Monday, December 20, 2010

It's difficult to reconcile yourself to silences when you're young and every bone in your body is screaming out life. You're somewhere between not-too-young and not-too-old; this is what they call the "prime" ( of what, though?). You're supposed to conquer everything, not stand here and watch it fly past you. It's difficult, and it takes patience you do not possess because you lost it in the struggle against a world that refused to stop. So you had to move, because there is power in numbers and you were truly defeated in this one instance. And then, well, it's unexciting really but there are times you begin to confirm when you have to. If you stop and think about it for a moment, if you have solitude- it's not gratitude you feel. It's this immense irritation about why the world isn't moving, because inside your mind time is racing. And just yesterday you wanted it to stop.
You wonder if this is some sort of cheap trick fate wants to play, since the world didn't stop when you wished for it to, and now it won't move. Murphy's law, they call it.

It's always the little things. Does it really matter how quiet it is as long as there's music and a cigarette? How the absence of those two makes everything worse is something you will never quite understand; what makes sense, though, is the cold. And the heightened senses. You'd blindfold yourself and spin around just to feel like you're moving, since tequila waved goodbye ages ago. But that's just wishful thinking. There's work to do, papers to write, expectations to fulfill. The only thing you're allowed to do is sit in your corner of the room, twiddle your thumbs and type out twenty-something handwritten pages. And then write some more. And work a little more.

It's always, always a battle. The whole universe seems to think you're good enough, but are you really? Are you good enough for yourself? Is it ever enough?

And more importantly, what happens if you stop?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All you need is love...


So my question now is, is shared misery also a pre-requisite? Because geographical proximity made the list a while ago.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I've become uncomfortable sharing myself with the world, and I feel that increasingly, I cannot talk about things here without thinking about them first. And that was never the intention.
Maybe, it's time to stop.
Just a thought.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oed' und leer das Meer

Indeed, indeed. And what should I go back to, and what should I go on for?
We live more for our small hopes and dreams. But when they're gone, we stagger and stumble, and fall. And then what.. then what?
So many stories but which one to tell?
Oh how life turns.
You give your heart, and it's torn apart.
And all you have left is sad little rhyming cliches. And pieces. Of everything you gave away.

Oh but.
We will keep calm
And we will carry on.
They survived the holocaust with it, and mine is but a heart.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The world stops, if only in pictures.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I think.
I think what we're waiting for is the world to stop for a few moments, so we can take a deep breath and collect ourselves. Except that it never, ever does. So we stop and try to collect ourselves anyway, and what happens then?
The world moves on and leaves us behind, as we're left doing all the breathing and the collecting.

Such is life.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Loneliness is often, and unwelcome. But you must be a good sport, and you must persevere. Because there is always another day.
At least that's what they've been telling me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Of course I dream of running. Everyone in the ranks of the restless and the lonely does. We dream of conquering, and escaping, and of the subsequent elation that will take hold of us. We write out elaborate fantasies in our imaginations, then wipe the board clean and write some more, just so we can test out the limits we have set for ourselves. And of course, to find out if it's possible to break them. Up there is the sky, and we find ourselves owning a blue vastness with our eyes closed and our hearts open. We embrace the possibilities we make, and we will them to become true. Only to have the satisfaction of knowing, even for once, what it feels like. We live in so many hopes, dream so much- it all piles up, quite precariously in our souls. It's always at the point of almost toppling over, but even then we can't let go of the empires we've achieved, if only within ourselves.
It's not like we don't know this is a series of exercises in futility. We know more, and better, than those who never dream. That's the epicenter of our crisis: we know a little too much, and a little too well that our castles are made of sand. At the end, when we're up against the world, they will wash away and wash up in the consciousness of others who dreamed like we did. And even then, even when the these lives have collapsed, when we become bogged down in our own webs- even then we we will not have the heart to warn them. And we will never laugh, because looking back at our naivety will be endearing in the most heartbreaking of ways.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

But of course, you will move mountains. It's what you were born to do, and this stalling of yours is just a momentary distraction.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You spent half of your life trying to fall behind
You're using your headphones to drown out your mind
It was so easy, and the words so sweet
You can't remember, you try to move your feet.

