Sunday, November 29, 2009

On the way

You say you're on the way but it seems like you're here already.

Already, I've bought tea bags on loan from the corner shop, already I've removed hair-entwined bands, bands that keep score of a scalp's losing cause, from brushing distance of soapcase and shampoo. Already, I've gotten the hot water running and the have swept pest-powdered corners clean of white cakes of long-dead ants.

I sit as still as I can, not wanting to add to the noises that make me difficult for me to pick out your footstep- chairs being scraped hospitably upstairs, lifts banging their doors inhospitably shut behind them, cutting short the automated wail of "Please Close the Door", newly ordered cane sofas and teak corner tables being uneasily bounced up the stairs, the protracted foot-stomping of a child unwilling to forfeit his bat and his wicket.

And after an hour, I'll pace across the length of the living room, half-peeping through the doorway crack at intervals, as if expecting to find you standing there, hands in pockets, not ringing the bell, as if your presence itself is a magic word that would get the door to spring open.

And if that doesn't world, I'll sit by the gate swinging knees across the wall, counting headlights till yours meet my eye and stop

I'll walk the entire way, down the lift, past the tussle of bat handles, because we'll have to meet midway on the road, at least. You said you were on the way...

Monday, November 23, 2009

It so happens that yours like mine isn't a name out of the ordinary run of johns and marys, nor it even a vaguely memorable one. It is the kind of name that would suffer mispronounciation, would survive a million possibilities of spelling, would be wrongly heard and confused for another and yet slip out unnoticed by memory.

And yet I would meet your namesakes everywhere, wondering why I call them by a name that seems to belng to you so entirely that the rest of them might be impostors.

But our faces, theirs is a fate not entirely different, only more favourably dealt with by posterity. It takes a stranger on the seat next to ours in the bus, a backward glance along a beachside walkway,an awkward introduction for that barely suppressed murmur of "But I've seen your face somewhere" to remind us of this.

Suddenly, nieces in the flush of summer vacations, tic-tac-toe defeats avenged by bespectacled bench mates and old neighbours come back to life.

And when I close my eyes, they never shut their doors on your face and I have to blink you out of them in two minutes. So I lie awake with the lights on, watching the blankets folding into endless tunnels to my knees.

Monday, November 9, 2009

To love as you did

Everyday, I learn, a little, to love as you did. I learn as I clean the grime off unflinching door hinges, as I walk my way around dead ends and blank walls, as I offer bitter old dreams the tribute of a wakeful tear.

To love as you did, with your hands in your pockets, fists filled with the furry insides of sweater because to clasp my hands would freeze my fingers too.

To love as you did, to arrive ten minutes early and shrug away every extra minute of my tardiness saying you'd just arrived too.

To love as you did, to walk a step behind me as I rambled away on the phone with another, but cutting short the infrequent buzz of your own phone with a terse "I'm busy now." before switching it off unseen by me.

To love as you did, to affect indifference where I painted myself red with imagined wounds, to love with the shy pangs of first love and not boast, to steer me away from crosses of my own making and yet carry them along on a straight back all the same.

To love as you did, seeing the ocean at the far west of the plain and yet walking those leagues with me, and yet staying on your feet while waves slashed my kneess, and standing still when I drowned.

To love as you did, to meet my tears in silence, my reckless promises without insincere ones and see the truths about myself without trifling with them by utterance.

Oh, I had to fall in love with another to love as you did.