I Am Jack’s Raging Bile Duct*

I am a sadhu-a man of God and religion- or I look like one. I was one, perhaps. My memory doesn’t seem to stretch that far. I’ve probably crossed over to the ‘homeless’ category now, for people like you. Correction: for people. My permanent residence is the footpath outside a temple so my assumption might not be very wrong. Mind you, I don’t beg. What’s the point of begging from those who spend every Tuesday or Friday or some such day of their life inside these very gates, doing some despondent begging of their own? It’s not like I need the money anyway. There are three pan sellers in this tiny lane alone and I can’t remember the last time I had to pay any one of them for a cigarette. I needed money last month when the high priest of the temple complained that my leg was diseased and I shouldn’t be allowed to sit outside lest I should ward off their devout customers. I’m a pacifist and I didn’t want any trouble so I did what I could. I put my leg in one of those white casts that people with broken limbs use. I had to steal money from the temple to get it done of course. I’m back outside it now, puffing away- lost in dreams of tasting an actual Marlboro before I die-  I would leave but; I wouldn’t. This is home.

I am a drummer. My drum-set is an old careworn tabla that my father’s employer threw away when his son had moved on to a new fancy. You’ve probably seen me outside the ground where the Winters Market sets up shop every January. The boy with eyes that can’t see.Blind.Youd call me that but I don’t really care much for your words so. After all, I do have eyes. They just don’t work. Like a fused lightbulb that just went pop one evening and remained like that until your father got tired of your nagging and called the electrician who showed up a month later. I didnt go pop one evening. I was the faulty balloon in your party pack- manufacturing defect you can call me. My father was the one who started bringing me here, along with my tabla. He left soon after. I didn’t realise he wasn’t coming back until I accidentally overheard my neighbours talking one day when I was setting out with my tabla. “That’s what you do when you have a blind kid and a deadbeat wife who can’t start your engines no more, if you know what I mean- you run.” My mother has been paralysed and bed-ridden since I was born. In case you were wondering.

I am my children. I know you think I am my madness. Sometimes I do too. But then my youngest peers at me with desperate eyes shining in his muddy face and whimpers, “I’m hungry” looking guiltier than my eldest did when she slapped the kid screaming ‘crazy’ at me from his shiny bicycle and I know I couldn’t feel the things I do for them if I was mad. How is it that in the world we live in, it is acceptable for you to pass me off as crazy because you don’t-cant-ever relate to my desperation; but it is more than okay for my five-year old sustaining himself on half a banana for days to feel guilty even at the thought of hunger?

I am anger. I’m two more bursts of rain and two greenlights away from embarking on my own Zodiacesque killing spree. Sweeping away at what your footsteps and tyres bring back to me- my whole life is a vicious cycle. Plus my au naturel umbrella does nothing in this soppy, sodden all-year-hell of a state. Every day I’m told the name of some bigshot who is ‘almost here’ and who will absolutely not tolerate filthy roads. Potholes, yes. Sycophantic officials, sure. But God forbid a broken down mess of a road has some leaves lying around. Every year the knowledge of the existence of this job that I have held for the last forty years, slides further down the memory of my employers. Soon, I believe, it will be completely erased and when I ask for my salary I’ll be told I’ve only paid ten per cent of my Swachch Bharat dues or something like that.

I am my father’s son. Sounds redundant doesn’t it? When you’ve been searching for him for decades, you start saying these things to yourself- hope and faith are fickle friends. They’d desert you not even halfway through Ezekiel’s Enterprise. To keep my spirit going, I had likened myself to Guru Nayak. However, he had sought out seeking vengeance in An Astrologer’s Day** while I desired reconciliation- we were both hoping to find closure in whichever form possible I suppose. I remember these little details because I was the first person in my family to learn English and the pride I felt at this fact was very quickly followed by the fear of proving myself unworthy of it. My apprehensions and insecurities turned insignificant upon finally finding my father. In what I thought would be the most important moment of my life, my father looked right through me when I presented myself before him. Some people say he’s mad, some say he’s blind while others conclude he’s constantly drunk. I’ve taken to sitting on the steps of a building under construction about ten yards away from the temple on whose goodwill he has apparently survived. I stay here long enough, I might just become my father’s son.

Sometimes I start believing the things I imagine about the people I see, peering out from the window of my car.

