“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”
- Joanne Harris, Chocolat
Hazelnut chocolate milkshake, Max Brenner, The Forum at Ceaser’s, Las Vegas
So my imagination was all I had, all I needed. It made me feel happier knowing that there was a place I could go to escape and all I had to was just push a switch in my head and I’m there. My imagination was what helped me get through some of the most darkest phases of my life. When the going got tough I would zone out and perpetually live in another place, a much happier place. This led me to avoid dealing with my present.
Consciously extracting myself from my head to live in the now is something I have to deal with every day. Is it a sickness? Or am I over thinking this? I don’t know. But what I do know that the safest place to be is in my head. When I don’t have the energy to deal with my life I’m glad to know that I have a safe house.
So tell me, what is your safe house? Where do you go to escape reality?
“The best thing for being sad”, replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust , never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
-T.H.White, The Once and Future King
“Be it wealth, fame, career success, or a happy marriage, the nature of the goal itself is less important than identifying the heart’s deepest desire and- without question, fear or apology-going out to get it.”
- Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us, Rachelle Bergstein
What is it about a hot shower that washes your tears away? The allure of a clean slate? Or the promise of sins soaped away? I feel every drop of water that splashed against my worn and calloused skin, my skin that has felt so much; my feet that took me places I’ve only dreamt of, my hands that have held on to anchors, my face where I’ve felt your kiss a thousand times and the scar that is still tender from yesterday.
I stand here beneath this rain and surrender myself in your hands. Oh if only the Gods could hear me now! Wash away my sins, I cry. Wash away every trace of him. I don’t want memories. Remove the stain of his presence from my skin. I scrub and scrub in the hope that I can peel a fresh layer of skin, pure and untouched. As the water falls on my face I feel it mingle with my tears and there is no difference. I cry like a thunderstorm.
I scratch the surface in the hopes of tearing away every vestige. But how do I remove your presence from below, where most of the damage is done? No amount of tears will erase your remnants from my heart. The times I’ve wept for you, for me, for you to stop and for me to stop loving you. I knew you were destructive but I kept coming back. I knew you weren’t good for me, although you knew me like no ever had. How could I turn away from that? How could I turn away from knowing that you were my one shot at happiness?
But I had to. I now stand here helpless and weak doing the only thing I can do now, which is to erase you, for my heart, from my life and from my soul, the place where I thought you would always have a home.
I finally see the blood seep through the lines on my skin and I know that I have reached the edge. Beyond this, I can only hope but my poor heart listens to no reason.
There are are some days that are perfect. It’s a bright sunny day out. There is a heat wave(!) and you are sitting in a perfectly cooled cafe with a perfectly cooled mint iced coffee, reading a book you are completely engrossed in. You are one with character and you can actually feel the..
“Are you Palestinian Mozlim?”
“Umm, no. I’m Indian Muslim.”
Puzzled look. “Ohhh. Indian?!”
“Are you from the part of India that is near Pakistan?”
“No. I’m from the south, Chennai.”
“I know many Braaahmins from there. So what do I see when I visit India?”
Yeah, I just want to get back to my book. It’s very hard for me to get “in the zone” when I read a book. Although I love to read, I am constantly distracted (thanks again to technology for my short attention span). I need to be comfortable enough, have a good reading snack, the light should be just right, etc. And it annoys me to no end when people want to make conversation thereby interrupting me.
Interruption, whether I’m reading, writing or even thinking, muddles up my line of thought. I’m sure most people feel that way so why would you interrupt some one who is completely smitten by her book. Okay fine, I interrupt my husband every now and then when he is reading but I married him. I have every right to demand his attention. You, however, are a stranger. The one my mother warned me about when she said “Don’t talk to strangers”. You have no right to drag me away from my book and force me in to having a conversation.
I wanted to tell him thanks for the attempt at conversation, good sir but I need to get back to my book. How can I say that without sounding rude? What is the polite way of telling someone, especially a stranger, to leave you the heck alone when you are in the midst of doing something?