It was late in the evening and I was walking on the streets of Lisbon. I heard footsteps behind me and I could feel my heart-throbbing as the man approached me. He looked me in the eye and told me something, there must have been some dirty words, I sensed his hungry gaze running over my body, but I understood nothing. I was a lonely traveller in a foreign country. I had a quick vision of a full scale image of the Earth and me standing still for an infinite second in a precise spot on its surface. A quick beam of light falling on that precise spot and cracking its wavy surface open and me disappearing fast inside it. It was one of those moments when you become aware of your loneliness, when you are frightened, but you become fully aware that no one else could fight those fears but you. I remained silent as I standing there and I looked him in the eye, my silence covering all the anger that comes naturally with the fear, it must have been something powerful and intense about it, I was told many times I have a way of looking deep into people’s eye, a piercing gaze that goes straight to that hidden place inside, where fear and aggressiveness mingle together.
The man went away and I headed to the hotel. I was still frightened and I wished just to crawl in the arms of a man and forget. To find that emotional protection, when just some simple words such as “It’s okay” work wonders. But no one waited for me at home, which was not really home, but a hotel, so I just laid down on my back on the bed, thinking. The window was open and the wind was slowly blowing the curtain and I could here the distant sounds of fado. I remember telling myself that I would like to live here in this precise spot on Earth and come back to this half empty bed every evening, even if I need to confront with my look an evil man showing up from the dark every evening. I am not weak, only some people might think that I am because of my feminine appearance. But the essence of femininity is not about weakness.
As I was lying on my back on that bed in Lisbon, I started remembering other times when I remained silent. There are sometimes events in our life, either a small incident or something really intense, that open up some doors that we locked a long time ago inside us. And when those doors open and something comes out, we cannot really run away from it anymore. It is usually a little monster that comes out. Because behind silence, there is always a little monster taking a nap. A very emotional little monster, that felt guilty or jealous or abandoned. I remembered when a man told me he wants our roads to part and I looked at him, I must have gave away my saddest look, and I said nothing important, I just said: I understand. And I bit my lips to stop the trembling that I could feel growing inside my body. That trembling called sadness, that we cannot really run away from, it’s part of being alive. I don’t know how other people react to this, maybe they say some simple words like “Don’t leave me” or maybe they yell and cry and let go that trembling called sadness in a little performance about what being human and hurt means. But I said nothing important, I said “I understand” because we cannot posses anything, not even our moods, how can we posses another human being. You are free and may the world be your playground. But you will feel sorry, I just know this because even the person that takes the action has feelings, maybe it’s the guilt that goes together with assuming responsibility. And you as well are about to lock a little monster behind a door deep inside yourself. We are all connected and you will be surprised but the little monsters we all carry inside are like a family of little monsters, they are related. Maybe that is one side of the essence of humanity. And the other side is kindness.
When he told me our roads will split, I remained silent, but maybe I should have said: “I don’t want to become your dearest memory, I don’t want to let you transform me into a dream, I want to be real and enjoy your presence, I want to feel your breath and your heartbeat”.
But what can I do, controlling the uncontrollable is what tears us apart. Maybe I will meet you again, in the body of another person biding goodbye, or maybe I will not meet precisely you, but some feeling of abandon that is as old as the world. We all long for unconditional love, the emotional protection that reassures us no matter what stupid things we do, we can still find the comfort of feeling loved. We mistake abandon for the lack of love. But maybe we are just afraid to be free. And love is about freedom, allowing the other to follow their wishes and allowing ourselves to fly, without clinging to a painful moment that cannot be changed anymore. Our perception of the future is mirroring the anxiety we felt in the the past. But a life lived in fear is just a repetition of those moments when we imagined we were abandoned. And if I were to give you an advice, although I don’t like giving advice usually, everyone should arrive to their own revelations, I would just say: do you feel enchained by your own sadness? Break that chain with beauty.
I am here today, pouring down my soul for everybody to read, precisely because I remained silent for too long. And maybe when those little monsters will come out from the hearts of people spread everywhere on this planet, they will find out it’s okay, I understand, it’s human to have all kinds of complex feelings: to feel hurt, abandoned or lonely, to feel angry or frightened. It’s okay to feel human and it’s also delightful because when those little monsters are granted the right to speak, you might find out with surprise they can be tamed. And you can laugh at them, just like watching a very good comedy about the condition of being human, a very good comedy in which we all are spectators and actors at the same time. The best comedy on Earth that the people who are also fond of drama can enjoy the most.
Laura Livia Grigore is a poet, painter and psychology enthusiast, with a background in space engineering. She likes to experiment with various mediums and types of writing. Her artwork is orientated on emotions, reflecting her opinion that most of the answers we need can be found inside ourselves, although the hardest thing to do is to be sincere with oneself. You can purchase her book here.