*The title of this piece is a dialogue taken from David Fincher’s brilliant film Fight Club. In the original book by Chuck Palahnuik, the bile duct in question belonged to a Joe, not Jack. I was prompted to impulsively write something when I rewatched the movie somedays ago.

**An Astrologer’s Day is a short story by R.K. Narayan wherein you find the character Guru Nayak.

I Write Sins Not Tragedies*

I.

There is no God                                             Not in any of the holes.                                 He has filled my body with;                   Holes that are brimming full-                     But I don’t feel full no more.                     Only empty.

Hollow–                                                               as he- they’re all he- batters inside searching for a part of me that existed before him.

Hollow–                                                               as the room I’m kept in.                                   It would swallow me whole                           if it could.

Hollow–                                                               as the sky behind my eyelids.             Dreamless.                                           Sleepless.

There is no God                                       ripping out of pillars or walls or space.   Myths remain myths remain myths,             I suppose.

If mama was here- she’d say,                   “God has kept you alive, honey.”               She isn’t here though,                               when they come ramming through         and away what I imagine                                 is the night.                                                     No windows in the hollow.

I remember the fear                                         I remember the stench                             Sweat and smoke and filth and garage oils like someone I once remembered but forgot.                                                                   I remember to feel through                     what I remember of the start.

Marlboro ashes and tattered skin shedding New bruises every Saturday aren’t conducive to the ‘senses thing’                         I suppose.

II.

My eyes open to sunlight on them.         Sunlight.                                                           My eyes open to windows, painted walls, bookshelves, a door-                                  open.                                                        Rushing out to weary faces and wearier walls,                                                                      I let this new yet old silence soak me.

Silence. Silent. Sob.                                             I was unmade on my knees.                             I am reborn on my knees.                           My eyes search for my mama.                         If there is a God, I know I’ll find him           in her arms.

I smell him before I see him.                   Sweat and smoke and filth and garage oils. My dad slips his arms                             around me before he whispers                     in my ear,                                                           “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”.

*The title of this piece has been taken from 2005 song having the same name written by the band Panic! At The Disco for their album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.

Curse, Bless Me Now*

Do you ever dream of death?

Of a blink-and-you-miss something “quicker than falling asleep” and yet slower than the agonising wait for the sun when you rise from slumber before the beginning of dawn.

Do you dream of dying?

A tumble down the steep hilly roads, inside your car as it lurches and soaks up a spark, before blinding you orange-or a sudden bursting thud inside you, and a final squeeze between your lungs, before all goes quiet.

Do you ever dream of after?

Red-rimmed eyes and rooms full of emptiness and ghosting memories, haunting nights and days worn with fatigue. And fiery paths of stone and blood and a reckless endlessness; and maybe-just maybe- peace. 

Do you dream of death?

A handsome ol’ gentleman in a horse-drawn carriage headed to infinity. Or a winged monster swooping across the night sky-faceless and deadly. A thin slice, a tiny trickle and a blunt body on white sheets.

Do you scream, through this dream of yours? Or do you smile, just like me?

*The title has been taken from the last stanza of the poem ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ by Dylan Thomas. My poem, albeit in a twisted way, draws inspiration from the aforementioned piece.

Let’s Not Talk

The chiming of the grandfather clock in the living room has lodged itself into my inner ear and somehow she catches on and asks me, excitedly, “Time, isn’t it?” I nod, if only to satisfy her now waning curiosity.

It’s not like the question is new or even unexpected. From childhood slam books to ‘Find Your Patronus’ quizzes and the leading queries of frantic online anxiety tests filled in the desperate darkness, all ask the same thing: What is your biggest fear?

Heights, fire, spiders, drowning, ghosts, war: one unlikelier than the other. Loneliness comes closest perhaps, right after failure. Complaceny and utter defiance of all expectations-misplaced and otherwise- rule out the latter. The first lingers on for far too long until its presence is a foregone conclusion. So then I wonder can you fear something that is already as much a part of you as the very skin on your body?

My heart, I realise, is almost like my study table. All year round, junk gathers in a heap upon it until the eve of the examination. Then the wood creaks, in what I imagine to be surprise, at the sudden contact with fresh oxygen. Clutter, declutter. Clutter, declutter. Except, there is no examination- no big looming date- as far as the heart is concerned. And so the debris remains, accumulates.

