m off to discover what it feels like to say goodbye to familiarity and comfort.

dabda 2010, here i come.

dear parisian chocolate houses

December 21, 2009

you stimulated my palette, whetted my appetite for finer things, left me wanting more. i felt euphoria while you melted in my mouth. tasted blends that i felt beyond my tongue. coffee beans, chunks of hazelnut, traces of roasted almonds infused my senses with each tiny bite.

and beyond my usual favorites, there seemed to be more interesting concepts to explore. and explore i did. i discovered ginger and sour cherries blended with chewy liquors. pistachios with raisins and orange peels. pralines filled with champagne and cognac.

with each bite of these creative concoctions, i realized how little i enjoyed the deviation from my usual simple selection. the experience of eating the fruity cocoa blends was interesting but left my sweet spot unsatisfied. as i turned away from the funky flavors and looked around at your half empty display trays, it was glaringly obvious that not everyone had the same reaction.

there are two types of people who walk through your doors – those who enjoy chocolate the way it is, and those who need something new. the former is looking for satisfaction. the latter is simply looking for a story.

in love, as in chocolate, the paradox exists. but unlike the rows in your store, the two cannot exist together. it is not a question of quality. both are looking for the purest blends and finest ingredients. it seems to only be a question of priorities. the hazelnut chocolatier is out to complete the experience, to quench the yearning within every chocoholic for that perfectly predictable and filling taste. yet with every familiar bite, a new craving is created.

his nemesis wants the patron to be shocked at every turn – too perplexed by the newness to realize that eventually the chocolate is bastardized into a fruit smoothie with contradicting flavors. satisfaction is never met because it is never the goal. both the consumer and the producer know this on some level. yet many are so happy with the pursuit of the novelty, they form their own form of satisfaction.

and the paradox remains that both types of chocophiles find what the other is looking for. buon appetit to both.

dear friendships

November 7, 2009

you come and go in many ways. your beginnings are predictable – we all crave the energy of a new person in our lives and thus we are somehow or another always in search of that. your endings are what fascinate me.

it’s rare when one can pinpoint the exact moment you’ll end. sometimes we see it coming over time. interests differ, paths diverge, we move on. eventually, after you fade away, we review the hiccups. out loud they sound silly, but we argue that at the time they were actually significant. those endings are slow and fuzzy… we don’t know for sure it’s the last phone call we’ll pick up; we don’t realize it’s the last time we’ll split an order of pancakes and scrambled eggs over breakfast; we assume there will be another round of kamikaze shots and laughter.

but then sometimes, it’s so painfully obvious that during that moment when it’s ending, we can’t even bring ourselves to say goodbye because we want the last memories together to be good.

so even though she recognizes it’s the end, she spends her time taking in as much as she can. she scans the room looking for a misplaced bottle of lotion, a stained t-shirt tossed on the floor, a note sticking to his mirror that clumsily hangs on the wall. she needs these memories because it’s the last time she’ll be here. she doesn’t fool herself for a second. in his eyes she sees what’s on her mind, but she can’t turn away. she confronts defeat. she gives in to temptation. she throws away a friendship to make one last memory together. one that, she’ll discover later on, he doesn’t share because in his state of mind she doesn’t realize he’s really not there.

there was color and movement. there were multiple dimensions. there was us. now there is only me… and a friendship confined to a place in time, a memory in my mind.