Time Has Passed.

Time has passed.


I look at your face, but what I see is something else.

I see the face of the person I was in love with.


I listen to your voice, but what I hear is something else.

I hear the voice of the person I was in love with.


I am disoriented, because the person before me is different- starkly, different, from the person I perceive.


Who are you?


Who are you really?

I am not sure.

I really am not sure.


You look like her. You look exactly like her. You bear her name and you appear to exist in what I perceive to be her physical body.

And trust me, I know what her body is like.


But who the hell are you?


You look like her.

You speak with her voice.

But the words coming out of your mouth give me no choice but to conclude you are somebody else.


Do you even remember me?

Do you remember us?

All of the time we spent together? All of the places we went? All of the things we did?

Do you even remember any of that?


Do you actually remember, or are you just pretending?


Evidently everything that happened, is now nothing to you but a faded memory.


I, am now nothing to you but a faded memory.


I am now nothing.

Nothing but a faded memory.


I guess this is my plight.

To live the rest of my life constantly enshrouded by the poignant nostalgia and searing frustration of loving someone who no longer exists.


Image Credits: https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/teardrop?mediatype=photography&phrase=teardrop&sort=mostpopular

A Short Story of Half a Baguette and Lingering Emotional Trauma.

“Oh wow man, I like your triceps. They look really cool.”

He looks up and smiles at me.

“Haha thanks!”

“You do exercises? Like push ups and stuff?”

“No no, I do a lot of swimming. At the beach.”


It adds up. His triceps are prominent- prominent enough to catch my attention, but not enough to suggest that he has a dedicated exercise routine for them. I wonder how much open water swimming I need to do to have triceps like that.

I mention that I need a place to charge my computer.

“Is the art gallery upstairs open?”

The last time I was here I charged my computer in the bright sunlit gallery upstairs surrounded by the deep rich and inspiring colours of abstract Cape Verdean art.

“Ah no, gallery’s not open today.”

“Oh man.”

“But there’s the library. You can charge at the library.”

He gets up from his desk at the reception and tears off a chunk of the 50 escudo baguette in my right hand. I’m a little taken aback by the intrusion, but otherwise it’s not really a problem. He’s a pretty nice and friendly guy. I myself have been intruding in other people’s eating and drinking recently. Not long ago I invited myself to provide human company to a lonely bottle of wine I saw at the defunct bar in front of the hotel where I stay.

The owners of the wine were relaxing in the distance. Upon realising their unfortunate bottle of wine was being plundered by a stranger they sprung up and briskly approached me.

I think I was on my second glass when they reached me.

We ended up being quasi-friends, engaging in interesting, heartening conversation for most of that day over multiple other bottles of wine.


We walk towards the library. It’s dark and somewhat dusty. It’s evident no one ever comes here. Libraries are not a huge thing on Ilha do Sal. Same with suits. I remember the time I was going around boutiques on the island and offering to sell my suit so I could get some money. The shop owners all kept giving me very bewildered and amused and confused looks. I did not understand it at the time.

Later I began to ask myself how many people I had ever seen wearing suits on the island. The answer was none.

There’s also that other really cool library at Espargos- Bibliotheque Jorge Barbosa. I think the only other person I ever saw in the main hall of the library was the librarian. Haha.

I settle down and find a spot to plug in my computer. I pluck some art books from the bookshelves and take some pictures. Pictures of Van Gogh paintings surrounding my MacBook Pro. I think it all looks really cool and visually appealing and creative and artistic. Pretty much all of the books are in Portuguese so I’m able to make very little sense of them. To be honest the post-impressionist paintings in the books are just as impermeable to me as the descriptive Portuguese text. I do not understand any of the two. I guess I could just see the indecipherable ink scribblings on the pages as an art form too.



I start up my computer and begin to work on a number of research fellowship applications. A number of hours pass. I type, I think, I look around, and every once in a while I think I take some more pictures.