Somewhere between this realisation(?Understanding?) and late nights spent devouring gay fanfiction under thick blankets in sweaty, cramped rooms, I have my epiphany.

It’s conversations, of course.

A wide-eyed preteen sat down by anxious parents and gently told that she isn’t-was never – their own to begin with.

A sixty-year old woman who spends the next fifteen years of her life introducing herself to her husband-day after day after day.

A seventy-five year old who spends the rest of her life being told-reminded– by her teenage granddaughter that her husband is dead.

A young boy whose father engraves his will through his words, into his mind-and skin-with every lash of the belt as he is made to repeat after him,“I am not a faggot.”

You see conversations wield the power to make or break, to alter lives; they also have the underrated yet more consequential ability to change human minds. I’m sure dictators throughout history knew this as did colonial rulers. The reason large gatherings were forbidden and the press was stifled and rigid curfews so strictly maintained (Remember the Rowlatt Act?) was that people talking to one another would inevitably lead to the formation of a somewhat cohesive, even if not unanimous, public opinion. It would be amiss on my part to mention autocrats and imperialists and not democrats when history is repeating itself today, across the world although I do believe its keenest sting is being felt by us, here in India.

It is not just revolutions and resistance that make conversations my biggest fear and led to my big epiphany, so to say. Over my teenage years, I’ve overnight become what you would call difficult, as I’m sure my parents would tell you but thankfully somewhere along the way I’ve learnt to pick my battles, if nothing else. So imagination my condition when my sister in the midst of a mundane conversation about prayers blurts out that I’m an atheist or ath-e-east as she calls it. For a moment there’s complete silence as I contemplate ten thousand and one different ways to kill my sister while my ‘hardcore believer’ of a mother looks at me-confused, as if solving a Sudoku. You know those moments in life when you know what follows will either be the frying pan or the fire, and you don’t know which one to wish for? Well I had my moment and all I got was a placid almost clinical dose of water and I swear, if you ever find yourself in such a position, you want one of the former options. Rage I can absorb, even counter but I sure as hell have no clue what to do with the bitter cold.

But I digress. Even initiating conversations make me gnaw at my nails. Sitting through one simultaneously vexes me and drains me of whatever energy I posses. Then there is my inability to filter-that I have spoken (and written) about so much that it is probably my pet peeve now-and how three, two, sometimes zero words stumble out of my mouth and wreak the worst kind of emotional havoc.

Perhaps, I’m most terrified of the conversations that I have in my head. Going over, redoing, repairing debates, speeches, meetings and of course, conversations from years ago again and again and again and there is no until. The conflict of everything I could be and won’t amount upto, constantly crashing against the walls of my mind. Lost potential-I fucking hate that word-and whatnot.

On the clearer days, I wonder how utter inaction breed utter paralysis of thought and emotion. Aren’t action-pumping adrenaline and hero complexes and bullets and tanks- supposed to be the scary things? Since when have supressed thoughts and inadvertent beliefs become so much more formidable, fearsome?

Have you ever felt the a crushing heaviness at the pit of your stomach? You may be lounging in front of the television, chatting in class, walking home: doing ordinary everyday things that you do and the bottom of your body just seems to drop and become a hollow nothingness. Have you ever felt frozen as your heart fell right through your body? Have you?

