Early Morning Edge

I want to wake up to the thick and murky winter sky, to see the city’s density dissolve within the mist. I want the thunder and lightning to cause my once still body to jolt in fear, to be shortly calmed by the darkness of the early morning. At least that was one thing that would remain unchanged.  Sometimes, I’d miss waking up to raindrops slamming against my window pane.

That was peace, all to be achieved within the loud solitude that exists only in my bedroom.

I can hear it now. It’s 5AM, there are occasional engine roars that fade with the distance, murmurs of those who are just now waking up, or returning home. I can hear the layer of eerie silence, one that was accompanied by the loud lights protruding from the business buildings beyond me, polluting the atmosphere with a colourful haze.

You had a thirsty glint in your eyes, a smug grin on your face, as you told me you wanted to run away. But that’s not what I wanted to do, I couldn’t follow you this time.

I wanted to sit still, I wanted the ringing to stop ; to instead focus on the way the reddish clouds moved, to the distant voices on the other side of the road, the very road that you desperately wanted to run to. I wanted to allow the painfully cold air to freeze me, to listen to the rustling of the flimsy trees, and to not think about anything. But of course, I failed. I thought about everything, all at once.

My youth was filled with returning home to shattered people, with hands that always trembled in either fear or fury. I never once felt like I had a fixed life to run to whenever things go bad. Never would I’ve thought that I’d ever find myself in a disgusting, compact environment, clutching my body in utter hopelessness and just, weep endlessly. To me, that was the worst thing one could ever feel – vulnerability.

I watched as you ran off, you were like a child. It’s like you were running towards Disneyland. In a way, that was exactly where you were headed ; a place with many others like you, vendors to keep you alive, one ride after another, thrill after thrill. You loved the noise, while I was constantly baffled by the fact that my thoughts managed to throb louder than my surroundings. I don’t like your world, the one with a plethora of bodies mindlessly living. Perhaps this pseudo of “happy people” isn’t what I thought it was, perhaps they’re not at all ignorant and instead are the ones who’ve hit rock bottom, the ones who’ve decided that living with no care in the world is the best way to live. Perhaps, people like me aren’t the strong ones.

5AM is beautiful, though. An empty convenience store with a radiating neon sign caught my eye, I dragged my shoes that reeked of someone else’s sick towards it. There I conversed with the sleep deprived employee, and we laughed about our mutual hollowed eyes.

The city remains relatively silent and dim, no sun peeking through just yet, nothing to indicate the start of a new day.

This used to be something I’d see through my bedroom window. But now, I’m walking amongst it. The city looks mesmerising, and I’ve dissolved within the mist, along with it.

Copyright © 2017 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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photo source: @thegrimmatter

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our numbered days

6am was not your time, it was mine.

i’ve always admired the cold, blue hues of the early hours, how the world outside this window had barely woken; how the aroma of my tea was a sense of harmony, diffused solely within our echoey room.

there are some mornings, when i could feel the solitude of the world. a time to catch my breath, after the chaos of yesterday’s world.

though i am sheltered, and you are peacefully asleep on the soft mattress we don’t deserve, i felt safer then, when this city was mine.

life is precarious, but manageable. that’s how it is, how it has been for a long time.

i wanted nothing more than to be a stranger to every city i step into, than to commit to any one. because a stranger gets welcomed, an outsider doesn’t.

but, you see, i left someone behind.

i plate blueberries, a snack often reminding me of my worst times.

they taste excellent, but they only remind me of what i miss. we know that these berries are costly, but i like to think that they replace the value that i’ve left behind.

the poor thing could only stagger its little paws so far into the tall woods, just a baby that yowls and it pains you to hear.

he isn’t here, or there, i couldn’t find him anywhere. 

you don’t realise what you love, or what home is, until you can no longer have it. during my days as a stowaway, there was no such place called “home”, every essence of it that has once been shared throughout bits of my city, had vanished. but what stayed with me were these skies. there’s so much of it, much bigger than us. and once you look at it, you won’t see anything else.

now, it’s like i’m running on empty, my mind doesn’t accompany me anymore. it’s just me, against the world that now feels like a haze that occupies my time & space. but i think, i should learn to live my life without dependence.

but like i said, we still have chaotic yesterdays. and when you hurt yourself the way i used to, i don’t know what to tell you.

because we are both kids, stuck in an adult’s body, unprepared for the new stages of life. we were never given a chance back then. so this time, let’s make our own memories.

a refined youth, to compensate for the damages that cannot be undone, to outlive our numbered days. we will listen to the quiet places, and silence the thoughts that get louder everyday.

though we can’t not feel sad about losing the grip we once held our entire lives, the world is still quite beautiful, and nothing else has to matter.

we’re blanketed under the comfort of the night, surrounded by the universe beyond our skies. the vastness of the abyss silencing our fears.

nothing has to matter, not right now.

