Read this as a set of nine words abandoned in the blue of winter twilights, at the bottom of the flight of stairs that leads up to the mourning Eiffel tower, at the silence of the ocean that helplessly watches hostages in a plane being shot one after another, at the steps of a lost temple which nobody visits anymore, at the end of a lane that leads to a dirty lake, where you still find footprints on the wet clay, but hear no splashes. Read this as a note of death, or a now-redundant cry for help. Read this before you fall asleep at night, in the quicksilver of the moon by your window sill while your child sleeps, unperturbed in your arms. Read this in cafés where the sun pours onto tables and lights up vapor like spirits or fumes of gold.
Read this secretly, hurrying through the pages, ashamed, like you’re spying on the diary of a young adolescent. Read this at your lover’s funeral. Read this in sheer denial of the world as your eyes bleed from shock, fear, and self-hatred.
Read this, knowing that the unscathed sheet of paper these words touched had a million other possibilities for existence: a love note, a letter of gratitude, a pink slip, a declaration of success, foolscap for a child to scrawl upon, compost for a bush of pink and white roses, but I wrote this for you, wherever these words are today, just so you know there’s someone across the globe, across the country, across the street, across the hall, who loved and lost one time too many; someone who dreamt of pastels mostly and neon too on occasion; someone who was a child once, incoherent and unblemished, happy, innocent and doubtless; someone who once looked for answers in the eyes of humans, until she realized that most eyes were dead; someone who cried to the poems of Leav, and laughed to the stories of Wodehouse; someone who now weeps for both the past and the present; someone whose child still sleeps in the nursery, oblivious to the fact that her mother has been slaughtered; someone who had to leave this world because its inhabitants hated her a little too much, for no apparent reason.
Know that there may be other words that you might lose yourself in, at your wish – and that this is a luxury not many can afford.
This is the only thing I have done in this life, perhaps – granting you a glimpse within; granting you access to the only nine words that ever existed since the gun was pointed to my forehead. You are free to handle this with care, contempt or abandon, as you wish, but please, please leave it for someone else to discover, when you, like me, outgrow the need for life:
“I’d like to have lived a little while longer.”
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