Covalent Bond

That afternoon, he picked me up from chemistry tuition. That day we were going to learn about the covalent bond. How ironic.

I made an excuse. Something very pretty silly. Meeting him was a consequence of a chain of careful excuses. Some at home. Some to friends. Lies made me anxious. Back then, I didn't even know how to contain anxiety. Meeting him had become synonymous to this anxiety. Love, like carbon, does rarely come in its purest form. Love often manifests itself in one form or another. Going down, this anxiety would probably be synonymous with love. And one would have to quietly and patiently unfurl this anxiety, one petal after another, like flowering a rose bud. And at the center of it, find love, untouched, unhinged.

For me, it was always the little things. His face was always neutral of any expression. It wasn't a poker face, never a poker face. Yet, devoid of joy or sorrow. He was always in his skin, contained. But when something genuinely funny happened, his taught face would break into a smile. A slight half smile, if I may. And then, that would lead to a laugh. He didn't laugh that way at jokes. At jokes, he guffawed. That guffaw was devoid of emotion too. But that slight half smile, that one's truly one of my favorite things of him. Most cherished.

The afternoon that reluctantly replaced the class of chemistry was misty. His bike made an usual sound. Probably, it always did. But this was the first time I heard it, being away from the traffic, and all. We rode into what appeared to be the country. I diligently held on to his shoulders. He did cajole me to hold on to more, but that didn't augur much in his favor. Holding on was not my preferred act then. I never assumed we were for the long run.

I was astonishingly young to take it by the day, but I did. We stopped for some tender coconut. After I drank all the water, I sucked in lots of air through my straw, just to ensure I hadn't wasted a drop. And that had led to that sheepish half smile of his. The hawker scraped out the soft coconut cream for him, mine had none. He teased me with it, before giving all of his to me.  He was a serious guy, and that probably made him engaging in trivial acts like these very adorable. Yes, he was adorable, whenever he gave in.

It was rather confusing, why we would go out. It didn't seem to fit. All the zigs and zags were out of place. He wasn't my quintessential type. And I wasn't anyone's type. But once we were together, these rationales seemed to matter much less.

Later, I tried very hard to take it by the day. But somewhere down the line, I forgot how to anymore. And got extremely involved. Like head over heels over head. He was quite brilliant. He would make up for the bunked classes eventually, I told myself. And help me too, probably. I swayed and twirled.

Years later, I realize, how much time erodes us. His half smile has stayed. But he has lost some hair though. And I, I have recently got my first few rounds of dark circles. I tell myself they're faint enough and it's gonna be quite alright.

Personal Day

Today, I did nothing.
I saw, others walk away with prizes

Today, I sat all day
Sprained my ass.

Cooked both meals,
Ate with a fork, white-yellow meals

I didn't read, neither write
Didn't intimidate myself with fear of missing any buses

I didn't kohl my eyes
Looked for the moon in a cloudy dusk sky

Later it poured, oh
And I braided my hair, standing in the balcony

Yes, that's special, my thinning horsetail of a hair.
My fingers running through semi moist strands of those

And now, with my braided hair
And my bellyfull of quietude, I slip into my Personal Night

Shuteye

Every other day, I would like to shut my eyes for a bit. A teeny-weeny shuteye. And view life from a distance. To assess our collective tininess. To bask in our inconsequential failure at being. And to nevertheless, extract joy in syringes and save it for the lifetime of winter. Or harsh summer.

You wouldn't get it, probably. But I feel loved when a gust of cool breeze grazes me on a hot afternoon of May. I wait through exhausting and unending days at work because in the end, I get to slurp noodles from my huge purple bowl. I love the onset of the night, despite our complex issues, convoluted emotions and unfinished businesses, it's an excuse to  call it a day. It's over. Or, soon, it will anyway be. I love the way, the wind blows in my city. I appreciate how invisible I can be, if I want to. I love how being far-far from home, gives me wings of freedom. I lust for how a longish faltering stare from a man, can make my heart go up in bubbles, even if it's gonna lead us nowhere. No one, nowhere.

Despite the propaganda otherwise, I think I am kind of getting it. Shuteye. Night Night.

Moving

One of those things that dims the daylights of my mind is nostalgia. Rotten nostalgia.