It's all incoherent and alien to you. The world is blank and you're lost in it, except that you're not little, and there's no one to pick you up and restore you into your little corner. You forget if there even is a corner in which you're supposed to belong, and it puzzles you because you've come to the place where you've convinced yourself that you made that corner up, a long time ago, to run away from Unpleasant Things. So you allow yourself to stand there, in the middle of all that vast endlessness, right in the center, and feel like the world's spotlight is shining down on you and you're looking up at it. You can't decide whether it makes you feel important or impossibly small, whether you want it all or none of it, and if it even makes a difference now that you're here and this is life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Write.Unwrite. Erase. Delete. Adjectives for the inevitable End to words, and pasts. To what they have done, and what they could do- in your head, of course. It only ever mattered in there, where your own demons chase you around in echoing circles that never cease to exist. Unless you erase and delete, of course. But how does one go about erasing and deleting chapters of one's life? How can your mind regurgitate the blank-slate-state-of-being, throw it up and slip it on- at any rate, it's never going to be the real deal, is it?
It can be very convincing. True. And if you stop it from chasing you, that's half the battle won, perhaps even more.
But where to begin. Really, where?

Friday, October 15, 2010

One of those tired spells where you feel drained of all energy and power, and there's pouring rain outside. Words are incoherent, even as you try to form sentences in your head.
But then you give up.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Home Part II

It smells nothing like the sea here. Nothing like the salty, smoky smell of a Karachi breeze in the night, no sign of balmy air catching you by surprise on an oppressively hot day, no smell of tikkas and kebabs sizzling on skewers across the street, and the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps. Never, not when bombs are exploding, not when people are killing or dying, not when the electricity conveniently goes out and comes back on. The city takes it all in her stride, and we as her children, do the same. So when I wake up in the morning not to sights of crazy-coloured buses wreaking havoc in heavy traffic, aided by motorcyclists who quite evidently seem to be on some sort of death mission, when I don't hear impatient drivers blaring horns at other cars and instead have to rely on an alarm clock to wake me up- it bothers me. There's only so long you can stare at a clear night sky with an abundance of celestial bodies before you start missing the tell-tale smog of Home, and only so long when walking out of your dorm in the morning you to see squirrels scurrying about over leaves in various different shades of yellow and orange is a novelty.

I'm not sick of it here. I probably would never be, but I guess it's a tough one to let loyalty face a head-on collision with awe.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"We're gonna watch the sunrise, do you want to join us?"

At least they asked. And I didn't even know them.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When the fog became God

Here we begin, in near-paradise, our lives. New and untainted, we spend our days broadening our horizons and our minds, spotting migratory birds, sitting by the lakes at sunset and walking and walking and walking. In this  bubble we forget our Self, or perhaps the multitude of Selves we used to be. Here, we are new. We have no shame, and nothing to hide. Here, we are cocooned if we choose to be so. And here, there will be no judgments. Come tomorrow, we will not be called to account for what we did. It's really a rather carefree, mirth-filled existence. Life is endless readings, overpriced cigarettes and coffee, the search for authentic tea, beautiful windy mornings with hints of a chill and a lack of men (we don't complain about that, believeyoume).
We study music, and gender, and philosophy, and the environment- we rattle them all out in one breath, like it's really the most normal thing in the world. We have big dreams, we want to make this world a better place. We really tend to believe modern-day versions of fairy tales here. Here is where no one notices the colour of your skin, where you come from, your religion or the lack of it, your sexual orientation- really, nothing matters much. We go from being 17 to 25 in a matter of seconds, and back even quicker.
And what about me?
I fear this new-found freedom will convert the misfit in me from it's dormant state to a bitter, unfitting part of the Life Puzzle when it is time to leave.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And then, there are some who want to be seen, and known, and heard, and talked about. But never, for once, will they let this be known. And in this not letting it be known, they forget themselves the true meaning of essence, and then it is lost. They are all and nothing, starting a fire and ending up with ashes.
And what about ashes?
They go where the wind goes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Nostalgia chooses to peek out of the strangest corners; it envelopes me when I look at deserted, half-constructed buildings, when the smoke from piles of burning rubbish gets caught in my throat. when the stench of fish accompanies me through half of Clifton, the beach with its sour, dirty smell against the too-bright glare of whitewashed light. The streets with roads eroded and filled with water because of rain, swarming with mosquitoes. The urchins and the hijras and the thousands of beggars in Ramadan. Streets suddenly plunging into complete darkness because of power cuts.
And of course, Abdullah Shah Ghazi ki mazaar. It twinkles and shines, like a gaudily decked out monarch showing off his jewels. You can blow up as many shrines as you want, and these people will still flock to them.
In the evenings when the air is still and balmy, and there is not a single hint of a breeze.
At 3 am, when the roads are empty and quiet, yet never quite asleep.
At random times when there is nowhere to go, nothing to do except sit around and hang out in someone's room.

