why nobody understands how i miss you

January 25th, 2009

Why is it that we attach such great importance to the need to be understood? It is in shared understanding that we find solace, comfort and a feeling best described as ‘home’. Home is not the place where you were born, or were you grew up, or even where you spent most of the time of your life. Home is not even a space. Home is where you are understood. Where unspoken words resonate, where people are able to read your tiniest gesture and know what to do with it. Where people know that something is wrong with you, depending simply on how you say and convey “hello”, “hi”, or “hey” to them.

Home is what you lose when you travel so much that people no longer notice your silences, let alone are capable of reading them. Home is what you long for when something terrible happened to you, when you need company, not just any company, but your true friends, those you (thought you) share an unspoken bond with. When you are too confused to make sense of what happened, and too tired to explain over and over again to the people the whole story. Where not only you wish you didn’t have to spend so much energy in explaining the obvious and the trivial, but where you wish someone could help you take off the load, assist you in thinking it through. When mere words are inadequate. Where you wish you had, in Joan Didion’s words, “a cutting room, equipped with an Avid, a digital editing system on which I could touch a key and collapse the sequence of time, show you simultaneously all the frames of memory that come to me now, let you pick the takes, the marginally different expressions, the variant readings of the same lines.”

Tired, of explaining, of coping, of pretending I am okay. Grasping for air. . and sorrowless understanding. Drowning in a vast bottomless sea, miles and miles going nowhere.

You wonder what is worse: To be overcome in moments of time with extreme surges of grief – where you walk down the road, lost in thought and memory, and tears just well up in your eyes, uncontrollably. Or the thought that eventually, this too, shall pass away. I never understood how the passing of time, the healing of wounds, can be considered a consolation. What if I don’t want it to pass away? What good is it to stop feeling, to lose hope, to give up, to give in to resignation? To be slowly dying away, losing the capacity to feel, even if it is pain.

Being alone is part of coping with grief. Grief, as Freud once suggested, being a state of mind that should be classified as a mental disorder, one related to manic depression. Grief, however, also that can be overcome with time, and something we eventually all have to deal with, somewhere, sometime. Being alone as a ritual, allowing the irrational possibility that your lost one will, can, might, has to eventually return. If only you continue the routines, as if she was still here. . If only, you freeze yourself in time, in stasis. . There is still, there remains the possibility, the hope that she might return.

But of course, she is long gone. I just pretend she isn’t.

La Ritournelle (the only love song)

Oh nothing’s going to change my love for you
I wanna spend my life with you
So we make love on the grass under the moon
No one call tell, damned if I do
Forever journey on golden avenues
I drift in your eyes since I love you
I got that beat in my veins for only rule
Love is to share, mine is for you

Posted in life-as-fiction

3 Responses

  1. Jamey

    I always enjoy reading your life-as-fiction posts. You write really well.

  2. lokman

    thanks for the kind words, jamey.

  3. Selmin

    I haven’t visited your blog (or mine) in a while so I apparently missed a lot. Love the new template!

book and sword : gratitude and revenge

is the first novel written by Jin Yong. The protagonist is Chan Ka Lok, who is the leader of the Red Flower Society. The book title refers to Ka Lok being famous for being well-versed in culture and martial arts, but also for having to make a difficult ethical decision. My father named me and my brother after him.

The subtitle is from a poem Desiderata