Prelude to 2014
In spite of all
To love you
To wake up with you
in your arms
all my life
in your home
our home (though I know you will tell me to sleep on my side of the bed. The left side. 😉 fully clothed. ) (“years of conditioning baby”, you will say..but still..)
To make that first cup of morning coffee
To sit snuggled up on the couch and watch your favorite game
or a mushy romantic movie
with you dozing off , your head cradled in the curve of my neck
To cook those simple meals, deliberately making them elaborate
soaking in the smell of sex, love and spices
To tiptoe barefoot on cool wooden floorboards
taking in the scent of you in the empty house
in your oversized shirt
after a lingering good-bye kiss at the door
To ready a romantic bath
an extravagant array of bubbles
bath soaks, a languishing dip in the steamy tub
indulgent back rubs (and much more)
conversations, (shoptalk? For heavens sake !) & laughter
Wrapped in fluffy towel
to watch you work from home
taking client calls
shooting urgent emails,
drafting a complex deals (while trying hard not to glance sideways )
with my mind spooning you (It must be tough to ignore the heat rising from the bare legs next to you)
and in between all this
to fill in the mundane
grocery, laundry, doing the dishes
polishing the floor, tending the yard,
mending the roof
followed by fights (love quarrels I call them)
followed by make up sex
It is not a fairy tale after all
I dreamed of you last night. Like all other nights.
I dreamed of us doing all the above listed things among others.
In our home.
When you know you are never going to get the man of your dreams, never going to come closer , the dream itself becomes kind of important.
To close your eyes and let your imagination catch fire, to pretend you are with the man you love, doing things you will never be able to do in real life, that’s as good as it gets.
The moment I opened the door of my home a sudden heartache hit me like a jab of an invisible knife. For a few seconds everything blurred. I held on to the door knob staring into the empty quietness that had occupied everything animate and inanimate. It was a home I cherished, my private sanctuary, a place of my own where I lived on my own but never felt lonely. A place decorated with the imagined invisible tales of our love that warmed me and gave me company at all times but today it all seemed unfamiliar and surreal as if I did not belong there. Everything gazed at me with mournful eyes. His brief visit had violently altered my side of the world. He had left but his absence still lingered, making itself more poignant with its presence. I crossed the threshold stepped inside dropped the bag and the purse on the floor and began to assess the magnitude of the void which becomes more apparent as it gets filled and this one was rapidly filling up with missingness that was flowing out from every pore of my body. Each step more difficult than the last. The heaviness began to occupy me turning my limbs to stone. It hurt to be hurting.
The ephimiraliity and uncertainty that has hovered around me while he was here had transformed itself into sorrow and a gnawing sense of disbelief. A tumultuous place a few days ago the house seemed like an echoing tomb today. I felt that if I stayed there one more minute the hollowness will gather and bury me alive in this plastered grave. It’s strange how I felt the lack of him more than his presence which has morphed into my tortured existence and everything around it.
I moved like a lost soul from room to room unsettling the quite trying in vain to fill the space he has left. Up till now I had too little time but now there was nothing but time and I felt myself being engulfed by it.
I had lost all my sides to him and in this altered reality I stood completely stripped off. Exposed. The cold creeping up my spine, filling me from foot to head even though it was a bright warm day. Numb is a feeling too, I always said and in this numbness I wasn’t aware if my heart still beat. Everything had come to a standstill inside me as if I had entered a zero sensation space. I wanted to cry but tears had dried and turned to heaps of salt. Something had malfunctioned inside me shutting down all my senses and bringing it all to an irrevocable breakdown.
A whirlpool was swirling deep within me. Unable to contain the surge of emotions I rushed out picking my purse and closing the door in one swift action. Without looking back I ran down the stairs forgetting about the elevator and briskly walked down the street shutting myself to all the sights and sounds. I could not understand what was building up inside – sorrow or rage or just a feeling of loss.
I wanted to unscrew and pull out the corkscrew of absence that had gone in so neatly. I needed to push the rising deluge deep into some unknown depth and to do that I bought myself the biggest tub of the Haagen-Dazs’ ice cream and parked myself on a high stool in a corner away from the huge glass windows overlooking the street. I did not want distractions and dug into it shoving it in my mouth and almost swallowing it with no attention to taste or chill that was sending waves of cold fire down my throat. After finishing three-fourths of it I closed the lid tucked the tub in a paper bag and walked out . The market was flooded with weekend shoppers but I just kept walking through it all hugging on to the tub hoping it would heal the sickening ache that had taken residence inside her gut.. I didn’t hear the honking from behind till a hand pulled me to the side. The car driver hurled some angry words at me and all I could catch was “die”. Yes sir that would be really nice. I found the lump in my throat melting and rising up. I mumbled a feeble thank you , lowered my head and shouldered my way through the crowd of local vendors, rickshaws, sleeping dogs, blinded myself into a few shoppers, got two portions of spicy, oily hot comfort food packed, picked two king-sized candy bars, a big bag of potato chips and walked back home. The ice cream box had become warm from the mid day sun but I felt unable to trash it.
