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post number one

If I am to be very honest, as I hope I can be in our future conversations, I perceive it difficult to grasp why people blog. To be very honest, I am no more interesting than your ordinary sixteen year old typing away on the internet. I write to you now post-inspiration, lying on my stomach on my pyjamas with a sore throat. I have just finished reading Terry Pratchett’s ‘Small Gods’, inarguably the best read this week. Reading good books tend to put your mind in a state of effervescence. Personally, I think people read to swim, to escape from real life in text. I used to read a book a day, back in the good times (citing the year 2016 and its precedents), but now that I am told to cram my meagre twenty four hours with work and more work, innocent ideals like reading for pleasure have lost their appeal.

My days are long, un-dilutedly painful. I am smart, I suppose I know this for a fact. I scored six As at my Ordinary Level exams, four of them making it to stars, but there was also the pesky B grade for English Literature that motivated me to change all my goals for the future. An update on the situation meant that I switched to Language, where I scored a good 91, Computer Science and Biology- also A* graded subjects. Systemic as the plan feels my body feels empty, my mind spasming with anxiety like technicolour sparks off a malfunctioning robot, metallic head reverberating back and forth like clock work. It is not that I am scared; I have more reason than not to be but fortunately enough, I am not afraid. Where I live, most schools do not opt for English Language, meaning that I undertake this course without formal syllabi to follow except for the Cambridge resources.

I am not worried. I realise I am just strangely empty.

I spend my days reading reference books which seem chaotically off topic, sometimes relevant and on the rare occasion of actual help, unduly inapplicable to the questions on paper. Reading has become a guilty pleasure, sneaked between intervals of harsh study, where anything strange and obtusely taboo holds mystic appeal. The light of my laptop is harsh on my skin at night as my eyes flit to the screen, taking in multiple tabs of Fanfiction. Who needs to read? To the blank world before me, a null sea without rumble or hint of audience, have you ever felt like ceasing to exist? To disappear in your body? To behold a second persona under your skin as you push yourself to travel to the places you do not want to go?

This is what leisure activity feels like. My hands and feet disappear as I swim in words, lies, pretty lies that did not happen but taste so sweet. After my three hour binge come stand off with the books, half a night awake looking through things I already know mind in chaos as it yells at me to do something worthwhile.

My body feels like it is suspended in constant war with itself. I have no idea what I must do and how I must do it. How long do people usually study? Does this depend on how good the teachers are? If so how good are mine? Am I being lazy? Does music account for break time? Is the mind a single faceted entity? I do not know.

All I know is that there seems to be there months left in my ticking time bomb, before the world swallows my body and I can learn no longer. 3 months of that sweet satisfactions of numbers and flows and pretty coloured sentences. As I write to you now, my sister lies on her hospital bed, eyes closed from her painkillers- she’s giving birth. A simple request to anyone who views this, please make a quick prayer for her health, the baby is being quite fussy inside her. The stench of my sweat forms two misty hands over my eyes. I cannot breathe and write any longer. I must take a shower.

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privileged

I write this in the aftermath of distress. I cannot tell you where I am from, what I’m called or how awful my future feels. All I can tell you is that I have enough freedom to possess a muted form of free speech. I write to you lounged on the plush mattress of my bed, nestled by pillows. Shelves of books line my walls. A small part of my collection they are. Dog folds and yellow pages, I love them.

However,

I am also stupid.

Made stupid.  Forced into isolation.

I cannot leave without someone else, a senseless adult, watching me from behind my back, their eyes trained on my skull, an invisible leash tightening around my neck.

 

Listen. You could think I am being dramatic, but the truth is that I am an individual in pain.

All I can tell you is that I am from a minority.

And that in fears of offence, minorities are left alone-

which is perfectly understandable in most stories; just not mine.

Fear of offence has allowed dirty practices to thrive, to become a normality.

I am an alien because I want freedom.

I am chained because spilling my secrets would send a knife through my neck- or more decently, a ring on my index finger.

Today had been…eventful. My senior exams finished a while ago, and I am free, or I thought I was- until I realised what freedom really was. I always knew that freedom cannot exist in a walled garden, when you travel by car to a place you can reach with your feet. However, I am also a wonderful liar. My skills lie in multitudes. I can transpose myself into the stories of those luckier than me, fictional characters, often people with debt but a dream and the freedom to pursue.

I realise my plot twist is simple- but I am also young and in dire need to fund my escape.

The real world speaks a language I don’t understand. It is lined and framed by money, which ironically lines my sheets and walls but is still unfortunately inaccessible to me, who has become desperate when she was once proud.

Today was Eid. We visited a few homes. People came over. The sight sickened me. People in pairs, who hate each other,

people who are satisfied with being numb to reality,

and,

people whose lips spill lies the colour of incandescent skies, while they are really binding my wrists behind my back. I honestly wish I had been smarter when I could have something about this, but I guess a seventh grader is an easy fool.

