Her floor had always been the color of the season I remember this, only when I step into the mess of her life. The spring issues lay scattered like the flowers The pink, red, yellows, and greens, women who only know youth, women who only grow younger the kind of woman she wanted to be (what a small impossible dream) and she almost is. And now that she can never change would she be happy? When/if she comes across her own lifeless eyes in the missing posters would she be glad to be one of the “sad popular”? I shatter the home of her missing goldfish in my haste efforts to pick them up and put them out of sight- the bundles of glossy paper that my eyes can’t handle. I try to put them away, wanting to throw them away now that she wouldn’t mind, now that she won’t yell at me or anyone for taking away too much of her. I want to try it. i want to try, so she has no option but to stop me. “let’s leave her in peace” tells me my moral compass and my grief. “i don’t want to show her the kind of respect that only dead deserve” shouts back my anger and my love. I drop the heaviest bag in this world on her rain soaked bed. Her last dress, her last chocolate wrapper, her last bus ticket, her last mistake, her last breath everything spilling out, everything ruining the spring that I dreamed for her along with her.
As I wait for you in the back seat of your car almost losing sense of my limbs and my scars I smile – the sad smile I would never use when I am sober. I smile thinking, thankful, at least I am not crying and waiting in the trunk of some stranger’s car. I don’t necessarily love you but I guess I love your pattern, the predictability of your anger, the time I have to prepare my skin to shatter. I think about the times I have been broken and abandoned by the loves and by the men before you I think about your anger that I never forget this past. I think about your hands that I can count on even when your hands love my pain the most. I think of your funny jokes, the food you cook in your good mood, the songs that you hum as you move around the house, your bluish white wings and your flickering halo when you are asleep by my side. I think I can love you a bit after all.
and this sad premise is not a commentary on how rotten the world is but an observation that we have a pattern that is hard to break.
that people often misinterpret the habit of one thing as a proof of its superiority over everything else in world.
that words can move your heart, sometimes for worse. it can move you towards hatred, towards fear towards anger that is not your own.
that the wish to be right makes us forget how to wear someone else’s shoes or their color or their nationality or their body. a body that is no longer their own – now that they are just a sack of blood, a sacrifice to please our personal gods – our thirst of power and the “better world” that no one else wants.
this sad premise is not a commentary on how rotten the world is for i do not have the courage to write the worst or to imagine how i am right now walking over faceless nameless beings to maintain my world just like you.
How long should I bleed for the one who holds the knife.
I pluck another flower of kindness to appease the one who won’t even smile for me. He looks at it and tells me the tested foolproof ways to kill this useless plant that grows in me and cracks his shield.
He tells me he will love me more if I will cut his skin instead of making him look as bad as he is, if I struggle a bit to get back at him rather than struggle to know him like this.
He says “i would like us to be peas of the same pod, i would like us to be the insects with same appetite, i would like you so so much more, if you would help me rule this world that doesn’t listen to me. if you could speak the same words as i do, words dipped in careless anger rather than the ones served with pity. don’t tell me the danger of my dagger by slicing away your skin. you feel more like an enemy now. the more you bleed to make me suffer, to make me give up, the farther you get from the person i could love.”
How long should I bleed for the one who holds the knife to stop him from cutting his own heart. This will hurt him, he knows, eventually if not now. Yet he is becoming a creature of claw with a paper skin, he is growing a dream from the horrors he has only read. The unnatural pauses on his lips, the look of helplessness in his eyes makes me wonder if he even knows how to stop.
I wonder ‘me being right’ at what point of time it became synonymous to finding out that his heart is empty- my name washed out by the waves of the other girl. The girl whom he swore is not his type. “I was right”, I said as my hand trembled with anger and then fear as I waited for the reply, for the apology, a missed call from those whom I should not forgive. But the way my heart is breaking if only they would tell me that they still love me I could have held them close to my chest and thought of them as my family, as the blood that I couldn’t part with. I would have learnt to pretend that I was born with a dagger on my back.
I was right, I understood as I saw few more pictures not meant for my eyes. (these days there are so many things that are not meant for my eyes), as I try to digest the unfamiliar rage in his eyes, as he breaks and breaks and breaks every moment we had When I ask him “if should I stay around? if he’d change his mind?” he tells me he doesn’t know his heart and walks out into the night.
