you still think about it. a couple of times a day. you still forget to breathe sometimes, but you learn how to control it. how not to let it affect you on a daily basis. you learn how to live with it. you still write about it, a lot. you can’t show the words to anyone, because no one would understand, really. they would make you think that they do understand, but they don’t. you spare yourself the time and the heavy feeling. because everything makes you weary these days. everything. you’ve tried to turn your life around, but all you managed was to settle for a routine. you wake up every day. sometimes early, sometimes late, sometimes in the middle of the day. you go to work. you walk there or you take the MTR. beep, beep, beep. you listen to music on the way and you pretend you are somewhere else. you completely transfer yourself. your mind leaves your body. by the time you reach your desk and your responsibilities and unanswered emails, you’ve filled your brain with different images than what surrounds you all around. it’s the only way you know how to survive. it’s less about living, more about surviving. the less you care, the less it hurts. the less it sucks.
you settle for less now, because you feel so undeserving. because when you had a good thing (or you thought you had it), you fucked it up. so you settle for less. you settle for long hours and less cash; you settle for a different person to love, even though you know it’s not him; you settle for superficial friendships instead of real ones (except for the filmmaker); you settle for cheap words and you write paragraphs for eight hundred bucks instead of two thousand. or three. you compromise, but on your own account. you settle for less and you’re okay with it. you feel numb and invisible most of the time. when you feel good, it’s because you’re under an influence; coffee and cigarettes, a gin’n’tonic, a good film or a song that you love with your entire heart. or your favorite book that you keep re-reading over and over, because it’s the only thing that makes sense. white oleander, which you must have read at least sixty four times since you were twelve. or your most recent favorite; alexandra fuller and her cocktail hour under the tree of forgetfulness. then, there are books that always make you feel like shit. the lover’s dictionary that you bought in may last year. it always reminds you of everything. the first time you finished it, you wanted to write a message on the first couple of pages and pass the book to him. not like the book without an e, because this would be different. that never happened, but you always think of that. you also regret not having done it, because you still have the copy. it weights you down every time you read it. every time you look at it.
you settle for less. you still think about it. and then a year later; one morning when you return home after sunrise, in a delirium, covered in bitterness and rain water, you sit down at the computer and send a message to him. no words, just a link to a youtube clip. your heart throbs in your throat as you press enter, but you do it anyway. most surprisingly, his reply arrives half an hour later. and it’s at that moment that you realize you are going to get sucked into a rabbit hole you won’t know how to get out of. but you don’t turn away from it. you don’t know how to do that. you settle for less. you settle for vague words, explanations and apologies. you settle for miles apart, you settle for hours and days of waiting. you wait a lot these days. you settle for less, because you know you can’t have the real thing. because you don’t deserve the real thing. and you wait. because maybe the day when you will stop feeling like this is not too far away. and you will stop surviving, and start living.