They always said I looked like Alaska. They didn’t ever have a picture of her, but they always say they would just know if they ever saw her. It’s the way I act, my hair, my gait, my smile, those eyes. Like you can lift words off of a book’s pages and rearrange it to fit your fantasy. Like she isn’t some skinny brunette when I read the book, and I’ve got hair color on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I am not an outsider in the way that Alaska Young is. I am not Alaska Young.
“It’s your eyes,” they always say, referring to my heterochromia.
Except Alaska doesn’t have two different coloured eyes. I can’t even recall what her eyes look like in the book.
“It’s your personality. There’s this sense of danger… like you’re up for anything. You remind me of a hurricane,” other say. Because I may be 5’6 but I’m already 7 feet deep.
“You smoke.” Ah yes. That must be the resemblance. Because I too have quoted Alaska Young for one of her most famous quotes (at least in my mind, it’s the best quote in the book): “I smoke to die.”
I suppose it’s a gross habit, and increasingly frowned upon especially among Millenials. I’ve been smoking for 10 years, not that anyone’s counting. I’ve cut back significantly, but I chainsmoke enough when I’m given the opportunity to call myself an addict. Part of it is a nostalgia of when I was younger, of the haze I used to inhale, of the orange glow that pops up in so many memories. Another part is my refusal to let go, to create new memories without the sweet aroma of tobacco, to spend time with my friends in a way that doesn’t seem to be a proper salute my childhood.
Maybe that rant already characterizes me as Alaska, maybe I just can’t help it.
But trust me, I am no Alaska. I won’t save you when you need it most, in fact, I might just run away. I am not here to break your heart, mend what was already broken, or give it a try. I am wandering between a relationship dangling from a string I think I can’t save and one that was broken long ago that I can’t leave behind. I am Alaska in idea only, most striking when you’ve got smoke and mirrors, but I am so flawed, so flawed. I am not waiting for someone to chase after me, I am not afraid to do something that others would brand cowardly, but… Alaska and I… we are slowly breaking down.