The truth is that I am afraid. Forgive me for my callousness, but I wanted to growl at the relative who stared at the sliver of flat skin exposed the v of shirt. Forgive me for my indecency but I do not feel comfortable being hooded in pretence of invisibility, knowing that people still look at my in sympathy and misunderstanding. I am afraid that if i keep my silence, my bones and flesh will morph into that of those who precede me, my individuality lost to an ugly black blur.

Today the crowds came with children. They filled our halls and their laughter ricocheted against and under the ceiling. A good quantity of them were girls just myself. It filled my heart with pain to know how it felt to be oblivious and still yearn for it.

Story short, I wished I could close my eyes and erase my existence until they are all gone. Unlike for most my demons have flesh and blood. Unfortunately running away from your own blood is hard, often risking trapping yourself in a noose you would writhe against for the rest of your life. So for today, I will just close my eyes, and hope for a day that I will my scarf to appear instead of falling into the shadows. God is kind, the day will come.

 

He did not really love her- the thought sent a strange thrill down her spine.

She tried not to linger upon the feeling. It felt alien against the spur beat of her heart, an intense bullet against buzzing wings, absolution upon ambiguity. It pained her to think about what it meant as she could not understand it. Where she came from, let us call it R-town, complexity was met with dismissal. People did not like to feel confused or perplexed, so issues of sophistication was dealt with simply.

Should a girl be allowed to pursue higher education? Of course.

Should a girl be allowed an education that gives her freedom? Yes, absolutely.

Should a child be allowed to understand and feel things that would taint her reputation? Dangerous…

What if the men preferred women younger? Fresh out of school? Inexperienced, pliant? There’s no harm in denying them, after all they pay the bills. You would not want a grown married woman in the midst of other men, the picture just reeks of wrongness.

So then, should we sent them to university (it would set them free and give them a right to their own lives, but limit their capacity for marriage at R-town)?

It would be nice, but no- f-for their own good. I’m not inhuman per say, but a woman is a bird that would be caged sooner or later- would it not be safer for her that she does not know the beauty of flying?

No, I am not a monster. I am just a man.

I am not cruel, but I prefer to oppress in fear of repression. Never mind that the instance would be an anomaly, but I feel threatened and I do not want to ever feel like this again, so I will force thousands into submission for my own comfort.

The girl, let us call her K, tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Outside was her family. They were eating off her cupboards and letting their children play in the garden. A good six of the children were girls, only four boys in their midst. They were at the age where the twisted mindsets of the adults had not reached them. With the exception of a single boy, the children saw no gender in their games. There were no upper-hands. They lived in a world of laughter that ricocheted through the halls and into K’s room, where she stayed slumped on their- his- floors, a smile playing on her lips.

Peculiar images ran through her head: the couple sleeping apart on separate beds, waking up without the suffocating hum of his breath against her shoulder, light flooding their house, silence in the rooms.

She wondered about what she would do. Her parents would not allow her to settle for a divorce- not so fast, they would say, when you could talk things out. They were the kind of ‘conventional’ people who believed that it was better off being unhappy and together than blemishing the family name by being separate.

In R-town, people led strange lives that were oddly intertwined together. You could say her’s was a tangle thread with his being a sliver dipped in its vast body, ready to slip away on any occasion.

She remembered how they first met, his parents on one couch, hers on another. They moved away for ‘private talk’, which felt more like an interrogation than a conversation.

“Do you want to study in the future, if we ever got married?”

Trick question: Do Not Answer With What You Want.

Yes. 

“It would be your choice.”

“Do you want your own job?”

Yes, with all my heart.

She remembered staring at her henna stained hands, the words slipping through her lips like a song, “No, [insert laughter] too scary.”

His eyes brightened, “I like you.”

Of course you do, she had thought bitterly, you had seen my picture before this meeting,  when I’m only seeing you now. I heard you liked them small and fair skinned. I fit your type (never mind you being the stark opposite to who I want) and I am also obedient. 

She snapped back to the present, eyes filling with tears. Her hands clenched over his laundry, the pregnancy test in his trouser pockets. The other woman was probably also married, she realised, for him to carry the test home. K’s husband, L, was always particular about doing his laundry. Back then, when he had first insisted upon it, her heart had fluttered, happy that she would not be his maid-servant, folding his clothes, doing his laundry.

That night he would come back and kiss her hard on the lips, his hands running through her hair, meeting air at its tips. She probably has long hair.

Her heart was satisfied that he was really not attached to her, that it was a pregnancy test and not a text message. It meant that there was only one other woman, that he did not think he had to stick to K, to own her individually while ruining multiple other lives.

