my knees are pressed against yours under this oddly shaped table. it feels strangely intimate, the pulse of your skin against mine and i wonder if you can hear the way my heart sings for you. your smile is easy on your face and it makes my breath catch in my throat when the radiance sweeps me off my feet easily.
your eyes are round and panicked, wet the way puppies’ eyes are. your hand is flailing anxiously and your voice is going at hundred miles an hour, words tumbling one after another and it’s almost endearing the way the child in you is still alive. i brush my hand across yours and pull it towards me, and the look of trust in your face makes me feel like i could do this f o r e v e r.
i would hardly ever call myself a damsel in distress except when the walls of the world threaten to snare me in its razor sharp teeth. the way you come up to beside me makes me feel so relieved i could cry. for a moment i feel like i want to grab your hand in mine but the look you send my way is enough to blanket the anxiety rippling through my veins. i settle for walking a little closer to you.
maybe our hands don’t fit right but i feel like i am holding the world in my palm.
singing to your flowers makes them grow better
i think i am depressed, i whisper, as if speaking louder will make it come t r u e. i don’t want to be depressed, not when it means that i have the urge to cry over everything or if it means that i worry a hole in my lip even when i am too apathetic to do anything on most days.
they say that depression is a war. if the soviet union could make a comeback against the winning blitzkrieg tactics of germany, who is to say that my soul will never be free of depression? winning the war is of no use. some 70 years ago, my people were free from the shackles of colonialism. today i am still haunted by colonialism, and i watch the way colonialism still bounds this great continent to the rock bottom and it hurts to see my people struggle. we need no chains to make slaves of people.
victory is only ever sweet once. the bitter aftertaste never really leaves.
have you really won?
THIS, they whisper, is Exhibit A:
- my eyes are glossy from staring at the 50k word document on my laptop, my homework shoved aside but not forgotten. how could i ever forget what killed me? everything that kills me makes me wish i was dead.
- a tear slips out of my eyes as i cook my own dinner. there aren’t any onions on the chop board, just my determination. the microwave timer has never turned slower.
- i am breathing so fucking hard even as my mum is screaming for me to wash the dishes and my hand is a fucking aspen leaf as it trembles but why can’t i die?
- i sleep till twelve on saturdays. i reply 7am messages on whatsapp with a sflr. then i fall back to bed, my eyes shut. the ceiling is still as plain as it was when i was eleven.
- i don’t fuck with racism or ableism the way my classmates do. the teachers smile at them more anyway.
- maybe we should wait till we graduate. so we can focus on our studies. your message flashes through my mind and laughter is bitter on my tongue when i realize that you’re better off without me. sometimes i wish i could hold your hand, but i remember you have your eyes on a girl who isn’t me. am i selfish for wanting you to myself even when we agreed to see how it worked out?
- i was never worth it.
- every romantic encounter was always met with silence. it still kills me to think that i longed for a break up over whatsapp. maybe this is what commitment issues look like.
- i open the fridge every day when i come back home, even if i know mum hasn’t done the grocery shopping.
- i haven’t felt happy in two and a half years.
newton’s first law states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. it may be seen as a statement about inertia, that objects will remain in their state of motion unless a force acts to change the motion.
maybe this was what newton meant:
- depression keeps me gutted and motionless. some days i wait for mother to rip the covers off my body but it never happens, because i am a Big Girl who has to wake up on her own. instead i lay still and stop breathing. maybe if i pretend i’m dead long enough i might not have to face the world: too big too loud too much. it never works.
- somehow my fingers stay stuck on the twitter tab, no matter if four tests six deadlines seven thousand fucking expectations are looming over my head. nineteen doggos in and my will to die has not decreased.
- swallowing becomes so fucking hard when my skirt becomes tighter every day.
- no one understands when i say i am too depressed to eat/sleep/do my homework/continue to be a slave to the government. the glances sent my way are pitying and suddenly death seems to be a viable option.
- why does everyone make depression the subject of their mental health awareness project when they don’t give a fuck? i am not your token character to fill up a diversity quota. fuck off.
- how much force is is required to overcome the inertia of this body?
- i don’t know. i dropped physics.
the ghost of your lips against mine is foreign as it is familiar, not unlike the feeling of whispered forevers slipping out of your mouth when you think your hoodie is muffling your words. take me back to when you’d pull my sweater tighter round me and send me off with promises of /see you later/s, let me relive when you’d flop down beside me to scrub the dishes because no one else would, (the look in your eyes told me that it wasn’t the truth) so we’d wash away in comfortable silence, elbows bumping. i am a girl of the tropics, fiery skin freezing up over under 5°C air and howling winds, but you always thawed it when you shuffled closer beside me, body heat seeping into mine till my insides were warm and fuzzy.
i loved you. i fell in love with you. i love you. i fell out of love with you.
this is why i stopped fucking with guys: the misogyny got way too much for me. i am not a cumsock nor a fuck hole for you to unload your ego into. i am not here to pick up your fragile masculinity or to stitch it back together. i am not here to blow on the wounds of your bruised ego. i have stayed silent for far too long about the way your knees brush against my front or the way your hands linger on my ass. every fling i’ve ever had had one thing in common: there was a guy who wanted to feel superior, but this was a chick who was too aggressive and too loud, so she got dumped. for years i have preened when i am described as fiery, but now i am tired of it. why is it that the guy who spoke over me during our feminism debate not fiery or aggressive? why is it that the boy who speaks passionately about screwing girls any less /radical/ than i am? why am i held up to double standards? when a guy touched me today i turned to glare at him, but he smiled before scowling. you lie under the euphemism of fuckboy when you are a sexual predator. society has made you an acceptable aesthetic. you embrace the name fuckboy but when i call you a predator you bare your teeth at me and i remember what a privilege it is to be angry and not afraid.
this is why i scream: men are T R A S H
hail ye: an ode to feminism