It is always the same Karachi. It is in my blood and my heart and my flesh. Karachi, in all its third-world glory, unabashedly proud. It is home, like no place will be.

Monday, August 16, 2010

You leave a million heartbreaks in your wake, with each turn of every season. For what? Alternatively flitting and stumbling through life and love, this restlessness will turn one day into a pain you cannot ignore, and from there on the curse will take its toll as the seasons you fled tie you in their threads of spun silk that just won't tear. One day there will be a sky to look at, but no sun that holds meaning for you and there will be nothing left in your name or later, your memory.
You will be a speck of dust, and they will walk over you like you did over them. They will not notice, and you will not startle, for you will not be what you were: there will no longer be a tiny, golden deity. Instead, you will be what you never thought you could become. An inconsequential grain of unremarkable brown sand.
And then, you will wonder.
How is that for change?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

They call it the City of Lights but it don't shine here no more.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Then and Now

At some point we all revert back into the old days, when a million stars twinkled imaginatively in the sky and each one was someone's lost beloved, a piece of soul shining every night to reassure those who were left behind. When we'd prop eager hands under eager chins and listen to stories, pretend to sleep for half an hour just so the teacher would let us splash paint on cheap-paper-covered-plastic-canvas and allow us to call it a goat, a cat, an apple, a chair, our Mommy. In a good way, nothing was ever entirely one thing. You could slap someone for not sharing, and then be best friends in two minutes. When your parents fought, you would command your father's attention, urge it with a desperateness "Baba! Baba! Babaaaaaaa!!", tap him on his shoulder or pull on his sleeve, something he couldn't ignore and when he said "Yes Baba?", you'd ask an inane question or two, and feel self-satisfied believing you'd done all you could to stop the fight and anger.

Then the magic steadily faded, the stars were merely a collection of gases waiting the end of their own time as we're waiting the end of ours. And shooting stars were enough to make people swallow cyanide. We became old enough to tell our own stories, old enough to make them sordid, old enough to regret them and not tell them to anyone in our shame, let alone little children (as we once were) with their hands under their chins. Old enough to see the flaws in the pillars we once saw as invincible, to become them. When we unearthed the masterpieces we had created- after the pretend-nap that somehow turned real and our teacher gently shook us awake, groggy eyed as only kindergartners can be after twenty minutes of sound sleep- we saw how it was neither an apple, nor a cat. It was nothing like those, nothing in between. Nothing, but a blob of cheap, bright poster paint that was preserved only because your mother kept it in a plastic folder and forgot all about it. And sleep? That came and went, came and went- easily, fitfully, restlessly, dreamless. What had once been seamless became a hotchpotch of  adjectives, with the key one missing acutely: peacefully. You grew old enough to see the patriarch in your father, then old enough to hate him, then old enough to channel your resentment into things that would annoy him enough to fire up his already tempestuous anger just to test the limits and toe the lines. And when he was no more, you were old enough to handle it in your own strangely sad way of growing up too soon for all the wrong reasons and all the wrong people.