They had never been in love, so perhaps this calmed her.

Maybe soon, she would do something daring and tell him not to touch her. He would have to say yes. After all, it was not like his touch was confined to her body.

The next week she fell into her best friend’s embrace.

Her friend, Y, was from a good family, one adamant about sending their daughter to university.

Y’s hands fell loosely around K’s waist. Y had just gotten back home from Canada for her break month.

“K? What happened?”

Y stroked K’s hair. K buried her face on Y’s neck. “Nothing. I am just happy your back.”

His name was an unsaid taboo.

Y’s heart clenched in anger, her hands tightening their hold on K. “I’m here.”

Y always wanted to be, but she had to go back. For now, she could only voice her presence and embrace K. The fact was a dagger to her throat. This could have been you, her mind taunted.

It was not fair. K was the girl who had a laugh that sounded like sunset. K had been the smarter one in school, the one who worried too much about her friends. They were almost exactly alike, their souls symmetrical. It had been K who set Y up with her first boyfriend, K who always screamed first when they watched movies.

Y’s eyes blurred with tears, for her friend was no longer K, but also a victim by force. She held K’s hands, slipping her finger’s between K’s. The feeling of the odd metal band, which cuffed her friend to that which had hurt her, send spurts of anger down Y’s spine. Y wanted to gently tug away at the ring, and hurl it down the infamous river torrents of B-river.

She could not.

So she simply held her K and numbed her tears.

Sylvia

 

The letters before me blur and intertwine together. It is like a dance. When I was younger my mother told me of this story, about twelve dancing princesses, who would escape the real world to melt into a fantasy of nightly princes who smelt like paradise and waltzed birds flinging themselves through free air, stagnant motion- beautiful. I feel stagnant motion now, flooding my head till it is in technicolour like the colours bleeding to the type front of my papers. The children are asleep, limp on their beds, their soft mouths half open towards the ceiling. Ted is with the woman he leaves me for. While the issue should be regarded with more hurt, animosity or any other comprehensible feeling, I feel satisfied. This is the paradox of our marriage, I do not hate him for his disregard of my ‘honour’. He wants me to, he craves drama like the men and the women of this world often do, but unfortunately I do not feel up for it. My mind is not wired to crave things it will never be given. Have I been replaced? Well, good riddance. At least I have time for writing now. The distance feels so good, my heart lets out a relieved beat at a time, so I am shut in like the scruffy grey cat that no one wants to pet. The kids, I handle as much as I can.
I dance and sing for them, pushing my way through work for them. My stories fill their eyes with these beautiful dazzling look that even I feel addicted to it. I drink in their happiness like a starved, ravaged beggar. Thankfully, when I am full, worked to the bone for the fate God had tested my soul with, they fall unconscious and this scrappy word vomit-er can take my place. I am a a skimpy, bone thin girl in my head, dodging between street lights and oncoming vehicles to get my way through the tarmac to a light I do not know. Ted comes home. He asks me if he smells any different. I sniff the air, but my sleepless eyes do not flit to his electric shock hair or his proud smirk. I smell the coffee on my shirt and the sweat clinging to my armpits from a late night of words and little sleep. Of better unconsciousness. So I am a pretty fool, simpering at him with a beautiful smile, “I’ve got a bit of the wheeze. Can’t smell your smoke too well.”
In this world it is better to be a pretty fool that a pained intellect, because in this cold antithetical in between enlightenment is isolation and isolation is looking at your family through a glassed door, pressing your nose on the glass, your misty condensed breath being all that they know of you.

 

based off the life of Sylvia Plath. let me know if you are interested in reading more work like this one (which I did not have the time to edit).

for you

the flicker between my breaths
too harsh too sudden
you send my heart into depths
i did not expect.

that is your magic,
so striking
and phlegmatic
that embarking

upon our memory
is a quest
into the sanctuary
we shared best

through words woven
timelessly
like fingers swollen
writing listlessly

for stories we wanted
songs we had not
for music warranted
for notes never forgot

our times together
are golden
wombed by sunlit dust
shining through the curtains at dusk

i will be tired
you, patient
eventually, butterflies will leave my breath
and rest upon your shoulders
but you never minded.
i still wish
I am more like you
never trapped in the straitjacket skull that set us apart.

post number 14

No one can tell when the boy is there. It’s not that he confers to hide himself in the musty crowded rooms boys like him are associated with. It is just that he is.. blank. That was a word for it. He was so blank that you would not remember his sharp ram rod nose or the tantalising curve of his lips when you glanced at the ephemeral cold blue eyes balanced on the highest planes of his face. He was beautiful, but in a bored way that cared too much to be attractive.

