I used to live in a large apartment building, composed of five stories and white-washed, where there must be four main staircases and four fire exits. I explored all likely routes and exits from our floor; from the hallway across us; from the dangling ladder leading to a stairwell at the grounds. Vans that exist to sell internal organs of children and houses that become the prison of those kidnapped drilled into my head – as well as my address, parents’ numbers, and the correct answer to who do you approach for help? -, what was once just a simple pasttime became something vaguely useful. Throughout the years, when we moved from one place to another, I had developed the obsessive habit of checking all the potential escape routes. Large windows, fire exits. Ladders and stairwells. Rooftops low enough for me to jump onto the neighbor’s roof if needed. The more the escape routes, the more comfortable I was.
Perhaps it developed me into a fickle person, somewhat capricious – perhaps it was one of the symptoms of me being so. I could never stay as someone constant. Once something begins, it must have an end. Entropy increases; everything crumbles. Faced with people and new circles of friends; a new living space; a new school, I ask – how do I get out of this? How will it end? How do I save myself; keep my head above the water? What are the ways out? I look for the escape routes within people. I look for escape routes within situations. I look for escape routes in every place. I was running away from danger that wasn’t even present. In my thinking, it really wasn’t – not yet.
Maybe in some circumstances it was for the better. Most of the time, however, it seems I set myself up for destruction and run away before it could get worse. I start the fire and let it consume the bridges I’ve established; I let it burn down to ashes. I don’t look back and blind myself enough to think it was a natural occurrence.
It’s strange to feel contentment. It’s strange to want it; to have the comfort of everything the way they are even with the dust that’s gathered at every nook and corner. I know things will not stay static; I know things are bound to change. I used to be bored to death with the same people and the same damn things. Now I keep thinking of a daily routine as a luxury of the present.
Now, I’ll hold on to every moment of how things are. Tear out the memories from my mind and tear out pieces of paper and put them there. Ink and paper is not bound to betray us, unlike our fading memories and aging bodies, unlike time; unlike everything to be weathered down to be unrecognizable. What matters right this moment is how everything stands, as if we were indestructible. As if we are invincible.
As if we are timeless.
In frame: the universe conspires for you to grow, by me! It’s my most recent drawing.