When I switch on the TV I almost expect to find my name in red, my body in red laying on the carpet that he loved but had to ruin for a good cause, for a greater love. This me, my death must be side effect of his love. His love is all that matters now. His love is not our love. Our love is an obstacle to the happiness he can almost reach.
She calls me up again to tell me how to gracefully give up. I hear him behind her, I feel his despair in her voice. (Must be true love.) I hear him hum a song in the background, a song that I have never heard. I hear the ruffle of his clothes that he moved from our life to her home one betrayal at a time. I hear what I don’t want to hear, what I always knew- they don’t want my forgiveness even if I gave it for free, I must mend my life by myself. No past love will do it for me.
I wanted to write something about you, before I start forgetting- who you were, who i was with you, how we lived, and how we learned how to not live, how we felt the extremes of helplessness, with each other.
But I do not want to be the only voice actor in this otherwise silent movie. I could never read your lips. I never moved mine. But it should have been enough. You convinced me that I would be enough for you.
But as I suspected you knew too little of yourself. As I knew, my love also had limitations. We hated what we saw in each other. So you covered your eyes with anger, I covered mine with fear. And all we did for years is to sing to each other about the loneliness that we had gifted each other.
If only we could give up on ourselves earlier, we may not have suffered so bad, we might not have hated each other so much.
I wish what we had was something shallow. But it was not, our wounds are proof of that.
Lets just say that we would live on just fine and try to believe in that as long as we can.
as i get inside the crowded bus, a phone rings. a ringtone just like yours.
has the world shrunk to the size of the tragedy we created, that i find you like this?
i know it is not you, but it could be. so i do not turn back. it could be you, so i try not to cry.
this is not where walking away or breaking clean should lead to. at least not back to you. at least not like this. not on the day i finally felt that i could move toward a new happiness.
why did you come back? to tell me how i am not worthy of anything good? to tell me no one can love something like me? to tell me how thinking is unhealthy for love like ours? to check if my skin remembers your anger? to tell me to speak softly, to submit to your wishes if i wish to be forgiven for your mistakes?
why did you come back, when you don’t even want me?
Let’s move closer into each other’s pores, move into each others mind, where we are bound to lose our way. Let’s blame each other when we miss the chaos of our own mind.
Don’t ask me how to return to normal. Normal never existed for us. Our life together has no place for normalcy. How to put a knife on an already bleeding wound, and smile when the pain seeps into and cries out my heart- I learnt that from you. Like I learnt to confuse anger and possessiveness with passion. Like I learnt to bear your frequent silence and occasional disappearance.
Let’s move closer into each other’s absence, carve a space for our needs in each other’s heart. It is not love, I know. But dear, we both are not good enough for this thing called love anyway.
I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday that though the world belongs to all of us, sometimes it is better to step back, to only take up the space we need. I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility, wanting less, and sacrifice, but I realize now that it was not so. I was told to stop before I anger someone, before someone got jealous, or before they saw the weakness of my gender.
As I stand on the balcony at midnight and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling, as they make their way to their broken homes, I remind myself this is what I am supposed to fled, a person who is allowed to loose their mind, a person who will always have excuse to hurt. This what everyone wanted me to become, someone who is proficient at spotting dangers, who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets, and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.
These days I often hear people say that the new meaning of a powerful woman is the one who walks into misfortune willingly, before she is stalked and defeated by it. Is this the only alternative to what I am living?
I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets I could smile and wish them a good day, without having to fear being misunderstood, without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.
The lines that you drew to my heart all of them are dissolving, so easily. Is forgetting, is leaving that easy? I look at you and try to find somewhere in you some feelings for me, an attachment that could mirror the state of my heart.
I am sorry that I am disappointed when I told you I won’t be. I am sorry that I cannot rise above this weakness that love brings back in me. But what is the alternative? -the lonely days -the days spent hating the world -days spent hating the one I love -days spent in regret -days spent breaking those whom I can touch but never love -days spent waiting for you to come back and meanwhile converting every hour of my suffering into an life of anger that you must bear even if you return I hate them. I hate all these alternative.
I have no option but to hold you
and hope that after all this time
maybe a little part of you would stay,
if only for the sake of stopping my tears.