The bathroom light dances on the edge of the blade. The first cut is the toughest. I wonder what my sister would have said if she knew. ‘Don’t do this. I forgive you’?
I was a little girl of 6 when I played a prank on my sister of 8 by hiding a spider on her bedsheet. I thought she’d scream, I would have a laugh and that would be that. Little did I know that what I had sprung on her was a Brown Recluse that would end up biting my sister’s leg. The leg would get infected and later amputated.
I never told my sister how that spider had ended up on her bed. I never told her that I had destroyed the rest of her life. And consequently mine.
All these years of self loathing what I wanted to do was tell my sister the truth. Tell her I was sorry. And then kill myself. That last part? Easy. The first part, though, I didn’t have the guts to do that. Continue reading
You claimed and still do
Your words were benign
I obviously disagreed
Even a tiny pebble
Cracks the windshield
When hurled at a high speed
Sifting through memories
Reminds me of the time
I didn’t want my picture taken
You laughed and asked
Who’d want to see my face
You were capturing my soul
Ten years had gone by
She said I still looked the same
I thanked her for the compliment
And later wondered, was it one?
One might be inclined
To romanticize otherwise
But unlike a fairy tale
There are far more
Than one Cinderella
Who fit in those glass slippers
I was very agitated when I misplaced one of my gym towels. To put things into perspective, B_, my off and on gym partner, told me he was in ‘real’ mourning because his new fling had come to an abrupt end. He told me to shut up about losing a miserable towel. Even a plush one. He had broken up with the ‘sunlight in his life.’ B_ asked me why she had to leave him. I wanted to say because of his terrible use of metaphors but I didn’t think B_ was looking for an answer, especially that one. So I kept quiet and let him whine. The one positive from his sob story was that he was more focused on his workout. It was like he was on steroids. Maybe he was on steroids. I never asked.
He’s on her, thrusting and panting. She is not an expert at this but she wants to make him happy. She wants to make sounds and say dirty things like she has seen the girls in the x-rated videos do. She wants to tell him to fuck her like she’s the last woman in earth. She wants to tell him to tug her hair and call her a whore. She wants to tell him to use her like his sex toy, rough and hard. She wants to tell him to ravish her like an animal while they do the doggy, the snail and the butterfly. She wants to tell him not to stop till her knuckles are white from clutching the sheets. She wants to tell him not to stop till her words are a jumble of vowels. Ooh, baby. That’s all she manages.
The hats lay piled up in a corner in the closet. The stylish newsboy. The gentleman’s panama. A baseball cap for swinging at the bottom of the ninth. A whoopee cap for the court jester. Even a toque for when he experimented with peppers and spices.
Now they just lay there. Not entirely forgotten. But no more than a bookmark from the past. At most he would give them an occasional, longing look but would then turn away. Did they not fit him right any more? Or if they did then did they not look right on him?
We are talking of Oscar Wilde when Brown Beard, probably a history major, lists major historical figures who were homosexual. Big, Round Glasses, probably an engineer, perks up on the mention of Alan Turing. He wants to say something but before he can get a word in, Beak Nose, probably a law student, says how this central issue of gay rights is like history repeating itself over again as it did with other rights issues like slavery. You hear these injustices over and over and you get numb to them, says Red Dress, probably a heart breaker. An echo, I say. You hear it again and again but it’s fainter each time. Other than compartmentalizing people I am also a hypocrite because I dislike metaphors.
Everyone has spoken all there is to say about the topic and how not homophobic each one of them is. That’s when there is an awkward pause. A gap in conversation always makes me nervous. It’s as if I am personally responsible to keep the conversation going and everyone is looking at me rather accusingly for allowing this silence to creep in. It’s as if my wit is at stake here. If I don’t come up with something smart to say then I have failed all these fine people gathered here. In particular Red Dress, with that infectious smile. The smile she flashed at me when I said being gay is not a choice but being an asshole is.
I am still racking my brain when she walks away with Manicured Nails, probably an envious homemaker. She’s already getting haughty with all the attention. And it’s not even a Red Dress if I am being honest. It’s the bourbon’s doing. Over the evening it transformed her to the hypothetical Red Dress. And yet I am nearly kicking myself for not having told her of my awkward experience in a queer Parisian nightclub.
Solitaire Diamond, were you here all the time? You are giving me the evil eye like I did something wrong. Red Dress? Sure, I want her to like me. I want everyone to like me. That does not mean I want to jump in bed with her. It does not mean I don’t want to either. Of course I am kidding. I am just being me, all charming … and tongue tied at the same time. Sigh. Despite all my protestations, I know I’ll be sleeping on the couch tonight instead of by your side. At least I have the sweet taste of bourbon on my lips.
I got tired of seeing the same sights and hearing the same sounds and getting the same scares night after night. So last night I decided to pay you a surprise visit.
I was mesmerized by the abundance of color. The grass felt smooth. The breeze felt cool. The melody of a canary filled the air. I got lost in the vastness.
It was late but I lingered as we watched rainbows bloom forth from our hands.
I wondered if it was always magical here. When I turned to ask you that, you weren’t there. I saw you fading into the distance as you floated, like a butterfly in its beautifully chaotic pattern.
I knew I had to return. And when I did I was deep under water. I was trying to swim to the surface but the more I tried the further away it appeared. I shouldn’t be sweating under water, should I? I shouldn’t be hearing footsteps. And I certainly shouldn’t be smelling your perfume.
I should wake up before you leave. But the more I try to reach the surface the further it appears.
They were gathered under the blue moon. They had gathered to bury John’s cat. For the ninth time. She had fallen off a tree, narrowly missed being hit by a car and plagued by various diseases, but it was curiosity that finally did her in.
They didn’t want to be interrupted, so Junaid had brought a glass eye. He kept it out, just beyond the circle they had formed.
John took her out of the bag and buried her head first in the sand.
Jiao took out a stack of playing cards and tossed a few into the grave. He never played with a full deck in any case.
Jai looked resigned. He took an eight ball from his pocket and dutifully placed it on the ground in front of him.
Jamie voiced his opinion. Someone tossed two cents his way.
Jonjo had nothing to say. He had purchased a beautiful picture of a sunset (or was it a sunrise?) two days back. He had had to trade a thousand words in return. Choice words, too.
It was almost time to go. They all pulled their woolen scarves over their eyes. In the distance they could hear cows mooing. They too were headed back home.
She hides behind the hundreds of miles of cables between them. Not in the closet though. Too many skeletons there. But from behind all the cables it is somewhat easier for her to say goodbye.
As cliched as it sounds, it’s not you, it’s me, she says.
And he is thinking of this stray cat outside his home. One day she is all like pet me and feed me and I will always be yours, he thinks, and the next day she is nowhere to be seen except for a pungent reminder hastily covered in the front yard while she has gone whoring herself on some other street and you are left to wonder what it was all about.
After a long silence she says, say something.
I am going to watch Kubrick tonight, he finally says.
Keep the rewind button warm, she says almost automatically, something he used to tell her for her wont of constantly rewinding to re-watch scenes.
Maybe I will. Just so you know, only reason to watch is because I could use a little less drama in my life right now, he says.
Sorry, she says.
Could be worse. I could be watching Wes Craven, he says.
A sigh from the other end. I just want you to know that …
Gotta go, he interrupts her abruptly and just before disconnecting the line he says, I think I hear a cat outside. And I am pretty sure she needs me.