“What I Remember (30)” – Nayana Nair

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The “sweet escape” is now more expensive
and better hidden in a packaging devoid of bubble wrap
and crumpled newspaper (how does that even work?)
I can no longer remember why it caught my eyes.
But such things normally do, so I don’t question it much.
“Such things” almost always refers
to things that I will always see and be drawn to, but never get near.
And I am not talking about the bare minimum semblance of love,
or the friend who must eat food without me to feel accepted in this world.
Now that is out of the way,
we can all imagine with utmost accuracy and pity
everything that is definitely on this list of mine.
Things I know the price of
because my pockets are empty.
The kind of empty a drop of dew feels
in front of a desert(even the smallest one).
This is not even a smallness fueled by insecurity or class consciousness.
This is the lens of pure objectivity at work,
which I sort of stupidly relied on to cure me, stop me
from showering my attention
to something that challenges my place in world
in the wake of release of a random new replaceable product in market.
which is sort of weird because
I do not know the price of the meal I eat
or the clothes I wear –
I feel them.
So I know better. I really do.
But the billboards that fly over the cities
-abducting cows, and UFOs, and fixed deposits, and basic sanity-
make me want to dial the number to someone, anyone
who can get me a card
that, I am told, can get me every luxury I do not yet deserve.
To my credit, I never dialed that number
simply because wanting something that was designed to be wanted
seemed stupid,
poking a hole into the balloon of my existence for it
seemed stupid.
In the list of more stupid things I can now “not want”
are grand expectations of a basic acceptable life, minimum respect,
of love, of family, of wanting a fair chance at a dream,
of food that tastes like food,
and air that doesn’t clog my lungs.
I am told that at a price one can have them all
but to the one who is barely afloat it sure is a stupid thing to want.

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