Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shreds


Shreds

Today, on my way to work, I came across an old friend in the street. They always feel awkward, those encounters, with people you cease to know anything about. In your head, their image is drawn the way you last saw them in but then, you discover that they’ve had their own share of  noise in their life. I’d lost all contact with her after leaving the country , so it was quite a good chance for us to catch up on what we’d missed. Our short conversation would have been perfectly normal for two people seeing each other for the first time in years, if not for the remark she made before leaving.
“You look so changed,” she said.
    When you wear eyeglasses that have a mud  stain on one of its lenses, there is not a thing you see that is not colored brown. That was how her words seemed to add shades of feelings to my day.  I wanted to ask her what she’d meant but something hindered me from it; perhaps I was afraid of what the answer might be. And perhaps, I just didn’t want to know.
    My first day in this country, everything was so shiny I had to cover my eyes so they wouldn’t be blinded. But it was never that sort of light the sun emits, it was more like the luster of cold metal. And as I came to know, nothing in here had a hint of life about it. Sometimes, I felt the coldness clambering my bones deep in summer and had to clutch the quilts tightly.
    It took me quite some time to learn their language. Before that, I made a hobby of guessing what people were saying. I made imaginary scenarios that made no sense giving myself a good laugh. But then, it constantly reminded me of how far away from home I was. I’d then throw my head against the wall and look at the moon. It sure was the only thing that still looked the same in my life. Now, I could talk their language but had I lost myself in the process?
   I had not asked  her about home. It slipped out of my mind, I kept on convincing myself. But how could such a thing be so easily forgotten? I rushed to my room rummaging the wardrobe for something, anything, from there. A small mirror fell on the ground and broke in what seemed a dozen pieces.
In all these shreds, I couldn’t see the girl I recognized as myself. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Color Blind



