Author: riyafernandez

1.

Last night Sarrah said to me, “We are not forcing you to do anything. Just tell us what you want. We’ll help you.” such perspective and support from her surprised me for I have come to expect indifference or at best, scorn from her. And it touched me to hear those words. Not because there was no pressure to give up what  I didn’t want. I have been fairly lucky that way. If you don’t want to do something, just say it. We’ll let you out. But the reason better be good.

The sad part is, I never have the reason.I never know what I want in the first place. Just a whisper shouting in my ear, banging my head with its enormous arms, this is not it. Keep looking. Keep hunting. You may reach it one day or you may die not having heard a word from it. But this my dear, is not it. So give it up before you are in too deep. And keep searching. keep yearning. Keep longing. Maybe one day, with any luck, you will truly become mad.

There’s so much inside me, wanting to come out but I can’t figure how to let it out. There’s a drawer full of things inside me. So many things. So much to say say.I can feel their weight. Only I don’t have the slightest idea how to twist the knob so the drawer can reveal its contents. And I fear it will all rot inside, no one will ever be able to open it. All the ideas, stories, love, thoughts will be dead from lack of air. They’ll fade away. And I won’t even realize it. Because I’ll have carried and felt their weight for so long that it will become a part of me. The weight will no longer be a burden. And so when it will go, I won’t even notice. Because the feeling will always stay. The hope to open the drawer shall always be there.

The hope never dies.

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So for my birthday this year

In a week, I’ll be 21. There are people asking me about my birthday plans. Questions like Where’s the party ? How are you celebrating ? How excited are you ? are thrown at me left, right and centre. I give them the stories about how I am planning to go out for lunch or where I’ll be taking my mother for dinner.

In truth, I don’t know.

In truth I hate birthdays.

Or maybe just the pressure to make them special. I don’t want to plan because I am prone to disappointment.

If you really want to know how I want my birthday to be, then know this that I don’t have a list. Only vague wishes.

I want to sleep. Under the stars. In the open air. I want to kiss the wind, breathe in the smell of grass, roll down a hill. Let the snakes slither by, they won’t touch me. The night birds singing me to bliss, so intoxicating that even liquor feels dry. I want to sit atop a hill and gaze at the twinkling city lights below me. There’s yellow, there’s white, there’s red and sometimes there’s green. Stars above and stars below.

A big oak tree, a million crooked lines running across its body. Strengthened over age. Winking at the young, reassuring the old. I’ve seen a lot.  

And then the waves. Reflecting lost glories. Lives lost and won. I want to run my naked feet through the water. Let the sand suck them in and the water coming running to free them. I don’t want any slippers on my feet. I want to sleep on the beach and feel the shallow waves wash over me.

I want to open my arms out wide, embrace the world. I want to be held, I want to hold. I want to send my love. To those who want it and to those who don’t know they want it. Love freely. I want to touch you, I want to be touched.

I want the feeling to stick,the feeling of a ball swelling in my chest with hope, excitement, anticipation.

I want to dance. Bob my head, swirl in circles. I want to dance with abandon. Like no one’s watching and everyone’s watching. Like everyone can see but no one can touch.

I want the high to stay. And the love to bloom. I want to be free of expectations.

I want them to stop shouting. Because now my ears hurt and my resolve is waning. I can’t speak and I can’t ignore.

I want to laugh like I mean it. And move like I own it.

Behind the Fog

I drop. Not with a pop. Not pushed into it. But  rolled into it, slowly. One image fading into the next, each turning progressively hazier. Blurring both in dimensions and verity.

 

And then, bit by bit, frame by frame, it regains focus. Sharp. Bright. Crisp.

 

It plays behind my lids. Wheeling out stories of its own accord.

 

It showed me light yesterday. It showed me fear the day before. Maybe it will show me love today. And acceptance. A Laughing girl . A warm hug. A long lost friend. My dead nana. I love it. It is unanticipated. I could wake up feeling unsettled or warm and fuzzy. No evident cause.

 

Or maybe there is.

 

Maybe it shows me what my conscious self cannot espouse. What my mind is too afraid to embrace, my heart leaks that out under my lids. It’s calling me out to become stronger. Accept that which makes me happier. Not be practical. Not do the ‘right’ thing. Not bend under what is expected.

Maybe it shows me what my mind thinks is too meloncholic to relive. Things and people that are gone, voids so huge it takes my breath away to think.

Maybe it  shows me what my wakeful heart is too afraid to relive. The forced slap. The ugly bruises. The broken sense of self. Maybe it wants me to heal.

 

I’ll go to this room. And one day perhaps I’ll see the room without closing my eyes.

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Another day then

It was the hand criss crossed with lines, tanned which gripped at her waist. The hand which pulled her through the mass of sweaty bodies at the station.The hand which ran up her thigh and made her feel the fire. Which pulled her down and prodded her on. Which tugged at her hair and dug into her skin, then rubbed her back and encircled around her.

The hand that slid out from under her and buttoned up the jacket. And the hand which put forth a thousand. The hand which traced her cheekbones and tapped her nose. The hand which turned the knob and swung out. Perhaps to return some day, not to hand a thousand. But to encircle again and never pull back.