The Chemicals Between Them

She looked at him. He was more than she had ever expected him to be — a lot more. His green eyes were so pale, and his ginger hair was just leaning enough to the blond side to look beautiful. His fingers were long and slender, its tips worn and hard from playing his instrument daily for more than three decades. There was something very gentle about him. It wasn’t just the voice that was deep and a little raspy with a sensual lilt. His hands were animated when he spoke. There was life inside this man. A light that shone brightly. There had always been something mysterious, vulnerable, strong, and sensual about him. He knew many demons by name. Some, she knew too. He was known for being difficult, too sure about his talent and himself, but that confidence was something she had always admired. And now she sat face to face with him. When they had talked on the phone for the first time, she had been starstruck. But soon it became normalcy to talk to him weekly, sometimes only monthly. There was a bond. Too many similarities to ignore. For both of them. She didn’t want to be his groupie, and she didn’t feel like it either, but now she didn’t only like his music and his lyrics, she had grown to like the man himself too. With all his flaws. They made him human with all his arrogance that shone through too.

She didn’t know what he saw in her, but since he had repeatedly told her that she was beautiful and that he liked her mind, she didn’t question it. There was no use. He saw things in her she didn’t see. And he inspired change within that she hadn’t known to be capable of.

Sometimes they didn’t speak in months. During these months, she felt lonely and unhappy. Incomplete. Even though they shared this connection and this inexplicable bond, she wanted to leave him his space. She saw the music as being his job. There were times when he didn’t do a lot and other times when he was too busy to do anything but write and record a new album. She refused to intrude. She took it as a gift when he spent time with her, and she was content that he always seemed to come back to her.

Like now. He had insisted on making time for her tonight, even though he was working. It was the first time they sat face to face. But it was apparent that the chemicals between them were stronger than she had ever anticipated.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

He looked at her. He had loved many women in his life, had been engaged twice too. Opening up to this woman and trusting her the way he did had been a challenge. She had touched him at a moment when he had craved connection. Something had made him take his chances. And he knew how risky it had been. There were still one-night stands who wrote less than nice things on the band’s Facebook page. She was not like them. She was respectful of his work. And she had put him in his place once or twice when he had become too cocky. He liked that. He also liked the undivided attention she offered and that she didn’t conceal how much she loved his talent. She was the one he had always missed, but he hadn’t known it until she had become a constant part of his life. And gorgeous. She was gorgeous. Her brown eyes were full of emotions and her hair; it was gorgeous. There was no other word he could think of to describe her. Her skin was unblemished. No tattoos, no piercings. So different from the girls he took to the hotel for one night only. Of course, he knew about the self-harming scars, and he had seen her many beauty spots on her olive skin. She was a little chubby, but he wasn’t thin or muscular, either. He was soft around the middle and conscious about it. And then she had told him that she loved his hairy belly. It had made him smile. It was then when he had realised that she was so very different. At first, he had had no intention to meet her. It had been a fantasy. A game. But there was something very mysterious about her. The connection grew, and that bond too – a bond he had only felt with his siblings. He felt safe with her. He had offered to meet at one of their shows, and she had immediately said that he was working, and she didn’t want to intrude. It had made him want her even more. She took herself back and was respectful, polite, and there was a sense of humour that matched his own. She was so much more than he had ever expected her to be. And now they sat face to face. Around them, people were busy getting the venue ready. Lights were checked, guitars were tuned, the bar was stocked, and the stage was set for its final look. And he only had eyes for her. He had promised to make time for her. And he needed to know that when he played in her city, that she would be there. He wanted to look into her eyes at one particular moment. When they would play a new song for the first time. She had no idea the song was for her, but he knew she would know as soon as she heard the lyrics. He had used words she had said to him. After the show, when his duties were fulfilled, he intended to take her out. Maybe for a walk under the winter’s sky. Maybe to the hotel. Who knew where their journey would lead. At first, he had been afraid that she was just another groupie. Now, he was scared that he was about to fall in love. She smelled so good, and her smile brightened the dim room. His heartfelt something he had sworn it would never be allowed again. There was no use fighting it. The chemicals between them were so much stronger than he could ever have anticipated.

Love.

caged animals

We are all free. Sitting in our cages.

We sing songs. Forgetting their melodies.

Nothing really matters. Yet everything does.

Words are flowers. Bringing peace.

Words are weapons. Killing us, one by one.

But, we are free. As long as our cages are locked.

