“You have to protect yourself,” I argued. “I’ve seen too many people scarred beyond repair from what you call love and I don’t want to be like them.”
“If you keep doing that, you’ll never truly open yourself up to anybody,” he warned.
“It’s helped me survive all these years,” I said. We argued well into the morning light, both of us drunk and exhausted. In the end, we agreed to disagree, or at least I did. He predicted I would soon see that he was right.
I walked home and met a nice black kitten. He was playing with a twig in front of my house and didn’t mind much when I came close to touch him. We exchanged a few meows and purrs and after saying goodbye fifty million times, I opened the gate and went inside. It was such a breath of fresh air – a street cat who isn’t afraid of humans. I would’ve said he was being avant-garde but if I were to be honest to myself and to my new friend, I knew he was just being naïve.
Two days later, he was dead. I saw his guts splattered on the concrete and he had a strange expression on his face. I wanted to take a picture to show my friends so that they could confirm what I was seeing – the dead avant-garde kitty was smiling. What was he smiling about? A bigger black cat walked towards us. I assumed she was the mother and so I got up and let the woman grieve. As I walked away, she sprung up in defense and I could hear her anger through her fangs. She was older and in cat sense, wiser not to trust humans. People will kill you, if you let them, she seemed to say.
People will kill you, if you let them. I’m not talking about getting run over or shot. I’m talking about a harsher death. They can make you feel worthless and ugly, they can crush your spirit if you let them. I should know for I’ve made that mistake too many times. For weeks, I’ve been spiraling into an inferno of self-pity. There’s a voice in my head that tells me to stop and cling to whatever I have left. I’ve got a good job, a stable family, fantastic friends. Why do I need anybody to validate me? Why should the actions of one person define me? My logic tells me to be big and brave like the mother cat. It’s a big old world filled with assholes and those naïve enough to believe in love and its fragrant promises usually find themselves squashed on the pavement with their pink parts exposed to the world.
There’s another voice though and I hardly recognize it as my own. It must be from when I was younger. The kitty was smiling. He was on to something. You’ll never know love if you don’t try. Not everyone will hurt you. Not everyone who does, means to. If you give up now, how will you ever find it?
Question is: do I lick my wounds and become calloused or die with a smile on my face?
I don’t really know what the future has in store for me. Truth is, I’m terrified of the thought of meeting new people, going on dates again and opening doors that I quite recently forced shut. As I got home last night from what felt like such a long day, I glanced at the sky and saw something I hadn’t seen before in my twenty-five years of existence. I was beginning to think they weren’t really real but last night, it shone in its brief teal glory. They say you have to wish when you see a falling star. I closed my eyes and through clenched teeth, I wished to fall in love again.
♫: David Gray | This Year's Love (1999)
Photo: Yohan | cat / sky
Post: This Year's Love
Re-imaginings. It’s been weeks since I wrote anything fresh. I was in the middle of this series* but I suddenly found myself straddling the line between reality and fiction. I have so much hatred for the third person in the story that I just couldn’t find the empathy to pen his version. Instead of going on hiatus yet again, I thought I’d come out with some reworked blog posts from before Citybuoy. This one is from three years ago*.