Saturday, 29 July 2017

a story about love, self and fear


It felt strange to me, leaving the house at night in order to do what really was a very three p.m. activity. It was early summer, and the sky was still bright, like a glass of water the moment someone foolishly pours milk in on top of it. The flowers along the path seemed different, less beautiful than usual, less garden-show. They didn't remind me of flowers at all, more like figures coming out for air. A fairy with a white skirt and a princess freshly dressed in purple caught my eye as I walked towards the bus stop.

The bus carried me away into somebody else's world. People wore hours old work clothes and talked to each other or their phones, always too busy to be alone. I did too, looked at my blank screen, through some empty old pictures like I was someone with something very important to live for.

Each day I lived with a feeling of trepidation. I never knew who I might see, or where I might see them, or what small talk I'd have to make. I worried we'd get off at the same stop and have to walk some of the same direction, and that we'd both hate it completely. This day was fine, I was all alone with my thoughts. I'd given up on my old pictures and begun to write contentedly. Inspiration came to me from a book I was reading, and the sky I could no longer feel. I was about to say 'thank you' to the driver. I glided into reality.

In the cinema I thought about the two characters on screen, a bad fit for each other, one much older than the other, and mean in purport. Yet he was so happy with his evil woman, and I thought about the fact that I would one day fall in love, and have the chance to simmer happily in our set of imperfections. Later, when it turned out that she really was a murderer coated in greed, I had forgotten about my mini monologue- 'look at those misfits, they have found love. you deserve that too, one day.'

After the film we all walked back to the bus stop. The others were bubbling with laughter and comments about strange moments and our immature responses in the movie. I joined in too, reservedly as I was tired. Once there I didn't have much profound left to say, so instead I talked about things I've now forgotten and danced on the tarmac because that's what I like to do best. There was no music, only me, and movements that I had locked up inside of me for a long time.

We got the same bus back, and bundled and bounced as we chatted and giggled. I sometimes caught their eyes, which glistened in the pleasure of the company of friends. Sometimes I think I was born to make people smile. It fills me with such relief and gratitude that I can hardly contain myself. I want to be loved, but more than that, I want to show love to others. I want to give it to them, in their own lives, make them happier. The way I do it is very simple, but very, very hard; I take the ribbons out of my hair and look straight at the sun. I wear a broad grin and say the silly things that occur to me, about animals in the wild, their free fur stuck eternally on a willow tree. I twirl and jump when I want to. I tell people what I like about them, and radiate what I like about me. I listen when I'm needed. I trust myself. I find it a challenge, a toll, but I'm learning. I trust myself not to drown, not to dither, not to fluster. And in a rare moment of peace, I know who I am. I do not sink like I normally do. I do not trip on the mountain, or slip on that freshly polished floor.

One foot after the other, and I am free.

I am alive. Beyond that, I float.

Anna x

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