“Oh thank you very much man, today was a really productive day!”

“No problem you’re welcome haha!”

Somehow we find ourselves beginning to engage in a conversation about relationships. Romantic relationships. Past romantic relationships. He tells me about his first girlfriend. And his current girlfriend. I think there was another girlfriend between the two of them, but I’m not sure now.

I ask him how he handled the emotional distress of the separation at the end of the first relationship. He says something about how the past is the past, and how the moment the relationship ends the person becomes an “ex”. He puts a lot of vocal emphasis on the “Ex”.

I don’t really like the word “ex”, and I’m not sure why. It’s definitely a word pretty much everyone uses to describe past romantic partners, but for some reason I don’t feel like it applies to my specific experience. I’ll have to come up with some other term that I feel resonates much more with how I feel.

I keep getting perspective from him. From the look of things, calling someone an “Ex”, and saying the “Ex” very loudly is supposed to immediately make you feel emotionally detached from them.

That doesn’t work for me. It does not matter how many times I decide to shout “Ex!”, and make forceful slicing downward motions with my hand, I’m still going to keep wallowing in the distressing emotional mire that has enveloped my being from the past few months.

I still find myself talking to her. In my head. I still find myself talking to her in my head. Sometimes I sub-vocalise. I still see flashes of her face, of her smile, of her hair.

I’m angry at something, and for some reason I find myself thinking about something she did that got me angry. And I feel like I’m going through that disturbing experience all over again.

And so I find myself getting angry at someone who is not there. Over something that happened to me months ago. And I get visibly upset, like the distressing event just freshly happened. Emotional anguish from the past, rippling through to my present without any cogent provocation. I’m not sure what that means.

My thought process still gets periodically interrupted by pangs of disorienting sadness: I’m thinking about A. Thoughts about A connect to B. Thoughts about B connect to C. A begins to connect directly to C, and then——

And then I see her face. She is smiling at me. And seeing that makes my heart sink. An intense sadness overwhelms me. And all of a sudden I’m unable to remember what I was thinking about in the first place.

What was I thinking about again? A? B? How many letters had I gotten to? What was A about again?

My brain feels fragmented. And wounded.




“Hey I have a friend for you! From Italy! I want you to meet her! She really needs some BBC!”

He holds his right arm in his left hand, moving the arm back and forth.

All of a sudden I am laughing very loudly.


There’s a female coworker of his in the room. She humorously chastises him for being so vulgar in the presence of a guest.

We’re all smiling. The guest doesn’t seem to mind.

At some point he offers to show me around the museum.

“Wait what? There’s a museum?”

I was not expecting that at all.

There are some medium sized sea salt crystals on the desk— trademark of Ilha do Sal. Ilha do Sal literally means “Island of Salt”.

I put one of the crystals into my mouth as I follow him towards the entrance to the museum.

On Stoic Hearts and Scar Tissue.

I wonder what my heart looks like.


There in my chest, pumping- always pumping. Never for once stopping for air- never for once stopping to catch its breath.

— Pumping. Always pumping.


I wonder what my heart looks like.


Scarred. Definitely scarred. Very scarred.

Strange: The insulating protection offered my ribcage did absolutely nothing to shield my heart from emotional scarring. Absolutely nothing.

I hope the scars do not affect its pumping. I hope they do not restrict its movement or anything like that. Scar tissue might not stretch as much as normal tissue- could prevent the heart from expanding as much as is needed to adequately pump blood.

No wonder I get lightheaded at times. Not enough blood being pumped. Not enough blood being pumped at all.


I wonder what my heart looks like.


I wonder what it does with all of that pain from lost love- from love not just lost, but forcefully torn away. Jarringly detached.

My heart is definitely scarred. Definitely.

Hm, I just realised something. These scars are probably going to last forever. Till the end of my life at least. Wounds heal yes, but scars- scars are a different ball game entirely.

