It is 1:20 am and I have just finished a book that made me weep. The fan in my room is on, its blades are whirring as fast as they can go but the air is hot and presses into my skin. The highway is singing. It never stops. It lives a hundred thousand lives in flashes of light when the tires of a passing car kiss the particular piece of the highway right in front of my house just for a second before they are a memory and another has taken their place and the warmth they generated.
So. I battle with myself. Again. If I were less or maybe more, I wouldn’t be here on this sticky night that reminds me of home and frangipani flowers. The scent of the sea and island magic brimming in the shadows. I’m overflowing with words. Rustle of the sugarcane. A serenity manufactured by the last rays of a sun too enamored of its brilliance. That shine.
To be from an island country means having the scent of the sea in your veins. It means having an intimate relationship with heat; your body will know heat in ways that your heart cannot comprehend. I forgot that heat. I forgot that music. I forgot the press of the water in the air. I forgot the curl of my hair.
Writing Ronaq means I peel back all the years and find myself again. That little girl I was that I haven’t been for so long. The girl whose dreams captured the nights and ate them up to reveal pearly mornings. That girl I tried so hard to shove into a person who knows who she is what she is and why she is. Writing Ronaq means confronting the lies I have told myself. Of owning the loneliness I intentionally cultivate, of admitting that step I take away because to me being a writer means being in pain. I write best when I hurt. At least I thought so. All the feelings I keep inside instead of spending on someone else. All those feelings I fold into words and shape into stories–not my own because I don’t have one but other people’s. That’s how it works with me.
I forgot the madness of it all. The fever that owned me when I was that girl in Fiji, walking bare feet on hot stones, running around challenging the eye of the hurricane, the dark, the magic, the danger, the madness. I forgot it all. Now I remember. I suppose I am ready to write Ronaq.