I can’t write. I now realise, after four attempts at writing empty paragraphs void of meaning. Each sentence breaks down midway into a full stop that doesn’t make sense. Words have always been my weapon, shield and armour. Words are what made me who I am today. I would speak and thoughts that made no sense to me, made someone feel better, or reach out to me, or get over a lost lover, or find peace and solace. Emotions that are a result of nerve endings and chemicals coursing within my body, find their way on to my computer screen, broken and useless. So I tried to do what I usually do when I feel out of words. I took my thoughts, one at a time, like I would take a book, and placed it in a shelf inside my mind. Each book is a thought, a feeling and an emotion bundled in a circumstance, strung with an incident that occurred during the day. Something someone said. A joke. A face. Your face. Something you said. It feels strange writing about you after so long. But I think you deserve to be mentioned inside one of my thoughts. I made you into a book and placed you in my earliest, fondest book shelf long time ago but I would like to dust it and flip through your pages.
I confess I am a little scared to bring you into life through the words I write. When I write, I think of you, and too much thought of you… scares me. If I write about you, it means I think of you, and if I think of you it means I-
What does it mean really? My friends tease me. They say I mention your name all too much, all too often for a former lover. ‘You still like him’ they say. I disagree. ‘Like’ is a word far below of what you really are to me. Love would be the word. Or is it?
Love was when we were 19 and you were my first. Love was when we childishly spoke about things we wanted to do. I didn’t want to marry but I wanted to have a child, so you agreed to “fake marry” me so I can adopt one. You wanted to live on a mountain, growing your own garden of weed, a proud owner of a Gandalf beard and teaching art to kids. Love was when we fooled around in public, giddy with the feeling of being seen. Love was when I thought of you every morning when I woke up and thought of you when I went to sleep. Love was when I counted your heart beat against your chest. Love was when I betrayed you, and you were still here, nursing my broken heart. Love was when I got lost, and I followed the breadcrumbs you’d left behind. Love was when I was jealous of her and happy for you at the same time. Love was when I was sad to see you cry over your broken heart.
But I don’t think this is love. No, love isn’t the word.
We have grown, drifted apart and now it is not love. I don’t think of you when I wake up or when I go to sleep. I don’t text you often, sometimes never, and you hardly cross my mind. I have other ‘loves’ that keep me occupied. And I am comforted by the thought that you have yours too.
No, love is not the word. I think you are home.
‘Home’ is what I would call you. I think you are where a ‘home’ is. A comfortable place, like an old couch or a soft cushion I fall back to after a long, hard day. A thought that comforts and protects me, and a thought to which I do not cling on to or yearn of, but fondly touch, like a tiny birthmark on my skin.
‘Home’ is when I discover you in others. ‘Home’ is when I look at someone else and I see myself when I was with you. ‘Home’ is when I talk to you after months, maybe years, and we still talk about earth shattering topics like comic books and tuk drivers, about the things we learned, about our broken hearts, and old movies. ‘Home’ is being happy that you happened. ‘Home’ is when he asks me about you, and your face plops inside my mind and I chuckle out loud and say ‘Oh, that fucking idiot.’
No, ‘Love’ most definitely is not the word I am looking for. ‘Home’ is.
A dedication; to the artist who moulded me.