 

Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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photo source: @thegrimmatter

we just met / you first left

It’s that hour.

The sun had just begun to set in this neighbourhood, leaving flimsy trees with golden branches & leaves, and soon a sapphire sky. It was quiet, with a muted glow casting quick shadows here and there. Winter was long gone, though the lingering breeze led me to believe that part of the season wanted to stay.

I heard nothing but the wind, I felt nothing but cold, I saw no colour besides dark blues and orbs of light that appear then disappear past the buildings.

It’s more peaceful up here, without a doubt.

My grip tightens against the concrete slab, knuckles turning white, flesh coming close to a tear. There isn’t much left between my body and this ledge. You made a sarcastic remark and nudged my arm before bursting into your own fit of chuckles. The corners of my mouth then stretched to my cheeks, I let my body weight rest more onto the slab, allowing my legs to dangle. What I had breathed into the air — I think it was laughter.

It’s been a year, maybe two.

There are a lot of things I want to tell you.

 

“We fell apart”, I want to say. but we’re far from that, miles apart, in fact.

I want to say that we communicated only through ellipses, because a bond would have at least existed then.

You’ve stumbled upon me during my trip out to sea,

and you were the blur in my vision staring back at me.

 

There was small talk, the cumbersome tension occasionally lingering in the air between pauses.

Out the window are skies like still, murky water.

The blackness of the horizon line so solid, I almost wonder if it’s just a dead end ahead.

The ocean goes beyond our perspective, yet it feels like the wall of a dome lies right there.

 

It took me years, but I realised,

I didn’t miss sitting on pine floors with the company of my closest friend;

in a cooled room, protected from the scorching summer sun,

idle and talking into the air.

I missed having more youth ahead.

 

You gave me my best years, and you are in front of me now, table’s width apart.

Elbows on the rustic surface, the sombre dawn peering in from the window.

Not a speck of dust, the oceans glisten.

Hands on our heads, eyes everywhere else.

 

There’s nothing here, nothing but sea and sky.

This is not what’s left of the world, it’s what life looked like before us.

But sometimes I fear that my life will never change; that no matter what I do, I stay the same.

I find it difficult to see the reality of what I’m doing these days,

What I took with me were the souvenirs of the childhood I never wanted, the painstaking existence I never asked for.

There are only a handful of things I can envision clearly, and it is easier to imagine a fictitious world than the one in front of me.

But I can’t imagine you here, not in my world. Not this time.

Alas, our lives have changed, in a way; the weather no longer carries nostalgia, the seasons regenerate and so do our memories. I no longer recall what I once wished to relive, because I don’t quite remember what those days felt like.

 

Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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photo source: @thegrimmatter

the city made me this way

⏤ a poem.

when you’ve painted your monochrome life with colour,

you begin to feel like you’re truly alive

then things go wrong

but it doesn’t fade back to black and white

 

the paint remains vibrant

and you’re unsure, confused

because you’re supposed to be happy with these colours

you once hoped they’d be your permanent muse

 

but you’re far from that now

 

you live in the middle

wondering whether you need to look for more

or stop, or look elsewhere

to put an end to this fogged up war

 

this is the new world you’ve built

you thought it was so pure

your lips can curl and your eyes can crinkle,

but you don’t really know for sure

 

animate walls, inanimate people

perhaps nothing is really here

distorted time, decisions uncivil

perhaps i, too, will disappear

 

life is too muted and mindless,

too stupidly happy to care

but i believe

that the person i once knew,

is in there somewhere.

 

Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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photo source: @thegrimmatter

 

Nightbus

quit panicking, my friend.

the crimson sunset of a rare summer glazed over a face that had just entered the room, echoes from clanging metal filled up the hollow space.
he tucked his keys into his pocket as the light disappears from his face, there was merely a glimpse of hurt.

i turn away.

my heart begins to race as his footsteps creaked louder against the dusty pine floor. my hands searched for something to do, so i started adjusting the wineglasses that were already aligned on the kitchen counter.

;

no, he’s not alone, not this time.
this fleeting being walked amidst zooming vehicles, with more and more headlights appearing beside the pedestrian, and beyond him. faceless shadows behind the wheels. this city so soundly asleep, though the misty air had begun to emit the distinguishable colour of morning — it was almost 6.

his slouched figure ambled towards the dimly lit, isolated bus stop. he swallowed the hollowness of the air, in which tasted of salt and winter.

he began to cry.

we’ve found new homes, we don’t need each other anymore.

