letters of an apathetic man

Some time last year, in a foggy vision where the part of my brain that distinguishes an hour from a minute was dizzy. In times like that you forget; what is time but a man made illusion? Aren’t the thoughts floating in space of the mind more dominant than anything else, such as time? Some time in October, my awakenings happen in October, simultaneously with times I forget to shave my beard. I was dining home on my one-man table, few inches away from my wooden floor where candles flicker, oh how they seemed like the only thing able to lose control and sway amid the breeze, unlike my body of matter that seems to be too submissive to gravity.

I keep the window half open, somewhere in the corner of my mind I am afraid that the scent of flowers in my decayed garden would think I am welcoming, or would falsely believe I can be a home to anything. The river of love does not flow through those who deny it. And those who deny it, forget -most of the time- that they are half water. 

Some time in October, I knew it should have been her in front of me, not the ghost of her idea nor her silhouette dancing with the flickering candlelight. 

It should have been her, but I have the habit of destroying beautiful things, and I know that women fall for the idea that they are the ugly reflection they see in me when their hearts are open for my words and their eyes see a false potential of myself. If those women would close their eyes, try to see me in a different kind of eye, a third one or something as such, they wouldn’t like what they see; I’ve adapted to the idea of resembling the uncomfortable void. 

And those women, they usually end up walking away from me because flowers don’t blossom without water. 

Writing About Alice

In an evening of July, kids on the grass laid after playing around. It was twilight, it’s almost time to go inside. Their hands behind their heads stretched out on the ground, whispering tales here and there with childish fabricated events of imaginary knights.

On the grass they were as they said your name, quiet mouths and attentive ears, looking around for your trace and the pocket watch you left behind somewhere. I was watching them from distance, no, you are not a tale. Isn’t it true that the characters of our favorite stories are alive, dancing around in our heads somewhere? If it is, then how is it that far from reality?
I don’t know, nothing makes sense, and that makes perfect sense.

Beautiful, innocent eyes of children glancing at each other, dreamily giggling, enlivened by tales of dragons and heroes. Your name forgotten now, but not by me. I remember you hinted something like “reality and imagination merge” and there is no difference between them, “isn’t life but a beautiful imagination?” you said, so I light my candles and celebrate my dreams before I sleep because I feel compassionate towards you, as if I visit your head every time before you speak and I know exactly what you want to explain, so I understand you, and I understand your madness, maybe because I have my share of that too.
I still believe in the abyss of your mind with mirrors betraying your reflection and echoes screaming your name. And I know that the human brain is universe, and our eyes encompass infinity.

So I walked to the children, recited some of Lewis’s words that reminded me of wonderful people like you:

“In a wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?”

 

© 2014 ALIA SULTAN

A Letter From an Illusionist

I can make your heart stop for few seconds, or love in your heart that compels you to stare in awe at anything your eyes look at.
I once made a girl disappear while everyone was watching and her mother cried out “bring back my daughter!” While I tried to hide my grin not to seem so cruel.
I can remind you of your childish fears, but I don’t want to, and I won’t, because what you were or are afraid of does not define you, so I choose to pretend that I am not aware of them. I understand what it’s like to feel the need to protect the child you contain inside,

I can keep a flower for you behind my back for when you can’t smile anymore and whisper the words you feel that you need to hear.
I, the illusionist, can make the weather cooler for you while you focus deep inside my eyes as I tell you not to pay attention to anything but my words and the atmosphere that is gently caressing your skin.

Then I would go to sleep at night, and make it drizzle above my head because I love the sound of rain and how it drowns me in tranquility. And maybe I would dream about you if I want to, have a different name for you, and create the most perfect, most romantic atmosphere for us. Maybe we’d be driving to the beach to feel the full moon radiating in our lungs so we can breathe deeper and learn to let go of what bothers us and suddenly hear our heartbeats in the sky because we are as whole as the universe, or we’d be dancing on a theatre stage like astounding performers where you’d sweep me off my feet and I’d skip a beat because I’d feel it in my bones. Or we’d be casually walking down the street where there’s only a single street lamp on and the rest are asleep unlike the people at this time of the night in the era we traveled to. You’d be in a top hat and I’d be in a red, long-sleeved velvet dress. And I would make us look so beautiful together in a way that our magic is undeniable.

And I’d visit you in your dreams, I’d catch you when you slip and before you turn to see my face I would fade in mist and you’d be afraid that I am just a memory, vivid only when you look at the moon.

But here is what you don’t know:
It’s all in your head, not mine.

© 2014 ALIA SULTAN

To: a Soul

 

photo“And maybe your soul isn’t wandering the cosmos I’m in,

how far or how close doesn’t matter to me

For I know that you are wandering within me, eternally

and no matter how loud they tell me that you are gone, in the depth of my soul I know you are here

and you will always be

the whole world to me.

