To a Soulmate for Whom Love is Impossible.
It is a hot Sunday afternoon. By the window I sit, taking slow breaths, counting my heartbeat, each time fighting the tears cockling at the emblem of my eyes. Outside, the congregation is exalting in hymns. The hymns are not to praise the Lord, neither to thank Him for the daily bread. The hymns are for me.
You are the constant thing that will take me to my grave, and even when I lay in my tomb, you will seep through earth’s crevices and take on another woman as though I never existed. Will you remember me? Will you at least make it hurt less as I wait for my untimely demise? Will the pain and pleasures we have succumbed to mean anything to you? Will you visit my grave one day and say, here lies a worthy host of all time?
Everyone here – my parents, siblings, and friends – want me to feel less lonely. Friends tell me to be strong, that being with you is not a death sentence. Whenever they speak, I reduce myself to a package of statistical data. My mother says that arranged marriages need perseverance. My father on the other hand, while gripping mom’s arms in assurance, says that true love grows with time.
That is how I know that mine for you will grow with time, however the rough edges.
Last night, on the edge of the bed, I sat while staring in to the broken mirror on the wall. I was staring at what we have become – two estranged bodies immersed in a single fracture – then I cried. I never cried in bewilderment, neither in self loathe the same way I did the first time I found out that I was to be yours forever. I never broke anything, neither tried to cut myself with broken Porcelain, nor tried to jump off the window. Yesterday was different. It lasted for ten minutes, the shortest it has been since being married to you three years ago.
Three years is nothing short of thirty-six months, but for us it has been a rollercoaster, and for you it has been the greatest epoch of your lifetime. For a woman who has relinquished her dreams, for a woman who is sadly coming to terms that she will never sustain a life, three years can be eternal. Three years can be time travelling through a limbo struggling to claw your way out – like dreaming a dream swearing to yourself to remember every nautical of details about it, but as soon as you wake there’s nothing.
First time to meet you was at the screening Centre. You were cold, stoic, silent and cuddled on me like a teddy bear for comfort. When the doctor broke the news that you were terminal, I wept and watched your eyes gleam in heroic astonishment. Finally you had me. Me – this girl you have always dreamt of, watched and preyed on in silence. You followed me along the dark alley; you had me by the throat, my back against the wall. I watched the teddy bear in you grow into a ferocious nocturnal nightmare – a serpentine bear clawing itself in and out of me. You stood there in a glistening devilish smile like a shadow that only came alive in the dark. You laughed as you took your time and made my fragile body your temple, because you knew that however loud I screamed, however much I begged you to stop, however fast I ran and how much money I spent on treatment, you knew that you were here to stay, because you loved me. It is because of that love, or sheer imagination of its existence that I know you will read this.
You said that, you could live without me, but without me, you cannot be. For the times that you offered your hands, I refused them. How could I take them when you were a stranger betrothed to me? How could I trust you enough when your eyes stared back at me like an open casket? Did it ever occur to you that I never wanted you in the first place? Should I be rejoicing that out of them all, you made me yours? Did it ever matter how I felt? Did it ever cross your mind that I never, not even for a scintilla of a second, wanted you to call me yours? My feelings never mattered to you, but why should I be surprised when that is how you treat your lovers, both women and men alike, like an inanimate object to be toyed with, pushed around, and then discarded when the next top scorer checks in under your radar?
You knew all along that the only place I could wind up was in your cold embrace. You were always there, counted my tears, cried with me, I begun getting close to you, cooing next to you, I started listening to you. And when you said that chemo hurt, that I should stop hurting you, I nearly listened. I confess there has always been a part of me that yearns to detach from you, and that part however silly, it will always fight for its freedom. But you know that already, just the same way you knew that loving you is impossible, so you left me with no choice but to accept you the way you are.
This arranged marriage that I had no say over drains my body. I cannot bring myself to hate you more than I already hate you Cancer. That kind of hate only consumes me like the fire that you are. And now you fit me like the dark to an endless hole, with your hot breath boiling inside my body each time you make love to me.
As hard as it is to admit this, you are now a part of me as I am a part of you. Without you I could be free, without me you cannot be. You keep on rupturing in my body, bones and blood causing growth. Any attempts I partake to getting rid of you, chemo kills you and the good cells too. I hate to be caught in the crossfire between you and myself. Every time I hurt, you rejoice. Maybe it’s your own way of trying so hard to make me smile, and trying hard to resist you only makes it impossible.
The main reason for having written this letter is to let you know that I acknowledge your existence, and I accept you for you. I allow you to exist in me as long as you deem fit, but you will never tell me when to be happy and when not to. Yesterday night will be the last I will ever cry for you and the last I will ever feel sorry for myself. I might be part of your statistics but I won’t be part of the ones who fell blindly for your over-zealous spite. And if you love me, if you want to live longer in me, if you want us to last – you will be with only me, and upon my death you shall not marry another.
I will see you during therapy.
Your beloved host,
Written by Phill Ibsen, Master of Descriptions.
(The Man resting, is no man, but a Legend, Ras Godissoh, a poet, a spoken word artist, and an artivist, he deserves to be immortalized)