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In Between

Dragonfly

Her eyes drooping with sleep, she got out of bed in her first attempt. Last night had been crazy. The apartment was now spinning fast with squares of bright light flashing her with devotion. She sat down and put her head under her knees. It didn’t help. As she made the fourth attempt to get up and fetch water, somebody had discovered the door bell and was going at it enduringly. She looked at the rusty old clock she had inherited from her great grandmother. 11 ‘O’ Clock. Over the years she had learnt to neglect the growing archaic den her apartment had become. The dust didn’t bother her anymore because they came with the things that were handed down to her, from a generation of people that kept things, too many things in the places they breathed and ate.

She recognized the woman at her door from the bag she was carrying. Our woman had been glaring at the bag all of last night, trying to identify the brand from the spectacular distance that had separated them and over all the tall glasses and the noise around them. It took her a while to recollect the name of the place they had seen each other at. Roofies? Floories? Gloria’s?

– ‘I saw you at Dragonfly last night’, said the guest, even as her host squinted her eyes into tiny round balls.

-‘Oh, yes! What can I do for you’?

-‘I came here to tell you to leave him the hell alone. I saw you glaring at us last night and he’s quiet upset’

‘But – I, wait, who are – ‘

‘I only came here to tell you that. Good bye’

As she saw the woman hurry past the gate and into the car, she wondered if she should run after her and demand an explanation. But she was too hungover to do that or the next sane step, which was to call Aaquil and ask him if he had any idea what this meant. She would have dragged herself back in but her silk robe got caught in the giant cactus that stood next to the door. She cursed and nearly died of exhaustion trying to rescue the robe without perforating holes in them. Unlike everything else in her apartment, this robe she was rather fond of. She wore it every night and never washed it. Her friends never got why she complained so much about all the antique hand me downs she had acquired.

She had always wanted to design her own place to her own taste when she got it. But because it took so long to figure out what her taste was like, her family had decided that the empty spaces in her apartment looked ugly and that it was the best home the family collections could ever get. So at the far end of the apartment stood a giant mahogany cot that was obscenely polished and seemed to hurt most eyes because of ugly carvings of goats and grapes at all four ends of the cot. She had done her best to hide the carvings and finally decided that wet towels do the trick. A grotesquely huge bookshelf stood at the other end of the apartment which looked rather embarrassing because she had owned only 2 books in her life and read one. The bookshelf had slowly become home to assorted key chains and jewelry and currently displayed all of the 80 sandals she owned.

A tall coat hanger stood to the door’s left. It was a naked woman with bulbous breasts that her friends sometimes used to hang their bags on. This piece belonged to her perverted uncle whom the family eventually disowned but chose to keep all of his furniture.

She forgot all about the bizarre conversation as she curled into her bean bag and slept until the doorbell rang again. This time it was him. She knew this because she had suddenly realized who the bag woman was talking about.

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In Between

11:30 PM

Anger is a purple sofa in a white room

A dirty water bottle that you don’t want to drink from

A friend you don’t want to talk to

A message you are finding hard to send

A truth you are not seeing

A pain you will not feel now

A tablet you like eating

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In Between

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.

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In Between

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.

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In Between

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? 

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In Between

Between Hemingway and Wodehouse

His notebooks were always the same color, brown. And the pages were always handmade. Everytime he got a new one, he would draw his name out on the first page with a black pen, in big block letters. He always wrote with an ink pen. On his 15th birthday, his grandfather pulled him close to his lap, kissed him and gave him this pen. It was before he started to molest him. Everybody knew his grandfather molested him, he told them all. But nobody knew why he held on to that pen so closely and nobody asked.

He wrote short stories when he was happy. And like all great men, he wrote poetry when he was sad. Sometimes, when he couldn’t decide if he was happy or sad, he would go to sleep, even though he wanted very much to write. He liked Hemingway, sometimes more than he liked Wodehouse. His family had taught him to love Wodehouse. He learnt how to read Wodehouse but he didn’t quite grow to be inspired by him, like every other male member in his family.

He found Hemingway in his grandfather’s library one afternoon after they all went to nap. He rummaged through old yet sprightly and clean bookshelves for something other than a picture of cartoon people on the front cover. Trouble with Wodehouse was even though he was funny and everything, it wouldn’t make him laugh.

