“The sky is your canvas”, the book to all ailments said, “there is a joy in filling it up with life.” But as I finished my 157th sketch, as I finished my 300th one, as I finished the one with no count attached (the one I called “the limits that were stronger than me”), as I write over all that I had drawn, as the clouds dragged themselves painfully crawling to some better place, like everything else in my life the sky remained unchanged.
And when I lost my hands to fate, to slow corrosion, to the burden of creation, to the lady in white who couldn’t even lie that “it won’t hurt”, to the painful work of making up things that I want, things that would want me back, or at least won’t walk out, to the hunch that said something is seriously wrong with the kind of life I have.
I wished for the man in the sky to wake up and get to work, to make me some rain, to drop an ocean of crystal on this world, to paint a heaven on this cheap sky of this miserable man.
Because trying on some days, on most days now, feels like living against the wishes of the world. I can’t help but break a bit, cry a bit even when things are right, because they right only because of my efforts. Can you give me something that I don’t have to work hard for, something that was made for me, something that I can keep. A thing, a person, a sign that I can hold in my hand that tells me that you want me to be happy, that you want me to smile, that I am not abandoned after all.
Today you are silent and you don’t care. You have changed without changing anything about you. You don’t want to be concerned with should-be or could-be as all that matters is what is. what-is is a fact that needs no forgiveness from what-didn’t-come-to-be. You beg me not drag you down into the waters of the past, “They are ugly they are hard, they are things that we can’t have.” is all you say about the life we once had. what-didn’t-come-to-be is an ocean I must swim alone, an ocean that just grows and grows deeper and wider cause I can’t seem to stop hoping from you.
In the forms of “Renewal and Hope”, in the forms of “Happy Married Life Again?”, you fill the reason as “wandering and its joys”. So I burn up all such papers where you won’t look me in the eye and tell me the truth or at least some believable lie. I burn away this life where you wander in every direction but mine. Where I am not wrong for you, you just don’t want me to be the right. “It scares me”, you once said, “the thought of losing you.” How well you have grown, how far you have strayed from your words, from yourself, and from everything that you once happily called fate.
You held me as I broke again and again. Your warm chest tried to hold me, to keep me alive. I couldn’t cry anymore I felt indebted to you I loved you.
You left me again in the crowd that you promised to protect me from. I called you, your number and you name- becoming useless to me with each passing day. I cried because I felt cheated I loved you.
As my heart filled again, as it emptied itself out you stayed in front of my eyes in flesh or in glowing illusions, telling me, nothing is wrong with me. So I slept peacefully because you made me forget my incompleteness I loved you.
You told me love is supposed to be a pain anyway. That this smile of mine that shined in spite of your mistakes, in spite of your cruelty on my weary hopeful heart was the only thing that made you believe in my love. And again I smiled back so that you continue to believe me because I loved you.
There were moments, glorious ones, when you were the most the beautiful human, when you cried for me, when you cried for the world, when you tried to do something right. I wanted to stand beside you so that I could protect you somehow because I loved you more for it.
But now I must face the world and myself alone, without having to become something right in your eyes. Now I don’t have to round up my every feeling to a variant of love. Now I can care for you, hate you and see it as care and hate and a frustration without an end. Now I can see you as the miracle and as the failure that you are. Now I can be a failure myself.
I am not good at loving in the past. I can only be honest. Now I cannot look back at you and call you my heart. You were so much to me that I badly wanted to be something that you want. I kept on sleeping to keep your dream intact and calling this love, when it clearly was not. Even though it was probably something better than that.
the one thing i can’t be is honest. though there are many other adjectives that stare at me from their balconies at midnight as i walk and crawl through the dirt road, through the pool of lights, crying and shouting and breaking dreams in every home that i pass by. i hear them shaking their heads with disapproval and hopelessness. i look at their hazy shadows and try to hate them in equal measures but i don’t because they are so easy to forget. but this honesty, this honesty that people expect vexes me. this expectation makes me want to hide, run, run over their hearts all because it is so simple. all because the ones who ask me of this through their tears are not mere observers but are the ones struggling to stay close to me fighting the unnecessary sandstorm i create everyday. they are the ones who deserve honesty. they are the ones i don’t deserve. but my dishonesty is not only for this world. it is the only thing i can offer to myself as well. so again, i wake up in their arms with another lie ready on my lips. i hug them with with my true love and my false heart. i don’t try to make it right when they are in shambles again because there is no fancy way to put it, there is no beauty in what i do, there is no promise i would keep. there are only people who i leave. even when i can’t bear to miss one more person again.
There was that pile of paper I couldnever keep safe. The crossed out, always crossed out words, words always out of order, words turned beautiful only because they dissolved in my frustration. Only because now I cannot read them without effort. I must make something out of them something that couldn’t possibly be mine.
