It’s been a challenging month. Within this one month, you took the plunge. You uprooted, flung yourself across the oceans again, and tried to start over.
It hasn’t been easy. You’ve found yourself the object of unwanted affections, you’ve dealt with less than ideal housing situations, you’re going through the grief of a funeral, the dissonance of being disengaged with something that used to fill you with purpose and flow, and the demotivation that comes with it. Then there was the “Great Big Scare,” and even now, there are moments when the anxiety ticks at the back of your mind, reminding you of its presence.
The sprawling metropolis is dirty, gritty, chaotic. The streets are constantly buzzing with construction. Even the suburbs are less pleasant. There is a smell of manure in the air. You try to be positive. You watch out for the pops of colour, the blooming flowers in your neighbour’s garden. Some nights, the stars twinkle above you, bright and beautiful. Occasionally, there is a pleasant breeze. And then there’s your room. Spacious, with orange toned wood floors. You’ve tried to fill it with love and peace. The bedsheets (pleasant mints and greys), are chosen with care. A mermaid tail blanket lies on top. You’ve made a DIY marble whiteboard. Fairy lights lie on an accidental milk-crate table. Small touches.
What else does it need?
Maybe a rug. Maybe an interesting wall mural.
You won’t have that unsettling love letter violate anything further.
This is my space. I am going to reclaim it.
You write on the board.
Visa. Banking issues. Drop by Auspost. Do your readings.
Something gets erased, another 10 pile on.
You curl up into a ball.
He met you in the city. Tall, well-built, quite handsome.
You dismiss him as a fuckboy. Men who approach women out of the blue to tell them they’re pretty are usually up to no good. Plus, he’s probably younger than you are.
“Younger than 25? No way, I’m 29.”
“Hey, I’m X. I’m a lawyer.”
For some reason, you let him tag with you onto the bus. You talk about everything and nothing. Your arms touch. He asks for your number.
Conversation, it’s flowing.
Ping, ping, ping, ping.
You’re getting texts. It’s your grandmother. She might pass on anytime soon.
You stop typing the report. In the library, your eyes well up with tears. Before you know it, your vision is blurring.
It’s so lonely here.
You forgive him a little too easily. He’s got a gentle way of speaking. He shows up in his car after you texted him, after that hellish night, after you told him you needed his support.
He actually shows up.
He feels bad, he says. It took him 50 minutes to get to you, because of the jam.
His hair is mussed up, his clothes are ill-fitting. He usually puts so much care into his appearance. He rushed over, straight out of bed.
You recognise that this is what he should be doing anyway, but you can’t help but feel a little touched.
You’re too soft.
It happened again.
You plead a little softly, but in the heat of the moment, you’re losing yourself as well.
He pushes into you. You’re not sure if he sees you tearing up. You’re crying for him, after everything you’ve learnt about him that day. He’s broken. You’re broken. You want to comfort him, but you’re deeply conflicted. You want to trust him. You want to believe it isn’t true.
You find yourself sinking into a dark ocean.
Bird-boy has gotten you chicken nuggets. A make-shift dining table, made out of crates, lies in the middle of the room. You both eat, chat. It is an easy chemistry. It is safe here, although you’re not sure for how long. But you’re mentally and emotionally drained, and you don’t want to think about it. You will selfishly take refuge in whoever offers it. That night, the both of you fall asleep to the sound of birds.
The next morning, you book a plane home. You’re going to make it for the funeral. The texts haven’t been coming. You want to get away from it all. Perhaps this was for the best.
Motivation doesn’t matter. Feelings don’t matter. You’re going to do what you need to do anyway. You are going to grit your teeth and move on, one step at a time. You’re going to submit those assessments. You are going to look for a job. You are going to email your professors. You are going to say hello to your housemate like nothing happened. You are going to show up for classes. You are going to put your mind to the things that need taking care of.
You imagine wires, connected to your heart. One of them is beginning to fray. You wrench it out of its socket, and drop it. It stings, but you know that you’ll catch fire if you let it stay inside you.
Turbulence, it will pass.
You better get going.