 

Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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author’s note— i think something ended, but my writing knows it better than i do.

photo source: @thegrimmatter

Before Sunrise: A Poem

i left my past through an ugly route.

i’d roam these 6am streets.

students would walk to school groggily,

whilst the elderly sat on benches and admired the invisible, chirping birds.

the sun had barely risen,

and the world was dark,

but i’d remember the playlist i’d listen to

when i was the groggy student that staggered through this park.

i recalled the sleeping family that i’d greet before i left,

the quiet bakery i’d stop by right after, then the blur of the day ahead.

the routine repeats itself,

yet i couldn’t crave anything more.

to regress into a time so simple,

well, this here, is my childhood’s core.

Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

author’s note— a lil poem/prose thing i had abandoned in a document. thought i could make more out of it, but what inspired it was a memory too specific to be altered.

photo source:@thegrimmatter

2am thoughts on death

the thought of death comforts me.

i don’t necessarily mean that in a self-deprecating, definitely not in a suicidal way.

a sort of melancholy had been lingering over my head, trailing behind my back for my entire conscious life.

you could say that i’ve been surrounded by a crisis, something always going wrong, always in a state of obscure pain.

it took me a while to learn that part of it was dissatisfaction, or a lack of adventure in life. essentially, i felt like i wasn’t truly alive. i’m sure you’re familiar with that feeling, school then home, to work then home. having little to no time for hobbies, if you even had time to discover those hobbies.

i was always ambitious, though i never knew what it was i wanted to pursue. i wanted to do everything, try everything. and as an 8-year-old, i figured that i would find that “true-calling” during my adolescence. of course, i achieved nothing, why else would i be writing this?

perhaps i was unhappy and envious, but i declared the term “true-calling” a fraud. the universe did not construct a path for us, that’s not what i believe anyway. a “true-calling” is pretty much intuitive, synonymous to feeling like the time is right and such. i hope i’m making sense.

living a life in which i’m constantly doubting who i am, what i’m doing and where i’m going, you can imagine that no decision or situation will ever satisfy me. i seek for contentment though i learned that perhaps i shouldn’t.

i thought about why we do this, why we get distraught over a lack of achievement, why we feel depressed when we’re in our 40s and still not living in a mansion.

it’s just human nature, isn’t it? look at how far we’ve come, we’ve started out with practically nothing, and we are now creating artificial life, advancing maniacally in technology.

for a lot of us, we want to thrive, we want to achieve the best while we are still alive. because death gives life a timespan, a task that we, for some reason, feel incredibly inclined to do something with. no one told us to, no one said that we absolutely have to do this or that. you could sit on a couch and eat popcorn for your whole life if you wanted to, though you probably wouldn’t live that long if you did.

you could be ambitious and fleeting if you wanted to, or you could slouch around as long as you don’t get in anyone’s way.

this perspective is quite hedonistic, but how liberating is that? to do what you want to do, whilst simultaneously encouraging other people to achieve their life goals?

(let’s not get into the whole “what if someone wanted to murder” question, that’s a whole other moral topic that would take me an entire essay to discuss.)

now, death comforts me, because i realised that i’ve always wanted to achieve permanent success, assuming that i were to live forever and needed to hoard as much gold as possible. but the reality is that i’m not, i don’t have to pressure myself into doing such things. i will not live forever, therefore, i don’t need to achieve goals that’ll last forever. there is no forever.

i can do whatever i want, as long as i am not being a nuisance to the world, because this is my life. since i already exist, i might as well enjoy.

 

actual 2am airport slumber thoughts, might draft or delete later on.

don’t look at me like that

We were stood behind a barbed fence under the dark grey skies, the muteness of the world only made possible by the doings of winter. I looked at the light emitted from the skyscrapers on the other side. The air was cold with moisture, it seemed like it had rained moments ago. Buildings don’t move, but they seemed busier than a dense city during rush hour; buildings don’t make a sound, but they exuded messy chatters that sounded like the voices that pestered you with an unending worry. Then I turned to the figure beside me, glanced at him with reluctant eyes. It was only for a moment, but his eyes were heavy. I knew that look, I understood it better than anyone — it was the look of longing. No words were said, but we both wondered, if our desire to step foot on that other world would ever be fulfilled.

I punched my friend in the shoulder, snapping him back to this world. We only smiled, before hurrying back into the grassy abyss where our houses hid. The tension needed to break. And perhaps we do these silly things instead of facing reality, because we want the tension to stay broken.

