september, xxx.

Još malo pa će ponoć. Neko me nešto pitao za Bosnu i ja sam eksplodirala. Razlog? Pitala me prošli tjedan kad ću kući. Plus mu je danas rođendan a ne poznam ga 27 godina. Pa šta da kažem? Na to sve?

Had to step out for a brisk walk in the fresh autumnal air. The evening suffocated me.

You know the way you sometimes hope you won’t run into anyone you know but then, of course, you do? But I simply said I’d rather be alone.

And then the two of them. Barely kissed by life. The closest one sitting next to me asked, what’d you say to him? I couldn’t understand what she meant. She said, well, he went away after you spoke to him. And I told her. She was confused at the fact that it worked. She was confused at the fact that basic and more importantly, polite communication works.

The point is every action has a reaction. Every behavior is an action. You must understand this. You must understand the consequences of your own actions.

She held out her hand to, finally, introduce herself. I smelled of lime for hours afterward. He smiled with relief when he saw me sitting there; still. I realized he was glad because he thought I’d left already. But he never asks me anything. Only follows my movements with his brown eyes. Strangers in a familiar space.

Sixty minutes of my time. Sixty minutes of a Sunday. Eminem came on just before midnight and I thought about how we both changed. The kind of change that is good.

La Dame aux Camélias. Stephen King. Palestinian literature from a SOAS syllabus. The Brothers Karamazov. Sartre, always Sartre now.

september, xxviii.

All Good Things is anything but. There is a line in particular that elicited a reaction; one that I wasn’t prepared for. A line I haven’t been able to place into words myself but one that is everything I’ve been feeling. “And I don’t know if it’s something I did do or didn’t do.” I stayed quiet then. Your full name, dear, always. I decided that was an advice I wanted to take. Sometimes experiences come in different forms and shapes. With an aftertaste that it is impossible to stop mulling over on your tongue long after it is over.

september, xxv.

I am back at the office three hours before anyone else after just four hours of sleep. Delhi, London, Prague. I think about time zones. I think about how I’m going to get through the day.

I asked him to give me ten or fifteen minutes of his time. Some issues I wanted to talk about. Instead, he took me for coffee and listened for an hour and a half. I may have been wrong about him and it felt good to consider that possibility. We came up with solutions that’ll keep everyone happy. After three years, they need to see me for who I am.

An espresso at Wood Food Market. I think of those weeks after I came back from Rome how I’d come back every morning and relive my Italian dream. I make a note to look up the flights later. Of course.

I look up other flights, too. London, Bourdeaux, Paris, Edinburgh, Barcelona, maybe Madrid. It’s what I do now. This is how I live. Why stay in one place? Nothing is keeping me here.

That feeling used to feel like freedom. Now it feels like a routine.

Sometimes I daydream and I imagine him saying, could you not go this weekend? Stay at home with me. And then I’d miss my flight. I imagine cooking food for others, I imagine having someone to take care of.

By yourself is not enough. I think he was right then.

And it’s such a hard truth to swallow.

september, xxiv.

Seven degrees at seven in the morning. It’s only the third Monday since I’ve been back in Prague but the Adriatic sea feels like a concept from a long time ago. Maybe something, maybe nothing. This is my neighborhood. I am in denial when it comes to summer’s end. I am in denial in general. There will be a few problems you can’t fully solve on your own. Suffice it to say you can’t wholly exist solo. Make use of the lion in the back of the room. They have been waiting for this moment. Back at Bombay Express; I order enough food for two even though I am alone. Chana masala, chicken sagwala, extra naan, extra yogurt. Later in the evening, I had no issues finding the number twenty-four. Almost two hours of what was supposed to be a calming meditation but I wasn’t able to let myself go. I spaced out instead, drowned my consciousness. Eventually, I just gave up. The second I was out of the door, relief flushed over me. I called a cab because it was a quicker way to get away. I saw him kiss her on the forehead from afar. Almost affectionately. I almost felt it myself. It was a cold night. I listened to his stories from Vienna, Budapest, and Zagreb for the rest of it and for a moment I was glad he was back.

september, xxiii.

She was wearing a t-shirt that said ZOMRI. He said that Malmö counts as Sweden as opposed to being it part of Denmark.

“He looks like an actor. A theater actor.”
“I like that.”
“You like that idea?”

Frida Kahlo sleeve tattoo from the girl.

When I asked him how are you? he gave me a look that revealed that I was the first and the only person who asked him that day. I wondered when was the last time someone hugged him; properly and with the most sincere intention. Just so that he can hold on a little longer. One of those hugs.

Hong Kong keeps returning to me in the strangest of ways. The red vans, Mong Kong’s Sneaker Street, the cinema of Hong Kong, Jackie Chan. We kept talking for about two hours.

Bořivojova doesn’t judge me. Unlike Hart Avenue.