Truth be told, I had already started
writing this in my mind, behind closed lids as I struggled to fall asleep, last
night. I told myself to just shut up
and save the sentimental word vomit for morning (which is where I am now). I
kept twitching as I tried to fall asleep. People do that when they are tired. I’ve
been sleeping an average of 4 hours every 24. Anyway, I’ve fixed that this
morning with a much needed nap.
don’t smile at me, please,” Zooey said evenly, and walked out of the vicinity. “Seymour
was always doing that to me. This goddamn house is full of lousy smilers.”
Ha. I trust you enough to feel like
whatever goes through your mind as you read that excerpt will reflect what I
think as well. Perhaps it is arrogance to feel so, but I do. I honestly do. I’m
still reading it. Relishing it in
fact. I stop when I’m tired of it so as not to read carelessly.
Here comes the sentimental tripe… You smile
a lot. When you first met F. I will describe it to you, my favourite smile of
yours (smiles varies, people generally have a repertoire of smiles); this smile
usually comes when I’m talking. When I’m saying something or the other and you’re
listening with a benevolence only you could muster for my mindless garble. You
would be quiet and you would meet my eyes for a second and then lower them to
the ground, with this smile still intact. In that second, a knowing look glints in your eyes. Yet in
saying nothing and simply smiling, therein lies your enigma. I would frown (in
my mind if not actually) and wonder. It’s an endearing albeit infuriating sort
of smile. I generally chalk it down to “hinting at sadness” but you could be
ridiculing me for all I know. Not that I think you do.
I’m actually working myself up to write
something more substantial in this ‘letter’ but alas I need to go pick my
brother up from school. A sketch of your smile, in words, unbidden sentimentality
and my standard brand of foolish feigned omniscience.
"You told me there would be a permanent record. That they would always know I had been there," you said to me when I questioned you on why in the world would you say something like that to Maya, whom was in a similar situation you were in. We had this conversation last year, and I realized that you believed me back then.
I lied. I knew no such thing. I was scared. Beyond scared. I wanted to pose over you a threat. To discourage you from going along so rakishly with everything that went down. It seemed like it was all going the way you 'planned' it. I was 15 and worried out of my mind. So I lied. I never realized how much stock you put into my words. You never seemed to pay attention to anything I said back then. Never seemed to feel...anything at all, apart from some paralyzing melancholy, or ennui.
I latch onto this unsavory anecdote because Maya texted me today. And I am still reading Salinger's Zooey. All this reading about Franny and Seymour got me thinking of the past. Of our more impressionable years. My desire for your attention, approval, what-have-yous. Not that that aspect has dampened at all [through out the past decade], merely tempered with. Appeased.
Anyway, I can't remember when you said you would be coming back. In a few days I assume. Seeing that my life is completely vacant these days (until God knows when), I don't pay attention to the days. For some –ah, mother interrupted me just now. I've lost my train of thought. Nevermind.
Speaking of mother. She has been telling me an awful lot about the work politics menacing her lately, She's even considering quitting her job (in a manner of speaking –6 months unpaid leave). Some manner of injustice done onto her and her colleagues by a new 'Director'. An iron-fisted, despotic [is this correct?] sort of egotistical beast. Idk. All the speak I seem to ever hear these days are bad news, or complaints. I cannot bring myself to humour any of them. In the car, I have taken to an unholy habit of listening to music on earphones like some fourteen year old. I am a disgrace. I cannot listen to all this speak about the terrible conditions of the world. It all sounds like self-absorbed chatter. And I hate myself for it.
It is hard at this age to get along with parents. Then again, this is a constant. I am a terrible person. I become extremely reticent and impatient at times that I forget to be kind. Mother snaps at me when this happens. And I apologize soon after (give and take 20 minutes of self-flagellation).
It is simply the whole trying to be an 'adult' while still living at home with your parents, I suspect. They still see me as a child needing lecturing and brisk commands. Sometimes I find myself unable to be 'good' and obedient is all.
I am writing instead of typing and obnoxiously posting this on my blog (& deleting it soon after like I usually do) because something's wrong with my laptop. So this has turned into a rambling letter.
Many things. Many still, that I can write of. But it's maghrib now. I should go.
Pensieve & missing you,
p.s. My laptop started working again. So I typed my letter out and added some feckless italics. A measly fan-nish tribute after the style of Salinger's F&Z. All commentary in [these parentheses] are added on as I typed it out too. I'll make no allusions to my current state of mind. We'll see if I get to write another one before you come home. I don't think I could write while you're home.
For the rouge-wanderer It feels like a crying defeat To admit the ache in his heart Silent like the night, the voyager Surrenders to his wild feet Gripping his mad soul, lest it fell apart With the tide, comes the drifter Eyes world-weary, smiling sweetly Into the unseen, he departs swiftly.
