The blank pages I once filled with dots are now filled with words.
It’s been a month since I started writing on this journal and surprisingly, I have been writing daily except for a few days that I was physically not able to.
At the beginning of this writing exercise, I was thinking of what I could possibly write to fill in this journal. What interesting things could possibly happen to me on this small island that is worth writing? How can I write about my daily life when the routine is the same? I can’t keep writing the same thing everyday. I don’t want to look back to this notebook after a year or so, reading pages and pages of a life that seemed like an endless copy-pasted high school essay.
I initially doodled some flowers and marine creatures on the corners and sides of the pages to cover some of the space but at one point, I stopped. Not only did it take so much time to draw, the doodles also took so much space. I needed all the possible spaces for words, for my stories.
I kept writing every night about how my day started and ended. And how everything else in between seem to matter. How everything that we do, big or small should be written. How everything we laughed about should be included. How everyone on this island should be part of the history that I’m writing, characters in this chapter of my life long novel.
The words flowed. Endlessly. Like a river with its teeming marine life, noise, silence, deep echoes and some human trash. One page per day is almost not enough. Even when I’m sleepy and tipsy after three glasses of white wine, the words traveled from wherever part of my brain it comes from to my hands and on to the blank pages.
I did not write for three consecutive evenings for I was extremely tired on the first night and drunk on the last two and I realized what I missed. The small details of the last three days were almost gone from my memory. I kept thinking. I tried to remember. And I wonder how so many things from the last three days instantly faded from my memory. The more reason I should write everything, every night, while I still remember, even after three glasses of wine – call it drunk writing.
I met Bakuru here on the island a few days ago. We work for the same company but different islands. I was on that island down south for two years before I moved here where I’m currently at and that’s where I met and worked with Bakuru. He stayed here for a few days while waiting for his domestic flight. I was pleasantly surprised upon seeing him and all my colleagues here was quite surprised too, seeing me, greeting Bakuru in a ‘very pleasant’ way. Something they’re not used to, because they always see only my angry and sarcastic face.
I was also surprised at my own reaction when I saw him so I tried to recall what did we actually do together for me to be so excited to see him. We did not work in the same department and the last time I saw him was two years ago.
I remember the bed decoration he did for me before I left that island. Some sort of farewell. A memory so clear for it was special.
But that can’t be just it.
I looked at my photos from 2018 and saw the bed decoration. I looked at some more photos and found what I was looking for.
Bakuru and I, and two other persons performed once for a small event. After seeing the photos of that event, all the memories came flashing back. How the four of us had fun in the evenings practicing the songs in that dim TV room above the billiard room. How all our voices usually didn’t blend well during the practice but we didn’t care. How they taught me the correct pronunciation of Dhivehi words. How we didn’t care about laughing so loud as we danced to the drum beats when we were bored of practicing. And how one person from that group of four is not my friend any more.
Two photos, so many memories. But we don’t always get to take pictures. And what if I didn’t find those photos? I probably would not have remembered what’s the connection between me and Bakuru.
One of the beautiful evenings last month, my three friends and I (The Eggs) were sitting on a joalie by the beach, under the starry sky. One of them said,
‘this is so romantic. When I grow old I will remember the four of us sitting here looking at the stars.’
– a line so beautiful as if taken out from a best selling novel can’t be captured in a picture but can definitely be written.
It’s been a month since I have been writing and if I continue writing everyday, I might have a novel by the end of this year. And by then, I’d love to flip through the pages that I have filled in the past.