It is 0227hrs. I have been awake for 42 hours straight.
I have x01 articles overdue + x01 articles, x03 revise-and-resubmits, and x03 reviews due this week.
But I sit here with a series of counter-intuitive decisions:
my word doc windows minimized,
Ryan Karazija’s sentimental Low Roar on loop,
the air-conditioner set low,
the lights switched off.
I hack away at the keyboard, making up the words to externalize all my insides so I can process this stasis, move on with life, and do all the things.
I just need to find the words to get it out, I think.
Four months ago, I said I was trying to work out why it is important to write about grief, in grief, with grief as a way of making sense of my world. Unfortunately, I am still trying to understand auto-pilot grief. Fortunately, words are my heart medicine.
Grief has the smell of affect, specifically the smell on the ground floor of PSA building on Alexandra Road. We would find creative ways to extend our visit on weekly errand runs – running to the toilet, buying mints, fumbling with keys at the letterbox – any thing for us to spend an extra few minutes enjoying *that* smell. “Take one last breath? Ready? Okay, let’s go.”
Grief has the taste of fear, specifically the taste of acrid regurgitation from trying new foods for the first time and being endlessly mocked by pals when we refuse to eat veggies. We jest and tell the gang our aversion is hereditary and our grotesque convulsing medical. “The Abidin sisters don’t eat veggies one. They are so weird.”
Grief has the look of the night, specifically the look of night lights against jet black skies. We play our cards and test waters with curfews amidst passive-aggressive text messages and angry truncated phonecalls from the thems. “I can’t believe we are still out. This must be a new record.”
Grief has the touch of bubbles, specifically the touch of fleeting creations. We endure humidity and mozzies in the park in the dead of the night to blow bubbles and wreck glow sticks against trees. One time we even concocted a wicked mixture to produce glow-in-the-dark bubbles. The experiment failed and our art sucked, but we documented the-making-of. “This is probably toxic and we’re all gonna die right? Yeah.”
Grief has the sound of magic, specifically the sound of our impromptu jamming sessions. We lepak on the bed with a guitar in hand, effortlessly improvising harmonies, spinning covers in new genres, mishmashing lyrics, and creating pretty wicked originals in some strategically tasteful vernacular. “IMMERSE YOURSELF IN LOVE.”
All this is just to say, PIVOT PIVOT PIVOT.
I love you; I love to you.
Please grow old with me.
Who knew grief was this corporeal?