Today…is a lazy day,
and gravity has made it a point to keep me in bed.
From the open window, the sky-blue curtains flutter,
and the clouds seem too comfortable to want to move,
even if they have to.
The sun is still stretching, yawning at the new day.
Today, I don’t want to fight.
I can’t think of demons and darkness;
I’m too busy doing nothing.
Too busy remembering the summer
from that day I flew a kite,
or that summer, one day at the beach,
floating effortlessly on top of the rolling waves,
thinking about one day in the distant future.
Maybe that day is now.
I’m not happy all the time.
But today, I am.
And it would be a damn shame to ruin it by moving.
So I snuggle deeper into the fluffiness of my blanket,
and fall back happily into Nature’s pace.
You are 18. An adult. You have begged not to be. But you realise that you either get old, or you die.
So now you are 18 and the world you have known for 18 years minus one day is crumbling down. It feels as though not just adults, but the world in general, have been plotting against you and planting explosives all over the place, waiting for 18 years to pass.
And now, you’re having to escape that exploding world, your exploding world, and leap into another foreign, hostile land, all the while unsure you’ll make it or die trying.
And you can’t even look back.
You can’t look back to take in, one last time, the sight of your favourite teddy bear, or the worn copy of “The Little Prince” that you keep — kept. Because it’s all debris now. If you turn to look, you’ll blind yourself.
So you jump.
Not with much of a choice, afraid of the leap, afraid of falling and afraid of reaching the ‘new world’ all at once. And you’re so afraid that you wish that someone would take your hand. But now, you’re afraid of trusting too. Now, it seems that all you trust is yourself, but even then, not really.
You make it to the new world.
Bruised. Battered. Ugly. Crying. Numb.
Suits, ties and grim expressions abound. The world is grey, and no one cares. People bustle around and they don’t seem to want to notice that you’re weak and lying on the sidewalk.
The only happy ones are the drunks. But even then, not for long.
Someone reaches out for you and reflexively, you think it is a helping hand. But it’s not. Hands, you learn from then on, are either for stealing or harming.
But still, as desperate and dreadful as you feel, you think 20.
At 20, you’ll do it.
You thought at 12, that when you were 16, Life was good.
At 16, people had boyfriends and girlfriends. They bunked classes and had fun. They smoked, they ran away. They rebelled. All in a frenzy of leather jackets and sloppily applied, yet proudly-worn makeup. At 16, they broke hearts and wore all black and adults looked at them differently.
At 16, you struggle with your grades and hope that the guy you like will bother to remember that you exist. At 16, you stutter and have acne. You start thinking that being fat is wrong and that everyone knows you’re ugly but never told you.
At 16, you feel complicated feelings and nobody cares. Or so it seems.
At 16, adults stop hiding. At 16, you see how ugly people really are, and think that soon, you too will be like that.
But you have hope that being 18 will be a much better experience.
Do you ever get these complex feelings of loneliness?
The kind where you feel so empty, but not just anyone will do?
You’re left staring at a contact list full of names and green dots that say ‘available’.
And you think that you could send a friendly text; nothing too grand, nothing too fancy.
Just a little something to fill that pit in your heart.
But you don’t do it.
Because not everyone will do.
Because this loneliness is not about being alone.
It is not about companionship or lack of interaction.
It is about understanding.
It is about finding someone who not only acknowledges you,
but who also accepts and understands who you are.
The whole feeling is akin to the experience of being in a foreign country where no one understands your speech.
It is like ambling down busy streets and hearing others chatter excitedly in a tongue you do not speak.
It is, exactly, the envy that you feel as you watch them, wishing, wishing, that you too, had someone to talk to like that.
And this is how some of us feel.
Like foreigners, outsiders, wanderers who look on.
We feel the frustration, the barriers that stand between you and us,
when we explain the depths of our soul in a language we know too well,
but you have never heard of.
And it can feel tough when the others all speak the same language, but no one understands yours.
But rest assured, child, that one day,
the language you speak will roll off someone else’s tongue.
But now, my 5 a.m’s are not what I imagined them to be.
The mornings are cold and spiritless.
I wake up to the sight of four greying white walls
and to the feeling of a growing loneliness in my stomach.
I look around me, peer into the window,
but everyone is sleeping, and the world is cold, almost dead.
I would have liked to start a glowing fire,
to wake the world up to the sounds of hot breakfast and happiness.
But you can’t do that.
People will tell you to shut up. They have their 8 hours to catch up on.
They have a boss who will be on their backs.
I walk around aimlessly then, looking at the grey skies above.
My soul feels just like that.
Not thundering, not angry.
Just cold and grey.
Like an abandoned summer house which,over time,
gathers dust under which are buried years and years of happiness.
But the soul yearns; it is not dead. It can never be.
It calls for something similar to it,
emits a cry in the distance,
trying to reach the other soul up at 5 a.m.
But only silence reigns. The lonely kind.
Not today, I sigh.
And I close my eyes to another 5 a.m that is not what it should be.
I imagined, when I was 15, that my 5 a.m’s would be different.
I imagined waking up with nature, cold but content.
I imagined 5 a.m walks along a solitary lake bordering the forests.
I imagined my reflection in that freezing water.
I saw eyes filled with promise and a desire to change the world.
I saw beauty. And peace.
I heard, in my mind, the sound of leaves crunching under my feet as I neared a warm wooden cottage.
I remember…a face and a smile. I can only recall the way they made me feel.
It felt like someone had opened a window into my soul and light was pouring in to overflowing.
There was a laugh too, rich and deep, and it seemed to ignite that light within me into endless tingles, setting that forlorn soul of mine in motion.
And I could hear, quite clearly, the one question in my mind:
“When has a cold, cloudy 5 a.m morning ever felt this warm?”