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.

giving in

Everything I need.

I’ve given in to the feeling of uncertainty. I am not sure what he means, whether he means anything at all, or what my responses should be. I’m lost. Confused. The feeling has taken over me; I move slowly, afraid I’ll bring down the house of cards if I move too quickly.

I’ve given in to the gloom. To the lack of sun. I can’t sleep at night. I can’t wake up in the morning. Then the gloom again. I feel like I’m underwater.

I gulp down my coffee in the morning, leaving the apartment untouched and messier than it’s ever been before. I return home after work and go straight to bed. I fill up the washing machine but it takes me three days to turn it on.

I’ve worn nothing but black since the beginning of November. Nothing else has felt as good.

I’ve given in to my sugar cravings. Eat the damn cake. So I do. Sometimes at eleven at a pub quiz night with a pint of cider. Naturally, I wake up feeling like absolute shit.

To survive, I’ve given in to the insatiable need to read. Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, The Goldfinch (again!), The Catcher in the Rye, some Hemingway, some Japanese poets from Taishō period, Pablo Neruda’s poetry, Orwell’s 1984 three times in the last four months, the Millennium series, some Dan Brown before I got bored of the cookie-cutter plots, Naomi’s Klein’s book on climate, and way too many titles on Bosnia and Rwanda. Slavenka Drakulic, David Reiff, and Misha Glenny until I couldn’t read a word about the war or the genocide, the previous system or any of it. And most incredibly, Stephen King whom I managed to avoid for the past twenty-six years. James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, and Ryszard Kapuściński because I crave the worlds that aren’t European.

I crave too much. I’m never satisfied, always frustrated. I flow through days, living inside my head, hidden from the world, forgetting to breathe.

The proper verb for depression is sink.*

november, vii.

I still struggle with the same thing: staying still.

I’m obsessed with the notion of home. Belonging somewhere or anywhere. Because London, Rome, and Zagreb feel like a home just the same. Even though, something about the cities in the north such as Brussels, Amsterdam or Hamburg that doesn’t feel just quite right. It was a strange thing to realize but there it was. Screaming at me.

I crave islands and the sound waves crashing on the shore. Naturally, I’m in the heart of Europe.

The concept of time. Light and minutes passing. Disappearing but not moving. Like a black hole, turning the matter of my thoughts into nothing. The art of not being anywhere in particular.

Keeping my mind in one place. In order to heal, I needed to shift my habits instead of opinions. To stay still, I need to learn how to read one book at a time. Not six of them. To make tea and not to leave it abandoned to cool completely. To focus on colors and consistency.

I am trying to work on my morning flow. Learning how to breathe not only deep but with my entire being. To feel the oxygen expanding through my veins. In and out. Sometimes I have to stop walking on the street and force myself to inhale. The knot won’t go away; the mist in my head is thick.

To let myself sleep when my body needs it. Not to be overbearing. To call back the missed calls. To finish things. To take care of myself. Inside out. To be there.

To experience the minutes of days. To run a bath in the evening and be still.

To wake up alone and think nothing of it. I spend so much of my time imaging a different life, I forget to live.

The first coffee of the day. My roots in a single object. An entire history of a country preserved in a morning ritual. This is who I am. I haven’t forgotten.