Another day has passed and she’s put away everything she can put away. She looks at the side corner of her front door where bags of plastic lay waiting to be binned outside. She felt a bit lighter for some reason. Maybe she’s carried all that nonsense with her all this time. She goes into the storage room and looked inside at the neatly stacked box where she took all that garbage from.
Yes, it feels better, much cleaner.
Elaine picks up a random paper that she missed and read the page:
Assignment for the Gods: Poems to Write
– A Love Letter to the Person Who Captivates My Imagination
– A Song of Praise For Myself
– To The Divine Presence I Feel Closest To in Form of Conversation
Elaine blinks and re-read the page. She sits on the floor and checked the page behind. She found some random numbers. She re-reads the page again. It’s her handwriting. But she doesn’t remember why she wrote that.
Will this re-ignite some flame inside her?
Elaine hears the rain pouring outside. She goes to the window and watch the rain fall. She’s relieved she didn’t have to go to work, even Tony didn’t have to work so good for both of them, she smiles. She remembers how she likes to only go out when it rains. She loves it until now. She likes gloomy things. She likes it when it’s overcast, when it’s raining, when there’s a thunderstorm, when there’s a typhoon, when it’s cold or when there’s snow. She prefers it than the sun. She has to admit that it’s nice when it sunny out, with blue skies and the temperatures are below 15 degrees Celsius.
Elaine reads the page again and her mind goes back to the time when she started drinking. She did the most clichéd thing in the world. She drank to party and the next thing she knew, she was drowning everything she felt with alcohol. This was about the time when she was legal to drink and she finally had the right to feel bad about her parents’ divorce. She was a big mess, she remembered. When it was time to quit, she did it cold turkey and it was easy for her. But during that time, a lot has happened. Some she can’t recall, some she could be forgiven for and some was just beyond repair. But there was not one she regretted. She regretted nothing.
But it was her smoking that was difficult. She loved smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes were her only companions she kept. Her friends and people she knew where trying to establish themselves or was going through a dark period in their life which they need to face alone. Cigarettes, she recalls, were there for her back then. It was her refuge, her best friend, her drug. She didn’t care if she didn’t have money to eat back then and it alarmed people how petite she got. She didn’t care about what people said. It was the only thing that kept her through, but she didn’t let life put her down that long either. She wouldn’t let it.
She recalls how she went out almost every night. And if she went out tonight, on this night, she would hear the same songs she heard a few years back. The faces would be different but the routines are the same. She loathes routine. She believes routine will surely kill her.
She knows her attitude with having a good time changed since Tony. She takes care of herself now. She doesn’t need a cigarette to make her feel better or give her that kick she needs whenever she’s down. Or those glorious mornings when she used to start her mornings with three cigarettes and a cup of coffee and just reflect where she is that day.
Elaine looks at the lone page again and puts it the shelf. She felt it might be useful. Maybe it’d trigger a gun somewhere.
She finds a lone notebook on the shelf this time. She doesn’t remember putting it here and she picks it up carefully, hoping not to scatter the papers that are in between the pages. She goes to the corner where her beanbag is, sits down and looked at the notebook. She remembers this notebook. It held her emotions and what her heart really wanted. She wanted so many things like every one else. But she wasn’t stupid. She knows she can’t everything.
She opened the notebook on the first page and a relatively new scrap of paper was in between it.
Sadness veiled her heart. She knows this well and the feeling have not left her. She knows she will never get over it.
I hit the erase button repeatedly
I’m trying to erase the hurt I feel
I’m trying to calm the rage that’s creeping
I’m trying to fight the tears that’s coming
And what are left are just memories I want to keep
Safe in a box
Underneath my heart
She wrote this a few months after she lost her mother. It was the only thing she could write that made sense. She tried to convey it slowly in words, but her grief was too great. This was what sealed everything. This marked the day when things started to make sense again. It was the day she stopped grieving.
Elaine felt the tears coming again. She held her breathe and took slow deep breathes and closed the notebook. She wonders if this was a good idea. She wonders if she’s going to make it out alive after reading this. She feels like she’s agreeing to be thrown in shark infested waters, just by reading this book. Almost immediately, she felt like she was acting like a child, slaps her right wrist and opened the notebook again.
She checked at the writings at the inner cover. She wrote random poetry and she wrote them upside down, sideways, like she’s saving up space.
The first three lose papers with poems in it are a friend’s. She doesn’t remember why she kept them. She even wonders if he’d be mad to find out if she kept them. She neatly puts them on the floor and inspects the rest of the papers.
She finds a letter to Tony, gushing about their love. She read it and felt maybe it’s suited when they say their vows or something equally romantic like that.
She found a random note about a dream. It’s dated but she didn’t write the year, she figured she must be in high school because the paper was the same one she used in her organizer at school.
A broken-hearted poem for an old lover, never nice to read since it’s sad and weary. She finds a poem about horoscopes. Ah yes, it was about that time when she was obsessed about reading her horoscope, trying to find out if she did what it was written, it might do her good. She must have had a really bad time back then.
And I look forward to every Friday afternoons
Dreading yet craving for some inner source for the week ahead
All I want is one page
Just that page where my weekly horoscope is printed
Hoping it’ll tell me a bit of what lies ahead for me
I know it’s all assumptions and theories
Bullcrap it may seem
But my horoscopes really do
get me through another week
She laughs at this small piece and wonders what she was trying to find out. Why was she being so careful? Or was she finding a day where she can be free to be careless? Nonetheless, Elaine presses forward with the cringe-fest of her poetry.
When you said ‘I love you’
I never thought about whether it was true
Coz the moment seemed too beautiful
And it was simply wasn’t the time to ask questions
And I probably didn’t want to know the truth
When I said ‘I love you’
I didn’t know whether it was from the heart
Or if it was from my ego
No matter what it was,
It escaped me and left me a trail of questions behind
When we said ‘I love you’
I believe both of us knew we’re being untruthful
Elaine looked at the unnamed poem and it hit a nerve. She remember this well. It was about C. She was giving up on loving the guy, it just got too difficult. And just when she was feeling that way, he started to feel something else. It was all bad timing.
What she did learn from all this heartbreak, was timing was everything.
Elaine amusingly read some of the poetry she wrote when she was high. She wrote some and while some people say that it gave you a sort of creative boost, it didn’t do her any favors.
One assumes three things when they see too many used tissues
One: They have a cold; they need to blow their nose
Two: They have been crying; their heart is aching
Three: They’ve been masturbating; they needed some release
Elaine knows that wasn’t a poem, she’s very sure. She reads it again and she wasn’t sure now. There are about four to five pages of babble like this and they’re written in such haste.
If you think my eyes are beautiful, it’s because they are looking at you
Elaine wonders where she got that one. Is it from another poem? Or is it from a song? She can’t recall at all and she tells herself that she will look it up once she has the time.
It’s all I know
It’s all that they’ve showed
In the beginning ‘til the end
All the men that became my lovers
Passed on their sadness to me
And it became
What love means to me
Elaine remembers this. It was because of H. He gave so much hope to her that when he took back what he said to her; it felt to Elaine like a rug was pulled from where she was standing. That was cruel. He was the cruelest among them all.
There was a knock on the door and the door swings open. Tony peers inside and gives her a sheepish smile. He’s finally awake. She looks at the clock and realizes he overslept. And she spent too much time in the storage room again.
She stood up and puts down the notebook to follow Tony out of the door. She’s retreating for now. She needs fuel to fight the good fight.