Then, when you were finally old enough to consider why things happened as they did, why your father was the tyrannical patriarch he was, why it wasn't his fault, why it wasn't simply black or white, why there were endless lines and maps that lead to the same place and yet took you on different rides, why you were part of the one person you had hated with all the force of a child in a hurry to grow up. When all that came to be, there simply was nothing left to talk about, the doctrine of Nothing Is Ever Entirely One Thing became maddening.

And then you reverted back into the memories of when a million starsouls shared one home.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Johny Panic and the Bible of Dreams

The air crackles with his blue-tongued lightning-haloed angels.
His love is the twenty-storey leap, the rope at the throat, the knife at the heart.
He forgets not his own.

The red box I see from the corner of my eye commands my imagination. It runs, wildly and twistedly and turning, leaps off cliffs and into notebooks, pools of ink, tear-smudged words. I yelp and run faster, hamster wheel threatening to break, I am horrified. I am unable, and I am paranoid. It is being fed, and within me becoming alive- a living, breathing symbol of this, this thing I cannot quite explain. Or even see.
The memory throws up high and dry
A crowd of twisted things; 
A right here, a left there and an infinitude of wrongs, where can we go but charge into our own follies and wish for a moment, then run again and crash headlong into a pile of thorns. This crown on my head, circling me and glowing, this halo really just stings if you come forward and look close. I am gold and fear, the culmination of a paradox that grew by and failed itself as all paradoxes do in the end. And I? I was lying there in my own dreams, within the not-at-all real and the stark squalor of immediacy holding out my hand and waiting for Johny Panic. But He never came, as they never really do. We waited.

I have seen eyes in the street
Trying to peer through lighted shutters, 
So the red box, this absolute, utter, bleeding reality of us. It really just belongs in the sewerage of our urban hopeless states, when night after night after night we toil for love, lay bare a shoulder; and then more. We never quite get there, but they tell us again and again-
He forgets not his own. 

(The title of this post and the beginning is Sylvia Plath's work. The verse part is from Eliot's "Rhapsody on a Windy Night")

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I've been waiting and waiting and waiting, and now you're here. I remember wishing for a light at the end of the tunnel, it's here now. And it's you.
Don't change. For the both of us. xx =)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

That's the cigarette she stubbed out. She looks at the half smoked thing lying there, suddenly thinking why. She didn't want it anymore, it was making her nauseous. Besides, she doesn't like the way people look at her when she's smoking. It makes her feel naked, dirty. She wonders why they look at her like that, but only for a second, before moving back inside. She's going to be outside in the balcony again tomorrow, same time, same place and think the same things. Half smoke another cigarette, and throw it away. These half-smoked things, half finished stories, half healed hearts, half victories; it's a trademark now. "I know, I know.."
3 AM.
The clock over her bed hasn't been working for 6 years. Who knows why it's there. It's a waste of time, literally.
"So's your life."

I know, I know.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

No Surprises.

We are far from invulnerable
when we fall,
when we tinkle like
the stainless steel
the delicate china,
but break in a frightening crash.

Except maybe, less glamour-
more clamor for lives
not yet lived and roads
not yet taken.

Maybe, maybe all we wanted
was a chat over some
mango pickles and the
monsoon passing by our windows
and sticking eager faces,
summer skin out to lap up the rain.

Maybe a time where
you and I, or them,
other manifestations of us,
loved each other for exactly
that. Each Other.
Where it was easy
and the word outside
was a reference to summer rain
and hot tea.
But, alas.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Won't you take it all,
you silent, beautiful lull,
you endless, sweeping thing that
snatches and snitches on
this solace that has been
gnawing away,
pecking and gnawing,
You pest, you creature, you mirage.

Would you let me forever hold my peace,
If I for that one moment refuse to speak?

