“Last Drink in the Refrigerator” – Nayana Nair

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Amidst the clutter of her living room, I sat down with the last drink in her refrigerator- an extremely sour and almost suspicious orange juice.

I could look up the expiry date but it was already too late. I was almost down to my third sip. A thought that arrives a bit too late is probably a thought best forgotten. If I end up in ER for this, this might be my last orange drink. Sort of sad that the last orange drink in my life tasted like calculated foolishness rather than a bright sun and its shameless almost applaudable want of attention.

I walk around her apartment, looking at all the stuff she has accumulated over the years, things that I am rather too conscious to look at when she is awake. I do not know the face that I should make at the face of all that she can’t get rid of – the things she wants to throw away, the things that make her believe that she is an actual person with a life that was actually lived.

When I see her bleeding fingers, her grip, her intent to never fall from this precipice, her intent not to ever pull her self out of it; I end up finding all thing that I could have done, all that I could have been. I end up finding ways to have broken beautifully, to break in a way that wouldn’t endanger my will to live so much.

Which is weird because she is sadder than me. Which is weird cause I do not think the type of breaking matters that much.

They are just thoughts that have arrived a bit too late because now I have time to think, because now I have the heart to forgive, because I am that ideal age where I might opt to forget for the sake of my own heart.

If I end up in another heartache because of the things we can’t change anyway, if this turns out to by last love, then it is sort of sad that I can do only so little, that I can love this much.

“Photographs of Unmade Bed” – Nayana Nair

#1
Today I am fixated on the the houses far ahead, the colors on those countless walls that are yet to be carried away by the winds. Today I am fixated on the wrong choice of shoes, the red sore blooming on the fingers of my feet. Today I am filling my eyes with all that I refuse to see otherwise. I like days like these. They give me the proof of life outside of me, proof that I am part of this world. Days like these let me know that even if there is nowhere I particularly have to go, my feet are sore from walking and the roads are bit weathered. So it must mean something. Slowly I am changing the world, just as the world is changing me. So it must mean something. These are the days I realize that I do not just look at the world, but kiss the world while hating it in my heart. That world doesn’t just disown me, but it keeps looking at my childhood photographs when no one is looking. It all must mean something.

#2
My bed sinks a bit more everyday. It feels as if every day I am carrying, dragging another new person into my uncomfortable sleep, to my messy life. There is no blood, or signs of resistance, so it must a deal of mutual benefit. I hope so. I wake with only my skin, with only my dry eyes. So again it must have been someone I mistook as you. Someone who knows how to keep their end of promise, someone who doesn’t look back at the weight they are leaving behind in my new scented sheets. With you there was warmth and suffocation and never-ending want to be something more. With you there were eyes that stared at me as if I am a road you are forced to walk on. With you there were things I couldn’t be and shouldn’t be. Without you, there is me and my imagination that draws you body full of life on the photographs taken of unmade med and undecided mind. What do I want really?

#3
The one love? The truest kind? The rarest kind? The kind that is made of eternities? The kind that is hellbent on making that big change? I sort of had that. “I had that love” would be my answer, only when I am asked to keep my answer short, which I am often asked.
In the answers of 500-1000 word limit, in the answer where 10 marks are at stake, in the answers only you would have asked – I wanted my only love to be true somehow, no matter what it took. Do you know what that means? It means there are hazy days, holding lies close to heart, illusion that I fed with my own blood that make appearance in this answer. The answer involves knowing everything that is wrong, knowing everything that shouldn’t be, knowing the end that I won’t have. The answer involves cutting short my words, even when there is no need to, even when you are here and you are listening. The answer is pretend that was true, the tears that I didn’t hate as much as I should, the person I liked a bit more than I should have. Always wondering if love would feel like love if it was not me and you standing on both of its end.

#4
There is soaring in the skies. There is running away to the ends of earth. There are, of course, moons, and sun, and stars for taking. There is a wish list for every age we failed to love properly. There are your past loves, there are my past pains to talk about till late night. There are things to eat and relish and complain and things we will never make the way we should, things we will throw away even though they turned out well. There are stories we will make up because we can, because they are fun. There are stories that will tell thousand times even though we won’t be believed. There are night we see only each other, there are nights we realize the pain of not being loved. There are permutations and combinations that I was always poor calculating, that you were never interested in. There is a day like this where we have nothing in our pockets to count on, no possibility, no scenario that could bring us and place us together in this life. This is the only day that I didn’t want to arrive at.

#5
You are only as dangerous as much as I let you be. If I let you be a mistake, you are just a humiliating past to be erased. If I let you be the friend that should have remained a friend, you are just a human among thousand others, a human I dealt with with immature idea of carpe diem, with a stupidity I once called honesty. If I let you be the reason of my happiness, you become the reason I should never smile again. If I let you be the incarnation of all that destroys, you become the plague in my heart that will not end till I die, till I give myself up. The more I let you be within the scope of my life, the more I regret letting you in. I never try to think of you as someone I associated the word love with. That word lets you become my breaking heart, my lungs devoid anything capable of giving life, my mind slowing down and stuck at the worst part of my life.
So when I think of you, I think of you as the result of taking the idea of selflessness, of selfishness, of wanting to be part of this world, of taking “it all must mean something” a bit too far.
Because irrespective of what you might have been for me. Now you are only as dangerous, as important as I let you be.