Fifteen months

(Repost from September 16th, 2016)

And then it happened, and her demons won. Just like that and without a fair warning. They didn’t play fair. For fifteen months she had fought them off, and now she had lost the battle with her self-harming demons. Just two small cuts. Usually, she only made one deep incision. But cutting along existing scars proved challenging. And fascinating. The way the skin stretched without breaking. The way she realised that the pain from cutting her skin stopped the moment it began to bleed.

But something wasn’t right. Something was not like she remembered it. She didn’t feel the usual calm settle down over her like a relaxing fog. This time, she stayed agitated. Unsettled. Two cuts. Very small, yet there. They hadn’t opened the valve that allowed her skin to expand and give her more room to breathe. Not this time. This time, the cuts were a testimony to her failure as an adult. She was broken beyond repair. They were affirming her failure. Affirming that she was just a freak. Nothing more.

She grew restless. She was determined to punish herself and her body for all the things that weren’t right – mostly her mind.

Transfixed, she watched the drops of blood sliding down her wrist. Had it ever bled this much? Had she cut too deep? Was she done, or was there more cutting to do to ease her troubled soul? She started shaking violently. She cleaned the box cutter in a hurry, before returning it to its place on the shelf. She couldn’t stand its sight anymore.

She ran her arm under the sink and still reeling, she lit a cigarette. She claimed to be a non-smoker but once in a while; she liked the taste of her Luckies. This time, it was different – not calming her nerves, and still shaking all over, she felt so nauseous from the smoke that she put the cigarette out.

She considered drinking a shot of vodka, but she had promised to herself to be abstinent from alcohol and carbohydrates for at least two weeks. She had no intention of breaking that vow. Even under these circumstances. Or was it despite them? She had to stick to something.

But what was she supposed to do? All alone. She called her best friend, but she was busy. It was the usual scenario: she needed someone, but the world was too busy to care. She never pretended to be the centre of the universe, but she gave all the time, and when she needed a shoulder, some support, nobody was there.

On a whim, she messaged her ex-affair. It would have been their first anniversary. Did he know? He didn’t, but it was okay. The moment she heard his voice, she had to swallow down a wave of tears. She hadn’t believed that he would pick up the phone, but he had. He had always been a good listener. And even now, after months of silence between them, he did the same – he listened. Giving gentle advice, never judging. He held his narcissistic self under control while she confessed and confided in him what she had never confessed or admitted to anyone. She had harmed herself. Now she felt ashamed and exhausted. The tension hadn’t left. But his voice was reassuring, comforting. She never wanted to show him his weaknesses, but now she had done it anyway. He knew. She was naked, soul-stripped in front of him. He stirred the conversation in a different direction. And she let him, fully aware that he was asking for something in return. Nothing was for free.

On a path to self-destruction phone sex with him was just another step towards her final demise. Was she his prostitute? For him, she was. She was allowed to unload her emotional crap as long as she paid her debts with her body. She hated herself either way. This didn’t change a thing. And yet, she felt proud when she heard his moans and his erratic breathing. She didn’t feel dirty or ashamed that he had made her cum twice too. It was just words. A fantasy. Orders she bs followed. But sometimes, it was more. It had released the rest of the tension that had kept her on edge for so long, and when he told her so, knowing exactly how she felt, she had laughed out loud — a genuine s.
The earlier thoughts were forgotten. Not really forgotten, just pushed aside. She was still shaking all over. But there had been someone who had caught her, and it meant a lot to her. On a day, when she had hinted so many times, in front of so many people about all the things that weren’t right, and nobody asked if she was okay or needed help; on a day when she felt invisible and unseen, one person had seen her. And he had loved her. For how long it would last didn’t matter. He had been there when she had needed him. And it had indeed changed her day. Her demons were still hiding in the shadows. Bloodhounds. She wasn’t sure if she could keep them at bay, for she would try — fifteen months or longer.

I shared this piece of fiction because I stumbled across it today, and I liked that comment so much. The music I had added was Help Me by Maximilian Hecker

nothing as it seems.

Shelly sat on her bed, the laptop heating her thighs and knees. Things had changed; she had. Months ago, it was easy just to let every thought spill onto her screen, but now, it was a struggle even to write a word. She defended her silence with writer’s block; or the fact that she worked so much. It had never bothered her before. She started censoring herself and her writing when she noticed the traffic on her blog was coming consistently. Readers or viewers came by daily to see if she had shared something. Where they waiting for her to share some more of her gruesome inner life? Where they waiting in the shadows, silently judging, ready to twist her words in real life? She hated the thought that people she knew read her words. She wasn’t embarrassed, she was just so naked on her blog, and she was afraid that her fragile mind would destroy the image of herself that she tried to hold upright. She tried to appear humorous and composed, relaxed and focused. But she wasn’t. Inside she was always struggling, wondering what she should have done differently; what she should have said instead of what she said; trying to remember everything so that she could make life easier for everyone who had to endure her presence.

