24 is a good age, a nicely tragic one to become disillusioned.
It is a good age and a good state of being to face an imposing adulthood like a single woman.
To face single womanhood like a lonely girl.
To face lonely girlhood like an angry boy. Fists clenched.
It all began like this:
That’s a lie actually. That’s how it all ended. In fact, it all began like this.
Pixi stirred between sleep and waking with a comforting feeling; that of familiar arms wrapped around her waist and familiar breath against the back of her neck. Before a sense of time was restored to her, that disconnected moment was a blissful blink of the eye...and then it was gone.
In the days, weeks, moths which would follow, they would ask her, 'had you no pride?' They would no doubt tell her she'd acted like a door-mat, if they'd known.
But they would not, because no one needed to know.
She did what she did out of caring, out of concern, out of a still clinging desire to disregard herself and do anything to ease, to comfort, to love, even for a while. And afterwards she wrote it all down because she needed to make it clear in herself, so that no matter what anyone said, she would not forget; it and how things were at that time. Because the world she occupied then no longer had 'you' and 'I'. Hurt was no longer a matter of who did who harm; who made what mistake; who regretted what; who could have been kinder, wiser, more patient. Hurt was an inevitable human thing. A condition -the common perpetrator- and it was here to stay.
They both hurt, and try as they might to share or understand, the mere inches between their bodies as they stood face to face, were vast oceans of state and mind. That is why she did not refuse the one thing that was left to them.
In the morning he’d stood there like a man about to be taken to the gallows, with nothing, not a word else to say…and she neither. She had said all she had in her till her very last, and he had not responded. Fatigued, emotionally and physically, she didn’t rise; didn’t see him to the door; didn’t cry.
One month will come and go in a single breath –that is how stealthily time takes from me before I can grasp any measure of meaning. That is how the cruel thief stole you.
One month is nothing for one who would wait longer if she were asked to. But I feared that within that time you’d forget, decide, move on…as if I weren’t still waiting; as if I could understand how meaningless every gesture of affection was even until only 2 weeks ago; as if none of it meant anything to me either.
“I’ll call you.”
“I won’t hold my breath.”
How did things come to begin like this, you ask? To understand that we must go back to the end. Not the end of this story, but the first end. That of innocence and utter stupid naivety. And good riddance to it too. Rewind:
Pixi fell in love with the wrong guy. He was wrong in many ways than one. Firstly, he had the wrong beliefs. Secondly, he was from the wrong culture, twice removed. Thirdly, he did not want to become Pixi’s knight in shining armour. He wanted her to become his. When she eventually realised this, and began to make the necessary changes, he decided she was a bit makeshift to fit the role.
But this isn’t a story about Pixi and the very wrong guy. This is a story about Pixi in the making…which actually involves a great deal of un-making. Yet everything must have a beginning, and here is where ours is. Because when enough time has passed to make sense of the seemingly senseless hurt that love is, Pixi finds that she owes her beginnings to the very wrong guy. She owes it to him, that every time Buckley rasps out that line about love not being a victory march, but a cold and ‘broken hallelujah,’ the words tap into something that could otherwise not have been there for Pixi, had the very wrong guy not had something to do with it. “Thanks,” she thinks to the very wrong guy, as if he could hear her "you bastard."
Before we get started, there is one other thing about this story which is important. It does not follow a linear narrative order. It does not because man often lives his life in retrospect. And to create retrospect we must imitate the mind with its tendency to race back and forth to make sense of one’s un-making. With that said, we fasten our seat-belts and race forward to the beginning again.
It all begins like this:
“I’ll call you.”
“I won’t hold my breath.”
Downsizing: Shear off the remains,
My femininity falls about me in luscious handfuls of breast-length hair.
Drastic new beginnings call for drastic symbolism.
Recoil from the woman who could still turn you on,
Even when you ceased to care for her.
I am my own Pixi now.
Pixi does not dream.
Pixi does not trust.
Pixi does not care to get to know any other man who is kind to her.
Pixi is colourblind.
Is a reaction.