pale as a lemon

upturned moon; urging on the night.

i’m a twenty something person, of course i got distracted with instagram; 

it should be a sin; this warming of overall colour tone, increasing the contrast, sharpening, then graining, then fading and tinting shadows with green — that vsco thingymajig is magical and addictive.

"My brother tried running away when he was younger. There was a fight, he just decided to leave the house." I was at that time trying to figure out how to use his computer — this new Windows layout thing is starting to annoy me.

"I never made it," he explained.

"So my brother won, then?" I turned my attention from his computer to him.

"Well, where did he go? I wanted to run too, but where would I go? You can’t go anywhere when you’re that young," he explained.

"Well he just went out and sat somewhere. My dad went out to look for him and brought him back," my attention shifted back to Windows.

He smiled, “You see,” he said and had his right index finger tapping the side of his forehead. “Smart.”

It would have been a mistake to label this “love.” It was more like total empathy.

—Haruki Murakami in Man-Eating Cats.

I think he could see it right through me, “You’re doing this tasteless thing for attention,” his eyes would look at mine (never directly, we’re not used to that kind of directness) and he reminded me of something a friend once told me, “you can’t fake your way till you make it.”

I believed in faking it till you make it. I felt offended when my close friend noted that it was an either/or position, that if you’re X, don’t pretend to be Y. At that time we were talking (bad-mouthing, really) about this asshole classmate of hers whose arrogance I sensed the first time I laid my eyes on him. My friend and this person were rivals. 

But this person, I wondered, why would he fake it? He had the money, the friends, the background to be uppity and fancy. (I acknowledge that the term I used — uppity and fancy —- is full of prejudices).

Have I been trying to be uppity and fancy? I detested the amount of attention put into this lifestyle— what it means to be educated and cultured. How extensive, but also intensive it was to be in this crowd. Sometimes it’s damn useless that I laughed — and thought of my father’s coarse hands, his oil-stained working shirt and my mother’s nagging on mornings when I woke up late and refused to help her with the housework. 

It kills me to be in the middle. Constantly grounding down from the elitism that the uppity class seemed to call for but then trying to be better than what I thought life meant during my formative adolescent years. It’s tiring because while I recognize the world is not absolutes, I’ve failed to consider the grey areas and lived comfortably accepting this. Instead, I insisted on making the choices between black and white, or worse, romanticizing about this process.

But there is a kind lady, in my head, whose smile mimicked my own on very good days, who’d console me, “You’re in your formative years, still. So it’s alright.”

I’m still very awkwardly shy, but upfront. I talk in as-a-matter-of-fact tone but also have eyes that roam around the room (or, all over you) and hands that won’t stop making shapes as gestures and actions to what I am saying. It is both a true self and a performance that i am sharing with you, both a true person but also an audience. 

He won’t ever understand this, of course, because he too, is in his formative years, still.

Meeting up is a nasty business. Childhood friends, while some are dear, most of us just grew apart. The years we spent as adolescent in different environments, and later on the more years we spent growing up learning this whole adult thing — you just don’t know who’s who, you know? Meeting up again takes a whole lot of energy. It’s balancing the person you once knew and the person who’s in front of you now. It’s also reconciling who you once were and who you are today. It’s a great discomfort that I’ve found myself uncomfortably accommodating to, but do it still because —- well, friends. Acquaintance. Used to be close friends, now apart. 

Everybody seem to opt for steamboat dinners these days, I don’t fucking get it. Biased of course, given there’s shitload of seafood and meat and for RM30+ I’m only eating eggs, tofu and vegetables in soup that I don’t even like. I only can stand the soup that I make, otherwise usually they’re MSG water that makes me sick (or stock made from meat things, which makes me feel even sicker).

My kind of meet up, the best kind in my opinion is just to find somewhere quiet and talk for hours. Having not seen each other for almost a year, there are loads to talk about. But that is it, isn’t it — precisely because you’ve not seen each other for so long and because you’ve kinda grow into a different person, there is little you can share on?

Perhaps, maybe? 

I just realised in my life, ever, I’ve never had a conversation with anyone for more than 4 hours straight. I’d like to do that some day, one day.

you know shit gets real when one reply kinda breaks your heart to thousand tiny pieces. one. and i still think he has the nicest most affecting smile i’ve ever seen in a goddamn living, breathing, face-to-face-relationship person.

Words fail me, this time. If I see a familiar face to whom I’ve always consoled, faces i thought of and have had conversations with in my head — I would want to embrace them, and cry. Words aren’t adequate. No amount of green will ever paint over this hopeless feeling, hopeless being a term that in fact doesn’t represent what I intended, hopeless because I fail at words and it reflects exactly this failure.

There is no green. Not in this summer heat.