It’s been a while since I wrote and even longer since I stopped overanalyzing the reason behind it. I have always struggled to find the perfect harmony between screaming my opinions from the rooftops and shielding my feelings from the human eye. Nobody has never known me to mince my words but it’s scary how there is always so much left to say and to the normal conversationalist that would seem self indulgent. Perhaps that’s just the added sense of importance I attach to what I have to say, asserting itself. Have you ever clenched yourself- not just your teeth but your entire being- in order to restrain yourself when really the only time you lost your shit physically, in person, was years ago with your mother or your sister? Lately, I find myself turning into a nervous wreck inside while on the outside I’m lounging in front of the television or eating breakfast or lazing in bed. The practical side of me is insistent that it is my lack of productivity for over three hundred days that is causing this non-existent thought-no-fear to develop. My schoolteacher would probably assign this to my current ‘dropped out of college’ status. I have never and probably never will share any thing of this sort with my parents or friends for that matter. But I remember the last time I had anything honest to say and I realise I can write. I maybe an antisocial/asocial (I’m riddled by the difference, forgive me for being an imbecile) emotionally stunted jerk who is verbose and yet not but God (it annoys the hell out of me that I need to use that word to express my level of frustration considering my rather agnostic feelings on the matter) I feel understood when I write. Maybe it’s the thought that this space has next to no followers and probably the only person reading this will be me, in regret possibly once I’ve published it. I have no clue why I’m using a public domain to ramble. I sure as hell know it’s not exactly safe. Scratch that last sentence. I’m just sick of Snapchatting, Instagramming, Facebooking (I’M AWARE THEY’RE NOT REAL VERBS) constantly, bloody chirpily without a care in the world while my insides feel like they’re doing this thing called a Flying Fox we were made to do in school. I also just can’t seem to stop doing all of the above I’m sick of doing. I’m sure I sound like a perfect, first world millennial cribbing about my perfect life. Maybe I judge myself with the same eyes I judge others and that’s just brilliant, talk about a taste of my own medicine. Maybe I don’t know what to write anymore. It’s raining bullets outside. I wonder if anybody else has wanted the roof to crash in from the sheer force of the storm.

Skin-ned

Version 1:

“Stereotypes create queers”, they told her.

The stereotypical anti[thesis] herself-

she didn’t blink at the gradual pink of the house;

nor at the tactile, volatile state of mind.

When her son’s bra was burnt- symbolically, violently-

the four pink walls turned crimson.

Stereotypes create queers.”

Hadn’t they told her so before?

Version 2:

They blamed Her

for painting his walls pink

-for teaching him it was okay to cry

-for making him a better person but not a better son.

Stereotypes create queers.

‘Bra burning’ was just as symbolic now,

Even if only within their four pink walls.


Once Upon A Lie

Dear Ex,

I almost wrote husband but my pen refused to write after the ‘s’ because, you’ll agree when I say this, two sets of toiletries in my bathroom and a promise ceremony officiated by Joey Tribbiani through the television screen don’t exactly make a marriage, although we thought otherwise back then. Atleast I did.

You see, growing up I was a scared little kid. Clowns terrified me, so did spiders. I couldn’t bear a horror movie for more than a quarter of an hour and the aftermath; let’s not even go there. But all everyday, commonplace fears of commitment aside, not for once did I doubt the plunge that I took with you; nor did I need a ring on my finger or words on paper to assure me that you’d never run away. Not from us, not like that, not ever.

It’s a different thing that we could never get any of those celebrated, time-tested hallmarks of a lasting relationship even if we wanted to.

There are times when I imagine that it was a summer fling, an impulsive mistake we made after our “one more shot” became “one too many” and the only walls left standing were those made of fabric that gave away all too easily. I imagine that we were one of those fictional holiday romances that happened one summer, then the next, and then again until you learned from your mistakes and didn’t show up the following summer. My imagination runs wild for how else do I persuade myself that it wasnt, isn’t hard to craft a tiny, white box of eight years worth of lazy mornings and torrid nights and drop it into the sea.

Then there are the times I wish either of us would have been abusive, alcoholic, unfaithful anything that could have made this imminent; a train on the edge of a bridge waiting to go off the rails. I wish you hadn’t cut yourself out of my life with a doctor’s scalpel: clean and clinical and yet goddamn painful. You could have left me something; a final row, a blow to the nose, anything that could just about paint that warped picture of you I needed, to help me lock you in my Pandora’s box and walk away. But even my memories defy me in their resolute allegiance to you.

So, here I remain in our broken flat holding the far more broken shards of us scattered around this place, like some convoluted amalgamation of Sam Smith and Adele with every successive word of this letter sounding more and more like a clingy rendition of Someone Like You; because you were always the one with the words, not me, so much so that sometimes I felt that I was holding you back and down from picking up your laptop and camera and walking away, on that journey you always wanted, with and to yourself.

But that was before a WhatsApp group I had still not left -because the people on it weren’t my friends, but ours– was flooded with engagement pictures. And she’s a honey-skinned, olive-eyed goddess with high cheekbones and a figure to die for. I hear that she’s almost as witty as you and open and accommodating and she even sings, and is there anything she can’t do?

