Project management

My rationale is crumbling. It's been holding steady(ish) for about a week, which I must say is something to acknowledge and celebrate, so I try to get a round of applause going, but nothing.
Regardless. It's all going according to plan.
"A week", I told myself. "A week of hopefulness and confident waiting."
That week was over yesterday, and begrudgingly I remember what I also told myself:
"After that, a week of sorrow. Of self-pitying acceptance that you are not lovable in that manner you wished and planned for. A week of tears, most probably, though not the entire week - that would be tiresome. Of allowing the pain that has been stomping its feet from impatience in the doorway to your insides, kept at bay by the agreed time schedule, to step inside and start stabbing at tender parts. Mutter a bitter 'welcome'. It's a visitor you know well, so it's only polite."
I breathe in, notice that it's not a shaky breath and it gives me foolish hope that maybe the first tears will not come until tomorrow. I try to remember what the plan holds for the week after this, and if I remember my words correctly they were:
"And then we go back to normal."
It's important to have plans.

Leave me be

I'm tired. There's been war and maneuvers in so many areas of my life that I consider myself constantly in a fighting stance, guard up. Ready to eat the first punch thrown at me and then, quickly, decide if my best course of action is to move out of harm's way or to counter attack. Or to fight in a more strategic manner. Regardless, they all take energy that I don't have. I want out now. I want a break and a pause from being awake and aware and attentive. A safe space, held by protective arms or just left in peace.
Everything takes work right now.
I need a holiday.

You sadly believed every word I didn't mean

A thought comes to me. I would be lying if I said it came instantly, in that moment, when I noticed a change in your expression. No, it came much later, upon replaying our meeting for myself, dwelling in the memory and the analysis of our interaction. And your reaction. And because it is a thought born from a memory I doubt it even more than I would have done had I drawn the conclusions in real time. But still, it is a thought I can't help indulging. I feed it to grow, turn it over in my hand, where I cradle it. I will show it to some.
The thought goes like this: Have you been harbouring words I never meant for you to catch?
I say so much, so often - almost always - and I am spoilt with people that have come close enough to hear the meaningful silence behind sentences. Friends that have learnt to interpret my nuances, my hints and allegations, my pauses inbetween words. So naturally I think everyone gets it. Understands when I say something that might very well be true in the moment it's uttered, but that will fade, or change, or turn into its opposite after time has passed.
But maybe not. You have been known to quote me on things I wish you hadn't. Phrases I recognize as my own, but that are no more worthy of quoting than random words taken from a full page of statements - out of context they make no sense; they are useless, misguiding, without a time and a place and a feeling. All of which always changes. But the words stay the same, and you have carried them with you, shaped behaviours from them, even though they are long since too warped to carry meaning.
You are not the only one having done this. Yet I have not, until now, picked up on it. But it's clear what I should do to test this theory.

The man and the moon

Damn you for staking such a claim. For making the moon yours so that each time I linger out in the world until dark I risk being reminded of you. It used to be that when the moon was spectacularly full I would send you a text, or you me, asking if the other could see it from where they were. Sometimes we both saw it, marvelling at it's beauty, and in extention what we had. Sometimes it was cloudy at mine, or yours, and we would just have to take the other's words for it. And even though we were almost always six hours away from each other, we would be connected then, our eyes gazing in the same direction for a few moments of the same night. Together.
And now. Each time I catch a glimpse of that luminous entity in the night sky my thoughts go to you. It doesn't matter if it's full, on it's way to becoming, or on it's way from having been, you occupy my mind nonetheless. And in your wake a sense of sorrow, of longing and missing what once was, and what I so fervently wished to be.
So damn you for making me wish for clouds on starry nights.

You can't get what you want but you can get me

There are sentences in this world that hold so much that I fall in deeper love each time I hear them, or read them. They are so beautiful that they awaken a desire to put myself in such a situation so that I can utter them to someone, and mean them with all my heart. It's like goals in life.
Sometimes the sentences are good goals. Like "would you like to make a run for it?", sung, it seems to me, with a suggestive smile. Each time I hear it the corners of my own lips curl upwards.
But sometimes they are not. "You can't get what you want but you can get me" is one of my all time favourite sentences, also from a song. Sung, as it happens, by a man whom I spent many a teenage years deep in love with, and hence his voice presses certain buttons since I'm still attuned to the vulnerability and tenderness in it. The words have inspired me before, I've written stories based on them. I've whispered them, aimed at someone, but too quietly for them to hear - however much I want to live the sentences I fall for, I still show some restrain.
Yet I question that restrain. If the premiss of the sentence holds true: If you really, never, ever can get what you want, but you can get someone who wants you - should you?
It's a pointless question, cause there is no way of knowing what you can and cannot get, or what you eventually will and will not want. The trickiness is balancing "for now" and "for ever", and all that lies between. The challenge is enough to make me want to make a run for it.

