October 25, 2016

Today, I took out the marbles and sudoku; fresh memories of days spent by myself in a foreign apartment passing time with the same activities, same time-fillers in different lands.

My friends here have their routines, schedules, work; they toil from morning till night, and go home to unwind and other things done with wifi. I had one friend there.

I try to be good, and I am, cleaning our home, keeping things in places, but words like solitary, companion, company, and their like float around my head and I confess they get to me.

Perhaps it’s just today, a slightly sad day, that I have to sit with, two unhappy acquaintances in the drawing room wishing the other would leave, maybe I’m meant to be lonesome today, and certainly the rest of the week looks better than today does, but oh, if only today was otherwise.

I have memories

October 22, 2016

You, sitting on the shower floor, chatting to me seated on the lidded toilet about Turkey, peace, and wouldn’t I have done the same thing if our positions had been reversed? I would have let you go, I say, and you look surprised.

Of figuring out gas pipes, gas valves, which side is up and which belongs to me and not my neighbours, who incidentally, kept the Christmas presents meant for us for when we returned. Also reading the washing machine manual, dyer manual, sending photos and videos so you could troubleshoot remotely halfway across the world. Like the day the thing flew into the apartment and scared me silly, except, you were closer then.

I bought a bonsai plant today, and some leafy hanging pot because it had two reddish flowers. I don’t know if our sun is enough for the 水美(挴?), but it wanted to come with me so it’ll be positioned in the kitchen tomorrow.

Bike rides, overeating, and singing hymns because reformation is coming soon and that was important.

Maybe seven weeks till you’re home.

In an empty apartment

October 14, 2016

I am sad today, because I do not talk enough, share enough, or initiate enough. I am selfish for not trying. But, I replied, I talk less to my husband than you do to me. What does that say?

It might say you think I talk too much and wish I would go away, you answered.

But I don’t wish you would go away. I am fond of your company, genuinely so. You can talk as much as you wish, but you also wish I talked as much, and are disappointed that I don’t.

I can’t match your capacity for intense conversation at such frequency. Maybe once I could, but the past three years have changed me.

I’m sorry.

I am furious, because when you think I don’t get you, you question my comprehension and understanding. I cannot imagine what you’ll say to my latest reply; for the first time I show you your words in black and white.


Am quiet, because life has been a series of phone calls to no one.


October 9, 2016

1. Three days ago, I snipped lavender off their stalks and placed them in bottles; a bouquet for six. They’re on the coffee table, but I’m afraid inspiration came late; they’ve been faded brown by too many afternoons in the sun. A hundred petal heads scatter across the space beside the microwave, me must clear them this week.

2. I read an article last night, which said choosing partners was for the 2, 000 boring Wednesdays we’d have together, not the fourth day of the honeymoon when both were still giddy and high (@waitbutwhy). It also observed that communication, although essential to relationships as oxygen to health, is not as natural and couples take conscious steps towards strengthening this skill- partaking in couple workshops/therapy, for example.

3. You and your face have only grown more precious over the years.


October 5, 2016

1630 is the time cars build up, grocery shoppers squashing closer, atoms bouncing off the walls more often. I could ricochet too, or go tomorrow. Let’s see how the planets align by the time this battery is charged to thirty percent.

For the first October in six years, the year isn’t ending. The leaves are red and brown, grapes will soon be harvested, but the year isn’t standing to leave. I watch it, wondering why, and what to do.

(I’ll grocery shop tomorrow instead; teabags, meat, vegetables, oil cover thing, letterbox key. This means no tea tomorrow morning, though, since I drank the last bag today. Sigh.)

What if I don’t feel like leftover curry for dinner; or anything at all? If I were home, 水饺面 would do, well. But I am not.

I am stuck between inertia and stomach. Pleb. I wonder which will win. Mmm.

This and that

September 26, 2016

Hi, September has been quiet here, and it is passing. I thought I had news, then I didn’t, or rather it turned a different sort of information, then I had news of different sorts again.

The brother-in-law visited, and we were sad to send him off yesterday. I ought to be vacuuming the apartment, dusting literal cobwebs, but there are corners in my own mind asking for airing first.

I am generally the sort of person who speaks frankly, and prefer frankness in return. Two weekends ago I said I’d choose honesty over happiness, and say it again. I abstractly understand that there are perfectly delightful people who would have happiness over honesty, and while that is rather mind boggling for me, I see carefully choosing another’s happiness at the expense of one’s honesty as a startling expression of love. I still prefer honesty, though-

I acknowledge that submitting another’s happiness above one’s honesty is superior to direct arguments for self. Ideally, both parties are free to speak openly and eloquently without fear of the other backtracking too quickly. I would love to speak fully and hear you speak to the end- a complex situation benefits from both perspectives explored as thoroughly as possible.

But argument is an art, and I’m afraid I sound more like a bull sometimes. And it isn’t too logical to stand ground against a bull. My toreador rarely fights with me. So I lose anyway. Don’t wna lose anymore.

I don’t like what this is going to mean for me, but this twisting in the pit of my gut is familiar by now. I’m going to try, and hopefully it will be worth it.


Syrian refugee and refugee volunteer.

Credit: the atlas of beauty