december, xii.

The National Gallery, London. December 2017.

I keep certain songs on repeat. For weeks, months, years. Like my thoughts. Maybe if I change the music I listen to, so will my thoughts. A novel idea.

I flew to London for a weekend. To walk the streets, visit my favorite cafes, get lost in the streets of Marylebone. To laugh and be at ease for once. My world hasn’t been the same since.

We’ll always have Istanbul.

I am not alone this week and it disturbs my flow. No more visitors next year.

I’ll be home soon. I’m ready for the year’s end.

I agreed to a friendly dinner with the sunshine. He’s going to flip out when I tell him my stories. I am grateful that I can tell him to begin with.

I’ve decided to start working on my morning pages. To write lists again. I need to keep my mind still.

What he said to me. Everything replays as if on a loop in my head. But there’s nowhere to go from here.

I don’t know what you want me to say. The truth and nothing else.

Hong Kong grips at me. Three months. I’ve never been there on my own before, I’ve never been in the city without living there. I’m scared I won’t be strong enough against the gravity of memories.

december, vii.

A month later, I come back.

I don’t post anything anymore because I can’t write what I want to write. It’s a feeling that suffocates me.

I turned to my paper journals, handwritten, soft with sentences and secrets between pages.

I resent you for playing games with me and yet I don’t make it stop because it’s a game I’ll win. I don’t know at whose expense yet. Hopefully, not my own. Or yours.

The glimmer of hope will kill me.

Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.

Donna Tartt’s Secret History. Not like the Goldfinch but still, I’m unable to peel away from the pages.

The list of things I’m putting off has grown too long for me to bear.

אל תשאלי אותי על בית

Tel Aviv, Israel. November.

Eventually, the sun came out again. At least for a while.

I slipped away into summer for four days at the end of November. Tel Aviv was everything I needed.

Warm air, streets full of bougainvillea trees, oranges, lemons, oleanders, and olive trees. Everything that is Mediterranean engulfed me and I felt right at home. I walked to Carmel Market one afternoon and purchased bags of chili, curcuma, and the Dead Sea mud.

I bought a box of sweet baklava and ate it on a beach with my pants rolled up, barefoot, and with the sun in my back.

Stumbled into a second-hand bookshop and walked away with Aesop’s Fables. Favorite childhood stories rediscovered twenty years later. The one about The Ant and the Grasshopper. My maternal grandmother would tell me this story over and over.

As I write this, a cup of nana tea steams on the table and Idan Raichel keeps me company. It is enough to take me back in time and across the sea, across continents. But I am restless for another set of flight tickets.

In those days, I survived less and lived more. Most of the time, I ride the waves with ease. Sometimes, the tide is too high and yet there’s nothing else to do but push through it.

The trick is to read between the lines and listen to the wind. It whispers quietly if you know how to listen. I’ve learned that the universe has my back.

Tel Aviv. Far away from everything and yet I was close to feeling like myself than I have all year.

The sea waves melted away my anxiety. I’ll be back. I’ll come home to myself again.

november, xiii.

Because he’ll never stop being relevant to me.

I just need to get through this month. It hasn’t been a good month so far and I feel guilty about that.

The guilt is the worst. The lack of will to do something. Anything.

I flip through my favorite books, not reading, just catching a line or two here and there.

I need to vacuum. Scrub the floor. Purge the closet space. The things I own are suffocating me.

There is an oleander in the middle of my bedroom now. We are from the same region and almost the same age. Isn’t that a weird thing to say about a plant?

I couldn’t sleep at 2 AM the other night. I stood up on the bed, feeling the extra height. I wondered what was going on in the other apartments. I practiced yoga for half an hour. Keeping myself inversed and feeling a crack in my right hip. It happens more often now. Blood rushed through my body, like life.

The only consolation about falling asleep at almost four in the morning is that light won’t come back for another few hours.

I bought a packet of sliced bread and cream cheese for dinner. Decided not to feel guilty about it.

Most of the time, I wish I lived somewhere else. Which means I am singlehandedly disrespecting Prague. For saving my life. Guilt. But cities no longer dictate how I feel.

I came to the realization that I particularly dislike turquoise hues. I started an abstract experiment color study in hopes I’ll learn to like it. It seems so unnatural.

I need to make time for my travel journal and watercolor practice.

I dream of making moussaka for him again.

Riders On The Storm. On repeat.