The blue ink dripping, forming planets on unexpected letters, forming planets on my hands. I would take them to class and look at them as if now I meant something more, now that I was suffering for something I want.
I raised my hands to answer a question I have already answered hundred times. I sat down and swallowed my teacher’s frown. He didn’t have to teach me that right answers matter only when they come from right mouths. (I once got an A only because I forgot to put my name.) I knew there was nothing I could learn by swallowing frowns everyday, but still I dragged myself, my broken planets, my half burnt poems in my half burnt hands to the one who doesn’t think twice before asking me to hate myself better.
i try not to think about the places that are lost and evaporated only leaving clouds of colorless memories floating on my not so blue sky
places that are lost not only to me but to this world now no one will ever know the sweetness of the light that was never beautiful enough to be captured and framed light that is only beautiful only in its death beautiful only when it rises up without a reason on the surface of our eyes
how my eyes miss seeing everything that now cannot be seen my eyes wake up from the dream of yesterday into this new day that i must write feeling that again i have lost something, something meaningful in that dream that will never return to me a dream that i have no right to dream again
i try not to think about such losses losses with name or reason or heartache but no matter how much try some days that is all i can think about
she traced the light on my chest pulled out everything that stung- the swings, my feet, the shadow i decided no longer to play with.
the comparision table of veins and arteries copied into my notebook. the eraser and pencil that helped me document in those tables my lackings compared to everyone else.
a page torn, and then another, and then another. pages that learnt immortality by choosing my heart as home.
she stayed up nights trying to free me as i stuggled and begged not to empty me. she smiled and said the words she didn’t mean, words that i wanted to hear from someone, anyone.
so i slept because she couldn’t be stopped. “leave me alone” now hurt me more than her. i opened my eyes and cried for her work was done, now i was no one, now nothing was mine, not even my pain, not even her.
she dusted her cobweb skirt, placed a kiss on my forehead and told me to breathe, breathe in everything that i didn’t think i had the right to.
she told me to breathe and to never forget what suffocation felt like. it helps in becoming kind, she said.
as she wiped clean her traces from my life, i felt better, again i was full. i was full of her, of this love that won’t work out. being full of her, i refused to breathe, because i wanted to keep it that way.
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.
i can’t…i just can’t bring myself to remove all the ellipsis…that i leave behind in my sentences. i know they look shabby… as if i don’t know how to create proper sentences…as if i have never heard of a comma. i am told it is something similar to ending and pausing sentences with “you know”.
“so juvenile”…my friend had commented. i remember saying the same words to my friends as well (but i don’t think my tone was the same, but i could be mistaken…or self righteous)…so it seems i am not allowed to take it to heart. i am supposed to erase the ellipsis…till they smile again and lie that “i will do better”…or that “it’s time i grow up”…or “gotta become a real poet”.
it seems it is okay to store my ellipses in my mind to place it on an empty sky, on the face of my teacher sprinkled with a hatred that i can’t understand, on the hands that never reach out to me in daylight, on the future i can’t seem to dream about, on every minute that i walk alone on the streets where i thought i would never have to be alone, on the days when i know the answer but won’t speak up for the fear of being right. i don’t know how to live a life where what i think has importance or the acceptance of others. need to find a better home for my pauses than pages that are mine but only with conditions.
the broken-hearted know no love for anything or anyone that is not the one breaking their heart. they see through you. even when they say hello they almost get your name wrong, you can tell it from the look in their eyes. they drink and fill every room with songs that were not so hard to bear when they were just noises that radio made. they tell you in their drunken stupor that no one cares.
they say no one cares even when you call the cab, drag them home, hurt your hand in the struggle, scrape more than skin, lose more than patience, leave them on a bed not made for weeks probably, you don’t want to guess or know. so you close the door, climb down the stairs shut down the part of mind reserved for them, but remember how they have been liking and sharing too many dark poems, how those poems speak in their voice in your mind. so you climb back, remove every blade and knife and realize it is just the beginning. you feel exhausted by the inexhaustible list of things that can help end a life, that can serve as a full stop.
so you sleep on the couch or pretend to, till your head hurts from pretending. now that you want something true you call your love and tell him that you don’t know how to handle this, how to sleep and yet keep an eye on the one whom you suspect is waiting, waiting for you to close your eyes for a second to make an exit that doesn’t exist. he tells you that they are beyond hope at the same time he forwards articles that could give you hope. he tells you to sleep tight knowing you won’t.
when you wake up at the sound of tears being microwaved for breakfast, you see another day that won’t be right. you see them trying not to break yet breaking and abandoning everything around them so that their hurt can be felt by the world. they look at you and smile while they pour another glass toasting “another drink for the world that doesn’t care, another drink for the loveless me.”
the broken-hearted know no love for anything or anyone that is not the one breaking their heart.