He found an unmarked copy of short stories by Hemingway. All the other books that he read from his grandfather’s library had all sorts of markings on them. This one was clean, untouched, new even. It looked removed from everything else around it. He grew curious. He wasn’t allowed in his grandfather’s study but nobody would know now so he tiptoed into the study, sat on the comforter and began a life long affair with Hemingway.

He would return to this moment often, when he thought about the big old house and its fresh cobwebs, his grandfather behind his big black armada glasses and that godawful Grinch like smile. When his grandfather died, he locked himself up in the study and went though all his grandfather’s papers and journals. He didn’t know what he was looking for, a sign of remorse perhaps? A hastily written ‘I am sorry’ somewhere?, a letter written for him to be opened and read silently after he had passed?

He found nothing except some really yellow photographs of his wedding day and honeymoon and some from his days at the university. By evening he had grown tired of not knowing what he was looking for so he settled down with his Hemingway on the comforter by the fireplace.

He couldn’t read and gave up soon. He curled further back into the comforter and looked at his grandfather’s life size portrait. It must have been a fairly recent one. He looked closely at his wrinkles which spread like little roots etching out of the corner of his eyes. That broad forehead with its legendary mole sitting sharply, like it still lived, after the face had gone, and its body now rotting. He kept looking at the mole until the mole itself became the focus of his eyes, sieving his attention from the competing thick eyebrows which were now beginning to appear now that his vision was back.

He stood up and faced the portrait. Looking, searching, breathing. His hand in his pocket, twirling the lighter around. After a minute his eyes softened and he let go. His throat was beginning to feel heavy. He looked down and rearranged his feet. They were now neatly parallel to the tiles. He picked up his jacket and waited by the door to bid a proper farewell. He needed to keep this vision alive for as long as he would postpone writing about his grandfather. Now was the time. A gentle rustle of wind lifted itself between the door now shut tight and the window. Outside, he got on his bike and rode into the darkness.

He would go back to his apartment and write his grandfather’s obituary along with some other things his journal had been waiting for.

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In Between

J – Just leave

A queen sized bed overlooks a window. Around 12:00 in the noon, when the light is at its most splendid, it steels through the window and falls on the bed like thoughts organised neatly on mornings that one wakes up early. A sudden hustle of wind makes a hurried attempt at the bed, and spoils the painful neatness that is the bed spread. The folds on the bed spread grow thick and inconsistent. This irks the house keeper beyond measure but she likes light, wind and other such pleasantness so she will not close the windows or draw the curtains.

The table stands in a corner, looking orphaned yet sprightly. Its black doesn’t go well with the lavender of the walls or the curtains. Although the books themselves look devoid of dust, a slate of dust runs around books that haven’t been touched in ages, This wasn’t due to the house keeper’s carelessness. She was simply warned never to change the position of the books.

A broken lamp stands in another corner. It is a bronze lamp and one has to look at it very carefully to see where and why it is broken. A withering, brown book shelf is the lamp’s neighbor. And just above ‘A mill on the Floss’, is a very artistically carved hole where a spider lives and does what spiders do. An old, dusty copy of the ‘Walden’ sits alone on the top shelf. It looks returned. Is that why it sits alone? On the shelf below, a Waldenesque shape looks carved just as artistic as the hole – its predecessor. Only this one looks more enchanting. An OCD prone person would leave the Walden-hole alone.

Around 3:00, the light softens and this time when it falls on the bed, it looks like a well composed, grieving princess crying softly. A little after, the light falls on a pair of black sandals that are to the left of the bed. It looks just as inviting as the soft blueness of gigantic pillows propped against the headboard.

An empty glass jug is the light’s next affair. It sends shards of glassy reflections onto the mirror that towers to the right of the bed. Every time the house keeper walks in and out if the bedroom, leaving the door shut thud, flecks of dust float up and then settle down on the bed and there they rest until her next visit. They will continue to shift and settle down even after she cleans. The dust in this room is like the ghostly light in the room. It never leaves, just like its walls don’t, just like its secret hasn’t left the room since that stormy night 80 years ago.

The letters continue to collect dust between the pages of ‘War and peace’.

Tonight however, the owner will return to her bedroom, to reclaim those letters and to put to rest finally, the room and its dark secret.