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.