Turmoil

I don’t adore the sea anymore. Not like I used to, anyway.

I feel betrayed, though the logical part of my brain says this feeling itself is ridiculous. Despite the upheaval of emotions, this was not betrayal, for there never was a betrothal. It was me in love with the sea. Then, until yesterday, and possibly tomorrow and always, but not today.

I dip my toes into the water, but there’s no response. I wade in a little further, feel the waves lick my knees and retract as though in apology. Frustrated, I yell at the empty, bottomless froth, “Do you not know me?” The only answer I get is silence.

I talk my heart out, confessing my feelings in a whisper. “I admit, ours was an unlikely union –  ever since I was a one year old running into your embrace and you threatened to swallow me whole. Yes, I’ve contemplated the depths of your soul as though looking into the eyes of a lover. I’ve been poised at the brink of your being, wanting to forever surrender to your torrential love making. So why do you hesitate now?

I feel betrayed, though you did nothing wrong. I sensed a connection that never existed. You knew we wouldn’t be happy. And I still played the fool.”

Silently swallowing a bitter pill of hard truth, I turn my back on the ocean I’ve come to love. I’ll be back tomorrow as a different me, but for today, I’ll lick my secret wounds and mourn the loss of something unknown.

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Another lie

He lies.

He speaks with fantastic conviction, spilling half-truths and twisted facts with every word. He’s mastered the art; he keeps a straight face and looks directly into your eyes. His hands do not tremble when he looks away, and his lips do not press together to hide his guilt.

You’ve known for weeks now. He comes home sweaty and tired after work and immediately hops into the shower. Once you thought you saw a bite mark on his neck; another time you leaned in to kiss him and detected the unmistakable scent of another woman on his mouth. You recoiled from him then. You began to watch him closely for signs of a nervous collapse, but he seemed to have it together.

He makes no mistakes; no phone calls, messages, no photos. All data erased from memory. But you know it, you have felt it. There were no signs, but you have noticed the occasional hushed phone call to a ‘colleague’, meeting ‘college friends’ on Sunday afternoons. He never once slipped, but you saw and understood the ache in his bones after fucking her, or the smell of her pussy on his lips. He sleeps soundly at night, snoring loudly the moment he hits the bed. And you lie awake in the dark, wondering what your life has come to.

So why haven’t you confronted him yet? Perhaps you aren’t really sure and there’s a possibility that he isn’t cheating? Or perhaps you are scared to find out that he is; it opens doors to darker and disturbing questions – Who did he fuck? Did he love her? Are you not good enough for him? You close your eyes and push the thoughts out of your head, too painful to deal with at the moment. You find yourself still hoping for all this to go away, like a bad dream that never happened.

He wakes you up one day with kisses and caresses. He wishes you good morning, plays with your hair, smiling the way he used to. You smile back at him sleepily, and suddenly you’ve gone two years back in time; when you were young and stupid and madly in love. His lips graze your earlobe and whisper words of love. And just like that, you fall for his lies yet again.


Graffiti

I tell him he is like a sponge, absorbing me into his very core. He breathes in my thoughts, impulses, tears, reflections, intuitions, desires. I paint weird graffiti on the walls of his mind, and he tells me I fascinate him. He wants to be closer to me. He wants to possess my mind. But I do not know what I am more fearful of relinquishing – my sanity or my insanity?

We talk of love and emotions, and the moon, the stars, the wind. He believes me when I tell him I love him, because I believe it too. Every moment is our moment, isolated from the rest of the world. But then the moment passes, and suddenly I am nothing and I am everywhere.

He tries to paint the insides of my mind, but it keeps wandering and slips from his grasp. And then I hate myself with a fierceness which he can only match with his anger.

Perhaps love does exist only within our minds, and what we should be saying is, “I want to love you. So much…”

Strangers to love

Unfortunately, we are not strangers any more.

As simply beautiful strangers to each other, we embraced love with open arms. We loved with all our heart then, and happiness only meant loving someone. We did not expect love. We did not even speak of it; but it was there in the very act of making love.

Love between strangers is beautiful. But we are not strangers any more.

We are in a ‘relationship’, without wanting to be, or knowing how. It expects us to have certain expectations from each other. In a relationship, love is not just to be given; it should be received in equal measure. Attention must be given and received. Help must be offered, sympathy should be all-encompassing, and empathy is expected to overcome any hint at anger. Jealousy is to be expected, but in just the right proportion so as not to turn into possessiveness.