If only it was this petty jealousy that consumed me and not the speculation about the reasons behind your choice. Was it the ugly, invasive many-headed monster,society, that you claimed you couldn’t care less about? Or was it your twisted mother’s twisted need for a grandson from her only son?

Talking about mothers, mine misses you. She keeps cajoling me to “make up” with you because she she thinks you’ve become another number on my list of people I used to be friends with, people who I gave up on, people to whom my walls became mountains. Little does she know that she couldn’t be further from the truth. You were that one person in my life who knew every nagging fear and dirty desire; all my fantasies and my weakness and I kept giving, bit by bit, until not only my flawed, naked soul but even the tiniest of thoughts that flitted through my head belonged to you. I surrendered and gave in to the idea of giving in, only for you to Ross Geller me in the end.

Sorry for my excessive Friends references. You know how I am with that.

I always knew that you entered my world hesitantly, almost unwillingly. If nothing else, your enraged outburst after you discovered that I had joined the protest in Jantar Mantar- because I cared, dammit, I cared too much- showed exactly were you stood; I was to be your dirty little secret (God, how I hate that term) and I thought you were content to be mine. How was I to know that you took to heart, the catcalls of those drunken bastards who accosted us that sultry night in July, whose words hit a little too close to home?

The things you’ll never say could fill books but that’s not what haunts me. It’s the fact that I still don’t know. Were you living a lie all those long years you spent being who I thought you were ? Or do you, even now, feel the loneliness creep into your heart in the nights when she holds you closer, tighter; because she’s a goddess goddammit, but something you never wanted and you never will. And she’s all soft corners and satin skin but you ache to feel a hard chest and the harder beating of the heart beneath it, against your back, drawing yourself to it even as you repeatedly rant about how “sickening and annoying” people who like to snuggle are. Do you miss coarse hands and an early stubble? Do you hope she’ll chop off her ethereal locks so that you can run your fingers through the crispness that you love?

And on nights when the only fight for the blanket happens between me and the side of the bed that now lies empty, I write this letter that I’ll never send, adding and removing stuff from it as and when the mood strikes; my eulogy for our relationship, which I’ll probably burn on the stove someday when I have enough ‘quarters’ in my body and a numb nervous system.

But on those nights when I do end up writing this, because sleep too has joined my list of long lost friends, it is not to make this jarring piece I refuse to call literature, any longer or clearer; and I know you would have cringed had you read the next part, but ultimately I do love clichés, and somewhere deep down I think so do you (why else would Same Love be ‘our song’); it has always been my favourite movie and because nobody has ever said it better than Jack did to Ennis:

“I wish I knew how to quit you.”

Yours,

The Unsuitable Boy.

Remember When-

           1. The First Grey

 He was talking to Noah about the farmhouse when he dropped a question about “the lady from upstairs” with a remarkably casually disdain, leaving a palpable anxiety in its wake. Noah, however, only stifled a laugh and told him that Keira had already left for work.

Sitting at the archaic rotary, listening to another one of my colossal clan, this time my ostentatious sister, ramble on about her illustrious affairs in the ‘Big City’, I unconsciously drew a single line on the telephone book.


               2. And Again
At 4:30 in the evening, he stumbled out of the bedroom in his signature ivory pajamas, blinking away the remains of his siesta, and flashed me his trademark grin.
“Are you done with your tea, already?”, he enquired, plopping down on the make-shift sofa where we had spent countless mornings sipping away our sleep, raising an eyebrow,at the empty table; a crease cutting through his forehead when he found neither his cup nor mine.
“Can you pass me today’s papers then?”, he resignedly requested, only sighing at my prolonged silence, typically unassuming of its  
genesis.
“Oh. They..umm..haven’t been delivered yet,”, I spluttered.
Later that night when I was clearing up his desk somehow the telephone book ended up in my hands and before I knew it I had added a second line to it.
And thus began the tally.

