As vociferous a reader as I’d like to believe myself to be, it’s not often that I stay up all night and devour an entire novel. But I could not help but feel that some divine power was ushering me to this book at this time.
Was he Tomas? And I Tereza? Or Sabina? Or just another body that Tomas had ploughed into, another name not even worth a space on a page? After a few chapters, I became highly cognizant of why I was so entranced by Kundera’s story. Yes, it reminded me of us. But certain components of almost anything reminds me of us at this point.
I was looking for you. I was hoping to find you buried somewhere beneath the printed lines on any given page. You picked up your life in New York and moved across the continent without a word. You left me in more ways than one. Ever since that morning my broken feet walked out your door, I’ve been struggling to let go of someone who never held on in the first place. As you said, “You picked this battle. I didn’t.” Yet here I was, here I am, still lingering on in a war whose battlefields are stained only with my own blood. Fool’s paradise slaughtered.
I tried listening to your attempts in explaining how our relationship was different from the other one. At least Tereza knew the name of the other woman. You didn’t even give me that. You never really had a way with words, so perhaps Kundera was speaking for you through Tomas. Can sex be autonomous of love? Yes. No.
Did I doubt that Tomas loved Tereza? No. Even when he perpetually sailed in the dark sea of infidelity, Tereza was the beacon of light he always returned to. Did I doubt that you loved me? Yes. You didn’t love me.
I despised Tereza for both her weakness and her strength. Part of me pitied her, pinned her as a sad excuse of a woman. A woman lacking the force to exit gravity’s pull; a moon orbiting a planet for eternity. Part of me envied her. She was not deterred by the waves nor the storms. Tomas was not a destination for Tereza; he was the journey. And she stayed.
I couldn’t stay with you. My hands didn’t know how to hold onto a ghost ship. And when the fog subsides, I see that you and Tomas live in a mindset that I could never move to.
You could be a Tomas, but you are not my Tomas. And I am not Tereza.
Do you miss me?
I felt my body sink deeper into your brown leather sofa as you rested your head on my chest. What did you carry in that heavy mind of yours? You were a guarded cargo ship drifting to destinations that my wretched feet could never reach. You already lived in a mindset that I could never move to, but I still watched you from the docks.
Every now and then, the stars would guide you back to me. I kissed your weakened planks where the skies had doused you with their tears, only to watch you dissolve into the horizon again. Your sails steered you evermore further and further, but I still waited right where you had left me.
New York City to San Diego. I never asked you to stay because I knew you had to leave. I was bound to your masts, but chained to the land. My mouth could carve words onto your walls, but no synthesis of them could ever yield the potency to make you lace your anchor through my bones. With each return, your innards creaked more and more with the weight of your hidden cargo. I don’t think you ever did realize how my body ached with yours. In the silent air of your apartment, my heart heaved against my ribcage in desperation to bleed through your barriers.
What kind of girl willingly sends her heart on a suicide mission 2,760 miles away?
My fingers wove through your brunette tresses as sirens blared past the windows. How I wished I could’ve been the gentle waves to carry you ashore. How I wished I could’ve cloaked you in my arms against all the merciless winds piercing you with their daggers. I wished I could’ve been the sea for you.
That was the moment I cherished the most.
As your languid breath waltzed across my skin, I held you for as long as I could even when I could see my feet floating above the abyss. We sat there four stories high, but I knew I might as well be plummeting down from the Moon.
That was the moment I cherished the most—when I felt the blades grazing against the strings.
What kind of girl holds onto a ghost ship?