“Never had a juice box before?”

In a room where conversations were yet to be exchanged, where words had fallen like heavy snowfall onto the spaces between the white sheets of paper and the blue table top, where even the lights couldn’t hide how some hearts bled so dark that evening… in that room, you walked by me, your hands empty but your mind probably an arena of thoughts and words enclosed in the grey of a coat you wore. I wouldn’t know, but I’m just going to assume that’s what brought you there- with your blue pen and wide grin. And I don’t know if my presence offended you or if you merely wanted to say hello but in all the wrong ways, but I was just a girl confused about the right side to a juice box and you… you were a passer by who overheard my question. A name I’ve never heard before, and a name you wouldn’t have either- and in the instance of a second where we exchanged words, our battlefield was equipped with thick vocabulary and metaphors and similes yet to be read, yet to be unraveled, that we’ll probably never see. A cuboid of a shape was not how I would have planned on meeting you, but I’ve learnt that six sided shapes make good story lines and I hope yours is one of them too.

One day we won’t talk anymore

Do you sometimes look at someone and do you sometimes wonder if one day you’re not going to talk to them anymore?

One day we won’t talk anymore. And it’ll break my heart but I’ll tell myself that I always saw it coming. I’d type a message to you but I wouldn’t send it because I know that we had too many things to talk about once, and we still do but we’ve got too many things in between now. It’ll be sad and I’d write a post maybe on wordpress, maybe even put a note into a shoebox … something that talks about a diagnosis, or something that I’d wonder if you’d still remember. And I’ll wonder if you’d read it but I’d know for a fact that you won’t. So I’d pour my heart out, about how words were once our home and you were once a flip in the heartbeat. I’ll write about the minutes past 02:45, the lyrics to songs we were singing for ourselves and I’ll write about the courage you wore like a disgrace and the shoes you couldn’t fill.
One day we won’t talk anymore. So I’ll plug my earphones and I’ll turn up the volume as I listen to a Band of Horses, and I’d taste a tear that’ll slip down my cheek. I’d hurriedly wipe it away as if tears are things that we shunned away from. Because on that day, when we’d have so much to talk about but we wouldn’t, I would forget how I was once able to tell you about every tear on my face. I won’t explain because I wouldn’t be able to afford an explanation even though that was exactly what we were once made up of.
One day we won’t speak anymore but I’d see the cover to a book you spoke about and I’d pick it up… I would smile because I’ll remember how we exchanged stories about the books we’ve read and they were all somehow much much more than what the authors wrote for us. We didn’t realize it but we became our favorite story. But when we don’t speak anymore I’ll know that ours was the kind of story that couldn’t make it to the hard cover section because there were too many emotions, too many laughs and too many tears to revise.
I’ll notice you on the other side of the road one day, and I’ll wave at you. Your eyes will scan the crowd and you’ll turn away and I’ll wonder. I’ll always wonder, if I was never good enough for you. I’ll wonder if I lost too much to win too little, and I’ll remember how you were once afraid of the very same thing. And what I have lost will ironically weigh me down but I’ll smile and wave at the confused friend next to you.. because I’m always going to pretend you just didn’t see me. That you just overlooked me, oversaw me, slightly on purpose but mostly by mistake.
One day we won’t talk anymore, and maybe I’ll write to you.. but maybe I won’t. Maybe it’ll hurt too much, or maybe I’ll pretend like I’m good at forgetting. But you’ll know me like you know me now and you’ll know I’m writing to you to say thank you for showing me the world through your eyes, because even if for a moment.. I truly loved the view.

ECG strip (A reply)

To a person who knows exactly who I’m talking to/about.