I bid goodbye to
your bids on my love,
You sweet, sweet bidder,
Auction me off,
I trust they will
to the highest, to the best-
Perhaps to you and this heart,
this infinitesimally beautiful,
this petrified,
this caged
thing will be yours to keep.

To what end,
For what purpose?


Did I say too much,
Did I say enough?
I don’t know, Silvia.
I don’t know, Silvia…

I don’t know. The questions circling around in your mind will find no answers by stumbling into me- there’s not much to see here, let alone find. You will dig deeper, and be rewarded with ashes of what I used to be, used to feel. Now I can disguise myself and carry on like it never happened. The pages no longer turn, we are no longer dancing in flames that licked at our consciousness and burnt our beings into contemplation. My words are as empty as my soul- perhaps the latter is emptier than the threadbare pocket of a homeless, washed out bum. I’m still waiting for the pennies you may have, to throw my way. A dollar, a nickel, a cent- aik paisa hee dedo, kuch tou dou, idher tou dekho..

Circle round the room still,
Often breaking my will,
Know I can’t have you here,
Someone else on your skin..

Two minutes- all you need is two minutes to forget my face. That’s all anyone ever needed. Really, it’s a joke when we profess our inability to live without one another. It really only takes two minutes, whatever your interpretation of those one hundred and twenty seconds might be. How does one love? How does one find that love? And how does that love last? How does it not break the heart after taking, and taking, and taking- and in one final plunge emptying it of a lifetime of painstaking giving. And when I’m empty, when you’ve had your fill, when I have given it all away, when I am dried up, where will you be?
Not here, maybe in another dimension of my thought, maybe when I will think about you one afternoon- far into the future, far out in the distances I see from my window. I may see us, and I may dwell on it for the tiniest of moments, form one of those impossibly long nexuses; then forget it ever happened.

That forgetting part, it helps me stumble through.

And the lights go out,
Will there be a trace
That I loved Silvia?
That I loved Silvia….

That once we loved and gave and fulfilled and promised.
Once upon that time, so long, long ago..

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I spend a lot of my time thinking about how, next year, I'm going to be twenty. Even eighteen seemed quite young, being an adult was still far away, something in the distant future that I wouldn't have to worry about for a while. I enjoyed my bits of freedom, and let growing up wash over me in a lazy wave that struck every now and then, but never too often.
I still haven't learnt how to drive, or acquired an ID card. The only form of identification I possess is my passport, and my school ID card, that makes me feel like- well, like a school kid.

I realised why, sometimes, people refer to college and university as school when it isn't school. It's holding on to something that has been so important to them. My sister just got to fifth grade, and she's so excited about using a pen to write. I'd have thought "Yeah. A pen. Big whoop.", but I remembered how excited I was as well- being a fifth grader, being allowed to use a pen- these things were signs of growing up.
And now it all seems to overrated, this getting older thing.

I know I'm old enough, but I don't know for what. On a peculiar level, I actually appreciate it now when mum barges into the room at 4 am in the morning and asks who I'm on the phone with, when she refuses to close my door and makes fun of the word "privacy", when she tries to force feed me and when she tells me where I can and cannot go. 

I have, what, four and a half more months till I'm entirely responsible for myself. Where I go, what I do, who I meet, what I wear, my timings, my choices, my friends. I have yet to decide how I feel about all of that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

They don't love you like I love you.

It beats in surrendered corners and
in shreds scattered through the wind and
In ashes that fed the bonfire we lit and
(It was never so bright before)
within us.

An inkling of the cracks,
this is the surface too but
it's just inside, I'm just here, but
it's unknown to you and
you are within me, deeply
as I am outside the world that
is you.

Wait, they don't love you like I love you.

Reach out and extend arms,
inward please, not out,
but no- that's not right-
You can't reach in,
And I can't come out.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'd explain it if I could, tell you why I write these morbid little monologues about things that were and will come to be. But my job is to reveal how it feels, and not why- ironic, because I'm the ever-unfeeling, the posterchild of heartless and faithless and hopeless. These things you attach to me, without ever asking me to give you a penny for my thoughts. It's too expensive a bargain for most people, especially in these times of recession- our hearts are emptier than our banks. We'd much rather cut forward than let the weeds of our pasts shackle our ankles and drag us into the inky black of memories. What's in it for me?

