october, vi.

Saturday: I rolled out of bed at noon, made coffee, put a load to wash. I decided that the rest can wait a little longer.

This realization. That I don’t have to do something all the time. That I can just sit at the table, drink coffee. And do not much else.

A warm October Saturday. The simplicity of eating my lunch in a park from the best Vietnamese bistro in Prague. With the sun in my face and the blue sky behind my back.

I wait for my two halves to arrive. Updates from the road every hundred kilometers. I think of Slovenia, of Austria. Of the mountains and the highways. It’s been a long time since I drove across those countries.

I had just sat down outside of Happy Bean coffee shop. He came out of nowhere. “Do you know anywhere I can find real chocolate-chip cookies?” I suggested a couple of places in the area. He came back soon, empty-handed. “I’ll see you later tonight?” We are officially neighbors now.

When I saw him again, he was crunching on a Granny Smith apple and offered me a half. “Wine?” “Wine not.” From Sydney to Prague for Love.

But there’s something about him. Foil-thin contempt for people; a bread crust of optimism that perhaps it isn’t all so bad. But underneath, something rotten and awful and he tries to hide it with manicured teeth and superficial laugh. But there is something there. Something. He walked out of the room. Crunching on peanuts for a change. He walked away from me lost in thought, almost like he was moonwalking. I wish he’d stop snorting up lines in the back room. I wish he’d stop thinking he’s fooling me. At the same time, I love that he knows who he is. His values shine from him. The circumstances don’t define him. And that’s fine.

I can’t help but ask, who is he?

Žižkov. I love my neighborhood.

october, v.

6.43 am.

I am still feeling the bits that remained from last night. I crumple the business card in my coat pocket. My intuition tells me that wasn’t the last encounter. I trust it.

The tram driver slammed the door in my face. I wonder what the rest of his day is going to be like. I felt the soft sunset slowly coming on. It takes much longer in winter. And then. Black Panther soundtrack. Still.

I still think of them. I wonder what they’d think of the movie. I wonder who they’d be. Who they’d become.

Perhaps, I shouldn’t have told him anything. I know I shouldn’t have but it’s too late now. It’s out there.

Pribináček je všechno co jsem dneska potřebovala a taky mi ho koupil.

How I know it’s winter: 7.11 pm and it is dark. 7.11 pm and I’m already in bed.

“Great meatballs, Frank.”

In reality, I am just counting off the days until I’ll be on the plane again.

october, iv.

Back to Deepak Chopra. Back to Zero. I became frustrated with my inability to keep a daily meditation routine. She said, don’t be so hard on yourself.

I regret now that I didn’t tell them. I should have.

Sexion d’Assaut on a sunny Thursday afternoon. I wonder whether I still listen to them because I actually like them or because they remind me.

Late shift. I saw the light on in his office in the other building. But he messaged me first. Why don’t you come over? I’ve got cookies. He handed me a cup of herbal tea after he heard my cough. You should be at home with that, you know. Then he offered me a ride home but I declined. Nothing is for granted.

I stopped reading the news; I stopped with my research. I stopped.

Maybe I really need to stop being so hard on myself. Maybe she’s right.

october, iii.

October is the month I return to Russian classics in literature. Perhaps, it’s the gloom.

6.59 am.

I started my morning on a bad note. One of those conversations that I don’t even care about. But it’s still all on my mind and I’m living it out internally. Then the paranoia. That this will do me in. I have to remember that the paternal side is looking over me. The pigeons.

I remembered an old habit of mine back in high school. Solving a medium sudoku on the ride from Yau Ma Tei to Kowloon Tong. One day each. Towards the end of a semester, it’d take me four minutes. I should go back to this. The 25 I have now will give me a head start.

The weather is bleak and I’m back in all black. Becoming resilient to stress doesn’t mean getting accustomed to it. I stopped counting the grays. There are there because I keep failing myself on the internal work. It’s hard. Do it.

Shang Hai. Then Plzeň.

Then gloom again.

october, i.

Awake just after dawn with no inclination to leave the bed with pillows as my only comfort. It’s cold and raining.

I suddenly remember that it’s October. I already miss the auburn month, and of course, I regret not paying enough attention to it too busy with the day-to-day living, too busy with the words words words.

Then, finally, the silence.

I suddenly remember a sentence I wrote almost a year ago. When I first attempted these. To think nothing of it. To think nothing. To feel nothing; how does one do that?

It is only the first. It is already the first.

Four days have slipped away from you in a stupor of an autumn illness; your immune system perfectly susceptible to that first cold that comes when you are least prepared for it and it just knocks you down. Like the messages, like the voices you hear when you are coming up from the station but you know they are not calling for you. For whom then?

No coffee for four days; your self-pity cannot stomach it. On the fifth, your body no longer feels like your own. You need a movement. Where is it? That first reconnection with the world is the hardest. Where have you been? Nothing moved but your thoughts.

The sky hangs low. Like a blanket, like an approval that you haven’t requested but one that you have been granted. A promise that you made and that you need to keep. For yourself.

What are you terrified of? Not all decisions you have made have been wrong. Remember this firmly.