I know we haven’t
talked much lately but that is not the point. It's the idea of your being near,
existing somewhere alongside me, which I find comforting. Said so, I am slightly
sad at your leaving. I know it isn't even a long departure, but still.
I hold you in deep
p.s. (after I blurted my feelings on social media, demanding you
pay attention to me –I apologize. I am unstable these days.)
have adopted a new routine today. I alternate between reading (currently,
Salinger’s Franny & Zooey) and watching a tv show cleverly titled, Person
of Interest (A work of Nolan’s. Not him, his brother). I read about 5-8 pages
and then I watch about 10-15 minutes of an episode, repeat ad infinitum (is this a proper use of this phrase?). It is a good
routine I believe. I am doing this because I refuse to fall into a stupor that
one is apt to when reading a book. I refuse to be stupefied and fall into a
mind-world of agonizing ideas. Books do that. I despise how it kills my footing
on solid reality.
had half a mind to write you a letter before you leave. But there is no sense
in it. We are much too close nowadays. It feels absolutely ridiculous. Yes,
yes, I am writing to you. Once again. My audience, my subject, my friend.
It is winter over there. I do not have anything to say on the matter. I do not
know anything about Korea. But travelling, that I do know, a little. Travelling
transports you from your routine. It’s wonderfully tiring and exciting and
tedious at the same time. Exhilaration and exhaustion; that is what travelling
Back to Salinger. Re-reading Franny at this age, at this point in my life, I find it most impressive. Her preoccupations are relevant to me now. That Salinger could write something both modern and religious is a feat. One can argue if the work is at all religious or in fact irreligious. The point being, God is brought to focus. The seeking of God. The all-important, inevitable existential crisis. Franny is also perfect in the sense that the outcome is not spelled out to the readers. Maybe because there is no outcome. A perpetual state of restlessness...
"Yes. No. I don't know." - I think this line from Salinger's Franny describes you perfectly. In fact, the entirety of Fanny fits into you perfectly. No matter the uncanny resemblance you are not Franny. I want you to know that. I feel it is important. So, remember this. Please.
aside, L. (not me, that poet/book publisher friend of yours) have been emailing
me on and off since Sunday last week. I have been diligent in replying them.
Another new acquaintance of yours, which you have kindly passed on to me. You
do that. This, collection of misfits
you pick up and from God knows where. I do not know how you do it. Must be that
bounteous enigma in you. Some invisible pull. (I shall check myself here, I’m
afraid). Anyway, L. Is it odd that I find myself irritated that I have
spoken/written/whatever the proper lingo is, to him more often than with you
throughout this week? I do not know what it is. It is not like I have anything
to say to you. Not really.
have asked me variations of the question “Are you alright?” multiple times in
the sparse mobile messages (I despise the specific mentioning of social media
in letters. It takes the romance out of writing) and all I ever say is “I’m
alright.” It is as if I have lost all ability to confide in anybody ergo find
myself going quite crazy during my solitary afternoons. Most of the time I keep
myself preoccupied, but when the effect of the activity has worn off I feel a
deep void springing beneath the feet of my metaphorical self in my mind. The
gap yawns ever wider and I fall into its maw for various hours, minutes or
have no real reason to not be alright. The world is suffering. War is rampant,
violence the norm, oppression a routine. I do not have the right to feel this
way. I have begged myself to stop feeling so (God, I wish I could swear) …ungenerous. I am an uncharitable, moody
and lonely person lately. The dawning realization of change has me feeling like a part of me has died. I am a creature
of habits. Change never sits well with me on its advent. Once settled, I will
life will forever end up being this. A passionless clockwork trudging to
and fro from work, only to return, exhausted and unmotivated. I have went to
work. During those placements back in university. Work kills the creative mind. It sucks the energy for inspiration. I did
not like it. I do not think I ever will. Not in the field of pharmacy anyway.
I know. God has planned things as is best
for our spiritual needs. I have asked time and again that I be put in situations
that will beget The Good End. Yet I find myself in these situations where I know in my bones to be the thoughts of a
foolish ingrate. I am human. I understand. I am alright most times and when I
am not I need only remember this: One cannot love the here and now and the
Hereafter. Not at once. If the heart is detached from this world, perhaps it is
God telling us to turn to Him and seek Him for comfort. I
must try harder. As ever. (I use ‘Ever’ a lot nowadays. It is a word I have
60% of the time, I am a self-righteous mess all the time. I am slightly drunk now (not in the literal sense, God, please), as I always end up being when I start writing to you. Anyway.
That is all. Have a safe trip. Remember that prayer for travelling I sent you when
you went to Japan. I can’t text it to you because I still have no mobile number
(it is that reluctance to accept that my life has changed, which I mentioned to
p.p.s. I wonder when you will read this. Do tell
when you have. Although my nature tells me I'll probably get rid of this once my ego's deflated.