For Aine

I miss you.

It never hit me so strongly as it did tonight, when I realised it would be your birthday soon.

In a flash, I remembered the excitement of getting your letters; opening them carefully, as if it were a practised ritual; taking in the spidery writing, the mellifluous flow of your pen. 

It was you who instilled in me the idea that words allow us to travel – in a way. Countless times, you wrote to me from waiting rooms at airports, or told me about Karlsruhe, or Singapore, and even sent me postcards from a plane to Australia, I believe. We wrote about a lot of things, but I seem to remember your letters always felt like dreams. Reading a letter from you felt like I was touching the haze of a dream, through your eyes, and through your reality.

I still have them, you know. 

Your letters. 

All of them.

Well, they are back in Cyprus, but I have opened them time and time again since I first received them, when I felt the need for sage advice. They weren’t always relevant, but it felt like I had someone there, someone to listen. 

And our conversations! Do you remember them? Singing to me through the distorted sound of MSN chat, despite a sore throat?

>Do you remember the music?

We had our moments. I guess we still do, but now they pass so fleetingly. We can’t stop time from blundering on into the future, which I guess is why all moments are so precious, they slip through our fingers; it’s like trying to contain water in your palm.

Nostalgia and melancholy don’t really have a practical day-to-day application and thus I have harvested them for my own ends. I hereby declare that I am locking Time in this letter, because I want to stop the clock ticking for a second, long enough to say thank you.

I would list it all, but it is ours to know, and nobody else’s. I just thought it had been a while since the last time I told you how grateful I am to have met you.

Thank you for everything.

Yours sincerely,



Hunger was good discipline

Hunger has thrown out plenty of other thoughts and notions, although somehow at the moment, my pride is holding me back from sorting through rubbish and such. It impresses me, however, how resourceful I become when “want a snack” transforms into “need something to eat”. For example, I felt I was being more intelligent with the way I used the few coins I had left yesterday, or simply more inventive in the way I ‘ration’ the biscuits I have.

To be honest, it feels terrible to wake up and not know when I will have a meal again, but it feels like a great way of sorting out what is important and what is not. I suppose that is where fasting comes in handy. Maybe people who fast have something resembling true clarity.

Finally, people sometimes ask that question “what would you take to a desert island?” to determine what your most important possession is. Think of your answer, then go out while leaving your money at home. 

Try hunger for a day or two – not to the point that you pass out, mind – and then think about your answer to that question again. Is it really that important?