What do you do when you don’t feel in love anymore? For me, that feels like a suicide note when I can’t write anymore.
Love has been my direction, my definition for eleven years. I have written about the people I loved, the city I still feel immense, nagging affection for and the things that nurture me. And in all of this writing, I discovered the colour, the texture of my love. It’s words. All in words.
Good writing makes me happy. Not pleased, not fulfilled. But all-is-right-with-the-world happy. It’s not just my writing. More often than not, it’s somebody else’s writing. A book, a line in a movie, a stranger’s blogpost or even something written by someone I know. I go through days afterwards, cherishing the existence of those words, much like the way children of a kind cherish a new toy or a woman fingers a pretty ring meditatively. I was that kind of child though I have never been that kind of a woman. Words. They slip into my pores, the little holes in my skin. Sometimes, they settle into the cracks of my being and make my insides feel whole again.
And it’s not always happy stories and pleasant emotions. There are words that trickle or curl into my being, leaving behind little punctures in my soul. They leave burn marks. And they let free the monster inside. That monster is a living being. And after it has gone on a rampage, it turns around and thanks them for giving it breathing freedom. Words.
Of course, words are dangerous. There was never going to be any other way love would be. You would imagine that it is the danger of other people’s words that I fear. But, hardly. I’m charmed and felled by words. But I know by now that words are my downfall. They are also my resurrection. So I have Post-its lining my tidy pinboard and a line of tweets down my Favorites. I collect words and put them away in the first-aid kit of my mind. Here is a friend saying “Potatoes will potato, Ramya.” and there’s the exuberance of another tweeting “Step 2 done! Life, come, come!”
No, I don’t fear what I don’t know. I do know words. I know them with the intimacy of someone who has been married to them and made every kind of love — wild, passionate love and the mundane, comforting sort — to them. I know the tricks words can turn. I know the mirages that can be conjured up in the heat of my imagination. I run double matinee shows for myself every day. I fear that this is everything. The tricks and the trickster.
Moonshine. What a lovely word. It means pretty untruths. It means the dim, surreal light that brings up things that you don’t comprehend in regular daylight. It means this could be true or this may not be. But it exists because you thought of it, anyway. I’m a master of moonshine.
It’s time to come out of the shadows and face the harsh, ugliness of sunlight. Confusion has begun to feel comfortable. But it’s not pretty without the moonshine. Love endings never are pretty. So what do I do from now on?
Allow myself the last weakness, a final dalliance with words. What do you do when you don’t feel in love anymore? Write your suicide pact in the form of a love letter.