Tapestry

The cognizance is ours
To hold what we obtain
Whether morbid or carnal,
We’re here to entertain.

Come live my life
So you’ll find empathy alone
Never enough to stimulate your mind.

I remember who I used to be
Before the songs became sorrows.
Written in words we can’t speak.

I remember how I used to dream
Before the visions turned.
Nightmares of reality.

My disgrace holds your attention
Sate your appetite with my destruction
A ripple fighting the wave.

Keep watching and you might see
The unraveling of an identity
Demons sewn into the past
Frayed, unbound, writhed… released.

-AJ Sandhu
August 2018

Rumination 20: Nature of a Creator

Writers are attention whores. Like artists, actors, entertainers, and anyone else who feels the need to produce entertainment; we thrive on the praise given to our work and die by its criticisms. It’s hard to separate ourselves from something that holds so much of our soul.

A writer can never hold on to their emotions. They spill into the words we write because it’s the only place we’ve given ourselves permission to be honest. If we stymie the wellspring of truth our craft suffers. We lose focus, motivation, and drive. But it’s not enough to write the words or paint the picture: people should see it.

Honesty on the page can cause rifts in our personal relationships; we’re honest less often. It might lead to confrontation and wouldn’t that be the worst thing in the world?

In our imagined worlds we get to invent both sides of the conflict. Reality doesn’t give us the luxury of choosing the “right” side of the story, nor does it let us write our way out of mistakes. It doesn’t foreshadow when someone is a roadblock on your journey and it doesn’t let you chapter break into a better physical and mental state.

We write out of a compulsion to fix what the world won’t let us. We want people to see how it has been made better. We need them to acknowledge this thing that we have built. Our attempt at immortality.

AJ Sandhu
June 2018

 

Of the Womb and the Covenant

It took five years to give you up. Five years to find myself surrounded by empty hangers in empty closets. To seal your memories away in albums emblazoned with printed roses to tint the past.

Four years to confront the runner.

You were always running, weren’t you? I see it clearly now standing on this floor littered with the basketball and track jerseys you left behind.

All of these worn uniforms of this place rotting in black garbage bags.

I’ll see you again. A stranger with whom I share a past we’ll both pretend to ignore.

It’s funny, the bags don’t pain me as much as the hangers. Because tomorrow the bags will be gone, but the hangers will stay in the closets; ghost scaffolding of the places you once claimed.

Good-bye.

I love you.

Amanjot K. Sandhu
22-Jan-2017

Rumination 19: I Am Not Okay

The worst part of anxiety is confirmation bias. Thoughts like: “You’re a burden,” “No one likes you,” “You’re only included out of pity,” “If they could they would cut ties with you completely,” would be easy to squash if they weren’t seemingly confirmed by the people they’re about.
More than likely, it’s just me reading too much into things that can be explained simply. Being alone makes time seem longer and shorter than it is. Unfortunately, I can’t convince my brain of that.
I don’t like talking about my problems all of the time. It makes me feel like I’m expecting pity or help, but I’m not, I just want a sympathetic ear. I hate being so unsure that it cripples me. That I’m a burden on anyone that I care about. I hate feeling unwanted, that I’m being put up with, that in reality things would be better without me there. They usually are.
I’m standing in place and not for lack of trying, but because sheer force of will can only take you so far. I still keep pretending I have the talent to break through the brick wall I’m behind. I know that if I don’t have faith no one else will. No one will be giving me reassurances for the existence of whatever abilities I imagine I have. If I could write, if I could create art, if anything I did was any good at all, I wouldn’t still be here after all of these years.
I’m only good when my name isn’t on it.
I wish the confirmation bias wasn’t there. But it is. The worst part is that I’m going to post this and receive hollow kindnesses for a temporary high. None of the people I feel closest to will read this simply because they don’t have the time and if they do it’ll just combine with all of the other issues they have with me.
I’m a temporary friend, only worth having around in a place, but not worth investing the effort. I keep muscling my way into places I don’t belong with people who don’t want me there. I feel like I’m keeping the ones that do want me around from being with the people that would make them happiest. That I’m an unwanted add-on.
My notifications are filled with people trying to impress the friends I’ve been lucky to make because I’m not interesting enough to stand on my own.
I keep saying “scream into the void until you hear something back,” but it feels like I’m in an empty warehouse and the sounds I hear are only my own echoes.
At home I get to deal my family. My mother does the best she can, more so over the last few years, because she sees what not writing does to me. My siblings just don’t seem to have the time for me. My father has never supported anything I’ve done; his constant rhetoric is that it’s simply not my destiny. People like me are meant to marry and have children, that’s the only currency I’m to leave behind. I wasn’t born for greatness. Any little thing I try to do to prove him wrong falls apart and I get slapped back down into my place. Reminded that he’s right. He doesn’t see that he’s being cruel. He sees himself protecting me by reminding me of the harsh realities of the world. All of my failures validate his point.
So spare me your words of encouragement. Spare me your wisdom, because you’re on the mountain looking down.
It hurts to try when you lose every single time.
I wish I could stop.
Have sensible goals that don’t require overwhelming outside support for even an ounce of success.
My talent is a farce and so am I.
But I’m going to keep trying anyway.
Stay good and keep transmitting

-Aman Sandhu 2016

Delusions of Success

I’ll rage and I’ll cry about my dreams
Vaguely enough so you’ll feel
That someone, somewhere understands

Don’t take my empty promises
As substitutions for the words you need to hear
Cause I sing my laments
In sound-proofed studio rooms you’ve never known

You’ll canonize with my side of tale
My narrative nurtures dreams that the truth would kill
Don’t you see
I can never understand
What it means to lose every single time.

I’ll say your persistence will reward you
Opine that your talent is a virtue
That your voice hides secrets only you can share
Because I’m already there

I’ll tell you I know the way
One day your struggle will yield
It’s kinder than admitting life isn’t fair.

– AJ Sandhu 2016


Rumination 18

Perspective is difficult. We’re only ever subject to our own and it makes us the heroes of the narrative. It’s right…to an extent, we are the heroes of our histories.
But perspective also vilifies, makes antagonists of others because their perception is different. Sometimes miscommunication escalates to a boiling point of clashing observations.
I used to go to extreme lengths to try and avoid it, still do, it doesn’t work. It never works. But I’m a stupid optimist and keep trying.
Miscommunication has been pervasive through my life. It’s been the driving force behind every negative thing I’ve ever had to deal with. It seems like something so easily avoided, but it’s not. Any attempts at opening dialogue go horribly awry.
I agree I’m abrasive, I’m not personable, I don’t try hard enough when I should. I’m a terrible friend and not nearly as put together as I would like to be. No defense of this list will follow, because there is none. I ask too much and give too little. I’m far too proud of abilities I don’t have, but without the confidence I’m nothing.
I’m not confident on the inside though. I need reassurance. I’m not always right, usually I’m wrong. I make things about me when they aren’t because I’m afraid no one will tell me when they are. They never do.
The last six or seven months have so thoroughly destroyed any confidence and positivity I worked so hard to gain after years in the pit of depression, I’m not sure how I’m keep trying again.
It is, arguably, the simpler thing to walk away.
And I am walking away, because I’m tired. I could keep pushing into a void that didn’t give, but I can’t keep surrendering more than I have. I want this to be the end of it; this isn’t who I am. I refuse to be it anymore.
Stay good and keep transmitting.
-Aman Sandhu 2016