You told me to fuck off, so I came here.
Two weeks ago I flipped a coin. Today it came out heads.
Maybe this is the hard part.
My hair is falling. Pulling the strands and coiling them around my finger in the shower, I think that if I wash my hair long enough this afternoon I won’t have any left.
By the fifth seven minute, I’ve had enough. There’s only so many times I can go up against anyone and lose in a day.
Tonight I carve a six into my thigh and hope it won’t happen again on a paper handed to me.
You’re lonely in the hills, you say. That when people from the lowlands call, you cry and cry and can’t stop.
There’s an emptiness in the chat that means you expect me to say something.
You cry all the time, you type.
So I ask, “from the loneliness?”
I always knew studying in the best law school in the country would be hard, I always knew I would cut everyday. I had the luxury of knowing this, it is a privilege.
If lawyers could sit in the hills like scientists, I wouldn’t cry at night.
I cry for wanting to be lonely.
Today you said we can’t help each other anymore, that there is no point of us.
Today, I say there will be one tomorrow.
You tell me to fuck off.
Ritwik was bronzed in the afternoon light, before the tube lights blinked on and pulled a blue evening behind the windows.
If I had my pastels I would draw him, who I would never be.
They forgot me again.
I retreat into my cave in these hills and forget that I actually do exist. Here in these walls my body is yet another thing that I’ve invented for myself, that my conversations with those who’ll have one are just simulations inside my head.
You can never know, with the constant clanging.
I cannot be sure of any merit I have because I alone didn’t have to prove it to be here, I cannot think of anything else but the walls of the academic block screaming at me, that I don’t deserve this, that I shouldn’t breathe unless I earn it, that I should not speak until I am allowed by those better than me.
I do not know what I am doing here, what I am working towards, why I walk into this class of the country’s sixty smartest of my age and still want to try, even if I finally don’t. (
Its that my father has already paid so much-)
I cannot speak.
After four rounds of lost debates, I forget how.
I muster the courage to ask a question, and suddenly I can think of nothing but fog. Words come in broken spurts.
I fear being one of those we hear about, those pitiful names who leave this place because it was simply too hard. I hate them, and I grow sick to think that I might be one of them.
My father says its only been a month, that I don’t have to do well – just pass. That they have my back and they’ll support me – but my mother’s eyes are more tired with each time she video calls, and I see bruises behind a pixilated screen.
“Don’t come back,” she says, “there’s nothing left here.”
(I want to leave, everything.)
I study and read and work, yet the class has answers that I do not, I don’t think what we need to. I cannot understand the words, I cannot recognise the sounds.
LnD took me this year, but they won’t next year.
I wonder if they’ve figured out I am excellent at pretending to be better than I am. They’re some of the very smartest here, among the smartest. Surely, they have.
Each time I’ve spoken in committee, I was proved wrong.
I like to think it’s not that I’m not trying.
Its just something I can’t convince myself of.
LnD sent two teams and both won the debate tournament. Grabbed best, speaker too.
I am scared that if I start to get real, I’ll find out that I am not.
(Annyeong, he said last October, and soon it will be October again.
All he has left is his voice to drown out mine and his long lidded eyes on sheets of drawing paper.)