A sort of love story

"You don't get it?" she asked, closing her eyes as she took a deep breath to try to explain.
Enveloped by that familiar, chosen darkness she decided to stay there, knowing that the lack of understanding that was written all over his face could not hinder her words then. So she kept her eyes closed as her voice, trembling at first, but gradually growing firmer, carried on.
"Isn't it obvious that every action, every word and every thought from me - you must see and hear them all equally clear - is aimed at you? That every part that makes up this body I inhabit wants to reach for you, however near or far away from it you may be at any given time? You have stepped into this life of mine, unwittingly, and changed the course of its history. Each ambition has been rewritten, each goal crossed out and replaced, each dream enhanced by your sheer presence. There is not a desirable trait I can think up or imagine that you do not possess, and not only that, you outclass every other that may share it. You manage the impossible, making me at the same time calm and euphoric. With you I feel like life began at each recent heartbeat, whilst at the same time I sense a certainty that can only come from having lived forever. You effortlessly reach the innermost thoughts and desires within me, ones I could not even confess to having before this. I could not confess, because I did not know - you've opened up worlds and passages in my mind that should have no way of existing, as there are no words that can describe them. All the emotions in all the bodies in the universe, now and ever, are not enough to counter what you have awakened in me. I don't know what life is any more, because it is like nothing that has ever been described to me, nor like anything I have ever experienced. So if you don't get it, I'm not sure I can explain it."
But as she opened her eyes he was gone, having left so quiely she had no idea at what part she'd lost him.

A gentle obituary

"The perspective he has on the world, and the details he sees in it, bowls me over. In many ways we focus in on the same things in life, only I do it calculatedly and very much thought through - he does it instinctively. The result being that he is in some ways a naïve, more innocent version of me."
Those were the words I used to describe him to one of my dearest friends, a couple of years ago, when I was still deep down in that trench that is unrequited love. And now, much later, and after a lot of pain I find myself wanting to remember the reasons for why I loved him. I want to map them out, hold them close, and then put them in a box (heart shaped?) and keep them there as a fond memory, totally separated from who he is today and what we are to each other now. And most importantly, untainted by what he has done to me.
So I conjure up the purest moments. There aren't - in truth - an endless supply to choose from; a lot of them have strands of frustration and longing in them on my part. But there are a few.
Like our first kiss, and how we laid looking into each others eyes for much of a night. I was not in love then, save for in love with his lips, since he kissed me better than I have ever been kissed before (and after). 
When he came to meet me after work and I took him to a lecture about space and time and relativity, the first lecture he'd even been to. We met in a winter stormy Stockholm and I remember he took my hand as we walked down the street and I found myself thinking "this is happiness".
That time he studied my hands so closely, holding them in his, turning them over and back again. Touching each finger, completely focused on just that part of me. And how both my hands fitted in one of his.
The feeling of being in bed with him, lying naked afterwards and not even having to pretend to feel relaxed and comfortable. How that held true even when I had ignored society's urges and forgone shaving legs and armpits, and how he pointed out that he liked that. How I felt safe in his love for and fascination with the female body, and for mine, just the way it was.
The look of him, wetting his lips whilst looking at mine, just before a kiss.
Those times when I caught him looking admiringly at me from across a room, whilst I was talking animatedly with friends or family of his.
And our discussions. How he understood me, instinctively, from the start. I love a lot of people, and am close to many. Most of them understand me well, but the understanding has come from dialogue, from talking, sharing and listening. He is one of those few that right from the start knew more about me and how I saw the world than others, simply because it was the was he saw it also.
In hindsight I have learnt that these moments and feelings don't make up a person. The other parts, the ones I assumed were diminishing with time and patience on my part, grew instead. I don't wish to list them, there is no need since I feel them well enough in the wounds they have caused me. Some may scar. I will try to leave them behind me, just as I will try to leave him there, and keep only the moments that beckoned me closer.
I will remember them fondly, cause they are to me perfect little examples of the kind of love I want.

