everywhere i go, i carry a piece of paper with your name on it. it was from a precarious time in the past when everything hung in a balance. a time when things started to become not what they seem. a time when colors had different names. a time when you branded me as a monster, and i saw everything since from a monster's eyes.
this little piece of paper was my ticket to see you in your most vulnerable state. and this, i think, might have been the reason why i kept it all these years: to remind me that you are, after all that has been said and done, human.
because ever since then, so many lines have blurred and so many boundaries have become arbitrary. colors bleed out of every object's outlines. "good" and "bad" became convenient labels to things we want and we do not want to do. life became trapped in the interstices; half in, half out, unable to quite get past a chaos of colors, yet cannot seem to get back into that inane, monochromatic state of simplicity.
at the middle of it all, my memory of you and what you are, have somehow become estranged. phantoms in a blistering smoky twilight. sallow images under streetlights. long-winded conversations trapped in dreams. your eyes, your lips, play mischievous games of hide and seek in other people's faces as they pass me by.
because there is one boundary, one demarcation line that has been clear all along; the boundary between what is yours and what is mine. though one-sided in its acknowledgement, i keep it in mind to always veer away from your side of everything, lest the mere proximity shatter all that i have worked for.
but at times i cheat. i try to trace a step or two into your direction, into your realm. i always have a ready alibi as to why i am there. but the real reason is not really to see you, but to test those acrid waters if they still burn the same way they usually do, if those spots still painfully throb the way they used to.
because after what has happened so many years ago, something broke. and it was never been the same ever since. i hold on to what reminds me of your humanity, your frailty. and doing that, as an extension, mine. i roam these dim streets seeing things like monsters do, communing with tracks and vestiges of shadows from the past still lingering fresh after all these years.
you gave me this little piece of paper, a ticket into a world of monsters. it needs to return to its owner; it has some stirring stories to tell about the sights it has seen.