Thoughts and I
How can all lasts come together at once?
Hello and goodbye. Smile and grief. Embrace. Beautiful thoughts and dreams. A childhood memory. Love and pain. Sacrifice. Secrets and regrets.
I am sitting in Queen’s park, waiting for her. I light a cigarette and admire a black squirrel prancing around my feet as if convincing me to play along. I whistle a tune to acknowledge its sincerity. It looks up at me and nods, then scurries away. I giggle and open the fancy red notebook to record the moment with a hopeful heart that I shall be forgiven. Though it is too late. Life is giving up. The last movement of a piano concerto is playing. The only magic left is the mind.
Which prowls through like a devil. I may or may not believe it. However, its powerful work invades my thoughts, realities, and truths. In the outside, where the norms throw in their facts and books, it is supposed to bear familiar names that frighten typical humans — psychosis, schizophrenia, amnestic-confabulatory disorder, etc. — Let us not go sophisticated now as it only wonders my fantasies.
Do not even get me started with the devil’s rush — red wine — for it is my best friend. It jams along with the puffs — ciggies. Heya! Everyday is one hell of a party for me. Always. Since I left home decades ago. I am —
— how old am I? — wait — Of course I know how old I am! Give me a second here. Do not push me, for God’s sake! Stop! Please stop! I remember my name! I remember my past! I remember who I am and the people around me! What is going on here? What are you doing to me? I am okay. Really. See? I am sitting right here — at a picnic table in Queen’s park. I know who she is, and she is on her way to reveal everything to me!
Get out of my head! Who are you? Oh, damn it! Oh, dear God.
You feel familiar. In an angel’s way. Now I want to know. I need to understand. You. Me. The past. The lost times. The in-betweens. The innocence. The broken heart. The abandonment. The piano. Beethoven. The stories told. I wish I were a part of it all. Was I?
Yes, you were. Because it is all up to you to find out for yourself. So tears and madness shall have meaning. As you desire to apprehend all the whys and hows —
— get ready —
All of a sudden, the fancy red notebook becomes resentful and restless. Once the lifeless body is found, all lasts begin.
I must introduce myself. Finally. My name is Skye Stoltz. I am 45 years old. I may or may not be an experienced human. But to live is the most formidable challenge. To live on is as easy as having a cup of coffee on the go. I have come to understand a little. Some candid truths. My own truths.
Demons are a residue of deep pains and unforgiving adversaries. Art heals — or kills. Life is all a lie — create your own reality in it. How you treat other humans is a mirror of your childhood home. Wear a stately suit — guard your sanity. Morality is never an issue — judgment is. There is beauty found in a solitary life. Bad parenting sculpts evil — or spawns great success. Desiring fame is like fire that burns your soul. A kind heart is god. There is never a wise decision — there is only an intention. Self-interests are needed for survival. Society will always betray you. No one knows how to define their own happiness. No one has ever loved someone unconditionally. There is always something important to fight for. Make art as your number one best friend. We will all die not knowing our best worth.
I am fighting against myself to survive. Sanity check. I am good. I am getting used to it. It will be fine. Trust my mind.
Yes. I do remember my name. It is Skye Stoltz. I am 45 years old. Do not trick me! I have a good heart. I promise you. I am innocent. My hands are clean. I just hate myself. With the seven deadly sins taking over my life, believe it or not, they have justified their existence in the most gratifying need of human truth.
Oh. The Devil’s rush is calling me. Bye for now.
I remember telling a beloved a story that appeared in my dream many moons ago:
I sit at my piano like a curious heart that dances for a dream. I feel the black and white keys as if carving the angels’ language in the air. I see the red-flushed madness in his eyes, holding me captive inside the antiquated tiny room. He knows my secret. He exhales his anger. He catches my hands, grips them.
“What’s the point?” he blasts. “You never care anyway. You just sit here and fall in love with the magic playing out of those keys. How dare you waste my time?”
“I don’t want it,” I mutter. “I just want to tell stories.”
“Then for God’s sake,” he exclaims, “make the words sound like symphonies!”
So I sit at my table like a curious heart that lives in a dream. As Ludwig Van Beethoven disappears, my eyes open. Along with a story to tell.
The gentle yet melancholic smile. I wanted to save the heart and soul. Only judgment caught me in an inauspicious time. I must remember who the beloved was. Before the fancy red notebook runs out of pages. As I struggle to escape into the infinite mind of everything that is wrong with me. I must stay alive. A little longer. No matter how terrifying the experience will be.
Today I wrote a hate letter to myself:
I can never love you. It’s impossible. Why?
