If you are sleeping, I’d like you to wake up with a start. If you are walking, to trip over a completely flat surface. If you are chewing, to choke on the sweetest mouthful that goes down the wrong way. If you are feeling hot, to find yourself breaking out in a cold sweat. If you are on the verge of making a decision, to doubt it. If you feel truly happy, to call into question how long it is going to last.
I would like you to feel my presence even though you cannot see me. When you feel cold – to feel sudden warmth brushing against your skin, reminding you of me. When you snuggle up under the covers – to feel badly in need of an extra blanket because your shivering skin reminds you of me. To feel the air swirl around you like my sigh, its smell reminding you of my breath.
If, by any chance, you ever read this, although it was written in consonants that are unfamiliar to you and dubious vowels – I want you to feel that I had you on my mind. If all that I have written reaches your senses, I wish you’d realise it refers to you despite Google translate failing to translate it properly. After all this, I wish every memory of me would hurt like a burn. Not because of the pain, but because it does not cease to exist even when the pain is gone.
So that I can finally be to you what you are to me.
A tear to measure the pain of future tears. A disappointment by which to measure the extent of future ones. A lesson because of which all future lessons are learned more easily. Love because of which all future loves are written with a capital letter. Passion because of which every one that follows it knows it is going to be bigger.
Although these words uttered by speech organs may sound bitter to someone’s ears, it’s been long since it became absolutely clear to me that I only feel gratitude to you. Isn’t it flattering that I compare every feeling of elation that ensues with you? Aren’t you glad you are the worst rock bottom I have ever hit and used later as a foundation? Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that after all those years you are the climax of my cooling-off point, which feeds my fire and takes me higher when someone lights my fire? Doesn’t it make you feel important to learn that because of all those years when I only received crumbs from your table, today I feel, with any soul by my side, every bite of food is like a feast to me? Aren’t you happy to learn that you are the very opposite of all I want for myself? Aren’t you happy to learn that you still live inside me solely as a memory that serves only one purpose, to be used as a yardstick to decide if a thought is worth remembering?
On this quite ordinary day, I find out in an out of the ordinary way that losing a sense of security with you was just a way of gaining new self-confidence. That all those suitcases of mine that seemed to be empty for lack of your love were actually full of love for myself. That all those mundane dreams that we shared were just a spring-board towards the universe so that I could have some worthier dreams from the depths of my soul.
You are not my insomnia, but a memory that brings peaceful sleep today. You are not a mouthful of food I chocked on, but the one that makes me appreciate every new one gulped with gusto. You are not a stone I tripped on, but the one that made me realise how beautiful it is to walk along an open road. You are not my insecurity, but the reason why I gained more confidence in myself. You are not my misfortune from the past any more that makes me doubt a better future, but a special kind of good fortune that makes me search for those who possess value and do not promise continuity.
I want you, after all these years, to be absolutely certain that in my own special way I wish nothing but the best for you. If all those words from the beginning seem more like a curse to you than a blessing, you should know you are still right. As always. Because, when I put a curse on someone, even if that person is a foe, I do it with so much love that my curses turn out to be better than wishes they may wish for themselves.
Translated from the Serbian by Svetlana Milivojević-Petrović
This post is also available in: Serbian