Architecture For Beginners

I raise a toast to you my dear,
our happiness big enough to tear the walls
that stand blowing in the wind, flying away
like a murmuration of birds,
wings spreading and leaving and gone.

We built this house out of fear and loneliness,
I found you in the darkness while I was nursing my wounds,
you had a match and I, a candle.
In hindsight, we can lament over the missing spark
that would have ignited our tomorrows,
shone the path to the foundation of a stable home, with
walls that contained our secrets.

Only the desperate would find comfort in
the moonlight piercing in through the ceiling.
Two bodies caressing under the stars,
two idiots too blind to know better.

10.

Dear Gillian,

This time last year, I was either panic walking to McDonald’s to get a burger as my Last Supper, or sat at this exact same set of desk and chair writing the letter that I am going to show you. This is all because tomorrow is A Level results day; millions of people are going to find out if their hard work has paid off and if they have been lucky enough to be accepted onto their first choice university course.

I was one of those people. Looking back in hindsight, I am still amazed at the grades I got and the unbelievable luck that has led me to the position I am in today. I thought about this letter again today, and I thought about that poor, terrified child last year diving into the deep end, and expected to emerge with a smile. I was so frightened by the oncoming train wreck, and I still might be.

I want to share this letter, because I still feel this way about life, regardless of how big or how little the matter is. I wear perfume now, I can named all the muscles of the limbs, I can navigate the London Underground during peak time, but deep now, I am still a child, and it’s so comforting to be reminded of where you were, where you came from, and even better to be reassured by someone who was metaphorically blind at the time, but still able to be so brave. I feel fearless and courageous and strong when I read this letter, and I am infinitely glad for its existence.

Dear Future Annie,
By the time you remind yourself to read this letter tomorrow, you will know your results and where you are headed in life. But this is not the important thing, because tomorrow is just another day, it’ll probably rain, and you’ll see some friends and pass the time, and tomorrow is just another 24 hours in your lifetime.
Now Annie, you are going to be brave, very very brave because just as tomorrow is oncoming, so is the future and this cannot be avoided; grades are just grades and nothing more, it is a hurdle and not the finish line. Who even know where the finish line is? Perhaps, that’s exactly it. The finish line is constantly changing and anywhere we want it to be.
Annie, the future is scary and terrifying and something similar to going into a black hole but it’s time to go. Just remember that I am so proud of you for overcoming everything, remember that there does exist people who do not make you feel alone, remember that this is not the end, and remember to look behind to see the people cheering you on.
Much love,
This Annie

Best,
Annie

Into The Unknown

Your calloused hands entwined with mine,
palms clasped like coming home,
we’re dancing in the moonlight to avoid
the warm glow of words we cannot say

but this is enough, for now

the purse of your lips that I kiss to silence,
a glance from the corner of your eye
daring me to confront the depth of whatever the hell this is,
a leap of faith from the comfort of your arms

into the unknown

Icarus

Icarus flew further towards the sun, but
has anyone ever questioned his subconscious.
His ending hit him like thunder and lightning,
he was gone before he was there, his mind and logic
trailing long behind him like hearing and seeing.

I knew of our ending before I met you.
Yet, I was still twirled around the dance floor
with my hair a halo around your hands. You made
me feel unstoppable, and invincible; strong like
the ocean current coming our way.

Some say Icarus was an insolent child who
should know better but I say there is a tiny
Icarus inside us all, dying for our faith.

9. Nineteen

Dearest Gillian,

I turned nineteen yesterday.

In my eighteenth year on this Earth, I completed my first year of medical school, amongst other things. But you know what, I am not just going to stop there because my accomplishments are more than just “amongst other things”. Here is a list of notable events in the past year: passed my driving test, enrolled into uni, moved out, moved to London, got a posh arse Southern accent, failed an exam, passed more exams, got a crappy diagnosis, found myself again, made so many friends, fell in love, fell out of love, got mind blowingly drunk, multiple reunions, and so many memories.

I feel proud of myself for how I managed to survive the last year, which can be summed up with the word struggle. I have no wish to sound melodramatic, but if my last year was written into a novel, critics would analyse the theme of struggle in multiple directions. The struggle of being alone, the struggle of the constant piles of work, the struggle of surviving in a foreign place, the struggle of depression and stress and anxiety and the never-ending feeling of not-good-enough.

In this sense, I want to dedicate this (whatever this is) to floor 2 prison block, the most wonderful and dysfunctional group of people who I will treasure the memories with forever. It’s a miracle that we did not have even one argument through the whole year even with all the landmines surrounding us. They always wanted me to write about them, and so this is for you. To 220, thank you for always listening to my rants about boys, and my plethora of non-existent boy problems. To 223, 224, 225, thank you for always being there for me, for being my source of home and comfort, thank you for the advice and the good times. To 227, I think I might have liked you even before you pulled that stunt. To 230, thank you for being so kind and patient, and for the laughs. To the rest and all of you, I say this: I knew I would love London before I even set foot in the city, but I never realised how much I would grow to love our corridor. This year at Dawson Hall has made me stronger in multiple ways and I am grateful to you all for the support; my own room was often a lair of despair but I only need to step out to be embraced by your collective warmth, and this has been my saving grace multiple times throughout the year. You have all helped me without even knowing it, and I am so happy that we have made so many memories together.

I believe I hit the peak of my life quite possibly at age 18. Thus, I am scared of my inevitable growth into old age, she write at age 19. It’s absurd, and believe me, I am fully aware of it. It seems futile to worry about age at this point or any point through life. I simply wish to remain in this year of my life where I am surrounded by good friends, and living in zone 1 London, even if I am stuck in (what I perceived as) a tunnel in which there is no light at the end. I am frightened by how suddenly my life can change in a year, knowing how much I changed in my 18th year. At the end of it, I feel good. I feel comfortable with myself and in my body right now. I am with the people who I want to be with, doing what I love, and content with my state of mind.

And I am scared because I think that is everything you want for a happy life; I don’t wish to spiral down again if I were to lose it, when I have finally tasted happiness after all these years.

Best,
Annie