Your dreams have been obliterated by the tragic truths of how life actually works. You take things seriously. It must be why your mind is like an ocean of curiosity. You always worry about the unknown. You never rest. You try to solve mysteries. You create meaningful things that are a total waste. What’s the point?
You are a nomad on earth. You work. You work very hard. You work until the sun rises. 90% of your time is dedicated to work. You must survive. It’s how you exist. Forget about the beautiful nature. Forget about silence. Forget about sharing a laugh with someone. Life is here. In the hustles and bustles. You need them more than they need you. Your clock is worth something. Just enough for you to keep going. You have no choice. You have no identity. You have no rules of your own. You must slave away. You must survive. You must be grateful.
Even though your name doesn’t matter. Because after all, you are and will always be a nomad on earth. And all you’re good for is – you work. Very hard.
You have no right to pity yourself. You simply know your comfort. Work. Write. Play the piano. Go on. Perhaps, this time, I would finally read your heart. Though I know you only do it because it means something. No purpose. It simply means something. And you’re already good with that.
You get disgusted by human behavior everyday. You feel hatred looming everywhere. You also live through it every minute. You feign courage. Your smarts go weak. This is a land of men. You do not wear a suit. Your rights are limited. Society would go against you if you would dare to stand up for yourself.
This is a land of judgment. Your words, your gestures, your appearance, your job, and the neighborhood you live in are being judged, even at first glance, by peers, by acquaintances, and especially by strangers. These absurd things determine what you know, how much you know, your origin, your economic status, and your past. That is how they see you.
And no one would give their time to get to know you. Though you’re used to it. And you still reach out. No matter how illogical it may be. No matter how much it hurts. No matter. Because you still hope for one genuine connection. And then maybe – by then – you would find true value in life.
You wish for change. A wonderful change where respect, kindness, and understanding would sparkle through them. Yeah. Right. Wish on!
This is the world you’ve chosen to be in. You are not privileged enough to actually live and manifest your wishes.
You’re getting older. And you’re still an embarrassment. Your routines are more than enough. Along with your written words and your piano music. You’re just letting your physical self know that you can still function. Regardless. That you’re still here. Breathing. That you still matter. Somehow. Beyond that, you don’t know anything anymore. And you’re not supposed to know more either.
These are your truths. This is how you live your life. How you see the world is nothing but full of arrogance.
And that is why I can never love you.
Wishing you all the best!
The time has come.
I am ready to reveal my thoughts and understand my madness. I will enjoy little things and experience reality like never before. I will stop planning for the future and feel the wonders of human oddities. I will keep the beautiful details of every moment in my special memory box. No rules. No lies. No bullshit. This is my mind’s last attempt. I can only hope for mental stability to accompany me through this journey. Though one thing is for sure — my past is buried in the past. Who am I and what has happened to me — shall be divulged — carefully, candidly — no matter how sad and shocking it may be — as it unfolds before my eyes and consciousness — until I arrive at the harrowing truths — the lasts coming together at once.
Welcome to my brand new day.
It is morning.
I gallop along with blitzing commuters. The suits. The ‘office dresses’. The Ts and jeans. The urban hip-hops. The baggies. The 80s. The 90s. The Beyonces. The Drakes. The ‘try-look-for-confidence-boost’. The ‘spice-girls’. The average.
The average. Including me. Ambushing Union station in the morning. The headphones. The glitzy briefcases. The branded purses. Sling bags. Bulky backpacks (What in a world have you got in there anyway?). Colorful lunch pouches. Starbucks or Tim Hortons. Sometimes Second Cup or Timothy’s. Others, nonexistent in my personal consumption. Too much world. Swarming along with me. Whew. City check. It’s Toronto. Yes, I live in Toronto. I smile.
— then —
Amidst the pompously metropolitan rush, a young man dressed like Drake slows down. The march starts to delay. At least for the patient souls. But shoves erupt. The zing is back. Hostile in a way. Stomps. Wheezes. Hums. The morning parade speeds on.
The Drake guy is checking his smartphone. So devotedly. A punk girl from the early 2000s decides to do the same deed. A dapper-suit guy answers an aggravating ringtone.
My feet, on the other hand, scream, “Get me going! Go! Go!” My caffeine burst is whining. My routine is examining my left brain. And I’m right brained. Proud to be. Confession here. Duh.
Endless apologies honking into air. Though as much as possible, silence is observed. For some reason. The riotous human presence is already enough. Logic. Character. Muted monsters.
I get to my coffee stop. I line up. Yawn. Feel the phone lurking inside my city bag. Pretend to be in a pensive mood. Grab my coffee. And —
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 Movement No. 1 explodes into my ears!
