Other Wishes


No matter how much I try now, there’s a part of me that I won’t ever find again. It’s that part that makes a song such a part of my life that I string a memory onto each word in its lyrics that when I hear it, it’s not one memory that is brought back, but my entire life, thoughts, feelings, everything I wanted and all the senses together as a whole. We Ride by Rihanna is on, and that was my track for 9th and 10th grade when I was broken and miserable and was physically moved by my music; so naïve and dramatic, but I wonder now whether that’s still an acceptable way to feel. I left it behind a long time ago, but I’m no happier for it: I just admit it less, even to myself. Maybe this is suppression. Maybe that kind of explosive belonging comes only once, in that special neon time of your teenage years. I haven’t sung in so long. I’m sitting in my room, listening to Take A Bow and I don’t want to sing a soft falsetto, I want to sing from my heart like I used to, blow myself away. I used to. I could. I could sing. What does it take to get that back? Is it just that there’s no such thing as home anymore?

There is no place that belongs to me anymore. My room at home is not mine. I have a stranger (though one that I belong to and love and would consider to be closer to me than anyone else) living in my room. That room was never really mine, it never heard me sing. Voices carry. I could never sing because I was afraid of Tejas hearing me. What would’ve happened if we’d never left Raja Prakruti? And I still sat in my little dressing window, knees folded into chest,  iPod plugged into my right ear, door closed, singing. Doing all the ornaments over and over again till they sounded like her. Till I could improvise on them. When I sang in my yellow shower alone and loud and loved myself. Made songs in hot water.  

I would sing in Sundale. I would sing. I promise. I would make it my own and work and sing and work even harder to keep it. That place could be mine; I would put my heart into that space and love the very air in it and create something I could fit into, fit my life into perfectly, all the sounds and smells and textures of me. Would that be home, then? Would I sing? Would I be safe enough to trust myself?  

Mariah Carey. Whitney Houston (what a voice, bless you), Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Adele, Norah Jones, Amy Lee, Corinne Bailey Rae. My goddesses of the human voice. That’s all I did for two years: brought myself to a point where I was so close to that. Save me. 

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