illustrations by me || november, 2016
“Are you guys soulmates?” a woman leaned in and asked at the bar. I giggled, because of what a silly question it was. The term “soulmate” is such an overused cliché, and we are quite the opposite.
What I wanted to say was we are a rare hybrid eclipse. You, with eyes that speak for all the senses, and me, with a heart so big it could swallow you whole. Life was perfectly copacetic before we met, but after we collided, the once black and white world became a colorful wonderland. Now I see in shades I never knew I could: amethyst, cyan, emerald, scarlet, and azure.
What I wanted to say was I believe in passion. You have more passion in your pinky finger than most people do in their entire bodies, and for that, I will always believe in you.
What I wanted to say was you have helped me to realize that what weighs me down is not mine to carry. You endlessly reinstate my faith in god, in humanity, in love, and in myself. With you I am weightless, floating in a cloudless, warm summer sky.
What I said instead was, “sure.” And as I sat there by your side, I squeezed your hand and smiled because I knew.
Home is a feeling.
Home is the precious tranquility that overcomes your mind when you feel entirely comfortable with your surroundings. It is the breath of fresh air you feel when you can rest peacefully without anyone to impress. It is the simultaneous silence and symphony inside the brain that allows you to escape the arduous demands of reality.
Home is a memory.
It is the desperate longing and nostalgia for the person you once were, the friends you once had, the songs you once loved, and the love you once lost. It’s the melancholic endeavor to grasp a memory that no longer exists. It is the vicious ache in your heart and in your mind to return to another moment in time.
Home is a person.
It is the intertwining of the delicate hands of another with your own. It is the soothing sentiment of another’s voice saying, “Everything will be alright.” It’s that feeling of ethereality, that feeling that anything is possible. It is rolling over upon awaking from slumber and seeing the most beautiful creature in the world lying next to you.
Home is music.
It is the melody you hum repeatedly through your unconscious mind. It is the one tune you can listen to continuously and fall in love over and over again. It is the band that you follow around again and again. It is the song that springs nostalgia and passion within you that enlightens your soul.
Home is not a place. It is time travel; it is an amalgamation of people. It’s a poetic mystery, a friend, a fascination. Home is the past, the present, and the future. It is the warm embrace of a partner. It is your dream, but it is also your reality.
I have been desperately thrashing at the mysterious layer of bricks veiling the future in an attempt to answer a solitary question that is driving me mad: there is an unexplored universe next door, will you come with me?
It started early in the summer.
I woke up from an unusually long drinking binge to not only a vicious hangover, but a lingering face projected on the backs of my eyelids. Due to the foolish amounts of alcohol consumed, I was unable to recollect the hazy details surrounding that face. To say I became obsessed with courting him would be a lack of intensity. Details were steadily revealed to me, but the cloudy specifics never became completely lucid. I was visibly overtaken and consumed by this face and immediately wanted to know all of the perplexing eccentricities of his character.
It didn’t take long until we became inseparable. We spent days utterly captivated by each other in the immobilizing heat. He told me my lavender curls reminded him of a mermaid. I told him the scar above his right eyebrow resembled Frankenstein. His innocent fingertips grazed my porcelain skin as if it were made of glass, cautious not to damage the delicate exterior. I breathed him in and felt dizzy by his allure.
Something about the warmth of the midsummer sun, the dancing clouds, his golden brown skin, and the endless nights under the amethyst sky made that entire summer feel like one drastically prolonged kaleidoscopic daydream. When the end of August crept up behind us we didn’t know what had hit us. All of the sudden, time was fleeting so rapidly we could not stop for a second to catch our breath.
The first time we said goodbye was in my driveway. I cried until I felt dazed and weak; he wiped my tears and embraced my trembling body in the moonlight. The future seemed so emphatically against us, though I so desperately prayed for the contrary. As frantically as I attempted to hold onto that summer, a new chapter was opening up and there was nothing that could stop it from becoming a colorful, utopian memory.
Since then, we’ve said goodbye in parking lots, hotels, out of car windows, city streets, and bedrooms and even though a year has gone by, the torture of watching you leave never gets any easier.
It was the winter of my life and he was my only essence of warmth. I remember being entirely submerged inside of his oversized jacket, embracing him tightly with every ounce of strength I had. Whenever he left, the sky instantaneously shifted to a pale, lackluster gray, and my body shivered from the agonizing chill.
We went on enchanting escapades, hand-in-hand in the frosty air, and kissed under fireworks in Central Park. The cold, crystal January sky led to a desperate desire to eliminate the distance between us. But, reality hit us like a ton of bricks; I had to attend my last semester of school and he had to go back to work. Temporary insanity. Being apart again planted pessimistic, impractical thoughts in our minds and misery in our hearts. I held onto his sentences, his smiles, his unspoken thoughts, and his glaucous blue eyes. Time was our enemy, but we annihilated it, because after a bone-chilling winter, waking up to a warm spring day is pure ecstasy.
Since then, we have said hello in doorways, city streets, parking lots, cars, driveways, and bedrooms. Side-by-side we have said hello to new places, new people, new experiences, and new beginnings. However, one new beginning remains unknown.
The universe is calling. It’s time to explore.
Life has brought me to a colorful room, and surrounding me is an infinite number of doors. The one I choose to take can determine the next “hello.” But I don’t want to go alone. I can’t go alone. Will you come with me?