Seattle was mostly fun. Just as I’d remembered it, but reality has now weaved itself into my saccharine-sweet memories of the city. So many homeless folks, everywhere and anywhere that I ventured around the city whether touristy areas or local hangouts. Heartbreaking. Then there’s the weather. By the third day, I secretly wished, almost desperate, for the sun to make an appearance. For all my rainy-day loving self, I discovered that I’m in fact not made of gray and cloudy days.
I have photos, plenty, which I’ll sift through and do intend to share some here eventually. But one thing’s for sure, I’m not interested to attempt to wax poetic about traveling and how it cleanses the soul and whatnot. I know that’s true, I’ve experienced it plenty times myself, but right now I’m tired of taking anything seriously. I don’t understand why the people in my real life seem to believe that I’m incapable of being less serious about myself and things in general. As if I wade through life talking and citing deep shit 24/7, holding conversations with only those who I deem intellectuals.
Unless… am I the one in the wrong? Did I build some of kind persona that it makes me seem and sound like someone who can’t take a joke or discuss lighthearted topics? Sometimes I want to prod them, jab them on the shoulder and say hey, look at my nonsensical tweets for instance. Hey, look at me – do I look like a smarty sass to you? Someone who walks through life spurting quotes and poetry as my dialogue? Do I look like I’m Einstein or something?
My head hurts.
For the first three days, I was bombarded with endless questions, discussions, and thoughts about religious topics and national issues related to Malaysia. In the bus; while on foot; over breakfast, lunch, and dinner; in the art museums we visited and all the way until just before bedtime. I love my friend, I do, and I appreciate her letting me crash at her place for four consecutive nights, plus her bringing me around to wherever I fancied. I love her, but by the third night I was holding back tears of frustration and suffocation. I don’t have the answers she’s trying to needle out of me and even if I did, sometimes her preconceived judgments and thoughts are already so established that she refuses to part with them anyway.
It’s funny, I spent a large portion of fall quarter keeping to myself, exhausted by company and clamped up from constantly feeling alone together, that I figured it’s a great chance to spend a few days with an old buddy. A familiar company without the need to put on any personas, save face or behave certain ways. No need for pretense, you know what I mean? After the first 48 hours though, I wanted my solitude back. I desperately wanted it back, even though she treated me with nothing but kindness. Maybe it came down to that she was regurgitating so much, non-stop, when all I wanted was – for a moment, just a moment – a few minutes of silence.
I was so desperate and felt so suffocated that I texted Third Sis, who’s all the way across the other side of the world, to whine. I don’t usually text her personally one-on-one but I legitimately felt like I was going insane. My friend was asking me all sorts of questions about my family, my self, my religious belief, the history of my religion, Malaysia’s national issues and politics that by the third day, it took so much out of me to not mindlessly snap, “Do you think I’m God?! I don’t know!”
And it frustrates me, because this isn’t the first time. I appreciate meaningful conversations, yes I do and sure I’ve said that out loud, but I don’t understand why I’m often perceived as someone who can and will only digest deep shit. Deeper conversations, they say. Depth. I… don’t understand. I wonder if I ought to feel flattered and thankful; does it make me sound ungrateful and obnoxious for reacting this way? Did my friend have and held on to an established notion of who she thinks and remembers me as, thinking it’s still the same person that’s staring back at her in December 2014? I wish she listened properly when I told her I don’t know where that girl is anymore. I’ve lost touch with her and while I seem to be doing okay now, my lack of anything only emphasizes my limitations as a person, a budding environmental engineer, a young Malaysian, and a Muslim woman.
Now I’m back in my space with radio silence and solitude, two days of doing exactly what I want and speaking to absolutely no one except splatter of social media conversations, and my head… hurts. It still hurts.
I can’t fucking win.