Clem & Clem

I don’t know if the faint light behind curtains is going to make me smile everyday, and maybe it shouldn’t.

Even as I am looking at them morosely and wondering why all mornings cannot be the same, the day begins to yawn quickly into nights and I have nothing accomplished to show you.

The lightness in my smiles weighs the thoughts within me in measured interruptions.

In short, Lorelai Gilmore calls the voices in her head Clem & Clem.

If I could be that funny to the voices in my head, they would shrink and become dust.

But they have serious names, one is yousuck and the other is seriously.

They are both talking to me now.

Tomorrow I will come up with better names, I promise.

Tuesday

Like the notes you make in an auto which go into some drawer later, and you don’t see them ever again

Like the debit card that goes into your front pocket instead of your wallet, like it should, after long sessions of beer

Like that last cigarette you were’t going to smoke

Like the mug of beer you don’t know why you drink

Like the earphones you can’t find when you want to pack in a hurry

Like reading blogs that set your heart on green-red and yellow fire

Like piles of books unread

Like the change that clinkers in your purse

Like the lie you forgot

Like the workplace that is yours

Like the workplace that is more yours after everybody leaves

Like the silence that falls on the room after you lock

Like the lights that hesitate to pull out fully

Like the ring of the bell that is freakishly long on Tuesdays.

You and I

I cannot think straight. I can only think in circles and patterns. It begins with an image, a color, a word, a smell and the next thing I know I am weaving or reweaving an old memory, sometimes faking a memory or foretelling it, to heighten the experience of self pity.

There aren’t too many ways to describe a mug of coffee sitting on your table.

It is coffee. It is in a mug. It is on the table. It is either hot or cold. You are either preparing to write or postponing it.

Your phone blinks.

Draw the curtains down, close the door, sit on your bed. The coffee mug is still the same. Repeated images of an overused coffee mug.

The cursor blinks.

You feel useless so you bang your net book shut and watch Gilmore Girls. You try to pick an episode that has Rory either writing or reading. Hopeless attempt. You are angry with her, She studies, she reads, she eats, she drinks coffee but she doesn’t write like write write. You really close your net book now and decide tomorrow will be a better day.

You are riding. And on the road are words. ‘You’ circled multiple times. You are using way too many ‘yous’ in your posts, an ‘i’ looks hurt and is going to disappear. A pothole is overlooked. The vehicle rams itself against it and you wake up feeling demotivated and bruised.

Over due

Nothing like a can of red bull sitting quietly on your table to make you wonder why you take life and phone calls seriously.

I feel combed.

Too many truths I don’t want to see

Too many lies I am trying not to speak

Too many desires I am scared to show

Too many voices I am scared to listen to

Too many glasses I want filled

Too many memories I cannot shake off.

I’m sorry. Long day.

Beyond a point, which is a post twelve something on the clock, the energy to create fake ids on social media dies. Give it more time and the reason why you need these fake ids also begin to die. 

I have never seen a white owl. But I am told they are beautiful, like snowmen.

Neruda said there’s nothing sadder in the world than a train standing in the rain. 

The stomach grumbles, a dog barks, the remote doesn’t comply

My grandfather’s hat sits alone in a cupboard that is opened everyday

He wore it with a safari suit

He didn’t understand why the is pronounced ‘the’ and not thee

Some days my uterus likes to pretend that it is falling down, into gravity.

I don’t want to get married

I wish I were drunk now so this would make sense

But I am not.

I like September. 

Is that water? 

It happened to me

When he told me to sit on his lap, I should have said no. There were empty seats in the van. I should have been clear about why I didn’t want to sit on his lap, especially today, of all days. Maybe this incident had to have happened just so I could learn how to say no. So I made my way over to my uncle and sat as lightly as I could on his lap. No amount of polite concerns for the health of his lap would have allowed him to let go of me. What’s worse than your family’s impoliteness is also a grand amount of politeness.

‘Could he have felt it?’ I wondered, through the 40 longest minutes of my life. I had no way of checking if I even needed to worry. At every tentative stop the van made, I grew hopeful of an excuse I could use to escape from him and his lap.

Nobody could have helped me. Not my mother, who sat in the corner of the bus, laughing at something dad was saying, not my sister who sat by the window, earphones plugged into her whole existence and definitely not me who was glued to her uncle’s lap and shivered everytime the vehicle ran over speed bumps.

Now I could feel it, the wetness, the thickness, the weird trickle between thighs, like urine dreaming its way out when you bed wet, you can feel it but are simply too paralyzed to stop it. I decided to sit mum and not do anything or say anything because I was sure the damage was done. There was no point in bringing everybody’s attention to the most embarrassing moment of my life, not prematurely. I wasn’t dreading it anymore because now all my attention was focused on delaying it. I wanted 40 more minutes, hell, I wanted the 40 minutes to not end, to never end. I wanted the daylight sucked from outside so he wouldn’t notice what had happened to his pants, on his lap. I wanted night, I wanted my mother, I wanted to lock myself somewhere and cry.

The van stopped eventually and I saw with wild fear, my mother, sister and cousins getting off the van, one by bloody one. My uncle had no way of getting up without budging me off his lap so I continued to sit until he summoned to get up.

As I stood up unhurriedly and scared, I turned to look at what I had left behind, and saw it. The most disgusting little three drops of bright red blood on my uncle’s pants. What followed must have been bad because I went temporarily deaf after a stupid boy cousin opened his mouth and screamed ‘Blood! Blood! Blood on uncle’s pants’.  As kind aunts shushed him to a full stop, I ran tearing out of the van and into the bathroom. When I came out, I had transformed into a firm believer of using 2 napkins on the first day of period.

