About Rustic Recluse

history buff, unrepentant food-lover and a closet recluse wishing to travel the world in search of great meaning.

Story: A world of her own

She lived in a world of her own; a world that existed only in her head.
A world where she could see beautiful faces and kind souls; where love existed even when it seemed impossible. Where she felt warmth, and support, and everything nice she had never had. Where she could go places and feel hope. Where she could experience new things with those that mattered and know that she too, meant the world to someone else. Where no-one judged; where she could be who she wanted to be.
Where for the first time in ages, she could be happy.

But this world had a different face.
It was filled with fear. She saw things she wasn’t sure had happened; but she suspected it would have. It was likely to have happened in reality…
It was filled with sadness. She saw the things that would become of her; though she wasn’t sure, it seemed just like what she had predicted of her future…
It was a place that she saw her downfall; a place that she recognised pain and tasted tears and knew that she was just as worthless as reality had shown her to be.

“It would kill you,” a voice told her. But it wasn’t going to help.
She didn’t want to be in this world, but she didn’t want to give up the good parts of it.

Story: Tears in tunes

Ah, the time of the year for holidays!
When there’s so much cheer and joy, and the familiar tunes of The First Noel ring.
Somewhere in the world, snow is falling.
Families rejoice at reunion. Lovers share kisses. Children play.

Yet walking amidst the happy faces, one man felt different.
His hands clutched deep within his pockets – not from the biting Winter cold; but from the furnace of pain tearing up his chest.
His legs walked determinately, so different from the weakness within his heart.
How the lyrics sounded uplifting, but his soul felt so beaten, they felt like stale water in a well.

No one could see the streaks on his face, because he had grown to cry in style.
Too many years of practice, with emotions walled behind a mask of coping.
But honestly, even if he sat down bawling on the ground – who would’ve given a damn?
Too festive; too much happiness – and he was out of place.

It wasn’t hatred – some say he didn’t know how to love.
It wasn’t vengeance – some say he didn’t know how to forgive.
It wasn’t unwillingness – some say he didn’t know how to think.
It was because he had tried so hard that he couldn’t try anymore.

Harsh words linger each day, because no one would give him time to speak his mind.
“Why are you hurting?” No. No one bothered to ask why.
“What did you want that you couldn’t have?” No. No one is going to ask.
“What can we do to help you get there?” Oh my god! No. No one’s going to bring problems upon themselves.
No. He didn’t have a problem. It must be because he IS the problem. Nothing’s going to save his soul. “That’s just him,” they’ll say.

So, while It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas echoes down the boulevard, and where these scenes of warmth and love roll out in front of him, his heart felt colder than ever before. Brittle, to say the least.
So crisp and frail that you couldn’t even tell it was a living, beating human organ.
So much that maybe he wished to break it into the the powdered snow, so that he could give up trying.

No, he was not going to have the warmth of a family; or the embrace in a lover’s arms by the fireplace.  He knew not how to stop the tears from falling. Year after year, that was all that could happen, because nothing – nothing could heal him. He had to let the tears fall for so long, until they could wash away the searing pain and let him forget more than he remembered. Crying was the smartest thing he could do, apart from killing himself – because really, nobody’s going to pick up a body at Christmas and deal with it. No, it was too negative. No-one could save him –  because all that would happen is someone would brush him off and tell him that he could not overcome his own sadness for other people’s happiness. Selfish as he may seem – what about them? Would THEY give up their moments of joy for his misery?

Oh the abundance of blessings this Christmas!

Would there be one – just one blessing for him – when the world would stop preaching, and start listening to his tears in the tunes?

A time when I once thought

There was a time when I once thought
that everything was possible.

Where dreams could come true
if we chased hard enough.
Where people could properly love
if we tried hard enough.

And then one day, you realise it’s not going to happen.
Not because you won’t try.
Not because you haven’t tried.
But because – you can’t.

Who said I can’t?
Is it that defeatist voice in my mind
Or that low morale in my heart – you ask?
Neither.

It’s a lesson learnt from being alive;
It’s a message from the people around me;
It’s countless situations that have proven themselves.
It’s reality setting in.

And suddenly, I think no more.
No more wishing for the day I walk in the open fields, hoping  to scale the mountains and seeing the villages on the other end of the peak.
No more wishing to live in place without fear or tears, and where it feels like home.
No more wishing to feel that sense that has since become estranged – that sense of hopefulness and cheer.

There is a time now that I think
Nothing I want is ever possible.