             3. Strike Three

The third line in the book is still distinctly etched in my mind because it was the last one made when keeping count was still a possibility, albeit an obscure one.
The news of Henry’s death had taken two days to reach us because he had been dead for one whole day before the police found his body, feigning sleep on his favourite armchair.It was three more days before we could muster the courage to break the news to him.
I watched his curls ruffle in the early autumn breeze as his brow furrowed in a concentrated look he had only when thinking of cars or good food.
“Where was he from?”, he finally voiced.
Neither then. His other fond hobby as well as habit was to dig up people’s roots, from family trees to birthplaces and fifth generation cousins, thrice and again removed, hailing from the towns and cities he knew only too well.
“England. He had been living in England.”
“Really? You know, my brother lives in England.” He’s quite alone there, as he’s divorced now. He has two kids though who live in Canada.”
Yes, I thought, the vermin who had abandoned their father long before he was six feet under, scorning his love and spurning his company.
“Would you be a dear and remind me to call him up later?”
“Okay.”, I whispered, as a strong gust of wind blew away the remnants of the crimson leaves, the last of the Halloween candy wrappers and all semblance of coherence.

         4. The Crescendo

It was long after all was known and accepted and an uneasy familiarity created that I was truly punched in the gut by what was happening.
Noah had already left for the office and Keira was wrapping up her breakfast when I entered the dining hall, running late for a Wednesday meeting at the club.
He was scowling at the burnt fried eggs on his plate mumbling about ‘that slacker of a maid’ when he saw me and exclaimed,
“Aren’t you all decked up and gorgeous ? Is it your wedding day?”
I stopped in my tracks and stared, gobsmacked. Stared till I had assured myself that it was the same man, him, not somebody else who had asked the question, stared till I realised he was staring right back waiting for a response.
“No..”, I breathed, “not today.”     

                 5.Grey-er

At the last occasion that we ever celebrated, he met a comrade from the ‘golden days’ after decades and spent the evening recounting tales that were now as familiar to me as the smell of his decadent perfume.
An old friend of the family, listening in on the conversation, turned to me and affectionately mused,
“He has a remarkable memory, doesn’t he?”
Choking back the engulfing hysteria, I hushedly gave my assent.
The glinting ’50’ on the cake caused many a well-wisher to come over and remark,
“You don’t know how lucky you are.”
Indeed.

                6.Black

They say there is nothing more agonising than being the one left behind.
But I had soothed him as he begged, cajoled and pleaded to be taken back to our hometown, a place we had not left in more than half a century. I have seen his children turn casual acquaintances and the distinction between the known and the strange fade into oblivion. I have watched, I have listened and we have lived.
My husband died today and yet I could not stop relief from coursing through my veins for just one tiny, forgettable but not forgivable, moment. They say this is agonising but it has been nothing but heartbreaking to see a lifetime disappear right in front of my eyes because they don’t know that, for me, the end had begun the very first time he forgot my name.

Hook, Line and Sinker

I got my room cleaned today. I know, it sounds inane. It is inane. But as I was keeping my things back, I realised I had shuffled everything up. My room looks different now and before I could blink I hated it.

For as long as I can remember, I have had an itch. If I came back home from school and my bed was facing the opposite direction, I’d have a problem. Put up new curtains and add a laminated photo to the walls, there you have it: the ingredients for a disaster.

Maybe it is the same with everybody, I wouldn’t know- my intense snobbery has always kept me away and apart from the “ordinary human population”- but nothing has ever shaken me or unsettled me as much as change has. There would be the momentary lapse of comprehension, the subsequent  rapid almost boiling inside of me somewhere until I clench my teeth, ball up my fists, and recede to a corner. Breathe in, breathe out, burrow it in: further, deeper. The circumstances, the setting may have changed but the rest have remained eerily same even as the years have passed.

You probably find this funny considering how much you love change despite having lived at home your entire life, with the same set of friends and family and teachers and life, really; while my constant shipping off from one place to the other has left me extremely adaptable yet intensely bitter. Perhaps the two of of us feel the way we do because despite our long drawn righteous rants provoked by the greatest sheep among the most mundane, and the senseless impulsiveness of the masses, it was the easier path to choose.

For all our mathematical inclination and love for structure and rules, we too gave into simple human vulnerability. And, hard as it may be to believe, I’m not being judgemental. Just stating things as they are, to you, as there is no way I could have accepted these things on my own, to myself.

Sometimes, though, I love change. And you’re probably going to crack some weird bipolar joke about this (it wasn’t funny then, it isn’t now) but I do. Watching blank sheets turn blue and black and green and just- the colour of a brimming fullness- alfaaz as I  like to call it to feel the syllables roll of my tongue, even better if scripted in a long hand that could never be mine, with almost dripping ink. I’m such a romantic sometimes.

