Updated: Jul 20
I’m sitting on the roof of my new apartment building. It’s quiet, wintry, and raindrops are trickling on my skin from every direction. I’ve lit more than enough cigarettes for my lungs to bare, but the burn in my chest assists in the well-practiced reflection process. I can see most of Taipei from up here. I can see Taipei 101, Taipei’s proudest possession. Once, I thought your friendship was my proudest possession.
I’ve gained a lot in the last months. I’ve had to let go of about the same. It seems like ‘knowing me’ was forever ago. It’s ironic that in finding a new journey; a new self; you need to let go of a previous one, no matter how much you want to cling onto it.
I’ve been trying to read M-Train, but my mind wonders and leaks out into the past. I can’t help but stare at the railing in front of me. It’s filled with gorgeous golden sunflowers as decoration. The sun beams are leaking through, blinding my eyes. I’m thinking about you.
We’re in a hut. You asked me to read you a paragraph, seeking for the answers behind the curves of the words. I eagerly read each word with a rounding passion; pleased by your request and wonder.
You listened with intent and did not recognize the dedication in my accent. You listened until you found a phrase considerate of your felicitous tendencies and dismissed my stride. I attempted to finish reading the paragraph as you so desired, but you ordered me quiet, blaring as the windows and crystals on wooden tables shivered through ordinary surrounding things.
Sometimes in the quietest of moments; the prettiest of scenes; the worst parts of people slither out slowly; and break into consciousness previously unseen.
This wasn’t the first time I saw maliciousness in your entity but the first time it forced me into utter silence. I sat for a while staring at you while you took out a pencil from your stainless-steel pencil case and started to draw on an empty piece of paper. I noticed a lot of pages had been torn out of your notebook. I wonder who had been privileged enough to prompt previous sketches or ideas written down and then torn out, either finding its way into a garbage bin, or stuck onto a wall with sticky tape to be admired and serve as inspiration.
It’s 20:09 on a Sunday. We haven’t spoken in three months. I just read the last page of M-Train. For a moment, I thought I might be trapped between my old life. But I wasn’t. I just moved a little slower than usual.
It’s February. Last year this time we were eating potatoes and butter, stroking trees, hiking through the mountains of Taiwan. It’s such precious memories. But last night I had a dream. I dreamt that I told you all that kept eating me up inside. Like a mosquito draining me of memories with each and every sting. I dreamt that we were at the same ‘punk-rock-themed-party.’ Finally, we were in the same room and you had no choice but to listen to my despair. I started yelling, screaming at the top of my lungs. Can you hear me now?
I remember you said you would only consider being my friend if I’m ever mentally stable. As if it is a choice I could make, because believe me, I’d make it in a heartbeat.