That's one that always evaded me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else. -Marilyn Monroe

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing. -Sylvia Plath

Some things just make more sense than others.
If you knew, if you figured out that essentially, there is nothing about me. That's all there is to it. Nothing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Maybe Tomorrow.

I look around at a beautiful life
Been the upperside of down
Been the inside of out
But we breathe
We breathe

Yeah, we breathe. Every night, every single night, the godless minutes pass with excruciating slowness and I'm left begging to feel. I beg, and plead, and cry- just to be able to feel. Something, anything. Throw a bone at me, give me a little, don't abandon me, Hope, please don't. And even in this numbness, I can't stop deconstructing. Can't stop looking for signs, for meanings behind why I am this way- it just never comes to me. All I know is I find myself being able to empathize with why he may have chosen to die. And I never even knew him, hadn't heard of him till he was gone. And yet, I feel this affinity with him.
Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for all that I have, because it's a lot more than most people do. But it's a series of pyrrhic victories, pointless battles won, things conquered. For what?
I'm here, but I'm here for them- not me. Because I don't comprehend why. I could be standing at the sidelines, an anonymous observer of my own life. Although I'm controlling it.

I can't-won't- talk. There's little, if any, good that comes out of talking. I've exhausted all I had to say to anyone, and all I do is sit, and wait, and watch. And I still can't see anything.

So maybe tomorrow
I'll find my way home
So maybe tomorrow
I'll find my way home


An hour knocks on the door and
Upon finding it shut, slides under the crack,
Slithers in uninvited to tamper with my memory
To laugh at some incomplete recollection of
A windy day followed by
A foggy night.

A Mind as hazy, as hazy as that which
Caused these beads of thought to slip
Off a string that came lose with a
Slight tug
At the nape of her neck, that night
That passed so restless and alive
In the solitude of survival,
Of pretending that we are, indeed, alright.

One of the strangest things we, as emotional creatures, do is try to attribute shreds of meaning to our mundane existences. We all bump into mental blocks, fall to pieces, get back up and then- we fall again. It's a lot to process, because when all you're doing is getting through life without ever really knowing what the point is and without even trying to attach significance to it, all you're in for is a tough time. And then one day, as you're staring into space, it hits you, this hollow epiphany- it's not a phase. It's just life.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It's a wave-no, it's something else- a bubble is bursting somewhere, a song is dying, there's a clandestine parallel pathway that's operating in the very same godless microcosm we call life. I watch you build it up to a perfect falsetto and then, it's sudden, your voice dies mid-perfection. I will never encounter another one like that, never fulfill my lust for the flawless. It was an almost, but it was a not-quite too, and wavering back and forth between the two I see the impossibility of forever.
What is sacred, what has ever been to you, I ask you now as we sit in this cosy cafe waiting for our orders and the pianist's fingers linger over the keys of his bread and butter- like a ballerina, they go back and forth, back and forth, as I wait for an answer that you can give me. But it's lost to you as well, I can tell when I see you, when your voice is a croak that never became you. It always revealed your lies to me.

I would get up, walk away and leave, run into the streets of Amsterdam, Paris, Rome- wherever we sit in my imagination- only to find myself in the Sahara. Because what are you, if not a mirage? Illusory, delusional, a falsification, breathing here to crumble my sand castle. There will be nothing left when the water washes away our lives and our loves, the sea comes back to purge every now and then. This desert was once a sea, an ocean,a habitat. No more now, no more. From dust, to dust- This is us, unhinged and unraveled, as we wait for the champagne and the oysters, over-romanticizing the loss of romance, because an opportunity for glamour is not to be missed.

