Visual Anatomy: The Human Condition


Brunei Blogger May Cho of The Mayden | Projector Photography, Tumblr, Neon Sign
Visual Anatomy is a bird's eye view of my inner workings, a pixelated spilling of my guts and thoughts spread out into a trilogy. Find out more here.

I sometimes think that if my heart is sliced open, instead of veins and arteries, there'd be words instead. A blood-pumping organ the core of one's anatomy, catalyst for downfalls and reason for joy -- all this in one made out of words. How insufferably poetic.

"How was your day?"

A treacherous night was upon the world this evening and I was a capsule of energy crouched in a corner witnessing it. Book shelf draped in sentimentality mounted above my head, a phone call in my ear.

I had a nightmare where you were being tortured and I couldn't do anything and I woke up crying. I went back to sleep two hours later after convincing myself that you were perfectly fine. I woke up late with a bloated face and bloated stomach and I didn't have breakfast. I read a book about the bane of humanity and the devastation of feelings and it moved me to tears so I re-read it and re-read it and re-read it and re-read it. And then I fed the cat and cuddled the cat and watched a movie about freedom. And then I tried to workout but got too lazy and ended up napping on the floor instead. I woke up and had dinner and took a bath and did random stuff and now I'm here. It was an odd day, a lazy day, but mostly odd. I miss you.

"It was alright." Understated -- the only way I know how.

Brunei Blogger May Cho of The Mayden | Projector Photography, Tumblr, Neon Sign
I can feel it bubbling under my tongue -- the things I want to say and the things I want to share, but at hours like this, I cannot seem to articulate. This was a tango we've danced way too many times, but my steps slipped and stumbled, my joints were rigid and my fingers were frozen. Pathetic.

"Is that it?" Dotted-crochet, dotted-crochet, step.

"Mhmm." Glissandi of the fiddle.

"C'mon, tell me what you did today," red rose, bright light, bow tie, "What you had for breakfast, what you did in the afternoon, what you had for dinner."

"Nothing. Read. I forgot." Words stuck in my mouth but I can't spit it out.

"May," two steps, slide, look me in the eye.

"Mhmm," three steps, slide, turn the other side.

"C'mon. Can you at least try?"

"You go. How was your day?"

"I asked you first."

"I answered."

"That wasn't an answer."

"I read. That's an answer. Your turn."

"Okay, fine, but you have to tell me more after I do," he relented before launching into details about his day, our words sitting under a gazebo somewhere in the static that connected us.

I listened mostly, but I also wondered. It has always puzzled me; why I could not share things as easily as he did. He was a score of elegantly charted music, expressions and notations and all, but here I was, a rip in the page, blank notes on paper despite the heart filled with so much to share.

He continued to talk and I continued to listen to his voice over the static, every drawn out vowel breaking it once in a while, every sibilant puncturing it once in a while. I was looking out of my window as he spoke -- my happy place. Myopically counting the stars. The sky seemed so vast as I sat in my tiny room and I felt a tingle as I always do when the realization of existence hits me.

"So that was my day. Te--"

Brunei Blogger May Cho of The Mayden | Projector Photography, Tumblr, Neon Sign
"I can't believe I'm alive," I said. It was the first real sentence I've said all call long.

I could hear his smile through the sound waves. It was a bit annoying, but he said, "Yeah?"

"Yeah. I mean, I'm alive," I repeated. A container of organs connected by veins, blood running through it, life living through it, "Alive, holy crap."

"I know you are."

"Yeah, and the fact that I'm conscious of being alive. That's fucking insane," I said.

"It is, isn't it?"

"Yeah, and I can think. Think."

"Miraculous."

"Why am I even alive?" I asked, "Why are you even alive? Why are we alive?"

"Why do you think so?"

"No fucking idea, but this is insane, holy crap," I said again. I remembered, Paris had just been bombed that morning, "I mean, with all the bad things going on in the world, all the tragedies, all the sadness, what's the point of being alive?"

A routine train of thought. He didn't reply but I barely noticed -- I was busy thinking. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Existence and consciousness and purpose. They all seemed like words native to philosophers, too big and too broad for me to understand. Purpose and good and bad. My mind was stretching to keep all the words inside my head but they were bouncing and scratching and hitting its walls.

So I let it out, "I know a world where everyone is happy and everything is good and everything is perfect is impossible, but I want to make the world a better place. I mean, I'm just a little human being who's got big dreams -- insane dreams, really, but I want the world to just be -- y'know, better. For the people who are suffering. And I know we've been trying for years and years and we're still in this position, and realistically speaking, an idealistic world is impossible --"

Another thought. I stopped.

I continued to think without saying a word. He waited. I was now sitting on the floor, my tendency to move and shift my body when puzzled had taken over. My pillow was strewn on my side, my blanket hanging loosely over the bed. The world was too big for my head. Too big, too wide, too vast. Too complicated.

Think.

"But maybe all the bad things in the world are necessary," I said slowly.

"Yeah?" I barely heard him.

"Yeah. Maybe all the bad things in the world are necessary, because without it, we won't be able to know what good things are, right?" I said. I wasn't sure whether I was talking to myself or to him, "It's like needing to feel sad to know what being happy is."

The static engulfed both of our silent voices. We sat there for long minutes. I could hear his breathing through the phone, exhales that filled my ear in irregular intervals. I was thinking, wondering, feeling my chest swell. I wanted to cut it up and let all the thoughts pour out. Maybe if I did, it'd come out in waves and oceans and it could break the dam keeping all the words inside, and maybe if I didn't, it'd just burn into ashes.

Why do I do that? Feel but not speak? Quiet thoughts and effervescence.

"I had an okay day," I began.


With the publication of this post, the Visual Anatomy trilogy concludes. 

This, I can say, is one of the more satisfying series of posts I've put out in a while. The posts are far from conventional and more personal than the orthodox which was why I was so afraid of putting them up but I'm glad I did and I hope you've enjoyed reading them.

This is also my last post for the year of 2016, so I'll be seeing you in the face of the new year. Till' next time,

WITH LOVE, MAY X
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