Let and what is romanticized by your
Let me know about the days when your body feels nothing like a body; when it feels like a place troops lay down guns and forget to take them, or an invaded city that’s being burnt to the core. Define the days rough palms touch your skin reminding you what hurts before you witness the colour of bleeding. Tell me what you’ve been writing in leather notebooks that your mind could not bear carrying to all places it wandered; what is been fabricated by nostalgia and what is romanticized by your attempts to tame it. My personal handwriting once turned into words I could not discern and sentences I was unable to construe. Tell me something I don’t already know, perhaps there’s a chance parallel minds settle on common grounds. Aerial and light, I’ve been praying ever since London became a friend, told me, “Nothing tantalizing I offer that you don’t create”. Come to where I stand, there’s no plot and I just found out.
Once a man went to Brooklyn and wrote songs about New York. I gather from that, think what I could write about London. He calls me ‘love’ then proceeds telling me that London is a teenager, an urchin; that it’s neither what I see nor what I imagine it to be. “It’s broken pieces and glued together, there’s inspiration here.” He tells me it’s not loneliness that I feel, it’s freedom and here it’s somehow different. You are the man who went to Brooklyn but came back. I ask you how I ignore my fears and walk unarmed through the war of hidden shooters behind windows I once saw children building forts.
You laugh as if I awakened your favourite memory as a child. Your lips are in an amber-lighted place. A hand is raised to knock away the cigarette about to burn your face. “You remind me of my favourite memory as a child but that’s not it; It’s running towards home through a field, sunburn on my shoulders, an empty water bottle in my hand, stopping half way to catch my breath.
” A stranger comes bearing nothing, accuracy by volume; five steps in black boots- the last three slightly noisier than the rest. I remind you, they have levelled cities that way. A stranger comes towards us bearing nothing, says, “There’s no water inside the swimming pool” before turning away. You smile not a kind smile and expose my horror in a matter of four words. I respond, “I hope you’re not as scared as I am. This is the most hopeless I’ve ever felt.” You claim you heard me crying behind closed doors the other day while you were singing about New York and I remind you, “Things here are sadder”. “Don’t be blue, don’t you be blue.
Your hands are freezing cold but you chose to be here.”I wish we weren’t being that honest while in my desperate need of sympathy. However, I confess, I don’t know where I stand. I confess, I feel my body being thrown into all directions, pretending to live in extremes while actually exhausted and wishing to settle down. I confess, London feels right but also London feels wrong.
I confess, I don’t know what to write when it comes to this city. Tell me about the moments you felt the world was dragging your body all over its grounds and you didn’t know how to stand up. Perhaps if I listen to your story mine will make sense. Tell me if things would be better on the other side of the ocean, how London has a character you don’t know how to control at times.Tell me about the nights you stay up contemplating what kind of a man you are and I will show you my hands, let them breathe warmth under your ego, remind you what kind of soul you are. Maybe I’ll rediscover my love for the art of storytelling and give London the narrative it deserves. I will talk about a man who couldn’t resist coming back if only you give me your reasons.
I will write about the softness you carried when you recalled the day you got on an airplane and left for another city. If life has no plot share with me your courage to build it by drawing lines from one place to another. This train station is blisteringly cold, in the middle of nowhere. The last train home has been cancelled and we’re staring at each other as if we don’t need to find our ways. All we know is the name of the city, we haven’t even introduced ourselves.
Be creative, what do we do? I don’t go after things that will hurt me in the long run so keep your storyline easy to follow; it’s no time to get out of my comfort zone. You tell me you once found yourself in that position and I ask, “How did you get out?” You tell me just beyond a mountain lied a city and you went to that city to find Angels and God. I call you insane.
You voice your opinion on my time running wild, supporting that a million dead-end streets are waiting to see me crying. I admit how I wish I knew what the hell you are talking about. We walk further down a road and you start running as if I am keeping you hostage. The night crashes down on me when you grab my hand pulling me along, screaming how life is fast but we are riding in its slowest lane. You tell me that life is a hurricane and leaves no place for permanent memories or traces as both are being replaced constantly, just as humans are.
You say writers embody and capture life on their papers and between the rhymes and now it is us that are creating memories, not life. We try to catch our breaths and somewhere in between I admit I’m afraid. I tell you there is something that makes me physically upset. My life has no plot.
Every step I take, I take for myself and it leads me to a different path. It makes me agitated to think that my life is up in the air and there is no bigger picture of anything.I start screaming how I’m simply here. How I’m just here and my actions will take me to so many places; not only physically like hopping on a train, but emotionally and mentally I can just change.
I shout to your angels and gods how my plot will be so different as with every step I lay a different word onto a page. I can write my own ending and that is terrifying. If I mess up there is no-one else to blame.
If my future turns out horrible it will be because of what I created. I ask you, what if I’m a terrible writer? Life is this big stack of paper and as we write and write and build our story people see it, those we are around and leave their footnotes, leave their thoughts. At the end it’s never really finished or orderly; pages are crumbled, erased, lost, it’s scary.
Something is lurking in the leaves and all that’s left to do is run.Sincerely, I’ve been praying ever since London became a friend, told me, “You’ll be safe here”. Tell me why my body feels nothing like a body. Tell me why the world nails me down when all I do is walk home after a hard day’s work. Explain to me why all those faces make no sense when they are smiling. Who takes it out of you? We are standing in the middle of the street and it feels like we are in the centre of an upcoming destruction. I feel like I’m standing at the barrel of someone’s gun, counting down the seconds it shoots me.
There is a war going on in my head and you can do nothing to stop it. Tell me what I do with all the war relics after it’s over. Show me how to use machine guns because the battle is not fair.
When a little girl started crying because shooters were attacking Londoners, I didn’t know what other title to give it rather than death. A three-year-old boy looked at his father to find out why people were killing people. I ask you, “How daring do you think I am?” There’s a war going on in my head because once I saw it happening. Assure me that if I lay out my plot there will be no twists. London deserves better stories than the ones capitalising tragedy.
Tell me, how do I get there?”There is madness yes, this is true. Few mortals possess it, the willingness to step away from the protection of sanity. To walk into the wild wood of madness but you, you are brave.”