Now I sit, absorbing the serrated edges of the Jazz orchestra's syncopated rhythms rising to a crescendo while I look back over my journal, letting go of the present by looking to the past. I was so much older then, so fixed in my assumptions that this was how a grown up should behave, forever playing the role to a shifting audience. Thank God I escaped that trap, that charade. I can see now that I had been stuck, cradling the hummingbird in the cage of my soul, placating its ruffled feathers for fear of being discovered. I had been afraid of being different, afraid of the judgements others would mete out if they saw my true feelings, heard my true voice, my likes my dislikes. I had felt too small and vulnerable under the gaze of my peers. It was more important to fit the mould that they could be comfortable with. No longer, thank the Lord, what you gain with age is indeed wisdom (if of course you choose to listen to it). I am more free now than I ever was as an invincible young adult with the world at my feet. Hah, how was it that my twenties gave birth to such arrogance! I would not dream of being young again if spooning myself back into someone else's mould was the price to pay. But things were different then. We had met at one of those unplanned flat parties that seemed to
happen spontaneously, everyone arriving from the cool night air as if by osmosis and then being caught by the one way membrane of alcohol and music. I saw his smile appear in my memory first, like that of the Cheshire Cat, the rest of his face, his body swimming into focus after. He was holding out a shot glass to me. "What is it?" I asked, by way of introduction, not really caring
about anything more than having caught his attention. "A little kiss of citrus for your tongue." He put the glass to my lips and salt mingled with fumes on my palate. As the fire spread he planted that first bitter lime kiss on me and all I wanted was to be swallowed by those flames. Bang. The journal falls from my knees to the floor and I lose my grip on the past. My previous life fades to memory and I jolt back to the present.
The copyright of this post belongs to Holly Khan