“Small Impossible Dream” – Nayana Nair

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.

“The city that won’t decompose” – Nayana Nair

Some days I am thankful to the walls
that never broke down when I did,
that looms up to the heights
that seem more beautiful than sad
(on certain days at least).

The tiny tiles,
the cemented words in me-
they were supposed to be who I am,
they were meant to decompose
when I chose to change my ways,
when I chose to change my heart.
But this ‘me that I have made’
is more magnificent,
more important than me now.

My mask is more than a mask.
It is my life, it is my M.O.,
it is the replies and answers
planned out for every worst case.
It is a solution that works somehow.
It is a city where I live helplessly
not because I am helpless.
It is just difficult
to throw away something I thought I was me.
As my nature melts and takes new forms everyday
this artificial me remains as my only point of reference.
My pretense is the best I can ever be.

“As the fire dies out” – Nayana Nair

After a long time, I feel like walking
towards the calm unknown.
The wildness in me that I had thrown away,
is waiting for me.
They were always waiting
to tell me all the gossips of stars and fishes,
how lost and alone they both felt
to know that blue they had in common
were totally different worlds.

The clothes that made me look somewhat beautiful
I fold them with care,
leave it somewhere you won’t miss.
Their newness would be the new metaphor for sadness,
sadness – yours and mine.

There must be a magic to undo this curse of our feelings.
There must be an answer, a life
that doesn’t necessarily need us to be together.
I will ask the cruel fairies that live in dying breaths
to make you forget me at sunrise,
to make me feel something for you again,
as my life with you ends.

“Counting the Pieces Left” – Nayana Nair

shadows of evening
are still in my room
the morning rays,
the flickering light bulb,
your laughter,
they don’t do much.

cause this life
of mirrored sunshines and smiles
makes me feel nothing.
there is something wrong with my heart
which you might have known all along.

i toss another piece of me
into the ocean.
it is one other piece of me
that you will never see, will never have again.
you hold my hand and tell me
what i have thrown away
was too difficult to find in this world,
that it was your most favorite thing about me.

i want to cry and apologize to you
but i sit there feeling relieved
now that I have one less thing to lose.
there is something wrong with me
to not want your kindness and your love.
it is not your fault dear.

“I didn’t mean it” – Nayana Nair

I did mean it all,
I just didn’t want you to know.
My momentary courage-
the result of my long sleepless nights,
let’s agree to call it my foolishness.
For I won’t do anything as preposterous as that ever again.
I won’t expect much from you again,
not because I was at wrong.

Even though it was the only thing I could do,
I regret it so much.
I hate myself for trying to believe in you,
for pushing myself to do the right thing
for your sake.

As always you eat fast and cut me off.
As always you have somewhere to go.
There are too many people whom you must keep happy.
Today I won’t throw everything on my plate for you.
I won’t come to door to see your cold back.

I wish I could go back to the dreams
where I told you about my life, about my pain
and you held me as I cried,
where you took me to the doors of my new life.
But instead all I see in every face is your face.
In your face all I see is my pathetic self
who wanted to lean on someone like you.

“Erased” – Nayana Nair

I dreamt of a cold day,
of a gray sky,
of your warmth dissolving in air,
of your smile being erased.

I lay on your bed
surrounded by, covered in
all the clothes
you won’t ever wear.
I saw myself crying,
refusing to eat or sleep
waiting for a new world to be created
or to leave the world that I am in.

But eventually
I woke up,
I cleaned up my room,
I threw out everything
that mattered to me.
I went to shop
for a stomach that knows hunger
a heart that can forget,
a dream, a life without you.
I thought I loved you more than this.

“What I Remember(9)”- Nayana Nair

I tell myself stories about
why I threw away all that I had,
or why everything was taken away from me.
How I was too weak, will always be too weak
to carry the weight of the gifts that I had.
Or how I was never quite convinced
that I had something to be proud of.
How I was always trying to gauge
how much deep my feelings ran
for everything that I could only sort-of-love.
I can list all similar attempts
where I sought a better quantitative understanding of my specialness
and used these unreliable results to decide how and when to give up.
But if I had to give one consolidated story of
why I was never a failure at anything,
why I never succeeded,
why I had nothing to show for the years I lived
or for the talents that people remember me for.
If I had to be concise and true
I would say
I never made those decisions,
I was never aware of how I felt about
all the things that bother me now.
I drifted away from what I was, from what I treasured,
the way dear friends lose touch, lose each others name,
lose a happiness they could have had.
Only to be reminded of this loss
when it no longer matters.

“Pay it off” – Nayana Nair

Most my life is about
standing at the edge with the others
and choosing whether to push them first
or giving up on myself, by throwing myself away.
And all my decisions have ended up
in wait for someone else to decide my fate.
Wait long enough to think we are friends
who are here watching the world set on the sun,
wait long enough to feel betrayed by the choice
I myself would have made
at some point.

***

But I think there may have been iterations
that I choose not to remember
where I was the one who severed my feelings for others
with series of selfish decision.
That is probably why
even when I fall
instead of feeling resentment,
I say to myself
“suffer a little more, pay it all off
that is all that is left too do now.”