Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Echoes of our footfalls

We walk along the street, he and I. Hand in hand because he insisted… I should feel delicate and protected when he walks me across the road and guides me away from the approaching traffic. I feel infantilized instead. Maybe the delivery of his chivalry is off or maybe I'm just not that kind of girl.
For me, the conversation is strained. My thoughts come out in short ineloquent bursts. Small talk is not my forte, you see and we have less than nothing in common. He doesn't seem to notice and I thank God for little mercies.
He's amused about how attentive I was during the movie we watched together. I want to say that there's no other way for me to watch, that anything less wouldn't be worth it. I know he won't understand so I hum under my breath instead. We talk about random things; simple enough things that I find impossible to sustain. What time he slept last night, what he'll have for supper… He listens to Tyrese and he doesn't get rock. I find that impossible to understand. I guess to each his own. In this labyrinth of shallow triviality, I crave depth. I want to say, "Let's talk about something we came up with all by ourselves. Something intangible and abstract; something unexplored.
Now we are walking along the street where you and I walked once, where our feet once clapped loudly against the tarmac on a silent night. I try to remember the conversation we had as we walked along here; our voices, whispering as if we were afraid to wake this sleeping town. I can't but I remember the warm ease of it; words fluid and easy, shyly at first like old lovers reunited then slowly gaining momentum. Finding their groove and flowing readily.
I reach my taxi finally and he goes out of his way to ensure the driver know his 'wife' is riding in the car. I'm sure that if I tried, I could find it all very endearing. Perhaps even a certain shade of romantic. Instead I'm glad when the last passenger settles in since I know I won't have to watch him linger outside anymore.
I'm exhausted when I get home but I remember to send him a text to let him know I got here safe; as per his instructions. I'd rather that than a long phone call. He calls anyway and I let the phone ring. That call is easily the twentieth today and I've run out of any indulgent patience. Then, in a moment of terror, I wonder if that is how you see me.

Before the vultures come circling

I know now, even as I search through my rusty, cobwebbed writer's mind for words to spin this tale, it will not come together the way I plan. The truth often is that way, rarely doing the big thing and giving us a heads up before it comes in – guns blazing.
Now, how can I begin to tell you this tragic story of the madness in my head? I know it's too late to change anything and the future is fast becoming present. I should have screamed from the very start. I should have yelled loudly at the top of my lungs; "Stop! Come back for me!" Except, how was I to know that the clock was ticking and my time was running out? Shit. I would have fought for you.
Today, for the first time, it dawns on me that I've lost you.
We are seated in that cafĂ© you really love, surrounded by strangers and familiar things… I am telling you the story of the waiter who couldn't get my order right and you are telling me about the weekend that was. We are talking over each other as usual, gesturing wildly, laughing heartily, using the strangers around us to illustrate our arguments; trying to figure out their stories…
Somehow we come to talking about me and the new man in my life. How dramatically different he is from me, how so very little we have in common…
"Don't ever settle", you say.
I try to convince you of his awesomeness, his kindness, his intellect, wondering at the same time whether any of this is true considering how little I know him. I ask you about something you did and you're silent and then you change the topic like you didn't hear what I said. I laugh at that because that's exactly what I knew you would do. No unnecessary confrontation if you can help it.
My mind wanders involuntarily back to a time when you were still crazy for me. You and I in a badly parked car, headlights and radio on: scattered fragments of conversation punctuated by tender kisses and comfortable silences. We talked about staying up to watch the sunrise and I remember thinking you probably would've never left if the nosy watchman hadn't come along. I laugh at the memory, especially the horror on his face when he realized what he had interrupted. Our cheerful banter continues.
We're startled by how late it's gotten. We're both going to be late getting to the places we ought to be but still we linger. The walk to the stage is unhurried, like we have all the time in the world for pleasure and conversation.  I think back to when at the end of a day like this of hours spent together, we'd still have insanely long phone calls through the night. Sometimes, while we talked, I'd sit in the corridor leaning against the door because my laughter kept my roommate up. This, of course we don't do anymore. I guess it would be a strange habit to explain to your wife.
I silently curse bad timing and my dismal past for all my neurotic caution where I should have been falling blindly, madly. I wish I was selfish enough to tell you now and let it be your problem and not mine. I imagine it would be so easy amidst the forest of vaguely familiar perambulators, the blaring of car horns, screeching of brakes and hoarse voices of wild eyed conductors to say aloud, "It's you who makes me happy". Perhaps the banality of everything around us would make you deaf to my horrific confession. Instead, the lyrics of a song ring in my head
Nothing compares,
No worries or cares,
Regrets and mistakes, they're memories made,
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?
Never mind, I'll find someone like you,
I wish nothing but the best for you,
Don't forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
"Sometimes it lasts in love,
But sometimes it hurts instead."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Death and salvation

I am here, in a place I called home. The people are the same and yet everything is different.

So maybe there are plenty of new supermarkets and the banks are more than I can count on two hands. For me it doesn't matter cause all the goodness has been sucked away in development and progress. Everything I loved is dilapidated, squatting apologetically in the midst of all that's shiny and new... And the people? Yes they smile, showing their toothy grins, asking me how the old folks are. That is just a mask. Under the cover of darkness, they are the ones who pin me to the ground as I struggle helplessly, and try to tear off my jeans. Even in the day, there's  a strange darkness that lingers, the kind one couldn't recognize if they didn't know anything else. This is no longer a place to love and cherish. It screams that I have changed but it has, most of all. It's heartbreaking, these memories lost in revision.

Yesterday I thought that it would kill me, that the death of this beautiful thing would snuff out my joy... But in the air, I smelt something warm and familiar and it made me smile.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Plain realities

........and it can't be rushed - this desire to reach and be reached.
Endless meaningless conversations; that is all they are without patience....
Maybe, I didn't want to tell you that she told me something you said and it tore me to bits.
Maybe the confusion will always remain, awkward and permanent.
I know that I don't want to be on the sidelines.
Maybe this isn't meant to be

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why I'm not writing

I've been staring at this blank page for about an hour now and thinking, what the heck should I write? The problem isn't the material, I mean, the plenty there..... harsh, emotional, happy, sad, paediatric, mature stories to tell. What it is really is how to say the things that I feel and hear and know... That's quite the dilema for the writer in me, isn't it? After all, my gift is expression and all that other nonesense. I am a word smith and that is my trade. Nonetheless, everything my mind conjures seems an inadequate comparison to the picture I have in my head. I don't know whether I should blame it on the limitation of the English vocabulary or just the patchiness of my capability.