Meet my friends

So there's an itchiness under my skin. It comes and goes, lessens and grows, depending. For a good while I've denied my addiction, treating my feelings like a conscious dabble, a plaything and a distraction in the otherwise dreary monotony that makes up everyday life. But as I am noticing physical effects I start to fear the severity of the situation. Still, parts of me laugh.
"You're not addicted", they laugh, truly amused at my worry. "You can back out of this at any time, but you don't want to. Not yet. Which is fine, cause it's fun and harmless and makes you feel things you enjoy. So stay where you are, keep at it, we've got it under control. Other people may not, but we do. The fact that we're even talking about it proves that, surely?"
I hesitate, turn to other parts of me for further guidance. They frown.
"We may have it under control", they agree, hesitantly. "But it's slipping from our grasp. We haven't slept properly for days. Our heart beat is speeding, only outrun by the myriad of thoughts careening over and around each other at dangerous speed. Haven't you noticed how it stops, how it calms, when you subject yourself? Doesn't that tell us that we are developing an addiction not merely of the mind - we've had many of those before, those are commonplace and manageable - but of the body? And that those symptoms are worsening with each day? I say we put an end to this now. Start backing away. It will hurt, but it will pass, and we will wean ourselves from this need before it becomes a necessity to live."
"Such nonsense", the confident parts snort, making me turn my attention back to them. "The sleep deprivation has nothing to do with this, you know that. You're freaking out because you always freak out when things are too enjoyable. Because you're an idiot. Just stay here, trust our judgement which points to the fact that it's just a bit of fun. Nothing more. Something else will eventually turn up and drag your attention elsewhere, as it always does. You're not stuck, you're not addicted, you're just passing time. And having fun doing it, drawing experiences and ideas from it."
The other parts start to argue back, and I get so confused listening to them as they both say things that make sense. I take a few steps back, to leave them to it, trying to pay attention whilst I try to decide which one I should listen to. Suddenly I notice the final parts of me, standing as a silent observer in the shadows. When they see me having noticed them they grin, maliciously or not I cannot tell. I swallow.
"It's cute", they say, quietly so that only I can hear them, but authorative enough so that I feel the truth in their words. "How you think you have a way out of this."
"I do", I object, voice not as confident as such words would demand. "I can stop when I want, if I want."
The argument between the other parts ongoing in the background, but I no longer hear them, as I see the grin in the shadows grow. And that it is malicious.

Body worth

"You should've let him have his way with her."
Those were the words he saw in more and more faces, the few times he managed to leave their house - no longer a home - and spend time where other people could see him. Faces that held pity, alongside this admonition, and faces that each time had him stock up even bigger bulks of food, and bottles, in order to make the solitude until next time last even longer.
The only person who said the words outright to him was his wife, and the only reason she was not his ex wife was because both of them knew that a separation would lead to another death, maybe two, and in spite of them longing for it too often to admit out loud, he guessed they were both clinging on to some hope that life would, eventually, somehow, impossibly, go on.
He had started wondering if the words were true. And if the man he'd held at gunpoint, with his baby girl between them and a knife to her throat, had been telling the truth.
"I don't want to kill her", he had grinned, so obviously aroused by the crying, terrified body he was pressing against, and by his confidence the gun could not harm him. "I'm just gonna have some fun with her, I promise you'll get her right back."
But the confidence had been misplaced. The gun was fired, in growing panic at seeing a daughter being pulled away, and though the aim had been perfect the knife had slipped and she was lost nonetheless.
And now he was left, tortured by an unknowing emptiness that he would never be able to fill with any answers, since the only one who could've given him the truth was gone. He had tried, but could find no solace in the fact that at least noone took parts of her she did not want to give away, cause he could not be certain that she would've prefered it so. He had not grown up being taught the value of one's own body in the relation to what others want to do to it.

