"Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you but I have to go; this is my station.’” - Lisa St. Aubin de Terán"
D told me yesterday that he’s coming to New York for Spring Break and I was so excited, I haven’t seen him in almost three years.
Whenever I’ve left friends, for Nepal, for Costa Rica, for college I’ve viewed it as temporary, like a summer at camp before I returned to my real permanent life that would include them. Any time spent away was just another adventure before we grew up and we’re all together.
But as I get older, I see myself starting to take roots and I see them starting to take roots and they are not in the same place. We are all starting our lives so far away from each other in every sense, particularly the most heartbreaking sense, geographically. We are not parallel lines, not intersecting but forever comforted by each other’s presence but we are also not deeply entwined, intersecting over and over again. I can barely make out the intersections, they always seem so far off, at times we seem asymptotical, approaching each other briefly but not quite making it and then speeding off in the opposite directions of our lives.
But my heart can’t move as fast. It’s far more scattered, in Lagos, my first love-hate relationship, in the house that finally became a home in Manila, in the chips shop in Thamel we went to after late night’s house, in Amigos, our dive bar in Santa Ana where I first learned to drink shitty tequila, in New York, here and now, and with the people that populated these places with me.
And it shatters as I start to realise that these are all we will have to treasure now: moments every three years that will eventually become five, maybe ten. Moments when, for no real reason, we intersect and we drink and laugh and reminisce and I cry a little as I say good bye. These moments are all I will have now from people who I used to share my every breath with.
"And when you’re consoled (everyone is eventually consoled), you’ll be glad you’ve known me. You’ll always be my friend. You’ll feel like laughing with me. And you’ll open your windows sometimes just for the fun of it… And your friends will be amazed to see you laughing while you’re looking up at the sky. Then you’ll tell them, ‘Yes, it’s the stars. They always make me laugh!"
The Little Prince
"You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart."
Give me a job.
I’m so broke I can’t afford to take a bus to Boston. Waking up in the morning feels like scraping the bottom of a rusty pan.
I promise I’ll be better with my money.
A Daniels Christmas
ACs on to protect us from the sweltering heat
The smell of stuffing and turkey in the background
The sound of Love Actually in the background
Snowmen smiling although they don’t fit in with the Asian/African themed decor
Phone Calls from Nigeria and Canada
An exhausted me after a 25 hour journey and too many meals and make up changes in departure terminals
I think it’s time to go for a dip
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
I want to play it ‘til the time comes
I’ve always been too old for my age, too responsible, too cautious, too level-headed.
But now, as I’m starting to see the vaguest signs of adulthood and realising I will much sooner than later have to become a very real person, I’m panicking.
Suddenly I want to live every cliché of being young. I want to drink more than I should, do silly things although I know better and wake up with hangovers that remind me of the previous night’s mistakes.
Everything is so new, so unchartered and so frightening, like the past few years of adolescence. But I no longer feel unsure and confused, I feel daring and ready for whatever is coming. I’m scared to leave this place, this liminal space between childhood and adulthood. I’m young enough to lack the foresight of consequences, but old enough to explore. I love this place and I want so desperately to live every moment of it.
For the first time in my life, everything I do isn’t guided by a desire to be right. For the first time, I’m ok with being wrong in fact I very much want to be wrong. I want to make all these mistakes now and regret them now and learn from them now before I’m old enough to have to consider more than just the paper I have due.
When I leave this place and do become me, I want to know that I am fully me and not just a collection of adjectives of what an adult should be.