But inside, here, in my mind, I am parched. I am waiting, and there is an oasis that never was, will never be, calling out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If anyone wonders why I never erase any part of my life from here, any of my loves, it's because here are pieces of my life spread out in the best way I can put them, and this is one jigsaw that can't be erased.
So I might as well let it be, on the www and for real.
You just can't change it, and hey, it's been beautiful at some point, hasn't it?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The reason, I realised, that I don't make friends is that I think people are very, very unreliable. It's not a trust deficit, it's something else. Every single time I've tried to make an effort with someone has turned into that person and me drifting apart for no apparent reason. And my problem is, I have too much of an ego to make an effort with too many people. So, I stick to my lot, the people I've loved, hated, tried out, spend a significant amount of time with, and they're still there.
And I guess I'm fairly alright.

Except that, every once in a while, you think back about that one "friend" who drifted away, who you had a wonderful bond with, and it makes your feel wistful. Because there was something there that someone lost along the way.
And that is sad, if not tragic.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


"You're so mournful, ever so mournful, always so mournful." She said, emphasizing the tragedy of the situation as she took a delicate bite of the chocolate donut she held in her hand. ("Ishouldn'tbeeatingthis, I'msupposedtobeonadiet" says the voice in her head, and like all other unpleasant voices, is drowned out on a whim.)

"Truth is, I just don't see it anymore, me- who am I? What is this, what are we? How wonderfully existentialist of me to ask, how very Ayn Rand- perhaps one day I'll be one of those high-flying career women without a love but with..what's that word...job satisfaction? Yeah, and a six figure salary.
What's that? Expectations? I hate that word, though I do have an awful lot too, of course, don't we all? But I despise it. It sounds dirty, and cheap, like a trash fiction romance that we all want (admitit, tit? No. It. MovingON)in our lives but will never confess to. And yet we have them (expectations, not trashfic romances), will keep on nurturing them until they kill us from within- or maybe not. You can't kill that which never lived, yeah? Yeah.
Don't look at me so reproachfully with those pretty eyes, honey. You know all this is nothing new, I'm just saying it so it seems to be. We've heard it a lot, you and I, that the world is no place for us-primarily from ourselves. Believed it too. So I know, I know it's a bit of a shock when the high heavens don't open up to mark your passage into some transcendental, parallel reality. You're as normal, as ordinary as that clerk who's stuck in a strictly average 9-to-5 job, as that beggar who(that?) was knocking with his filth encrusted knuckles on your car's window. It's just that the filth is within you. It's your heart that's covered in it.
Don't be so defensive. It's only just me, and I know you inside out. I see you everyday, we've spent our lives together. You can't hide that face from me, you know it too."

She finished eating that donut, daintily licked the tips of her fingers, moved from in front of the mirror. Monologue over.


I've never seen her cry. Except that one time, when he was dying, and she was struggling to make that decision about whether she should have him put on life support or not. She decided against it, because she's a strong woman. I've known people who have put loved ones on life support in the vain hopes of a turn around, a full recovery that never happens. It's an empty reassurance, telling yourself that there is a tiny sliver of hope as long as their heart is beating, as long as that oxygen mask mists over with the machine-breath. You feel like your words are getting through to them, and any moment now their eyes will open slowly, and they will smile and all will be well.

Too bad life isn't an episode of Grey's Anatomy. The Merediths in our world aren't such resilient survivors, I will tell you as much.

Point being, I've never seen her cry. They wanted her to sign his life away, but it wasn't because they cared. It was just a matter of wanting to get it over and done with. It's a fact I've become accustomed to in the past five years that have made us feel like unwelcome strangers to an exclusive party. It doesn't make a difference to me, things rarely ever do. But it devastates her in some way, I can tell because she talks about it repeatedly. And I want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her and tell her "It doesn't make a difference. They're not our family, not your relatives, not his relatives. It really doesn't make a difference." But she's my mother and I'd be violating some code of conduct if I were to do that. Besides, we're not very expressive as a family. No hugs, no kisses, nothing of that sort. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

She cried then. Didn't make a show of it like they did, but she cried, and didn't eat for two weeks. I wonder what she thinks every year on the day he went. 17 years is a long, long time.