Then there is the sky and its constant, constant transition-in shapes, shades and shimmer- that has had me hooked perhaps before I could look that far up. But this is something you know, as do my negligible number of followers on Instagram who can only be privy to that much idiosyncrasy. In fact these paint a rather fanciful, poetic sketch of somebody who is more likely to end up as the subject of a dejected poem about rejection or some such glorified angst than become the poet herself.

The reason I’m like the jutting edge of a table you always knock your knee against without fail, over and over again- and it’s small, it’s nothing but it hurts like the goddamn devil- is that: How do I explain the sudden thrill of skin giving away to allow the rush of deep crimson? Of watching a face crumble downwards and inwards? Of keeping the world on mute like you do to that Nae Nae song that keeps popping up on the radio? How do I tell you that I have neither hated nor loved anybody or anything (not even that God awful ‘girl problem’, that you calmly accepted while I ranted and raved) as much as you; and no, it’s not that silly “I hate that you make me love you” kind of hate you read about on Tumblr and skim through in those despicable Nicholas Sparks novels of yours. It’s hate, pure and simple and ugly to its core.

You see, you had always controlled my jagged, ragged soul more than my body, mainly because I never let you take the road that is to remain not taken; and I tried-I promise-I did, and before I could fully swallow, rinse and reboot, you came down to visit (pity, was it?) and how could I? All over again?

And there’s people I talk to here. Don’t be surprised, I have my days too. I walk alone but I do talk and I do laugh, even if it is not too often. The screen is always there but I have allowed the opaque to turn translucent and I’m just giving, giving, giving; can you believe it? And for all that I’ve given, there couldn’t, shouldn’t be this intense loneliness drawing me from the shore all the time, there really shouldn’t because I tried dammit, I really did. And it makes me so helpless and breathless and caged in and I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. 

So, when you came down here, I had to clasp onto you, as hard as I could, and keep you, because I knew, somewhere inside me a dam was breaking loose, and that if you also faded into that harsh indifference or worse the casual acquaintance, soon to be forgotten- only existing in the vapid and banal WhatsApp groups- I would, no, I couldn’t. And you know how odd my sense of humor is: I ‘smuggled’ that old antique knife that you had gifted me on the first of our many firsts on the flight just to see if I would be stopped and it was a joke, it was a stupid, unfunny, fucked-up joke, until it wasn’t.

You understand, right? I’m counting on that. I’ve always been your open book, so you have to get this; especially the whys. Did I say I got my room cleaned though? I seem to be terribly confusing things these days- side effects of ‘self-imposed depression’ I suppose.

Wait, of course, I didn’t get it cleaned. I mean, the stench outside is a big enough sign; to invite them in would be suicide. 

Irony really does adore me.

But, I digress. Creating a Porphyria for myself wasn’t really the cure I was looking for. And frankly for all my queer silences, I do love breaking them for your sake; and it lies there in the corner of my tiny room, suffocating me with its unwashed, unkempt dripping sharpness. It fascinates me even as it repulses some aching part of my insides, but it is still there and i wonder, why not just let it serve it’s purpose?

Am I boring you? I have rambled on and on, haven’t I? I would apologize (no, I wouldn’t) but this is all your fault. Forget that. All I wanted to say is that I love you, I miss you, I’m surrendering to those disgusting sappy impulses for once, and make sure you wear something pretty, I’ll meet you for dinner tonight.

Tainted Kisses

Everlasting springtime in the garden of Eden

So it begins- the searching, the seeking

Dewdrops and lilies herald yet again

The finding-too late now-the falling;

The Apple falls as the first storm hits

The hunter, the hunted; the vipers-

Howling wolves prey on enemy forsaken

-Slithering,laying, lying, it sinks in.

There’s only so far you can go.

Terror at night and breathless by dawn

There’s only so much you can run

Torrid memories and now the haunting calm


Can you still hear it?

Cackles and wind in the darkness waning

Can you still see it?

Gleaming eyes and gleaming lies and gleaming-

Did you do it?

Sharp and ready as the shadows hide

Do you regret it?

Prying, purging, plunging through the lies.

Are you done now?

Everlasting springtime in the garden of Eden

So it begins- the searching, the seeking

Dewdrops and lilies herald yet again

The finding-too late now-the falling

Its only just started.