Most of the time, we don’t know what to say to each other. Or we do, but putting things into context is like trying to explain a math equation when you don’t understand the hows or the whys.
I didn’t know what to say when my dad had brung home a crab he had caught from the open sea. It sat in a little container barely bigger enough for its own good overnight, lying in the bathtub. And the next day, when he put the assumingly dead body of it in the ocean by the seafront, I wanted to ask him what was wrong. As he stood there, a silhouette of grief mourning over a friend found and then lost, I wanted to say that it was okay. I wanted to tell him that I loved the crab too, though I was somewhat annoyed by its randomised presence and its inhabitation of the bathtub. I wanted to tell him that sometimes I too felt like bringing home the earth with me and putting it in a little jar where I could see it grow, clearly.
I didn’t know what to say when my great gran died on my 13th birthday. I was angry, not because she died, but because I woke up to grief, tears and I was ignored, standing there in the doorway looking like a butterfly in a cluster of cacoons.
Or when my gran’s dog passed, or when I moved away from my home, my friends, my family. When I had to witness a war between the two people I loved the most and expected to be the most violent of them all. Only to silently nod and wave goodbye. Tears like gumdrops that drip down like when you put too much cash into the penny machine and a murder of gifts comes crashing through the slot. Colourful, bubbly, sour, sweet, sugary gifts, that made me wince when I swallowed too hard or too fast.
But for the first time, I knew what to say. I knew how to feel, how to be, how to act. A long-delayed typhoon of hate- indulging in the emptiness of my Sahara mind. I knew the words that stroked my tongue and weaved them into emotions that only used to mime the plays of grief. No longer are those feelings clad in leather and black and white and drenched in make-up to hide the blemishes of a heart gone serpentine. A ballerina that ashames her white dress, hides and prances behind the lady of the lake. Mimics her moves and does not realise that she replays that angelic scene too many times to trip up. And that if only she took the spotlight instead of the shadows where falling is seen by no one, she could see that she too is the angel of dust.
And I knew how to speak. I knew what to say. How to explain an equation in which numbers rival against each other. How to dance on a stage where I am the one who makes the mistakes. Finally, I knew how to shed those tears. And those typhoons destroyed and are still whipping away the settlements that I had built to call a home. They sunk their teeth into a prophetic world because the shark bites dug too far in. And yet again another limb is torn away and like a lizard’s tail, I will grow back up again. So that one day, that world, those smiles, those hearts, those friends and those memories, won’t be fake, a silicone sheet of replacement. Plastic cartridges can only last up to three million decades and a soul that never stops beating is as quadruple as long, and there can never be a price on something that can never have a name.
Life truly is the strangest thing. Really strange :/