And so, happy birthday dear”

By: Ghada Alfaleh

To: The Light

Whose story would I tell you now? No one you know, or maybe yourself, and sometimes I don’t even know:
He was standing on the stage trying to adjust his microphone for a very long time with intervals of annoying beeping of his microphone, so I got distracted for a long time thinking about the deep maroon velvet curtains with my worn out notebook and pen on my lap. My thought went far away with those curtains and I was wondering about the journey of those curtains and how they reached to this country and how many workers spent time working on it, we all have a journey of many people walking in and out of our lives, don’t we? So do the objects we see.
Suddenly, my senses came back to where I was and I was aware of the cold AC above me, then I realized that everyone was looking at my direction, he was waiting for me to start journaling so he can begin giving his speech.
He sounded different, and the way he stood was different as well, but I didn’t dwell on that much.
“You are all vulnerable, all of you…” He said after clearing his throat.
I have always known he wasn’t good at introductions in spite his brilliant mind.
“You think it’s not okay to be so, so you conceal it until you slowly start to vanish and become nothing but a human form of something, you reach to that point right after you realize you’ve been choking on pain, that’s when you swallow it, and your blood becomes toxic, so you choose to ignore it, and try to live your life that way, but it never works out.”
Everyone seemed so annoyed by him and a strange vibe took over the atmosphere. They didn’t show up to “globalization and it’s discontents” to hear this. It seemed to me like he was guided from a faraway galaxy for his soul to finally awaken in public, and in front of all those strangers.
“I’ve been avoiding my wife before bed so I can comfortably cry myself to sleep for almost 3 years now. And I’ve been avoiding her because I was taught that this world has no place for the vulnerable, especially us, men.”
I just knew it; I knew he would tell me that he never felt as liberated after his talk, and the emergence of his shadows and light created a wonder man of him, and I knew everything that was going on his mind before he shared it with me, because I witnessed the full caterpillar’s transformation of his heart.
I wasn’t listening to what he was saying because I was anticipating what he was about to say and I didn’t catch up to what he said last, but before he got off the stage he said,
“… And you’re probably thinking my agent would post an article for me tomorrow apologizing on my behalf and explaining how stressed out I am that I had been on pills, but in fact, I have never been this sober, and I will never be the same again…”
I was looking for my camera in my handbag, I wanted to capture that moment and send it to him because everything was perfect the way it was that moment and everyone who knew him would agree with me, and that made me remember how everything is perfect the way it is, the moment it happens, and how everything happens the way it should just like earth’s rotation and the moon’s strict orbit, everything is happening in the right time for us even when we think it’s too dark, too soon or too late. Everything makes sense; our explosions and our exposure to people who bring darkness in our lives and those who force us to go back to our center in a way or another-everything makes sense.
But then I realized;
His light was too beautiful to capture.

© 2014 ALIA SULTAN

A Man in Time

He was the sole person I couldn’t feel time moving around whenever we conversed. I remember you would ask me: ”Who taught you to do that?” whenever I followed his words by suddenly standing in the middle of chaos like a statue with hands on my face. And I’d close my eyes tightly, imagine a single place in the entire world -and maybe beyond- I wanted to be in, then my muscles would relax, and I’d take a deep breath and smile. It works every single time I’m tensed. It’s beautiful how your imagination can take you to places you’ve never been to, this is how I learned that time travel is possible; it’s all in your head.
He gave me a pocket watch that has a raven carved on it because he knew how much I love Poe and how my mind is always occupied with analyzing time.
“It’s an illusion” he told me before handing me the watch, “control it” he said.
I was too captivated with his strangeness that I did not spend much time analyzing the meaning behinds his absurd remarks.
Here’s the thing about unordinary people: you never forget them.

There was a time when I found him drowned in a deep conversation with a street artist who walked around with nothing but a brush, withered paint buckets of three colors (black, white and red) and a smile. It was unexpected that he would spend more than an hour talking to him because he wasn’t an art enthusiast.
“I love the light that flickers in their eyes” he said. People’s eyes would glow whenever they talked about what they’re passionate about. And that was something that lifted him up whenever he was down; the micro expressions that reveal a person’s passion towards something/someone. He said that it seemed to him like a person’s soul is finally unchained whenever he was united with passion.

A strange habit of his was to tell stories that have no endings. He said he loved being a storyteller without necessarily telling a story in its literal definition. And stories don’t have to end to be worth telling, stories happen all the time.

Sometimes, I would try to trace him, but all the paths that lead to him are invisible, and that scares me because I have tons of vivid memories of him, like that time he swayed under the raindrops as if listening to music.
And then I realize; the reason might be that my pocket watch never existed, and I might have crossed the cosmic boundaries which divide time.

 

© 2014 ALIA SULTAN