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

8.

Dear Gillian,

I think I am too young to be this regretful.

You’d tell me I am being melodramatic, and quite possibly I am. But it feels like my whole being is full of heartache, pining after boys, looking for a body to cuddle to forget about my sadness. Oh Gillian, is it too much to ask for? Someone to love me back?

Gillian, I went and done it again. I like a boy. I thought he might like me, but I think I really misinterpreted everything. But why else would he say he would kiss me but didn’t because he is afraid? Why else would he sit and talk with me until morning light came? I’m trying to see how I could have gone so wrong. Gillian, for once I just want someone to love me back. So I don’t have to sit alone, questioning everything. The Barbican conservatory is so lovely and tranquil, and I can’t stop crying.

The feeling of being liked is so foreign to me.

Gillian, I thought he liked me so I liked him back, but it was all a joke and I feel like I’ve been trampled over.

***

Gillian, have you ever liked someone so much and have you ever been so heartbroken that you cried in a public place? I sat in the Barbican conservatory surrounded by beautiful flora, and I wrote the above as I contemplated life and felt sorry for myself. I had to stop because I started crying.

I don’t know why I am so heartbroken. Rejection has happened so many times that it’s familiar to me now. But what is new this time, was the tiny potential of being liked. Being on the opposite end of the situation is so foreign, even for a tiny flicker of a time, even if it wasn’t real. The mere thought of requited love was so exciting, I think I threw away all inhibition and went in head first.

Well regret is a thing that’s happening now. Regret and lots of angst.

***

It’s a day later, or maybe two. I am drunk and I am thinking about him. I wish I had enough courage to talk to him, ask him if he meant it. How can one person have such an effect on a whole other person? We are all just humans at the end, there is not a lot of difference between me and him but he has the power to make me shy when I have spent a large chunk of my life praising myself for being confident. How can one person, a person like any other, make me want to weep  but also write poetry celebrating the miracle of love? How is this possible? I don’t understand.

Oh Gillian, I am trying to deal with the bitter taste of rejection (I know my friends say it’s not for sure but I’m prepping for it anyway), and it’s mixed with the pungent smell of vodka. I know I have been through, and survived worst things, but it feels like this feeling of despair and bone aching loneliness is going to destroy me.

I want to sit in the Barbican conservatory and cry. At least when I was crying, I knew who I am and where I was and how I felt, but when I am drunk, I can’t control my thoughts and my inhibitions. I am overwhelmed with the urge to just hold his hand. I don’t like it when I think like this because I know I will wake up with the same urge, but without the vague veil of alcohol to mask it.

Gillian, I think earlier on he might have said he liked me. Like the actual words, but I’m not sure if I misheard him and he actually said ‘because I don’t like you’. He was really shy and queer about it, as he immediately followed with a sharp burst of ‘WHAT?’. I think I heard ‘because I like you’ but I don’t know if it’s just my mind playing dumb games, and I just want to go back to that cosy morning with his head on my shoulder and where I felt content with life.

***

It’s all over. In a moment of weird courage mixed in a lot of vodka, I asked him, and he said no. I expected this. I expected him to say it was all for jokes, it was all for the banter. Because it’s really funny to tell someone you want to kiss them right? Right?

I know I sound really bitter above, but I really am not if you can believe that. I am proud that I asked him, I am proud I uttered those words even though this is the outcome. I am glad I got that insane burst of bravery because otherwise, I would be sitting here hating myself. Despairing over the loss of another opportunity to get to the bottom of this.

And you know what? I have. And that’s all I wanted.

Best,
Annie

A.N.: Edited on 03/06/15 to correct drunk spelling, for the addition of the last section.

Lovesong of the Heartsick

Darling,

I am suddenly overwhelmed with the urge
to hold your hand, to intertwine your fingers
with mine so I can feel the heat simmer through my
bones to reignite the fire, to reignite us.

I have been so cold. I do not have enough fingers
and toes to tell you how much I have missed your warmth.
Years have flew by, sunsets have gone to waste
all for me to guide you back with my song.

I told myself it’s not good to think this way.
For you are so very far, and so very different
to the child I loved all those moons ago.
My first wander to you was deep and arduous,
and I can’t help but fall down these old grooves,
this worn road again back to you.

This is me hoping to see your face again,
hoping to bathe in your glow, hoping to
bring back the crinkles around your lips.
This is me hoping you might like me back.