So, we lived in this house, with cracked walls and sickening noise. All that, for years. Over and over again. The peel off paint was life. The poker face neighbors were mundane routine. Their screams and fights and their failed attempts at life submerged our failures too, in a way. So, we were happy-sad. In a way, equally un-confusingly both. Crammed parkings and scribbled love letters in scooters. Dimly lit garages and longish uncomfortable stares from known strangers, was a concoction we called home.

Anyway, we moved. In truckloads. Carrying faint half formed memories. Tears in jewelry boxes. Decades old school uniforms in trunks and our ancient cursive writing notebooks. Piles of utensils. Torn albums. Broken photo frames. Tilted fridges. And all this, with a mother that abandons nothing. Her only hope is that holding on to things, will literally cease the process of letting go. Only, it won't. We took as much breath as our lungs could contain and moved. But we left our diaries behind. And some other artifacts from the dingy-old-good-old-past.

Now, this new place has whiter walls and wall size windows. And it overlooks a huge green field. Yet, we feel so homesick. And we count nights. We fiddle for keys of that old home and clutch it tight, might that get us some sleep. We are collectively yearning for a place and time, that is slowly vanishing. Or much, already has, by now, may be. And we can do nothing.

30 - On Never Being Icarus

I am too scared to look within.
Don't know what I might see,
I am too scared to be
Alone with myself, tonight.
There's no confetti
Or rose petals and chocolate
Just a crumpled bed-sheet
And half read books strewn
I am imploding, as we speak

Haven't we had too much?
Haven't we had too little?
I am thirty
When will my love of irony,  die?
My drama. My scarcity
My appalling dearth of guts
My fear of myself
And my pointless distractions,
Lined up one after another

So I ne'er haveta think
Where I'm headed
If I am getting ahead, or stuck
Or simply regressing, guess I am
My whole entire idea was to,
Just stay afloat
Merely nostrils above water
Exactly this way,
I'll float out into the sea
With least possible effort.

And life treats me right back,
The same way.
Quid pro quo
With minimal reward.
And hence my implosion
There's this logic
That I don't want to see.
But now see.
I know why I fall
Probably, I'd be no other way

My love for oblivion
Goes a long way
Transcends all ambition
My diminished self worth
Digs up nadir after nadir
Tied in my own tongue
I am succumbing to
Self inflicted asphyxia,
You know

As I child, I stumbled on Icarus
Icarus who, flew too close to the sun
Melted his wax wings
Fell into the ocean and died
I can't recognize who I've become
But certainly far apart from the child
Who was fascinated with Icarus
I've probably made my choice
I've set my heart on
Never Being Icarus.

What we will not do

Sometimes my heart goes up in hot flames wondering about the things we will not do. Never do. The essays we will never write. The books we will never read. The films we will never watch. The wandering awefuckinsome artists we will never come across. The dresses we will never buy. The colors we will never paint nails with. The markets we will never walk through. The beaches we will never lie on. The secrets we will never share. The TV shows we will never watch. The wall hangings we will never buy. The time we will never have. The foods we will never taste. The wines we will never slurp. The cities we will never ever travel to. The bougainvillea we will never stand under. The breads, the views, the pens, the shoes, the smokes, the bracelets, the stories, the poems, the secrets. So much is lost in not doing. 

Also the bygone singers that we will never listen to. Sometimes, I am so afraid to read something because I know reading it is going to make me realize there are twenty dozen more beautiful stories like that which I am never going to flip through. So much of time we have lost, and there's a serpentine future ahead of us. And we are never going to be in those times. Except wallow in suffering in this moment at present that how absolutely hopeless we are. 

Kaput Again

Living days in perfunctory anxiety
Missing the bus, most of the times
Building worlds within worlds
Pointing all furniture toward the TV

Waiting for that day of the week
When you can say, that
My day has been bad enough
To deserve a smoke

Cooking, chopping vegetables
Peeling vegetables
The same condiments, in every meal
Yellow mildly disgusting food

Walking, looking at your toes
Stealing eye contact
Being mum, containing poetry
Caging prose

Coating hours with abandoned love
Soaking minutes in sunlight
Chasing cabs, chasing autos
Wading through knee deep flood waters

Fiddling for change
Running out of money
Thinking you're poor
What have you done, nothing

Except watch TV and shirk
Watch TV and shirk
And live in this perfunctory anxiety
Waiting to go kaput

Prequel here