Something wrong

There’s something wrong, but I don’t know what to do.

I contemplate on things that have passed; those that puts stones on the shoulders, and those that bring the rare smile on my face.  I think about the smallest of things and the most profound of matters in life.

What befuddles me is how they are one and the same thing – they’re minute yet major; they weigh down the heart yet lifts the edges of my mouth.

These things in life have such a strange effect – they create ripples – even waves – that crash at us. We sometimes rejoice in the refreshing coolness of the water; other times, we double over upon the impact of painful reality.

There’s something wrong, and I don’t know what to do.

Too long ago

Too long ago was there a feeling of lightness; those moments of laughter and times of joy. Too rare and unfamiliar is a genuine smile from the heart.
Too uncommon is there anyone who would care for the broken.

Everyone embraces the good; bolsters the accomplished.
There are some who subdue evil and fetter the bad.
But the broken remain broken.
Unattended, unnoticed, uncared.

Too long ago.

How bad do you want it?

How bad do I want it?
They kept asking.
I wanted it so badly, but I wasn’t allowed to.
No – because it wasn’t right.

Whose standards, you ask? I don’t know. I don’t know anymore.

And suddenly, there is nothing but defeat. There isn’t anything more than a feeling of nothingness. There is an immense surge of worthlessness, if worthlessness was meant to be something.

And then, that was the end.

How bad do you want it?
Perhaps that wasn’t the right question anymore.
Perhaps the question is: Can you want what you keep wanting, or should you give it up?

that’s called “heartbroken”

“My breaths are short and raspy,” she whimpered, “it’s like I’m unable to lift my lungs with the air that enters. Well, I don’t even think there’s any air getting in there.”

She paused for a moment, before taking in a deep breath of air – one which she felt nothing of – and continued, “I’ve lost all interest in anything. Those days where the cafes looked cozy and the restaurants seemed grand? I don’t think I fancy those anymore.”

After pacing up and down the same path more than twice, she starts again. “I can’t seem to think right, and I can’t let these tears stop. I don’t really know why, but I feel so down, down, down and down. I can’t even get my feet to listen to me!” she cried.

She looked up at the sun that seeped through the branches. Her knees gave way. Her tears fell on the roots that peeked just above ground.

The trees whispered in the wind, “heartbroken”.

Wish upon the impossible

That empty field where a rundown building pops up in the middle, without a name. Just some rickety broken barn doors, seemingly abandoned. But wait, a line of cars surround this building.
Oh, it’s a cafe for those who wish for a quiet moment. And it’s beautiful inside.

A church standing at the edge of town. Nobody ever goes there. The good, the bad, the kind, the evil. Nobody ever goes there. But wait, there’s just a few familiar faces who would visit once a year, saying their prayers in light murmurs. The sunlight seeps in through the stained glass windows from high above. There is peace in there.

It’s a different life out there. It’s a different world.
Where people go their own ways and walk their own paths.
Where people don’t judge.

But not everyone can make their way out to this new world.
Would I? Can I? What does it change, when time plays a little trick and put us years behind?

Wrong place, wrong time.

 

When Merry isn’t merry and Happy isn’t happy

Merry isn’t merry when it’s Christmas.
Merry lost her loved ones – at least those that mattered – and had no one left to speak to when she was down; when she was proud; when she was in pain.
Merry could not understand why everyone was celebrating, when there was little but sadness that enveloped each living hour of her life.
Merry thought what it meant to be living in Hell, and while she tried hard to get there every holiday, she soon realised that she had been walking right through it all these while.

Happy isn’t happy as the year comes to a close.
He hasn’t achieved anything for the past 360 days.
What’s with the overly-positive tunes in the malls; and cheery greetings that everyone is throwing in at the end of a conversation?
He didn’t know that all problems would dissipate at the end of the year and disappear in the air.
He hadn’t found a solution to his job or relationship – nothing had gone right so far.

So while all those loving couples and perfect families went through the last days of a year, nobody remembered those who struggled to find joy in this fantastical world of festivities.

Effortless

It seemed easy – “just be yourself”. Oh, those hated words.

How he hated it that the “himself” others saw, simply wasn’t real.
He had bent his back to make things happen. He had gone the extra mile – and another extra mile – to get what he wanted (and failed). He had been someone he hadn’t been, just to get what he wished he could. Wished. It remained a wish.

Funny how some people get what they didn’t even want, effortlessly.
Yet those who yearn, and make a concerted effort, never get there.