Thursday, February 29, 2024

 A question I get frequently is about my writing process—what is it?

My first instinct is a clip-on-loop, playing in my head- a body, bareback, under the shower head, crying. Like a fever dream, conjuring that memory is low-res in my head at best. You cannot tell if the person crying under the shower is me or someone else but someone is definitely wet under the shower and crying at the same time. Is it a familiar entity? Is it a fictional character? Who knows. The location remains static, my parents' washroom. I trust very few spaces with my intimate thoughts and while my folks may not make the cut, their washroom definitely did. 

Truth be told, a good washroom is a great space for thinking. It's a better spot for ideating than the overhyped notes app. However, coming back, thinking of my artistic process puts the fear of god in me; I'm able to think through words and ideas during my lowest lows. I could be howling my eyes and processing my emotions while I come up with what to write. I think through the men I've loved and the few people who I trusted, and how they further broke that chain of trust. I think about the filler scenes of Fleabag in S2, Ep1 when she's rummaging through her memories of how she's overcome the filth that her existence stood for in S1, I filter through the man who I thought held me when I talked to him about my lowest lows and then another who caused it (there are usually only two—and if you think you know either, you need to stop reading this page cause you know nothing). Both let me down and both come to mind during the question of my artistic process. I find it easier to write in hurt than when I'm satisfied with life. 

I've been waking up a lot at 4 something am. It's usually a dream; something about a traumatic episode, my mom, dimsum, and a friend. I turn my phone on, look at the time, try to catch my breath and calm my heartbeat, stare at my phone a little more, and hope I get a buzz from [redacted]. A minute later, the phone is turned off and I tug my plushie as tightly as I physically can; I don't have the physical strength to write that I just went on an un-consented adventure with familiar characters in my head, but if I could, I'd beg for the rollercoaster ride of my dreams to stop.

I often daydream about how the guy will hurt me. People live through happy fantasies and mine are about how he'll destroy me. If he ever reads this, he might actually be drop-dead disappointed in me but knowing the people in and around my life, he won't be the first to feel jaded because of me. If anything, this goes to show it's mostly me, I'm the problem before there's a problem. 

I went for this film recently (Holdovers), where the protagonist is every bit despicable and I never related to a fictional character more. During a small talk scene, when he's asked to relay a happy fantasy, he implies he dreams within means. To this, the opposing character points out how his fantasies are also short-lived and incomplete and that he is allowed to dream in full, with hope—I'm exactly like that. Even in my fantasies, I can't hope for the best of me because it's better to lose the hope of it all. Some would say it's a problem of lack of faith or trust in people but I don't think so. What they don't get is that I have more faith in them, in the actions of anyone who is halfway compassionate to me than I have in those who claim to look out for me. Those who've made these proclamations to be there have done nothing but destroy me should look at themselves first and their lack of actions. We should be safeguarded from our well-wishers, well, at least me.

How do you repair relationships that are sour by existence? Do you try to forge the bond the second time around, limit yourself to civility, or simply drown yourself in a cocktail of music and work? If you're me, you'd go with the least troubling option: cry yourself to sleep once every fortnight and throw yourself into work and overstimulation so you don't think about things outside of the immediate task list. It also depends on the kind of relationship. Some might take a thawing period of 12-36 hours, others might take years and some will take a lifetime to develop. 

In the last 48 hours, I missed this one person I swore to hate all my life (I wish I could explain but I can't). I also realised my life (and mine that I share with others) is about to be altered once again, for fucking real, in a complete 180. The way I know things will not be how they will be and my whole ecosystem is coming undone as I speak. My biggest fall from grace is trusting that writing can solve the crisis but it never does anything good. I've more faith in a man I've seen once for 3 hours than in my own self for my own good, don't ask me why. I wish I could tie a pink bow around your beliefs and mine and live happily ever after but instead, I've to live through 4 am nightmares, where I wonder if my dream was a reality or what. 

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