Shelly had taken all her courage to tell her colleagues at work that she is mentally ill – depression. But she was not sad enough, not tired enough, not silent enough, not lethargic enough. She was functional. They didn’t see that she cried every day in her car on her way to work. They didn’t see how draining work was for her. They didn’t see that every little accomplishment came with a mountain of doubts and crippling thoughts.

Shelly had a lot to say, but nothing was worthy of her readers. She checked the stats and updated blogs. Nothing was inspiring, yet everything she read was inspiring. People had things to say and to share with the world. She had once been like that. Once, before her mind had decided to tell her lies again. Lies, all lies. And not even music was helping anymore.

Shelly closed the lid of her laptop and listened as the heater went silent. It was time to catch some sleep. Tomorrow, people who look at here again and wonder why she made such a fuss about depression when she didn’t look depressed. She was even smiling. But every smile came with a price. Frail. She was fragile, and if she weren’t careful, she would break apart.

Shelly turned to her side and pulled the blanket up over her head. It was comforting to be hidden from the world, and she slipped into a colourless dream.

tbt – poetry

Draw me

Draw me in an ocean
Draw me in the sand
Draw me in the seas
Draw me on the land.

Draw me on the clouds
And push the sky away.
Draw me under your skin
In this special magic way.

Draw me in your music
And draw me on your sheets
Draw me in your mind
Draw me when we are in heat.

Draw my silhouette
Draw my soul
Draw my flaws
And draw what makes me whole.

Draw me in my sleep
Draw me on my knees
Draw a picture of me on your heart;
For I am your most precious piece of art.

(November 2017)

When souls collide

My soul lives in the pockets of your heart
Hidden from view but always there.
Our past lies dormant underneath the bed
It gathers dust and will slowly be forgotten.
But I am here and so are you
The life we shared is sewn onto our thoughts;
A shadow in our brains that we can’t outrun.
Your soul is in the palm of my hand
I blow it into the wind
Where it floats way
I see it collide with what is left of my self.
Rain. I feel the atoms of us around me.
Inhaling, I understand that I am nothing
I am everything that lives within. You.

behind the curtain

My curtains are drawn, and I peer out to see
The happy people, they are not like me.
I must remain hidden and out of view
Where I thrive on small things like the sky that’s blue.
I want what they have; it doesn’t seem too much
I crave it, but I am scared of the human touch.
Whoever I am is fading away, night after day
The voice is silent; no one says, “please, stay.”
I can’t get rid of the stains of sadness on my skin
My soul is rotten, and I am trapped within.
Let me out of this living hell. Let me out!
But my walls are too high; no one hears me when I shout.
In plain sight, I am drowning in a river of emotions
Letting go of the curtain, the river becomes an ocean.
These feelings are a layer of dust in my brain,
Making me believe that my existence is in vain.
But it is not; I may be far away, but I am still here.
See me! Like me! Love me! Don’t be afraid to come near.
Behind drawn curtains, I am beginning to see,
Smiles hide existential battles; happy people are the same as me.

Rebirth – repost

soiled earth
burned ground.
I need a rebirth
being found.

But no,
I am not lost.
just a no-show,
a bad host.

I’m wide awake
not under water.
nothing left at stake
not a victim of the slaughter.

I hold my fate in my hands
writer of my own story
creator of my future plans
I will shine in all my glory.

I chose to hide
or to emerge
being drowned in the tide,
this time I chose to purge.

bridges didn’t cave in
but we need to let it rest.
we should raise our chin
be proud that we passed the test.

there will be no last caress
and I wouldn’t want it any other way
it’s the safest way out of this mess
and we will live, even through the sway.

blossoming spring
revival everywhere
it makes me rise and sing
lets me forget my latest despair.

dance with me on the ledge
be free
I’ll save you from the edge
you’ll see.

rejoice with me
celebrate the times we survived
let the past be,
because we are the ones who thrive.

Greed

Not a finger – I need the hand
Not the hand – I need the arm.

Not a country – I need the world
Not the world – I need the stars.

Not a minute – I need an hour
Not an hour – I need the day.

Everything – give me everything before I lose my mind.

Not a sentence – I need an paragraph
Not an paragraph – I need a book.

Not a whisper – I need a scream
Not a scream – I need a song.

Not a like – I need love
Not love – I need care.

Everything – give me everything before I lose my mind.

(repost from May 2018)