by The Dreamer
All my life, the word “absentminded” has stuck with me, lingering around me like a scent I can’t remove despite rubbing my skin red and raw. It comes in many forms – “blur”, “forgetful”, “careless”, “distracted”, “lost”,”air-head”. When you’re young, this disposition is cute. Mommy, have you seen my glasses? ((“They’re perched on your nose, honey.”)) Where did I put Mr. Snuggles? Where are my keys? Why did I call you again?
But then that little girl grew up, and now that scent is a stench. Absentminded is a ghost, haunting her incessantly.
Absentminded – I used to think it wasn’t a bad thing. My mind was absent because it was always elsewhere. This elsewhere I have glorified in my past few posts, the elsewhere I have always desired to be. The elsewhere that brings me to ruins. My carelessness does not just show in the red marks on my Mathematics scripts anymore, it’s appears in metaphorical and literal scars and cuts and bruises from the mistakes I make in real life. Crimson, bleeding and painful.
Today, I got berated so badly by my family that tears were threatening to spill and in my last indignant attempt to show defiance, I set my jaw and gnashed my teeth together so hard my ears ringed. My parents are practical people – accountants. My sister eats and breathes Science and Mathematics – logical facts and figures that seem like a foreign language to me. And then there is me – falling asleep to the caress of pages on my cheek, the bind of the book hanging from my fingertips, the whisper of its words still echoing in my head as they materialise in the form of dreams. Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming. I’m always dreaming. I’m always thinking of elsewhere. Elsewhere, elsewhere, elsewhere. I wake up and I fill myself up with Literature and History and now I suddenly feel like they’re the most useless subjects to study in – will they help me navigate through life? I learn about the affairs of Daisy and Gatsby, and I breathe Hester’s words on my lips, but so what? I’m still this absentminded girl who cannot place a finger on how to even count her bills right, who stutters when the Starbucks barista asks her “and what size would you like?” and who gets flustered by simple daily tasks. So what if I can memorise my favourite Eleanor and Park chapter and have it roll over the tip of my tongue when asked? So what if I can remember the opening riffs of all the Carpenter’s songs? I can’t even settle my tuition fees correctly and ended up getting taken advantage of.
I’m so frustrated at myself. I’m pathetic. I’m dumb. I’m useless. I’m not fit to live in a realistic setting, but we all have to. How long can I have my head in the clouds before the oxygen in my lungs run out and I turn blue in the face and I deflate back down?
If anything, the picture above kind of depicts how I’m feeling right now. The interior of my mind is the stars, the moon, the planets that I always daydream about, and the broken window is reality throwing rocks into my peaceful, uninterrupted state of mind and rudely screaming at me “hey! wake up!”
It’s time to wash the doodles off the back of my palms, it’s time to stop swirling the name of my crushes in my diary and in my mind, and put my head back where it should be.