Turn The Night To Day

Me, celebrating my best friend’s birthday. We call each other soulmates. Our girlfriends are all here. I am wearing a simple necklace and my favorite lipstick. Earlier in the night, after I showered, I looked at myself in the mirror. As always, I found something I hate about my body.

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In The Morning

Me, sitting on the balcony listening to the murmur of the cars rolling by one by one on the cobblestones below. The morning mist made way to a clear afternoon sky and the cat is sleeping on my toes. I can feel its body heat. Each of its slow breaths. My heart broke first. Then my world collapsed piece by piece, starting on the day we lost our daughter.

Drawing by Halim Madi.

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A New Year

Me, on January 1st, still in my suit. I saw my wife last night and remembered the day she smiled at me. Two weeks ago. When she handed me the divorce papers.

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Me, with my Chinese postcards. I look excited. I just woke up and opened the acceptance letter from Harvard. My parents promised to pay for the tuition with a second mortgage on their house. I haven’t told them yet that I am pregnant.

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En Route

Me, at the airport shortly before my flight to New York. Backpack packed. Thumbs up. Ready to go. My father told me he wished I’d never come back.

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A New Day

Me, watching the sun rise behind the trees.
A cup of tea and my woolen sweater are giving me warmth.

I think about when we first met.
You sang me sweet songs of love.

But not the sweetest song could ever
describe the feelings that I hold for you since.

The things I remember.

There was that one time, you softly touched my feet with yours,
and my whole body still feels the current
flowing through you and me.

Here I am. Again humming these sweet songs of love.

And I wonder what we might have become.

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Every Day

Me, on a normal Wednesday evening. I am wearing the earrings my mom gave me last Christmas. After getting home from work, I browsed Facebook to see what’s up with my friends. I almost forgot it is my niece’s birthday - the pictures from her party look wonderful with all the family there. Dinner should get here soon and I will probably watch some TV to relax. I have been off my medications for three weeks now. I struggle every single day.

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Me, with my lover on a sunny afternoon. She is amazing. I feel amazing. We just came back from the lake in the valley where we swam and played. Where I felt her warm skin on mine and her breath when we whispered sweet things into each other’s ear.

We talked about me moving in.

She and her husband have a farm together with one of her husband’s lovers. I am excited that they invited me to join their lives.

There is no way around it now. Tomorrow I will try to explain everything to my parents.

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Me, feeling strong. Feeling energized. Feeling like the day was worth living for. I sweat and have a deep rumbling smile. We got our skateboards out and rode all afternoon. I am thinking back to when I was a teenager and it was OK to play and fool around. When it was OK to simply be. Sometimes I wonder why we let our inner children die.

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Me, checking my makeup one last time before I go on stage. I am wearing one of my old costumes. The one with the copper headdress. Time stands still while I look at myself in the mirror. If my father could see me now he would weep in joy. A strong woman. A woman without fear. Nobody knows how long it took me to forget the pains of my childhood. Nobody knows they still haunt me at night.

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