The cityscape is still moving, the blurred orbs of light still flickering. The view remains melancholic and the life beneath looks cold.

Tonight, the bed is undone, it has been for a while now.

The smell of pencil shavings and the distinct bitterness of the aromatic coffee lingered in the air. An open book thrown onto the duvet remained stagnant, not a gush of wind attempting to flip the page.

The bedding’s dent has undone itself, taking away any evidence of presence.

This room used to exhale cumbersome laughter. But with painful moments comes an underlying joy — the romanticisation of an escape route; the same way happy moments are often accompanied by a lingering worry.

It’s empty now. The home froze to stone, warm shelves into icy concrete. The air carried echoes and an unfamiliar smell, despite being filled with furniture and vibrant colours. It appears to be lively, though it absolutely isn’t. Its faith and benevolence eroding day by day, as homes could grow lonely too.

Life goes on, but there is no life here.

This is a life where we constantly have to chase our breaths, where time exists as our greatest enemy; a life too fleeting isn’t a life for me.

I recalled the days spent under the same heavy, grey skies that echoed loud cries that would soon become rain. But the life underneath didn’t mimic air, people weren’t sensitive towards everything that came their way. People there saw melancholy as a fictitious but, idealised world.

When I catch my breath, when I realise that I am alive, I think about home.

This was my first winter away from home.

The warm, orange heat had suddenly glazed over my face, causing me to divert my gaze towards the horizon, where the harsh light had begun leaving the atmosphere. I took notice of the mountains that it was wedging itself between. In a couple hours, even the sun will return home somewhere, taking its rest from this town.

I recalled the night under the muted mid-November skies, a night in which our longings made themselves known. I longed for a goal, because a life of maintenance is not as exciting as the pain of yearning.

But what I was left with for the past few months, was the purple town. That yearning I felt most passionately during those days, reminded me of you.

I waited, and waited, sitting in mere tension on the dirty white staircase of a remote motel. The shadows began to show themselves, it was then when I saw one that wasn’t stagnant like the rest.

18:40

I remember the day you told me you were leaving.

I could still hear life through the only window with beaming neon lights within this typically idle neighbourhood.

Though I knew I wouldn’t miss you, I could still feel that imminent dread, because I wanted a life as mindlessly fulfilling too.

After months of having nothing familiar to cling onto, we’re here now, slightly older, slightly more tired. We’re a pair that dreamed, and nothing more. That’s why we sat in silence, smiling into the air, and not each other.

You kept your gaze steady as you waited for me to speak, for me to bring us back to the place we once were. We wanted reassurance, but that’s definitely not what we needed. We’ve never progressed. Look at us now, we’ve lost that spark of life that we once mastered.

18:42

But for a moment, I think I saw your eyes glimmer with life, I never thought that I’d ever see nostalgia in front of me like that again.

You were a reckless influence and we were, in reality, the mindless youths that lived in the moment. I wondered if you were still the same person. I had dreamt that we would one day meet again, and perhaps we could relive youth, running, with our hands tucked into our pockets and faces buried into our collars; feeling warmth despite being almost painfully cold.

We used to see our breaths form then dissipate into the air, but now my body is never warm enough to do that.

It was our laughter that echoed in the distance, it was our lives that were always drifting and voices always fleeting. Those on the other side wanted our freedom and youth. But the reality was that our freedom was empty.

I peered through the ledge and that was all I could see — life, with the cold air and the cityscape beyond us. Beneath the purple skies are lights, every bulb existing as a person that made their way around the heavy air. Too dangerous for other species to roam within the chaos of this urban life, only buses screamed and that was the anthem of this city.

We craved to belong to the other side. Our home may lack stability, but this place lacked colour. Upon finally being here, I realised that this place is as empty as the hopes that we cradled as kids.

When things go bad, I like to sink back to a time when things were easier, which is why I come here every once in a while.

I realised that I am not where I live, what I do or who I most often present myself as. There’s still a world that I go back to, one where it’s safe for me to transform into myself.

I finally got to catch my breath again.

I don’t know about you, but I now enjoy walking within the hustle and bustle, knowing that I don’t belong to the rush of this city.

Because at the end of the day, I will see your fleeting figure somewhere in the streets, you’d have earphones in and be in your own world. At the end of the day, we’re all just temporary souls.

 

Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

author’s note: i wrote this as a sort of tribute to home, a proper farewell. this is the longest piece i’ve written on here so far. it’s not ideal (personally), but this was the end result of what i’ve written after nearly 2 months of not completing anything.

thank you again, for reading. thank you thank you.

photo source: @thegrimmatter