I’ll probably always experience this painful throbbing every once in a while. Probably always. Consequence of the scarring. Implications of scar tissue. 


Of love lost. Of smiles gone dark. Of little happiness bulbs conclusively detached from electricity.


I wonder what my heart looks like.





[ Image Credits: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/never-ashamed-scar-4-lessons-self-acceptance-resilience/ ]

Necromantic Monologues and a Police Van.

Ilha do Sal (The island of Sal), Cape Verde.

Sometime in 2017.



Hey Hey Heeyyyy

How’re you doing. Good?

Yeah? Great. Great great great. That’s absolutely great to hear.

What did you do?

Today. Today, what did you do today. Tell me.

Tell me. Tell me tell me tell me. I want to know.

I’m smiling. You can see I’m smiling, can’t you.

Hmnn. Haha.

Wait- your nails. You painted your nails. Afresh. You painted them a new colour.

Hmm, they were some other colour the last time I remember. Some strange one. One with some name that I had never heard before. One that I didn’t even know was an actual colour.

Come on- come on help me out here.


Aha yes! That’s it! That’s it- Nude. That’s it.

Wait, how is nude even a colour? How does that work? Like, how does that even work?

Or you know what? Forget it. I don’t care. I like it. I like you, and so that automatically means I like it. By extension. By association. By whatever other synonym happens to exist in English. Whichever one. Take your pick.




Hey. Do you know I’ve started painting my nails? No? Not at all? Well I have.

I started out with black. I like it. I really really like it.

Here. Take a look.

I don’t know if I bought a standard product however, I don’t know. I feel like my fingernails look like I just poured wall paint on them.

Haha. Yeah. Like actual wall paint.

I mean, you can see it right?

Doesn’t it look like there’s wall paint on my fingernails.



These Nigerian people? They do not get it. They do not get it at all.

Haha. You should see the way they look at me. You should see the way the women look at me- with their own unpainted fingers.

I mean, of course not all of them- some of them paint their nails. Some. But really you should see the ones who don’t. And how they look at me. With my sheeny shiny nails.

Haha. You’d get an immense laugh out of it, I’m sure.




Ola.  [Hello]

Ola, Bo’tarde. [Hello, Good afternoon]

I raise my head. It’s a police van.

The letters “P O L I C I A” are spelled across the chassis in bold white letters.

The men inside are muttering something in Portuguese Creole.

I’m staring at them- I’m still entirely in my head. Not yet conscious enough of my physical surroundings to make sense of what is happening.


Fala Creolo?          [Do you speak Creole?]

Fala Creolo?          [Do you speak Creole?]


Muaso menche. Poc.          [Somewhat. A little]

I am not sure if I am articulating the first expression correctly. I make an augmenting gesticulation with my hands.

Muaso menche.          [Somewhat]


You have to come with us to the station. You’re tresspassing. You have to come with us to the station.


I take a look around me. I am outside the city. I’m not particularly sure of how it was that I got here.

I remember I was going for a walk. No precise idea of where.

I’m not particularly sure… What?

How? ……….


You have to come with us to the station. You tresspassing. You have to come with us to the station.


Into the Police Van.

Into the Police Van Mayowa, into the Police Van.

Into the van you go.


No handcuffs this time Mayowa.

No handcuffs this time.



Would you like to talk?


I enjoyed talking with you. I really enjoyed talking with you.


What are you doing this afternoon?


I enjoyed this afternoon. I really enjoyed spending time with you.


Would you like to come hang out?

Just company. It doesn’t matter if you have work to do. I’ll just hang around and provide company.

You know what? I think we’re soulmates.

Will you be my girlfriend?

We’re doing great, we’re doing so so so so great.

I miss you.


I’ve missed you. I’ve missed you so much. Come here.


Why did you do that?

Why did you do that to me?

Stop. Stop, I don’t like it.

You’re not listening.


I miss you.


Would you like to talk?





. White noise .