The following post is a follow up on the last piece, American Dream. It is in the form of a letter. I hope you enjoy reading it! Thank you 🙂
My Dearest Mother,
I miss your calling terribly hard. You used to call me “My Dreamer” and gently stroke your hand through my hair. I remember shrugging away with a smug look like a naïve novice, who is yet to receive a visit from reality, and click my tongue and roll my eyes. “Dreamer” didn’t hold any meaning: it was more a curse to me. The fear of just being only a dreamer still sleeps within me like a deeply-rooted illness of the mind. It wakes me up frequently during the nights. Jolts me out of the layers of fabricated comfort. Even so, when you used to call me your ‘dreamer’, it sounded sweet like grandmother’s winter treats. But now that I stand amidst the blackness of my future, it no longer is. My very own dreams are now the metal claws around my neck, stealing every breath I take. I bury myself in the ashes of my dreams every night, hoping that you will come and save me. Come and save your dreamer.
I can no longer keep up with this city. I feel old. In fact, you may not even recognize me! My skin has become like paper, similar to the old factory worker you used to talk about. Dirt and dust from this city’s restless ambiance have embedded itself between my nails and my eyes have sunken in, like your cakes when you forget to add baking powder in them. I have shaved my head because the thought of having shoulder-length hair no longer excites me. The cracks in my skin mock me, resembling the different paths I perhaps could’ve taken in life.
I can no longer keep up with this city. Its energy. Its jarring rhythm. Its ugly betrayal. My Father would be happy to know that I no longer dream. And that I want to come back home.
Sometimes, I go for walks by myself around this city during the nights. It’s a different sort of beauty. But it makes me laugh because it’s as though the sins of this city seep through amidst the neon lights and you see your dreams scattered here and there: scrunched up in between dollars; spray-painted across the walls; abandoned in packs of cigarettes on the sidewalks. You hear the police raids (sometimes with the rain) and the prostitutes, and the deaths of many young hopes and I eventually return to my small apartment, which I still have not called home. It’s funny.
I was cleaning my apartment a few days ago and found a photograph of myself from my first time in this city. I have lost a lot of weight and the sweater that I was wearing, which you had made for me, no longer fits.
I miss your calling, Mother.