you had curly hair. i liked it. they reminded me of my grandmother, except, hers was an ivory white. you said, shyly. i’m from Turkey. you were crinkling your toes in your shoes, digging your hands into your pockets. i smiled, and knew, what it felt like to be out of place, to be in between. in between 2 continents, in between 2 cultures, in between 2 people, in between 2 minds, in between 2 souls.
you wore a short, red dress. you spoke loudly, laughed freely. you shook my hand, i felt your sweaty palms. i stared into your eyes as i said ‘hi’, noticing your mascara that was drawn in a million times. is it possible to get mascara tattooed? i thought. you took me by the arm. you loved taxes, you didn’t care about having any money. i wish, i thought like you did.
you counted your piercings out loud to me, i laughed. did they hurt? no. maybe, some. ‘this takes a long time to heal’ ‘no blood goes there’ ‘do you know you can feel the needle go through your skin?’ your mum got pierced with you. i envied. i would be banished, if i got inked, or pierced. or both. i wondered, if i would do the same to my children.
you offered me a smoke. my stomach gripped itself. i tried to shake my head politely. will you judge me, if i didn’t smoke. you snapped the lid and pocketed the box, inhaling with your eyes closed. gently. i let the cloud wrap around my eyes, my nose, my lips, my skin. i think, no one judges you, but yourself.
you always wear that same, oversized shirt. you walked around the room in a bubble, deep in thought. i would like to share that bubble, too. maybe, if brownian motion, or diffusion of intelligence worked, as they did in my dreams. i would be your shadow. breathing in the air around you, like it were vapor.
Profile: Jean Hui Ng