“I’m not good enough.” How often have you thought those words? I’m done saying them. Here’s why we’re enough, just as we are.
This is how your heart breaks: slowly and deliberately, and then all at once. A story about falling in and out of love.
The last time I saw you, you were walking away from me, your hair shining blue-black in the streetlights. I had turned back to wave again, but you didn’t, and so all I saw was the back of you, disappearing into the night.
We met at a beach party on another continent, a place where the water turned smooth as glass. The night we met the moon shone low, turning the sand a pale grey.
“You don’t need salt,” I said to you, reaching for the salt shaker in your hand. Those were my first words to you, leaning up against the bamboo bar.
“Oh, I don’t?” you replied, the shot of tequila in your hand full to the brim. You smiled a wicked smile, your teeth flashing like the Cheshire Cat.
“No, you don’t. It will taste better without salt, trust me.” I was flirting with you, my hand still lingering on top of yours, both of us holding on to the salt shaker, neither of us breaking eye contact. I was wearing a long turquoise dress; it brought out my tan and my blue eyes. I felt good that night. I felt like flirting with you, the most handsome man at the bar.
I arrive in Osaka on a humid afternoon, my bags bulging with light grey office-wear and books by my favourite authors. I stand on the yellow footprints at immigration, waiting to be fingerprinted and photographed. I take a bus and then a taxi to my new apartment, led by an American representative of my company called Bruce. He has bleached hair and a sweat-stained polo shirt. I go to shake his hand, but he bows instead.
We walk down a long arcade filled with glowing shops, air-conditioning blasting out their automatic doors. I see rows of unfamiliar vegetables, walls of colourful stationery, a casino whose plink and plonk of slot machines resounds out into the night air. We stop at an inconspicuous building with a brown door, my new home.
The apartment’s larger than I thought it would be, although everything is steeped in brown and beige, the furniture chipped and dingy. Many people have lived here before. I pull back the sepia curtains and step out onto the balcony, looking over a sea of low buildings, the dim of lights stretching out as far as I can see. The air feels sticky, flat. It’s my first time in Asia.
Of the countries I’ve been to, I loved my Indian wardrobe the best. My biggest piece of advice, no matter where you go, is to shop locally. My dream is to one day arrive in a place like Thailand or India with a completely empty backpack and purchase all of my clothing there; not only is it usually much cheaper than clothes in Canada or the UK, but you’ll have a lot more fun with your fashion. Here are a few of the things I wore while in India.