I have to always stop myself
because my mind is always running simulations
of things the way they aren’t and will never be.
Yesterday, as I fixed myself a “meal for the raving hungerless”,
you came to my mind. It was your turn now.
You were dropped into a pool of color.
A color that you never had in yourself.
In this new dark room
you were now a person
who might open a fridge late at night,
see its light and think of me.
And stands there awashed in the cold light
till his head is filled
with a new noise and many old feelings.
Till his hands are forced to shut the door
only to find himself
in the comfort of a warm hell.
“warm hell”…as always
the grandness of my being and my absence sound hollow.
Nothing like this could be really so important.
Nothing of mine could cause such lovelorn ache.
I am running around by myself, in myself
wearing masks having these feelings,
having wants that make no sense.
I always wonder about other people in this world.
How the fabric of such thoughts, such hopeless feelings
never seem to suit their skin,
even though I know everyone suffers the same.
I wonder if my reality
is equally incomprehensible, unimaginable to others.
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
poking a hole into the balloon of my existence for it
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.
We once loved this world
more than ourselves.
Now we just like everything
only as much as our own temperaments and thoughts permit.
The oranges reminds him of view from his broken home,
the sour taste of everything that should have been beautiful.
The glowing beads fill my mind with the images of meaningless gifts,
the faces of men and friends that always fall short
even in the face if my plummeting expectations.
Going out of our way to hide
is the measure of our love somehow.
We sit across each other for every meal
and talk about things that make sense,
everything and anything that can’t cause more harm
than the things close to our heart have already done.
I feel the rustle of a world buried deep in me,
he must feel the same.
But the world that is lost and the hope that is no longer mine
can only do so little.
There is a happiness that doesn’t look enchanting.
There is a kindness that isn’t grand.
There are things only we can be for each others
even if there are thousand things we can’t.
I would have told him “I love you”
if I didn’t know how hearing these words
have only made him cry.
He lets me love within the boundary
of my temperament and thoughts,
he stands by these walls and knows why they are for.
the buildings and their makeshift purpose,
the liquid tar evaporating and raining down,
the birds that resurrect only for a day,
the menu written, re-written
with tastes i find strange,
the ceremonies of 3 meals and 1000 snacks
and casual friends,
the wishlist, the moodboards
that I have no heart in.
this all there is.
everything is overwhelming
and still not enough.
i think this suits me most-
to lose myself
and yet look okay.
god gave me a face that always looks okay
even when i don’t want it to.
(there have been only handful of days
when i want to look as miserable i am.)
i wonder how it feels
“do i look broken today yet?
“i cried all night”.
i have never cried at nights.
i have never skipped a meal for my sorrow.
i feed my heart too much fats
and instant unhealthy happiness.
i cut down my green trees
and kill few birds, make a fresh trap
that smiles through my gaping wound.
i live life the only way i can.
look okay cause all parts of me are
still working fine.
god gave me a heart that doesn’t break
the conventional way.
i walk this world fearing this heart
I always thought
that I could be happy,
if only I could make myself love happiness.
Though I approached this strange kid,
though I pretended to be good
and as holy as humans can be,
I had nothing to say this ever smiling child.
All the standard stories
I had prepared for this heavy chore
of presenting myself to this world,
were not for her ears.
I could never make myself fill her head with such darkness.
Why should she know of the categories of suffering and where I fit,
about the worth that every person has to earn.
This kid looked at rainbow and reflections with marvel,
prayed before every meal, believed in every story told.
There was nothing I could say to her.
I could not make her see me, befriend me, understand me
without changing her into me.
Only my love for this happiness
stands in my way
of the heaven I have dreamt in futile.
you are now
just a butterfly
in the unruly garden of my life.
you were once the laughter in our home.
your hands were once as warm as mine.
you were so many things,
the one who knew how to make everyone smile,
the one who could soothe my heart
with a kind understanding glance,
the one who never cried
(now I guess you must have cried,
knowing how you left us here like this).
they told me
you were too weak to live.
i gulped down their answer
even when i knew they were lying.
i was afraid of knowing the real reasons,
i was afraid of knowing what I had overlooked.
the soil was so soft in my hand,
the day they buried you.
i cried through my meals for days.
no one consoled me.
no one told me things will get better.
no one told me to grow up.
and something told me
i would never grow up.
I checked my diaries
for the hints of regrets,
for the eroding structures of demands
I once made from life.
I checked my skin for the trace of scars-
the remains of the unreasonable
yet necessary decisions.
The sharp bleeding memory
of the blade,
of the hatred I inflicted on myself.
I checked the outline of my mother’s lips
do they finally approve of what I am.
While I eat all three meals
that were supposed to keep me full,
I wait for the forgiveness that never comes.
that my heart
(half eaten by my self loathing)
can never grant.
and my half eaten meal,
they remind you of all the times
when I have wasted things, far too valuable.
The trinkets that I treasure.
The coins that cannot buy anything.
The souvenirs that have lost meaning,
the people without memories.
This city in my mind,
I keep alive by not breathing.
You wonder how I became like this.
I wonder how can I be anything but this.