I spent a month reading ECG strips everyday. The first one I read was one of a patient with ventricular fibrillation- he had a pacemaker implanted and a day later his ECG was as normal as every other 47 year old’s. No, I won’t forget that ECG strip. I won’t forget the way my friend and I looked at it or how at one glance we said in unison what the patient had. But we went to McDonalds that day and we laughed about our friends’ misdiagnoses, not to mention the guy who spilt hot coffee all over his pants. That day ended, and the next day we paired to look at yet another ECG strip. This way, the diagnoses got tougher and before we knew it we were already done with a week, and then another, and then yet another, until we had two days for our final exam. So I stayed up late, drained my coffee mugs, walked like a zombie during the day, poured over my books like a vampire in the night. 03:00 am, and the 04:00 am and then there was the exam. The four books I had altered between to study the ECGs, not forgetting all the ECG strips we read in class or the googled images saved in my phone’s gallery, were but the end of yet another subject. I slept through that night, complaining that I didn’t have anything to study for, because the next day was a new subject.

With all the pathological Q waves I saw, all the T inversions and ST elevations, PR prolongations, Wenckeback phenomena, diphasic and flutter waves, I knew I wouldn’t forget the signs of a myocardial infarction or an atrial flutter any time soon but I didn’t know there was a reminder of all those diseases put together in the form of two pictures- two pictures of two screenshots sent directly from somebody’s phone.

So when I received these messages I saw, to my surprise, yet another ECG strip, but this time it was different. Instead of the precordial leads were lines running into each other, rich descriptions of a person I didn’t know. Someone who read ECG strips better than I did, but captured a heart in the process too. Instead of the heart rate I could simply count the number of tears shed, and still not be able to put a number on it. Instead of a life at stake, it was love at stake. I poured over this piece of writing more than I poured over my books, as though the signs of a heart break that I could read on it could fix all the wrong answers I had marked on my paper. And for the first time, after an entire month of all the red and white paper, I held in my hands a beating heart- no murmur, no click, no pathological heart sound, and yet as broken as it could be.

An Open Letter to the Writer

I’ve read your words, over and over again until I can read the words back to you, but I could still look at it one more time and see your words from a different place. When you put your words into paper, when your fingers type out all the thoughts that rattle your mind, do you wonder whose eyes they may reach, or who on the other side of the world would write back to you?

Maybe you do, or maybe you don’t, but a day inside your mind would be the greatest adventure I could take, because the gyri and the folds of that complex but beautiful place inside your head talk about distance like it’s your favorite hiding place, love like it’s your best disguise, and they whisper words to me that blend the colours of the world together to make me feel as though I’ve touched every rainbow that ever touched the land.

Your words feel so tangible that I spend days trying to touch the words you write, as I slowly drown myself in the ocean of thoughts you’ve drowned yourself in first, and for the first time drowning feels like a place I’ve known. In this corner of the world where your words are the only home I know, I’ve made a blanket with the stories you’ve told, the haikus you’ve written and all the love you’ve spilled onto paper. And as your heart bleeds in the colours of black ink, I’ve stretched out my fingers to touch the edges of the worlds between yours and mine, and I run my fingers between the nuances that keep us so close, yet so apart. And like a bus bound in the right direction, but to the wrong destination I’ve joined you on a journey and I don’t even know when I did.

Your words reach me in the most unusual ways. Some, I find in my post box just after a walk with my dad and some on my computer screen at 03:00 am when I’m sipping my third coffee for the night, but despite what time they reach me they always seem to touch me in a way no one else has ever before. And somehow between then and now, between the reader in me and the writer in me, I’ve fallen in love with the person you’ve made yourself to be. And so I look at your words, and I stare a little longer because the furthest I’ll ever be to you is also the closest and I can’t imagine anything more intimate than how raw your words are and how your emotions are all just sprawled across the pages in the hours between dusk and dawn.

And I don’t know if my words would ever be the kind of depth that you’d take a moment to think about, but I hope they are, and I hope they reach you- because I look at your words, and I know no one’s ever seen you more. I look at the spaces between your lines and the way you dot your ‘i’s and cross your ‘t’s and I know I couldn’t ever get any closer to you than this. Out there for everyone to read, and yet your secret is so well in disguise that it makes me wonder if you fell in love with words, if you became a writer… just so that I can fall in love with you.

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