Tag Archives: somewhere

86. i think she knew

through my paperround last year i met a wonderful man. he used to walk his dog as i’d deliver papers and we started talking around the time i started writing this blog. i think he’s 82: he must have mentioned it a while back. and i’m afraid there’s nothing literary about him: his existence is one of uncouth coutesy.

i quit the paperround a while back now but i still see him every sunday. nine o’clock in the morning, like church. he’s my little christian connection: even S is nowhere near taking his place. he gave me a bible with a picture of him in his youth stuck at the back, so that i remember him. secretly, i think, he believes that it will help me find him in heaven: he believes i will go there after all. 

to my friends, this man is “the old man”. to me, he is much more than that. it may be true that i meet him every sunday partly because i feel like it’s my obligation, but also because somewhere beneath my skin there’s a tendon that connects me to him.

his wife died last night. or the night before that. and there’s no more words because i’m hurting for him. because how can one even begin to describe his pain?

i had made them a card only this march: they celebrated their 60th wedding annivesary.

sometimes he told me he wondered if she ever loved him but i know that was only because he loved her more than anything else. ever.
and it’s a little late for him to tell her, but i hope she knew. i think she knew.

Advertisements

80. this once, its more than enough

bonne anniversaire!

i like the way it rings, reverbrating from the eardrums straight into the heart. it’s been a year.
only.
already.
and i don’t know how to feel, i just feel the need to thank you for the knowledge that someone in the world matters more than the world itself. je t’adore. and i’m not joking. sometimes, not too often, i catch myself pause in the middle of the sentence when i look at you because thoughts that flush into my head like tapwater into a blocked sink.

i’d say remember, but you do. every word i say. you’re magic, you hear me? maybe. telekenisis? unlikely. but know, if you do, that though you’re not here but somewhere else, my feeling never wanes. artificial flowers never wilt; real emotion never dies. sometimes it just recedes to the back of the mind. like magic.

you gave me the rosary beads from your first communion as a gift this morning. placed it along with your card on my porch. and i swear, i didn’t know what to do. it seemed like so much. a universe of you in my palm. 
and i couldn’t wait to ask you about the meaning, though i knew. and you knew that i do. it’s a game we play because neither of us likes losing.

it’s a symbol that i’m ready to learn about it with you. and i can’t be sure that’s exactly what you said, but that’s what i heard.

and i’m stuck for words, but i sit here clutching at metal and plastic made to look like glass in silence and i know wherever i go, you’ll follow.
sometimes emotion is enough to fill the silence. this once, its more than enough.

78. i have decided that i will be cold tonight

do you reckon we could make snow angels without snow? we could scrape ourselves against the ground, delirium of cold seeping through our pores. then, maybe then, our bodies would scrape away the frost from the pavement without drawing blood. maybe the ice will shatter somewhere inside of us. i’m cold tonight and nothing will warm me.

more than anything, i’d like for the sunset to come around again.
more violent this time, more primitive, innate; heat firing my synapses all at once with broken impulses. and i want it to smell of freshly brewed coffee in a little cafe on a little hidden street nobody knows but stumbles onto by chance. we must always roll the die of life. it’s in the eyes. always in the eyes.

like silence.
yesterday i would have told you it never comes around, but silence came. and now i know true silence is that which lies in the inevitability of it being broken any moment now. suppose it’s like cutting a cake. don’t ask me why.
and when it comes around you can see it lurking like a shadow in the eyes. a vapid corner of pitch black dark. but we are burning embers in the shadows of the light.
come with me: it will be alright.
i have decided that i will be cold tonight.

but i will try to warm you up.

57. somewhere in between the truth and dare and spin the bottle

what made me think it was a good idea? 
i think i must chase pain for its little thrills. there’s just no other explanation.

you’re not as fussed, though i’m not sure you know how much i love you. the problem’s me. again. and i can’t stop my churning gut from heaving.
fear is not a strong enough word to describe this violent smashing of glass inside.
i’m in a daze, a momentary lapse where all thought is illusion.

i pounded the streets by myself this morning. thank god for all his little offerings. i feel lighter now, somehow.
and i saw the sunrise today, but looking at the oranges and pinks merge, i felt sick. i barely slept: five hours of restless turning, waking and then falling into a half-conscious state, where dreams merge with reality.

and all because we went to your friends little gathering yesterday.
your ex was there.
it was all so last minute, i’m sure it was her that convinced him to invite us. she had it all planned, no doubt.
we had WKD and pringles and your friend’s mum’s wine and somewhere in between the truth and dare and spin the bottle all mixed into one, i kissed your ex. and so did you. and then you both laid on my bosom. my harem.

it was all jokey and fun and whatnot else, but it’s not how i approach my relationships. it’s not how i roll. and what if this pulls us apart? you felt guilty kissing her, you said. i didn’t. it was all so absurd i almost couldn’t believe it was true.
but it happened.

and we left just before clock stroke midnight, because i guess there’s a cinderella lost in me, and you held me tight a few steps away from the house and kissed me fevereshly. adrenaline of fear had washed our bodies: we could have kissed all night.

and i don’t regret any of it.
so why do i feel so broken inside?