I gallop on. 3 more minutes. Shut up, routine! Shut up! We’re almost there!
And there I am. Fighting my way through the blitzing commuters. Another sidewalk rage to combat against. Until open air greets me. Along with my liberating 15 minutes before work. Cheering. Breathing. Grinning.
And it is good morning!
Wait. What the hell am I doing here? I already quit. When? I cannot remember. Why? Do not ask me that either. All I know is — it is time to live!
Back to my wild. My dingy basement. My cheap digital piano keyboard. My fancy red notebook. The old manuscripts stacked up in one corner. The music in my head. Beethoven’s symphonies and piano sonatas. Stories of strangers visiting me. In here. My basement. My mind. My grief.
God must be proud of me today. I have still found myself in here. With the elusive pieces of art that almost murdered me in my sleep. Though I buried everything in my memory. The piano concertos and the symphonies. Except for the insignificant stories lurking away. For they have no purpose. They are innocent. They can survive.
It is the only profound existence in life that wakes me up everyday. I shall nurture it as much as I can. Because the truth is —
I am afraid to die!
I am doing this for you.
I see you. I know you. I feel you.
From at first glance. From afar. From your end corner. Your timid eyes are a wonder. Your mind transcends through a facade. Your respectful distance answers a question.
You move me. You break my heart. You invite me into your sanctuary to awaken my sweet little monsters. The words. The music. To read our deepest desires. To listen to our madness. To see our reality. We care. We love. We live it. Though our enigmatic culture is the only master that keeps us going. With a stirring purpose. With selfless intentions. With humility.
For those who have abandoned their dreams. For those who fear life. For geniuses who are oblivious to their brilliance. For the noble hearts who prefer to be unknown.
My heart is yours forever.
There is nothing to worry. As I would still go on with my everyday concerns and argue with symphonies and piano sonatas playing in my animated silence.
There is neither best nor most in anything. Wonderful and tormenting superlatives are born out of faith and consciousness. How I respond. How it makes me feel. How it drives me to create beauty or fury. It is only ignorance that complicates an essence.
I am sitting in Queen’s park, admiring the young and the old on a merry Wednesday. Bizarre, sweet, surprising, rollicking, and sometimes dramatic behaviors flash before me. Principles. Logic. Humanity. I know. I see myself in each heart. I see my past in each face. I see my worth in each move. Nothing fancy. Just desperate for human connections. Behind the smiles and hidden in laughs are loneliness and suppressed pains which would later become a satisfying phenomenon. Behind the closed doors. On keys. On paper. On to a computer screen. I’m alive. I believe in living.
Who is she?
There she is. Sitting in her squalid, tiny room. Smoking away. In devilishly deep thoughts. Her eyes speak of a death wish. Her body looks lifeless except when she puffs her cigarettes. Her dire mind is desperate to kiss the moon. She examines objects as if they belong to her soul. She communicates well with concrete elements. She meets herself in the mirror to validate her existence.
She defines herself by her routines. She sits in classrooms. Contemplates. Eats. Drinks her coffee. Smokes. Walks. Walks. Walks some more. Walks on with an urgency to survive. Keeps walking. Nothing to respond to. Nothing to learn. Nothing to apologize for. Stillness amidst the movements spinning from all corners. The breath of exhaustion amidst lazy nights and days. The playing cards full of jokers in a deck.
The chaotic city that stuns with beauty. The streets of the young and the old. The sounds that pound through her chest. She is wide awake. Her logic beats. Her clock ticks on. She still longs to relieve her guilt. She moves. She gazes. Her awareness is sublime.
And there. She walks. And walks. She walks on. With an urgency to survive. To nowhere. Eyes wide open. Without sacrifices. She knows. She is not a fool. She is always awake.
One cannot be a master. One can only influence. The cycle continues. It is passed on to the welcoming few. What would have been a hopeful beginning had become a tragic ending instead. Such profound lesson would never be learned. At all.
I am no longer an administrative assistant at Sonata Academy. I am free from human contact. I am ready to face my worth. I can either become a hermit or somebody’s secret.
I repeat. I am officially free from human contact. I need my sanity back. Good mojo. I am, in fact, doing well so far. Thank you very much. I know where I’m going. I know what to do. I know what matters most to my heart.
I am clueless. Utterly. I am sitting here, scribbling away some insignificant words, hoping to convey a coherent thought. Though my mind is aware of one thing: whatever it is I worry about — is there for a wonderful reason. The clueless journey excites my life! And they have come! I am ready!