Wor(l)dly worries

Tomorrow morning I'll slip out of my apartment and out of this city,

get on a plane, unpack my things, untangle my mind and continue my life somewhere else.

Every little mundane landmark that I have conquered will be left behind and

I will no longer be there to recognize the way their unimportance holds the world in place.


Tomorrow I will be one of those people who once passed through,

through a city in which everybody is transient, a sort of collective pile of lost & found.

I’ll be “Yeah, I think I remember her, she was kinda cool- just here for a while though”.

This will not be my city, and I won’t be living in Brussels anymore.


A few months in, I tried the Brussels-is-a-dress-that-looks-good-on-me metaphor on for size.

It was comfortable, like the colourful, flared pants I can't stop buying at thrift shops.

Generous and surprising, much like Brussels, they leave enough space for my personality. 


I am scared that the parts of me which were made here might be lost with the city.

That I am too fluid to retain any real structure and that after learning for the first time to put down roots,

my limbs won’t know what to do with themselves.

I am scared that the person I have become here will be all wrong there.

That I’ve carved myself around this city with all its imperfections, quirks and undeniable if difficult charm,

and that these concessions will be too revealing for somewhere else.


Why does this disturb me so much?


The stories we tell become who we are,

and I've been calling myself rootless for as long as I can remember.

Cities, jobs and lives were blissfully interchangeable and I was always on the verge of something wonderful.

Living in units of time allows you to stay permanently detached.

Compartmentalizing life prevents you from being held back by the messiness of reality.


Perhaps I once reached for a word to describe an emotion and grabbed the wrong one.

Clinging to it for dear life, using it as a life-vest and not noticing it's full of holes.

And if I have to choose a new one,

what would it be?



Not all places need light

There are things that you live out in the open
it happened, because everyone was there to see it.
it was real, because you did not have to lie about being somewhere else.
You were both there, and noone was pretending.
The world was a helium balloon in your hand that nobody could snatch away.
There are moments that you live in solitude.
Perhaps because you know that if shared, they would become something different.
Perhaps because their existence depends on this.
Does it take away from their significance, blur their value?
Or does it add to the burden of being, pushing our life closer to the earth,
- closer to the truth, as Kundera might have suggested?
Just to be sure, I go back and repeat the words, rethink the thoughts,
Replay from Start until Game Over.
You play- you win, you play- you lose; you play.
Was I really playing, and who was the winner?
And if I don't write this, did it ever really happen at all?
Between the idea
and the reality
Between the motion 
and the act
Falls the shadow.

They are the hunters, we are the foxes.

Did you ever notice that armour is just amour with an extra R?
False friends or binary opposites?
Was Derrida right to say that the meaning of one word exists only in contrast with its opposite?
Can love exist only when we stop protecting ourselves from being hurt? 
Any given moment is a chance not to shut down.
But any given moment is easily squandered.
A second where you should have hesitated before opting for the easy way out.
Phantom feelings are not like phantom limbs.
Once cut off they don't come back to haunt you. 
They're just gone.
I was waging war on windmills.
Repeating loudly "Pick it up, put it down! a little light reading; a bedtime story!?"
Angrily formulating my defenses as I sank deeper into the quicksand of the misled.
Falling back on past emotions is not a crime, but a disgraceful part of being human.

And trusting the present is perhaps the most jarringly human risk we can take.




It could be one of those pre-fabricated sentiments,
focus group-tested, good on paper, Freudian naïvité - that sort of thing.
A kitschy cry in the dark.
It could be shame; simple and irreproachable guilt.
Does this define me? What does that make me?
it wouldn't be the first time.
Oh, and it could be boredom,
foolish fantasies, fictitious flirtation and fear of..
Fear- isn't it always fear?
But what if it's nothing short of a poem?
Entire of itself.

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