Coming of age

Place a CD player in my room

It feels like nothing really changes.
My room is like the space of my mind
A mess.
Even if cleaned, it will soon return
To the comfort of carelessness
There is too much that I don’t need
Piles and piles, much like my thoughts
It takes a while to find what I am looking for

I want to make big changes
I want to move out and away
Like the heroine in a movie
The one about small town to big city dreams I am a big child and this space has grown

Too small for me now.

I am tired and I am restless

I am tired of being restless

Yet.

I do nothing and I’m tired

I am restless but I do nothing

What the fuck am I doing?

How do I know that I’m alive

Sometimes mornings are not enough to wake me.

Mum, you can feed me as much as you want

But it’s not my stomach that is empty

All I hear is the humming clockwork of my mind Instead play me a soundtrack –
For the morning bus ride
The train ride home

For the classes that bore me
And the times I skip those classes;
For the moments I feel inspired
And the moments inspirations die.
For all the scenes of my life I act in Unrehearsed.
Give me a guitar solo that plays like an outro For when everyone in the room leaves
And I am left standing alone

Every moment I am living

Remind me that I’m alive.

And if nothing really changes,

At least change what’s playing in my head.

Make me a mixtape for moments and name it

Something like “coming-of-age.”

Who am I?

I’m asked, “Where are you from?”
I’d answer, “Here.”
But then I’m quick to explain that my parents are not Do you see me as a child of my parents?
Do you see me as a child of this country?
Do you see me?
I am but a child.
Even I cannot see myself
“Here” is not “here”
Here or There, I am somewhere in-between

My grandmother and the buttermilk folds of her skin My grandmother and her snow-white hair
I do not understand her
Her words, even though they reach me
My replies will not
Like my mother-tongue, I am lost
The language I grew up with, no longer the one I speak And the one I was taught and use now
Is not enough for me

If you closed your eyes, and heard my voice What would you see?
If you closed your ears and read my face What would you hear?

But wait –
It is not you, it is not you, it is not you It is not how you see me.
It is me
It is not your questions I am bothered by It is my answers.

I do not understand myself
I am trying
In-between being uprooted and finding my roots, Seeking a place to grow but the soil is in my mind I am restless
How long will I drag the weight of my soul around Before I realise;
I am rootless.

This article appeared in The Comma’s 2018 Annual Edition. Read more here.

Cassandra Li is a first-year Media Arts and International Studies student who likes to take random pictures of friends to remember moments because her memory is not that great. Her current camera of choice is a Nikon Coolpix3700, unearthed after eight years.