What goes around

I go to the bar. A man, attractive enough for me to let my eyes remain on him when he addresses me, addresses me. I smile, and it's that smile that says a few more things than words can comfortably convey. He hesitates, unused I think to such forwardness, and a small part of me remembers that I am in Sweden and that the men are afraid here. He asks if he can buy a beer, and if I will be waiting here when he's done so. I ask if I can have a kiss, and after some more momentary hesitation he obliges. He is good. We talk some, he asks if I want to come with him to where he lives and I say sure and for him to come find me in a bit. Then we kiss again and I head to the table where my friends are.
I drink, I talk to my friends, I laugh, I monitor the crowd, I drink some more, I go to the toilets, and I see that the man is still by the bar, now talking to some other woman. As I'm writing this I realize I didn't think "oh, she is much prettier than me", nor did I think "oh, she is uglier than me", and I take some pride in this fact. I merely think "oh, she is not me" and I shrug. If anything, slightly annoyed at being back at square one.
I dance. I get eye contact with a man with big, dark eyes and we look at each other for a short while, long enough to agree on something nondescript. My friends and I stake out a home for ourselves on the dance floor and another man and his friend make us laugh. The friend has a look that I am attracted by, so I focus my eyes on him, and before long we are kissing. He's not very good, but he's not terrible. I ask where he lives and we end up agreeing that we should go to mine. I ask if he wants to take his friend with him to make up for the fact that he's not such a great kisser (but I don't say the last part out loud), but he says it will only be him. I tell him I'm just gonna go to the toilet.
I pass the dark eyed man on my way to the toilets. Only I don't. I kiss him, and he's as good as the first guy by the bar, and I ask if he wants to come with me, right now. And he's not like the scared ones. I pay for a cab. It's worth it in some ways, not in others.


She toys with the idea of picking a feeling she's had, and changing her whole life's direction to follow it. There've been a few situations, many even, when feelings and thoughts have aligned, and the universe has opened up opportunities for her to grasp - there for the blink of an eye, or sometimes seconds, but then gone. Gone because the thoughts have changed, scared to remain in that pure form, interrupted by other ones; darker, even more frightened ones. Ones that hold her back. That make her break eye contact or laugh nervously, waving a hand dismissingly. But now that is about to change. She will honour one of those truths she's barely touched, yet feels her body yearn for.
So she rents out her flat, quits her job and gets on a plane. Finds out an address, waves down a cab, knocks on a door. It is opened by a married man, whose wedding pictures she's seen on Facebook, together with pictures of the children she glimpses behind him, older now but still too young to understand what will happen during the next hours. She pushes past him, only allowed to do so because he vaguely remembers meeting her once or twice before. She ignores the children and finds their mother in the kitchen. Has the time to think "I remember when our idea of cooking was boiling pasta and adding five types of cheese" before she takes her by the hand and pulls her out to the backyard, somehow realizing that even though she wants to drag this woman back into the waiting cab, she might not want to leave before saying goodbye to her soon-to-be ex husband, and making some sort arrangement for the kids.
"It's a bit late", she offers, as a recognition to the utter shock on the other's face. "But I'm here now. Now I know that I want what we always skirted around, those hazy years, living together. That night, I know you remember it, because it's when time should be counted from. When you said those beginnings of sentences that you wanted me to finish, and I knew how to, but I didn't dare. I'm sorry for how afraid I was, how I listened to everything but the feelings you evoked in me. But don't you see, it was because it was too good to be true? We have been taught that fairytales don't exist, that people are out to get you and that we can't live on love alone. But if that is true then explain to me how we survived those years, in that misery of a flat we called our home? And explain to me why I've had the growing feeling of not living since we parted. And explain to me how I will survive if you don't come away with me this second. I know I'm late, but I also know I'm right in trusting that the strength of what we felt for each other, that was too complex for me to fully understand, has lived on in you as it has in me. I can't say I love you, because the word is a joke in the face of what I feel. We won't need to try and put it into words, I can feel it pulsate loud enough through me. I think it originates from your hand in mine. Just tell me you will follow me to the end of the world, and that you will allow me to follow you to the end of everything."
But of course, it is a bad idea.

Utdrag ur Project 2

I search my insides but nothing meets me. Only apathy, which I by now know is the same as square one. The clean slate. The void. Filling it, and having to constantly fill it feels like it should be overwhelming, but I just don’t care.
“If this is life”, I voice, making Hannah look over at me from the other end of the bed we’ve shared. “I don’t know if I want it.”
I wait a few moments, to see if she tries to start an emotion in me, or if one starts by its own accord. But nothing. I look up, meet her eyes. They give nothing away.
“What’s the point”, I say, and it isn’t a question. “I can spend every moment of every day learning how to maneuver this mind, inside this body. I can force joy into it. Pleasure. Anger. Sadness. Any feelings that will make me feel alive and purposeful. But the second I stop, the needle drops down to zero and I will end up here, in this pointless, empty truth. I don’t know if I can bare it.”
I wait. Still she says nothing, and I realize a hint of an emotion has grown as I’ve been speaking. Hope. I hesitate, but then I indulge it.
“How do you do it?” I ask, and I think I see a defeated smile behind her eyes.
Or I hope I do.
“The alternative bores me”, she says.

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