There’s a fog in my brain.
A cloud like fog that digs into every crevice of my mind. It’s light and fuzzy yet also heavy with humidity. Its claws latch themselves into my shoulders like a stubborn, thorny evergrowing frostbite. The chilly mist is imprisoned in me, carelessly shoving itself down my throat, waning and waxing in an irregular and unpredictable pattern. It’s a suffocating weight I carry everyday along with chains that have steadily materialized during a period of mindless wandering.
Then take a right.
Beyond the haze that pollutes my mind, there’s a small bottomless corner filled with warmth. Sometimes, a visit to that very corner scorches my conscience, yet it also clears the indifferent fog that wraps around it.
Now a box.
In the corner is a child’s treasure box filled with the most glorified ordinary things. In that box is a fortress of savory, uncooked instant ramen protecting rows of shelves filled with worn out pages of inked fantasies. Tied to the fortress are the countless identical memories of curling up with my grandma on the cold marble tiles of her kitchen. In those memories, I’m holding a clumsily torn packet of instant ramen noodles, the uncooked strands littering the no longer spotless floor. My eyes were always wide with wonder as my grandma told stories of her childhood in Vietnam, set in dusty villages bordered with a river that mirrored the seasons, all while the delicacy I treasured never left my hand.
The meaning behind the ramen has now become bittersweet, as rather than an enticing story that traces every bite, there are now soggy tear stained ones, yet the crispy and salty flavor never fades without the slightest bit of fondness.
Now there’s the library…
…underneath the threadbare and overplayed memories of late ramen nights with my grandma. The shelves of books lining the fortress were not only were they an invitation to another world separate from reality, but a dream for my younger self. The printed words that my eyes collected fueled a passion for writing and the dream of becoming an author. Below is one of my first poems that I wrote on a website for writing where my work would be shared with others. I still remember how my heart had pushed against my rib cage in anticipation as I pressed “publish”. It threw itself against my rib as I got my first view, then my first like.
The feeling of having a goal and a desire for the future is irreplaceable.The faint traces of these feelings have given me my own unfinished set of wings that hover me above bony skyward hands, gesturing with a childlike desperation.
Below the library is the sea of eyes in my brain.
Among those hands are piercing stoic pupils colored in expectations. No matter the state of the fog, the eyes are consistent in their robotic gaze, unblinking and waiting. Only then would the wings falter and lose its rhythmic beating.
Despite the messy and uncalculated process of breaking my own shackles, I still cling onto that flickering desire that is constantly under the threat of being extinguished. Everyday, the sunlit memories of my childhood resurface along with a hope of a wavering and indefinite promise for a better tomorrow.