Every feeling needs to be analysed and talked about in depth. Every fear must be known to each other. Not mentioning a fleeting thought is forgivable, unless you happen to mention it to anyone else. A decision, especially one involving the future, should be taken together.

A relationship is a comforting reality of a long-lasting companionship. It is a lot more than love.

But perhaps, we were better as beautiful strangers. Perhaps strangers understand love better. It remains undiluted by expectations and fears and hopes of the future. It stays within a moment which is pure, however fleeting.

Souls and mates

Time became distance. Soul mates we remain, only in memory. The ends of the world will be our years to come.

I had let time chew away the frayed ends of heartstrings. We were puppets succumbed to the very miseries of the world we used to curse.

You got what you wanted. I gave up what I didn’t want. It’s not the same thing.

I feel it cracking. I feel myself swirling. I’m suddenly afraid.

Why did I have to play the fool? Would it have hurt less if I hadn’t told him I loved him so? How do I stop myself from falling in the same trap, over and over again?

I have let time take you away. And now I cannot reach out and touch you. I can see you across the mirror, but my fingers touch only the cracked glass that reflects a broken me.

I was drawn to him because he is like me; simpler but fucked up just the same.

The universe won’t let you read me. You’d understand if you knew, wouldn’t you?

Cafe Diaries!

I saw him the moment I walked into the café. He sat alone, hunched over a sheaf of papers, a cigarette dangling from his lips. He wore a black leather jacket that fit him smugly. His hair stretched curly and unkempt towards his shoulders, and he grew a rough beard that gave him the overall appearance of a burly biker dude who rode into town only once in 6 months, and that too for a haircut and a shave. There was a cup of coffee on the table before him, and next to it, an ashtray with the stubbed ends of 3 cigarettes, and a music player with earphones plugged in.

I saw him the moment I walked into the café. He wasn’t hard to miss, as he sat alone at the table in the corner. He sat hunched over a sheaf of papers, a cigarette dangling from his lips. He wore a black leather jacket that fit him smugly. His hair stretched curly and unkempt towards his shoulders, and he grew a rough beard that gave him the overall appearance of a burly biker dude who rode into town only once in 6 months, and that too for a haircut and a shave. There was a cup of coffee on the table before him, and next to it, an ashtray with the stubbed ends of 3 cigarettes, and a music player with earphones plugged in.

As I walked in, he looked up and waved. He rose to give me a small hug, and as we sat back down, I noticed that he had looked a lot leaner, fitter in the pictures. I looked questioningly at the papers before him, and silently he shuffled back the pages and laid the bunch before me. It was Leonard Cohen. ‘You’ve read him?’ he asked me. I told him no, and he gave an inert smile. Before long, we were jumping from poets to authors to music to movies, and spoke of our shared love for Woody Allen movies, and Hank Moody.

Coffee & Cigarettes (2)

In between laughing over tales of drunken bar fights and shady dealings in drugs, he quietly asked me, ‘Tell me one significant event of your life in the past 5 years…’

And I replied, ‘My life began 3 months ago. I guess that is significant enough.’


He stared back at me impassively. His eyes bore into mine, and in his long, measured glance, I willed my eyes to pour out the story to him. Maybe they did, because finally he took a long drag on his cigarette, and his mouth turned up in a slow drawn-out smile. A smile that later left me wondering what it was that he read in my eyes. But in that moment, I knew he understood exactly what I meant.

coffee-conversations

For a long time, we both said nothing. He settled back, and lit another cigarette, with an expression that meant he was done asking the questions, and that it was my turn. His demeanor was so relaxed it made me fidgety. I shifted uncomfortably in my chair and racked my brains to come up with a topic of conversation. There were so many things I wanted to ask him. So many topics to touch upon.

I was getting the sense that he was there, where one day I would hope to be. I tried to imagine a younger version of him, new to the city, all boyish innocence and bursting with optimism. It was difficult to believe that a guy like him would have ever been innocent. And yet I was sure some years back his story had begun similar to mine. I wondered what his story was. Failure? Heartbreak? All great stories begin with a setback.

“I… I want to understand life.” I blurted out, frustrated.

“Have you ever fucked a guy?”

I pretended not to be shocked at his bluntness. He smirked and said, “Until you have, you will not have known life.” As simple as that.