Fragrant Harbours

3 minute read   ·   19/ Tutorials for Breathing
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You wake up in the morning, lips bleeding, blood on the pillow with memories of a broken goodbye. “Just get in,” she says as she tells the driver where to go. You’re a visitor in a foreign land where your only commonality with her is a newfound sense of empathy—something that’s fully unimportant to the taxi man. He drives. She walks away.

You wake up in the morning and remember the look on her face as you asked her to kiss you, and she did, and it was the kind of thing you thought was going to change your days but instead it began a descent into the night found only in rockstar memoirs. Because perfection falls flat in the face of truth because your secrets don’t allow you to be who you are. But you exist anyway.

You wake up in the morning, and she’s next to you, but that’s an alternate reality where she loved herself. In this world, she’s created a meridian of defenses between her and the tangible because that’s how she’s learned to control rainfall—and the machinations of such stay propelled by her fears of disappointment. And then it rains.

You wake up in the morning, the blistering sun lining the white sheets of a hotel room bed that provides you a temporary harbour in the metaphorical rain. Outside, the cars remind you of your Matchbox collection—miniature toys representative of mechanical idols.  There was a time when you couldn’t leave home without them. Now, they idle in an attic waiting to be cared for in their old age by their former lover. But you’ll never go home again.

You wake up in the morning because you have to, because no fantasy destroyed by the blacklight beauty and her modifying vowels could keep you from waking up in the morning. You exist to find the functionality of a truth, possibly your own, even if half-truths tempt you to fly away. Your existence is defined by your inability to control the skies—a fact she imparted upon you as the sun rose.  Yet you refused to accept it.

You now go to bed knowing a new truth, that your freedom exists in a predetermined vacuum shaped by those around you—how you maneuver within is the resulting illusion. Though you can’t stop wars, you can help enemies discover common ground. Though you can’t control time, you can help friends better appreciate their finite days. Though you can’t make her love you, you can guide her to love herself.  And this she will always remember.

You wake up in the morning, and your story finally becomes yours. Because on this side of paradise, her life runs imperfectly parallel to yours, stretching to oceans in time.  On this side of paradise, mountains move while you sleep and children grow into their parents.  On this side of paradise, the fiction that once gave you solace has ceased to exist and, in turn, a sense of function has given you your freedom.

Rain no longer matters.