The fishes peep at me through the pink sewer grates, the filth and dirt and greed of city eating their eyes, the loneliness scratching at their fins.
I look at them as if they are a painting hung on an illuminated wall – the last standing wall. The vapors of dissipated life, dissolved flesh spread all around it – the waste of everyday life the waste of silent war.
But it lasts only a moment my gift of vision, my ability to detach only lasts so long. The hunger in my bones, once again, makes me look away.
I get up and walk. I move my feet to the beat of the song being spun in my corrupted mind I am tempted to increase the volume to find a pitch that resonates with the air here. The point where everything bleeds and nothing heals what will happen to me there, what will happen to all of us I wonder.
But I have walked these roads before I now know more than anything that I only yearn to live. Slowly, I have learned to protect my ailing tissues. I have learned to gaze lovingly at my broken mind. So, I press pause. I continue to persevere.
It takes an eternity. It takes the courage of fighting thousand bloodless wars. It takes the the cruelty of scratching through my own wounded skin, breaking my own ribs that were made to protect the soft things that keeps me alive. It takes stupidity and few seconds for my fingers to reach your lips.
You look up. Your gaze says something that I do not understand. Such beautiful hopes and possible disasters come alive in your face. My fear comes to the surface of my eyes swimming in the black oil glistening and waiting to burn.
he sings the most beautiful song. so beautiful that the sky becomes a reflection of the heart that he can barely carry in himself. the words on his lips they break, they sound different, feel different, they sound like the first cry of a baby- the violent coming to life. they run and collide and shatter against the rough indifferent surface of this dying world, a not-so-bad world. he becomes a not-so-bad singer. as he runs out of breath and love someone places a coin of gold in his hands. he means to feel grateful for this compensation, but all he can do is hold his tongue, hold his tears. hold his bitterness in himself and sing another song dreaming, waiting for an honest reply, a genuine care, an understanding gaze in return for laying bare his humanness.
I heard her again complain about warm hands. A hand that remains warm, always warm, so warm that it almost becomes a fault, a flaw. That it turns into blame, into words that make no sense- “I could have loved him if he was not so good. Good is suspicious. Good is bland. Good is you when you try to be something you are not. He cannot know my heart, if he cannot be human enough to sin”, she said. I wonder why I never met them – the bland people who would be good for my heart, whom I seek in every hand I touch. Maybe I confused grand gestures, big promises, passionate gaze for goodness too many times. I wonder if it is just my weakness, my weariness that now wants someone harmless to live along with.
Ages ago, I did a course of 48 hours on saving people (as if saving was that easy). There were lots of questions, none that I could answer truthfully. I sat through confessions, lot of confessions. I sat there distancing myself from everything I had the potential to be- the one who clutched her handkerchief too tight, the one whose gaze seems like a hammer, itching to crush and break. And like the pathetic person I am, I only thought “Where should I run to now?”
I would return to a sad room to sleep (thank god it was never to be my home), I would wake up and find myself staring at slideshows that I tried hard not to see or find myself cooking up stories of life that won’t put me on that stage, won’t sound like a cry.
“Is this how this saving business would continue to be?”, I wondered as I left those 48 hours behind. “Is this all I can do?”, I asked myself as I finally wept for hours.
beauty may be only skin deep but lack of it goes deeper than that. so deep that you end up learning to want things that you wouldn’t otherwise even think about. i wish i could remember every face that was surprised to know that i am okay with looking older than i am, surprised that i do not want to exorcise fats especially when i have got so much of it. every morning i wake up they hover over me like faceless shadows with black markers, drawing over my body showing me all that is wrong, giving me tips so that i can become easy to look at, hiding their superficiality under the wraps of concern, whispering how thick-skinned i am when i don’t listen and wondering what is wrong with the ones who love me. it made me wonder that maybe going under the knife wouldn’t be as bad as being smeared black by markers. that maybe i am supposed to love myself only after the world approves of the ‘me’ that i want to love. i would have understood if they cared, if they actually meant good, but they don’t because they know nothing more than my name and they say my name only with heart-breaking adjectives and assumptions. i want to say they are wrong, but i have suffered their gaze for so long that sometimes i end up sharing their hatred of me, of what they see. there are days that i obsess over a passing comment. there are days i beat up myself for being like this. i starve and fail, i try to get over their words and fail, i try to hate myself and fail. i want to say it doesn’t matter but it does because i am tiring myself out by trying to see something good in me, by apologizing to myself, by trying to save my heart while they burn my body in the woods.
You walk into this room
and all eyes that have not met yours
continue to gaze at everything
that is crumbling and dying.
All eyes but mine.
I can only look at you.
My eyes like only your light.
If you would have me,
if you would want to have me,
I could learn to be happy,
I could learn to love.
In every room,
in every gaze,
in every life
you are all I want.
No it is not an escape anymore because it is not only me who is into these addictions of milder kind. All I want is what everyone already has. Don’t worry these books and music I get high on don’t alter my perception of reality like they used to before. So I am fine with irrelevant goals of having one more book to read, one more page to fill up, and some hours to sit and stare at screens of literature of a cruder form. They may not constitute the real meaning of life. But I have not seen anyone who is particularly worried about missing the real point of life.
. . . . . .
I know this consumerism and media culture irritates you. That I look like one of the thousands who sit and demand to be entertained, to be fed with something other than the reality of insufficient time and cash. Would it make me more real, would your gaze become more softer if I bring up a portion of my life where I was hurt by this world, when the reality didn’t change just because of my disappointment in it. That not everyone can be one with the nature and one with society, when nature is far away from where we are locked, when society is all about waiting for someone else to mess up on a grander scale than us. See that is what I don’t want to talk about. It is depressing enough to live it. We can either discuss about how I almost found friend in a fictional character, found a mirror or even a window in another, how I do not agree with most reviews, how I couldn’t get the tragic end of the story out my head.
. . . . . .
I don’t mind sitting in front immaculate shows of lies if that is where the my temporary relief of my life is hidden, at least we are entitled to that much – relief.
All objects that I possess have stopped doing what they were meant to do. The window doesn’t bring me new air. The bed doesn’t give me rest. The glass filled with water and handful of pills promise me disconnection from reality, sleep, or even death but never the rest that I so want. The words on my books run around on pages, hating my gaze. The music breaks itself into disjointed string on noises.
It is as if one night while I lay trying to forget you, they voted and decided to forget me unanimously. They agreed and concluded that if someone must be forgotten it is me. So now they rebel, they serve only purpose- to remind me of all I lost simply by losing you.