53. arterial spray

i only stop when i know i’ve had enough.
i guess i haven’t had my fill just yet.

you’ve gone to france, as you always do. your second life, i call it, but i dont blame you: that’s what a lifetime of living with parents who are teachers does to you. four weeks this time; it’ll be five the next or six, or whatever. but i’ve stopped counting the days. i learnt to live without salting my wounds.

Y went camping with his blonde, though she’s not blonde now but rather a seductive red. they’ve been together months now. it’ll be a year soon. october, i think.
he was meant to come back yesterday, but his phone was off. i called him twice. twice is always my limit.
i know i’ll call him again.

X is just an ex. we speak sporadically on msn and i’ve not been on the computer for days. i just couldn’t face the lonely screen staring in my face. i wanted physical contact, the sound of someone’s, anyone’s voice reverbrating in my eardrums.
and i read books. sartre, “streetcar named desire” and anais nin with her erotica. that put me down, but then, i wanted to be put down. sometimes there comes a point in our lives when we can no longer continue to believe in what we are believing until we see what else there is to see.

then there was Z. another reunion. he called me just now. for no reason. he didn’t say so, but then he rarely says a lot. he’s coming back from wales today. he was away for a week, but what more is there to it? it was another failed lesson in love for him, but i know i’m not the one to teach him.
in the end of all ends, i love you.

and i met your ex too on the days. that was fun. hurt me like crazy but it had to be done.
somewhere in between “the spy in the house of love” and “the age of reason”, i’d lost my wits. literature has a way of doing that to you.
i needed to see her. 
i needed to feel the arterial spray of your past on my face. 

let her do her worst i thought and damn, she tried her best.

51. sometimes

the world has a tendency to hit you all at once.
it leaves no time for pauses or breaks; no time for slow lives or lifeless existences.
this world you and i live in leaves us all only enough time for a sharp intake of breath before the tidal wave crashes.

but no matter the amount of sea-water in my nostrils, no matter the drenched clothes sticking to my paling torso or the panicky moment of blindness, when the eyes sting from the harsh impact, i always emerge victorious.

sometimes think it’s because of viktor.
his name could never be changed. there is no letter in the english alphabet with which to replace it. maybe there is one in the ukrainian but that’s of no matter – no anonymity will mask his identity.
he was my first love.
no, he was an obsession.
love is something beyond that, below that, above that. he was no more than a motive, a mute name to dedicate my life to. a pause in the middle of every sentence, a stubborn glitter in the eye. you know of him. everyone always does. his name is forever embedded on my lips, like an infected tattoo.

and upon those lips, he stands victorious. for as much as his victory is on my lips, my victory is on his shoulders. i’m not scared of tornados now, nor of broken hearts. i’m not scared of storms, nor of ruptured heart strings.

he showed me that a heart can shatter without a single word and i could tell you that syllables never uttered hit harder than any word ever could, but that would be hypocrisy and i can be no hypocrite for in him is the mirage of my own bravery. 

but ask me why it matters that the tuesday past one more admirer of my flawed mirror-glass started sweeping up the pieces of his fractured self. ask me and i will tell you, for that is one thing viktor will never know.  

sometimes you must let love flow through your fingers, like molten chocolate, its slowly solidifying mass sweetsmelling on your fingers.
sometimes you must let it go, ridding your soul of the little titbits that should no longer matter – the creased used tickets from journeys long past, the old postcards from people lost somewhere in translation, the newspaper articles cut-out badly with blunt scissors stored in a soiled envelope somewhere.

yes, that sometimes is inevitable, but for me it never comes.

50. my heartbeat keeps the coffee flowing

can you tell me, why de ja vu haunts me like a predator stalking its only surviving prey? the de ja vu, embossed with its frenchness. just like you. just like those kisses you plant on my lips, their buds opening in the middle of the darkest nights, as i wake in cold sweat, clammy hands turning on the lights to chase the demons away.

and i realise, that love is french, italian, dominican. but more than that, it’s foreign to all of us. it’s language – mysterious hum in the early-morning air, it’s lands – unbounded by borders, it’s people waking up every morning, just like the rest of us, seductive scent of coffee in their kitchens, shatter of broken cups imprinting its echo on the windows.

and when i think of love, i think of the mess that coffee would make, drops collecting, puddle spreading with every beat of the heart. my mess.
and it doesnt touch you. you’re not really here. not entirely. 
and love doesn’t cut you with its broken china or stain your slippers with instant coffee, fresh those marble tiles.
does it touch you at all?

it’s been three months now and i’ve nothing to tell me that i’m yours, only a herbarium of those flowers you bought me the day my mother went to the zoo with my little sister in tow.
only a dead plant, in an envelope somewhere, next to Y’s unopened loveletters and the note that X kissed so that a part of him may remain with me forever, or whatever his reasoning was.

and at night, in somebody’s kitchen, in a land far away, my heartbeat keeps the coffee flowing.