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.
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.
sometimes i dream of emptiness – it looks festive and grand, it looks like people rushing in with their wants and talks about wants and talks about not having their name in any list of wants and talks about wants that they saw the other say that they just couldn’t wrap their heads around and talks about wants that didn’t last that long and talks about wants that don’t seem to die and someone wanting to burn some wants cause they just can’t stand them, cause they just can’t stand a world that is not filled with their lookalikes and someone wanting to become a 24×7 monsoon, so that such an anarchic want can never see any fruit and then 100 people enter a room which only has room for 10 they are torn between killing other 90 or making the room bigger by bulldozing the rooms around, some have already started to eat less and breathe less and want less so that they take up less space, cause nothing seems to be working, they sometimes talk about wanting back the past, wanting back the limbs and heart that, they realized too late, won’t grow back and the room is now bigger where 100 people are now 10000 people and the other rooms and other worlds are now floors the people with better and certified normal wants walk upon and some keep digging for the ones that are buried, for the ones that still can be saved, they keep getting arrested and get locked up in cells that have always room for more and things like that just keep happening- hurtful things, beautiful hurtful things, ugly hurtful things. and my eyes see only wants and hurts and i am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing that i can’t see another human in sight.
the green pastures the white fences the perfect fake loving gaze the debts of kindness the half that never completes itself for once the ornamental lackings of my being the personal sun, the privilege to look away and never know the heart of one who can’t the greed such that I can’t stop receiving the ideals that I can live without, ideals that are already falling short to accommodate my monstrous growth, my falls from grace,
All these, everything that I say I don’t need is also all that I cannot give back.
It is easier for me to live, to be kind, to understand, to love with a life of hypocrisy, with a guilt weighing down my heart, with the smile that I can get only because the world is unfair.
It is easier for me to smile at the knife stuck in my back. It is easier to forgive when I cannot forget my own blood stained hands, my own reckless selfish heart.
For a change I made breakfast for one and didn’t cry over it. I didn’t turn back as he packed his favorite parts of this heavy life with me. He didn’t ask me about the things I have hidden away. I felt a bitter thankfulness that my memories are mine to keep, that my beautiful moments have been erased from his heart, that I am not a part of his greed and schemes anymore, that nothing in me can be ruined by him after this.
I simply stared at the milk that won’t boil as he dragged away in his small heart the window frames, the doors to my cold world, the warm flame of my blue stove, the table mats on which we spilled our hearts by mistake, the songs that I will never be able to sing again, the doorbell, the welcome mat, our plants that never grew more than a millimeter in spite of the four years of sunlight and rain. Mistakes. We created so much with love, only to call them mistakes.
I heard the door close behind me, my so called “heart” moving away without me and all I could do was hope or pity myself. All I could do was hate him so that I can finally give up.
I regret to tell you this that the blue sky that you died for is not longer blue. It is painting its face with remains of our greed, with the colors of our wars. But it is still sort of fair. It is trying hard not to choose sides, not to become the flags that unites only those whose favorite words are ‘future’, ‘safety’,’money’, ‘greatness’, while they clutch in their hands the fate of people they don’t identify with- ‘burden’ they call them. ‘Fear’ is another favorite word of theirs. They don’t speak much of it, but it is most useful or at least that’s what I have heard from the ones we are no longer allowed to call out or even mock. I have lost every bit of my passive aggressiveness. Life has become more bearable now that my skin is not broken for making too much noise, now that we have learnt to hold each other’s tongue so that we may not lose more friends than we already have. I regret to tell you that your dreams will remains dreams and you might be one of the last to know how dreams felt in your eyes, how tomorrow used to change by effort.
On Sundays, I wear the purple summer dress that I once promised myself I would never wear. I paint my nails, I color my lips, and I open the windows in me. I become someone I was taught to hate, I try to break my hatred with my smile. I let myself be reigned by the greed for beautiful, sweet, shining things. I think of all the things I have tried not to want. I let myself be the delicate vulnerable woman that is easy to love, easy to idolize, easy to abuse, easy to blame, and easy to hate. I tell myself that it is not my fault, but the more I live the harder it becomes to believe it. I fall asleep on the floor where first I tasted blood, wondering why I can never give up on this dress, this dream that has given me nothing but hurt.
we keep walking through these roads lined with trees of wilted dreams, laden with fruits of all the happiness that we do not want.
our hearts are narrow cells
capable of far less than we think of,
but always wanting more than what it can hold.
our greed is not a monster,
but a pitiful child who has lost too much,
who refuses to give up anything anymore.
we wait for this child
to stop wanting,
to stop crying,
to stop hiding,
to stop hoping.
we wait for this road to end.
we wait to be abandoned by this child
whom we have let down too many times.
I want to love you with the sincerity that I don’t have. I want to want you desperately, even when I am fed up with you. I want to look at you as if you are my everything even when I know that you are not.
The only thing that stops me from being the love that I dreamed of being are my own shortcomings. I am not patient. I am not true to my words. I do not hold an endless sea of love in me, if anything you might only find misdirected anger, petty grudges and resentment in my heart. I am too sensitive, not in a good or sweet way, but in an irritating intolerant way. I am someone who wants all sweet things but have only bitterness to give back. In my spare time I make list of what I lack not to improve but so that I have ready excuses when I need them and I only need them with you. I need them so I can stay selfish, so that I can continue to be by your side and not fall apart with shame.
I know you deserve the world
but let my greed win for once,
for this life
close your eyes on everything I do wrong.
My love may not be great or even good enough
but I love you
even when my love for you and want for you
makes me the worst person in my own eyes.
That must count for something.
Make this one mistake for my sake,
let me have you for this life.
Even a harmless silence on your part brings me down to tears. I act in pathetic way trying to get you back, trying to buy your love sometime using sympathy, sometimes throwing tantrums, sometimes by changing myself, by changing you, at times pretending that I am done with you hoping that you try to stop me, and in my weakness even thinking of hurting myself if that is what it takes to keep you with me. But won’t there be a limit to the trials and errors that a heart can withstand. What after that? How shall I hold you here when that happens?
I tell myself everyday I must work hard to keep you in love with me till you can see in my tiring eyes how much you mean to me. But often you look at me as if you can see what I know I have become- a human who grows new appendages of greed everyday becoming a monster knowingly calling it love. I play this game by myself wondering meantime, why my love has turned out like this. Why can’t we be simply in love forever like were were made to believe that we could be? Tell me how to end this, this end that I want more that anything (even you) that end is the only thing that is not in my hands. I don’t know how to stop all that we have started, how to fix all that I have disfigured with my desperation.