Under the slope of his tongue is a lollipop. He sucks at it, pretty hard. The aftertaste of the seven stars he smoked sits on the inside of his mouth like a grimy old toad. He blanches, wanting to vomit the creature festering upon his mouth, draining away his sweet youthful blood.

Someone coughs and he hears a scuffling noise behind him.

Tugging on his leather jacket he is off to the door, where a guard stares at him, steely eyes like oil cakes.

“I’M LEAVING.”

The man’s lips part. They are like plump, tasty sausages but the dull guarded nature of it- monotonously rising and falling to adjourn him about something he’s not going to listen to, the predictability- puts him off.

“FUCK OFF. I’M NOT LISTENING TO YOU.”

The guard makes a surprised bleh sound.

Yuri gives him a loud kick on his shin. The man groans in protest. He was testing him, just like the rest of the bar. A woman serving beer grabs her tips and stuffs them into her pocket. Someone is singing. The song is peculiarly the kind of song Yuri detests. A man with a taut muscles guns up at the bartender- that was it. Everyone just wanted him to leave, that was their goal . All this stupid coercion.

“PIECE OF SHITS. THE WHOLE LOT OF YOU.”

The woman blinks. The man with the muscles opens his mouth, in obvious attempts to infuriate Yuri with his stupidly manly jaw.

He slams the door close with his foot. BAng.

Let’s see how they like thaT.

Yuri sucks on his lollipop, kicking a passenger baby-wheeler for good measure. He even smacks his lips noisily at the dog pissing on the pavement- his pavement.

Dumbass.

A girl appears above his chest. At least her head. She has eyelashes that coddle her cheeks. On the crest of her chest was a long silver chain. Her whitened hands clutched a sheaf of leaflets.

Her lips were curving across her face.

A marriage proposal? Hell no.

He shoved her away, gently of course- so that she tumbled, a tangle of tiny pudgy limbs, onto a handsome tall guy with high cheekbones. He could have her. He looked like a real breadwinner, with that stupid long nose of his.

Dimwits.

He had a dinner to puke now.

post number 13

The boy’s lip is split by a thumbtack. Did it come out on the inside? The stud appears through deep red lips, set flaming by the heat of the summer sun. His tongue slips out of the corner of his mouth, red yet again but also flecked purple where he burnt his tongue on his mother’s hot tea. A distracting slew of orange pinches at his pursed scarlet lips. The intense, deep coloured ice of his Captain Cool popsicle dribble sweetly in whirls around his tongue, that twists under its saccharine flavours. A thin strain of sun tinted liquid slips upon his tan, honey coloured skin. Half closed, his eyes stare generously at the phone clutched in his hands. The device is strangled under his long knobby pianist fingers, casting ultraviolet luminescence on the sharp slope of his nose and the dark arched eyebrows pinched at its beginning. Wavy dark hair- terrifyingly colourless, almost pitch black- gleams under the midday sun. A sudden tick sound escapes him. He has bit his lip. The stud now penetrates through white rabbit teeth. His long pale arms are hidden under his hot leather jackets, only leaving the brown upper side of his hands and face available for view. The ground makes an annoying sandpaper noise as he rubs the ground with his foot. It may seem weird, but he is just a leather jacketed boy with a popsicle.

post number 12

It is a deep blue Saturday Maghrib. I peer at my table from across the room. My bottle green glasses are perched on the bridge of my nose. The dark wooden table stretches across the three windows stationed at the midst of my room. Tumultuously stacked upon the wood are books and folders, notebooks that repeat the same obsessive notes that never seem to sink into mind and the heavy bundles of paper variants I promised myself I would complete. The brain is a waning, exhaustive thing. My biology teacher is almost eighty and she works from the early hours of the morning to the wee hours of the night, sleeping five hours in her passionate rage to get us to improve. For most of the week, I sleep five hours too- sometimes even four. On the rare opportunity I receive seven I turn grey and morph into a zombie. I can’t read or write or sleep and I would spend five hours at a stretch, blankly staring at books, fanfiction or manga that I must have read half a dozen times. It is the relapse of the week, the tide that sends me back to work with my spine hunched at an awkward lazy angle, my thoughts dizzy with negativity and dreams of simply sitting still. If anyone could find me a solution for this I would be grateful, thanks but the pile of loading work calls to me, begging that I return so I can sullenly stare at the questions too lazy to think, craving for empty silence, hoping my mother forgets to bug me about having dinner this one time. Everything and anything is a source of guilt. Right now, I have coaxed myself to blog out after a thorough convincing- ‘It’ll improve our writing skills’, I implode at my brain, who watches me with slow steady eyes. I think about hours of writing about people more interesting than myself- ‘we’ll do that next week,’ I think miserably, a reminiscent of my words last week and the week before. A handmade sticker on the glass of my sunny windows tells me to do my best, I snort before I leave you, face taut in the determination I hope to have.