Over and out

It is difficult to admit to yourself when you fall out of love. There aren’t signs nor symbols to tell you when you do, unlike when you are in love where every tear drop is out of feeling lucky and blessed, every smile is a play of memory and desire and every morning is a prayer. Here on the other side, there is a void now which is slowly beginning to fill with everything you don’t say to each other. A pause that appears more than once in a conversation; it twitches and you want nothing more than to wrap it up and put it in your pocket; to let it out only when it is healthier and is sure to inspire thoughtfulness and shared smiles.

It takes longer to dress up now, you pick clothes you don’t find interesting. When you turn back at your door and see the light and warmth in the curtains and the slow, rhythmic rising of fumes from incense sticks, you sigh and hang on to the hope of another Sunday, when all of this will be yours to touch and feel.

You go to familiar places, hoping it will rekindle forgotten desires, now abandoned in limbos – neither here nor there. The walk from the parking lot to the escalator is the hope for a good day. Then you say something, he says something else. Your face freezes in an expression you know he detests but it’s too late to think of what he detests and loves. Or perhaps you don’t care. Within a minute, the promise of a good day goes grinning by, and all you can do is stand there and wait to finish your thought, the fight.

A warped sense of pity and gratitude beckons you to walk along with him and force conversations on him, like squeezing an empty tube for that last remaining blob of toothpaste. But all you get is a set of grunts to match your ridiculous questions. You are only checking to see if the day still has potential, and then in that little distance between discomfort and accusation, you will know.

As you stand in silence on the escalator, you wonder if it always took you so long to get to the fourth floor. It seems as though another floor has been added because it really is taking you longer than usual to get there. Ringing echoes of laughter and memories of stories that you once inflicted on this escalator, this mall whisper behind you as you finally reach that dreaded fourth floor. And then a faint feeling of loveless coma whacks your face and you are left wondering if you just fell out of love.

Two pairs of hands are lifelessly sprawled on the table – they look yellow and tired. Every movement the hand makes is a battle between a desire to end the bickering, yet to not want to reach out and grasp his hand. The food arrives and you feel relief raining all over your insides. Hours later you are fighting the urge to push his weight off your chest while your face appears to be as calm as the moon. Every touch is a memory that your uncle left burnt on your thighs, hips and breasts. You go through with it and wait for it to end. It ends and you go home.

Nothing here

I gruelingly remember my undergraduate years at Jain College. Blow after blow, bully after bully, fight after fight.  A lot of my time was invested in either escaping said bullies or trying to confront them in my head, making speeches. I made terrible friends, wasted all my time in a college that was as aimless as its students. I didn’t know what I wanted from my career. Too much time was spent worrying about potential love failure. Too much more time was wasted in romance that didn’t blossom when it had to.

Being in love can be very exhausting. At 16, the exhaustion seemed weightless.  Also, I was too young to notice that I was exhausted. All my decisions were based on him.  Where we would eat, where we would go for the vacation, where we would make out next, which movie to watch, what lies should I tell at home, what excuses aren’t already taken. Not far behind was also the lurking, overwhelming sense of whether or not all of this was worth it.

I hate to admit, but maybe falling in love at 16 wasn’t really an achievement as I hoped it would be. I must be the bigger person here and also say that mother was probably right. I can never be so sure about this because back then, this wasn’t a house that encouraged a career in the humanities. Marriage proposals from men two decades older than me were considered and pursued with much enthusiasm just because I was anyway a B.A English student.

But my misdirected rage against them was no excuse for having exploited 3 prime years of my life, chasing nothing, but they didn’t seem like nothings then. They were what caused me dark circles – prolonged wait and hope for calls that never came, for text messages that were never returned, for love that remained unrequited long after I was his, and he, mine.

I don’t know how we’ve made it this far; maybe because for a good seven years of my life I gave it all of myself.  With every promise, every wound, every funny story, every fight, every touch. I did write now and then but they were all a bunch of things I could never tell him out loud. Like how much I hurt because of the sudden intense moments of love I often felt.

It doesn’t hurt now because the pain is all too familiar. The love remains and so do struggles of memory and hurt and fear.  I pass by that college every day on my way to work. On bad days, I cringe when I pass by those demon gates, on better days I laugh and feel secretly relieved about the disconnection I have managed with the college and its people.

It’s not as if I have outgrown the girl I was behind those gates. I still run after love in more or less the same ways. Except that my capacity for exhaustion seems to have plummeted down to obscene levels.

H – High and Highway

If my life had a sound track right now, it would play that sad-funny tune when Mario is bitten by the vicious-cute turtles. Or like Mappy when it is killed by kittens. I can only think of soundtracks in video games. Because these tracks imitate exactly how I feel right now. My face now looks just like Mario’s when he dies and goes down. Never mind, I am writing this to feel better. I feel screwed from all directions.

I don’t know how I got here. When I think about how I got here, all I see are trees passing me by like they do when I travel. Like when I reach the destination and think of my journey, I can only remember roads and their roughness, their curves and turns, the trees and their bigness, some old women’s faces, their wrinkles and their lives passing me by in a moment. Like how in the movie Highway, she retraces her journey back to what can never be hers and all she remembers are the roads and trees and misses having seen them with him.

I am lost today. Everything at work is going slow, like how on highways sometimes you slow down because you are unsure about the road you are driving on? Have 2 classes today. Need to be wildly prepared for one but mother fucking roads are all I can think of now. Freud says this means I need to take off and be with myself for sometime.

Argh! I can slowly see my blog turning into one of my pathetic journals. Need to stop it before it’s too late. I should write more short stories and read them later and beat my chest. That is some consolation. At least I am not moaning when I write bad fiction. I am only beating my chest and that stops soon after nice colleagues hug me and tell me nice things.

Only Elaichi tea can save me now. Baaah!