I emptied the food on a tray , threw the candy bars on bed, stepped out of my clothes and curled up in a corner, knees to chin. and stared at the steaming hot oil dripping food and spicy pickle. A wave of nausea hit me and pushing the tray aside I pressed my naked body on the hard cold marbled floor and wept fiercely. crumbling and disintegrating as if I was invaded and shamelessly plundered through and through. I felt ashamed of stuffing my face with a thousand calories in order to stuff my emotions and not just that I had also bought a cart load of it home. Tears flowed freely again as guilt and regret hit me like a knife. I wanted to feel the pain not tranquillize it with gallons of food. I wondered what was hurting me more, letting go or holding on to something unreal. One side of my body had gone numb. I had never felt so exposed. Slowly I picked myself up from the floor, pulled a Tee over my tired body dragged myself to the bathroom and stood under the shower with eyes closed. Letting the water wash away everything not needed by my body, mind and soul. I did not bother to remove the tee which clung to me like a second skin. There were no tears, no thoughts, nothing, just a calm one feels inside the womb. Water is a healer so is the salt. It is not just for any reason our tears are salty.
I removed the Tee and gently rubbed a handful of Epsom salt all over my body feeling it release the old pain and melt away all the hurt with every stroke of my hand. I let myself soak into the universal healing and then patted myself dry, got into fresh clothes. Once in the room I shoved the food in the fridge making a mental note to give it to the house help in the morning. along with the candy bars. The bag of chips went into the cabinet. I unpacked, uncovered the Buddha and pressed it against my heart before placing it on a shelf where I could see it from anywhere in the house.
The sun was concentrated in a shaft of light in one corner of the drawing-room. I pulled the wicker chair in the pool of light and cuddled into it. I loved him and either I could stay trapped in what wasn’t or move freely into what is. The choice was mine to make. I had decided to move on with him in my heart. It is never ‘over’ and I did not want it to be either. We were just living in two different worlds but I knew in my heart of hearts that he felt the same. I smoothened the little silk cloth on my lap. “Never too far away from you“, I ran my finger tip over it feeling the words pulsate with life.
The phone began to play a familiar ringtone. The heart skipped three beats then fluttered.
lately I have become a collector of chaos. smudged words, crazily crisscrossed paragraphs, some images, music, assortments of drawings, skirmishes, idiosyncrasies, noises and distractions, thoughts pressed into wayside, visual ideas, blotches of ink(tear stained)- marginalia and the frail silences that crumbles at touch. it is so good to write on paper with pen/pencil (sometimes colored, mostly black). this click clack of keys and the letters popping up is so impersonal, unfeeling and yet here they are some scratchings of my mind.
sit back, relax
let me tell you a story
hand-feed you words (said and unsaid)
in bite size morsels
i owe them to you
these handful of stories
spiced and seasoned pieces of me
that i have carved and cut out just for you
let me ooze my honeyed voice all over your naked body
and unveil unawakened pleasures
but something that you can see, touch, taste
drift with the heated slumbering lemon minted aroma
of this mindless concoction
i have thrown your logics and cynicism
into the beat-up tin pot
unsavoury as they are
dinner tonight is sex on plate
and an extra olive in your martini.
i miss the taste of sun
its sweet heat dripping from your mouth to mine
all the way to our necks and further down
i miss the summer
the cayenne dusted ripe mangoes
eaten as they should be (with bare hands) , with abandon
just the way we love
in all its messiness
love can be messy in many ways
and we loved that messiness, didn’t we?
till you gave it an entirely new meaning
sometimes it is difficult to make out if it is loss of feeling or a feeling of loss
downward and inward
i let my soul sink into yours
a bottomless pit of hopeless despair
i could have avoided it( really?)
had i asked you normal questions (but you hate all type of questions so its something i am assuming) (i also assume too much)
questions about outside
your work, the holiday you took (family holiday)
your favorite movie dialogues
the car you drive
your financial investments
the highs and lows of
day to day existence
the occupational hazards
the deals that found closure or slipped away
your future prospects
normal questions that normal people ask
but what did i do?
I asked you about your fears
asked you to tear out your inside
unravel that wound-tight ball of yarn (that’s you)
drop and let it roll freely, mindlessly
to come undone fully
to examine the knots, the snags, the frayed ends
and tell me what you felt
i wish i was normal
and asked you normal questions ( maybe about the weather)(change of season)
I should have tried harder
with the the niceties that defined our relationship
(sometimes i wonder if it was the same thing that powered it and weakened it)
I should have carefully thought out interesting stories
constructed delightful light headed conversations
I wish I was normal and done those normal things
I shouldn’t have asked you to fill the long deafening silences (weren’t they already filled with silent shattering noise of heartbreak? sheesh.. I should listen closely and more often)
or asked if the songs you played meant something (it was all about positioning, wasn’t it?)
I should have given those practiced smiles
made silly faces, worn funny masks ( i tried at times)
goofed around (made small talk)
I wish I was normal and done those normal things
but I did not
I asked about your fears and what moved you
evoked your secret longings
i made you open lids after lids
of what you preferred to keep closed ( did i talk you into this? guess i talk too much 😦 )
i tried, tried ceaselessly
to rekindle ‘something’ (rekindle? or kindle?)
but it will never be the same again (i lost but did you win?)
and i wonder if ‘you’ and ‘i’
will ever be ‘us’ again
or if there is any ‘we’ left
a spark maybe ? in the embers slowly turning cold (i am afraid to stir the dying fire lest it consumes me)
if i had believed
in the illusions of normalcy
i would not have suffered dreams
(i would have been normal. ‘and the ‘we’ in ‘us’ would still have been there)