I drew and you wrote.
   I loved the fluidity of charcoal as it stained the stark white pages with pieces of my mind. Sometimes,  lines would  hug and intertwine forming shapes; quite a lot, they were only shredded pieces of dispersed thoughts. I was more comfortable with the ambiguity  of grey mirroring the mess of me; we both too unruly to be tamed by names  You loved the definitive sense words gave you. In your world, everything had a meaning and whatever had meaning must be a word and what’s not a word is nothing. I was your only exception as you were mine.
   I argued that the first people used pictures and drawings to communicate as scientists found on the walls of caves. You laughed and said that it’s what got them in there in the first place; civilization  began when they started using their tongues in something more useful than making meaningless sounds like animals do. I just shrugged and said that it’s boring to have a word for everything.
Two people couldn’t be more different.
You listened to Debussy and Beethoven and I to KISS and Nirvana.
You wore Armani and I whatever I found not coffee-stained.
You ate at fancy restaurants with a large group of friends and I in the streets observing people from afar.
You planned everything ahead and I just did whatever my twisted brain would suggest.  
You were a day person and I a night person.
You were a communist and I an existentialist; which was, besides shapes and words, one of the things we’d always argue about. You thought that existentialism would mar any human progress because no person could make it as a single entity.  I thought that communism was just another way to cancel individuality using the fa├žade of equality, which, of course applied to everyone but the governor who would suck all the money.  To you, communism was the promised utopia and to me, existentialism was how my life went on.
Two people could not be more different
Yet,  we had one thing in common.
We thought the only reason love made it as far as the twenty-first century is to make millionaires out of movie-makers. We both didn’t believe in love.  Each had a different view . You  couldn’t define it and I’d never seen it lasting. People get married, some get divorced and others stay together for the wrong reasons. Here’s the thing about love, it’s a feeling, and all feelings are like candles. Love being a violent one, the candle melts way  too fast. Soon, you are left with wax without a blaze, but it's enough to remind you that something used to be in there.  So you hold on, wishing for that spark to light you up again. But it rarely ever does.
    We weren’t what you’d call two people in love. To you, I was a special friend because I was different from the other people you knew. To me you were a special friend because I knew no one at all. But, curiously enough, I knew you.
   Many times you suggested to introduce me to the people you knew but I’d always refuse. I didn’t belong to people, or to anything really. I lived in many places, traveled to many countries, inhabited many houses, yet, I could call none home. I was too trapped within myself to ever see anything from the world but a blur of colors. You once joked with me calling me a misanthrope; it was when you saw that I didn’t smile that you realized it was something serious to me. I often thought of it, and came to the conclusion that I didn’t hate people; I just didn’t care for them.
   When I first showed you the stuff  I ‘d drawn, you said I must be color blind. I guess you’d thought I painted with a brush and used an easel. Your statement, though,  had some truth to it; I could see all colors only in shades of grey.
    I was curled up in bed, rather paralyzed in it. It was not tired legs that led me there, it was a heavy heart. I cried. I hadn’t done so in a while. It wasn’t relieving like they say; tears dragged tears and soon, my eyes were too blurred to see the light. I was twenty-five, empty, and alone. I didn’t want to die like this. And I didn’t want to live like this either. I only fitted into my skin, where my grey soul poured, happy for having a cover in the color of glistening masks and thickness of  a shield. It hurt, I won’t deny. Sometimes, the shield was too heavy  and sometimes, it made my lungs close in. Yet, it was the best solution; I was too fragile to last in a world where things didn’t flow the way charcoal  did on paper. I wanted to skip those minutes soaked with sadness to more benign times; and then, all I could see was you. I’d been considering it for quite a while now, calling you. I wanted someone to get me out of here and you happened to be the only someone I knew.
  Half an hour later, at 3:20, you were standing at my doorstep.  
   One of the things I loved about you was how you knew it wasn’t quite easy for me to talk about something painful. So, like what anyone would do, you didn’t just twist your face in pathos, ask about how I felt, and started the whole life-is-good crap. You commented on how my flat should enter the Guinness World’s Records for the most chaotic thing on Earth. I answered that chaos is complex order. You didn’t understand me so I had to explain: Chaos is a word created by us humans as to define things we couldn’t see the pattern of. Everything in life follows an order. Things ‘randomly’ thrown around in my flat were a result of my state of mind. Thus, it was actually mirroring the way I felt in its own complex pattern. When we ‘organize’ something, we are only creating simple patterns for us to be able to follow; and me being the farthest thing from simplicity, it wasn’t strange my flat being like that. You replied that it wasn’t okay for me to live in such a zoo then create a philosophical theory as an excuse for it. You then threw a bag  lying on the ground and said it wasn’t you doing it, just your state of mind. I’d been feeling more like a zombie for the past few hours, but you knew well how to provoke me; mocking my theories was unforgivable. Soon, we were hysterically laughing while throwing everything found on the ground at each other.
I tripped and fell on my head.
    I must’ve blacked out for few seconds. When I opened my eyes, everything was literally a blur. Soon, I could make things out. You were lying right beside me at such a proximity I could see every little detail in your face. We’d never been that close before. And there were your eyes, without the glasses for the first time, looking into mine. I could see you then, clearer than ever and I could tell you saw me too. Your breath brushed against my face speeding  my heartbeats. It was an awkward moment, we weren’t used to feeling like this. But that’s what made it beautiful. I knew that right then we had the same thought buzzing in our heads: we were not just friends. I was the one who spoke it out asking what exactly are we. You answered that it’s boring to have a name for everything.
No two people could be more different.
That was what we’d  thought.

Sorry for slacking off lately!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nothing Makes Sense

We're heading for that one-way trip paved with our regrets.  Really, it just doesn’t matter….we are somewhere else now. Or does it? Tears carved the shape of your face.
Stranger, before you judge, do you know my name? To you, I am pretty clothes above skin below twisted thoughts imprisoned by cranium beneath a face.  Open your eyes to see, but not too wide; the truth will have you blinded.
Hear beyond the words, reach out a finger and trace the lines twisted into a brain molded into me who is talking to you what falls on ears  blocked by lies.
Curiosity killed the cat and to stop the harm we are now shielded by ignorance disguised in what makes sense but the truth is: Nothing really does. Lose your mind and be free.
The tunnel sinks in darkness and we can’t see through that  thing they call tomorrow . Let them decorate it with their fanciful thoughts that will be pulverized by the sun.
 And we are hanging on a pendulum swinging between hoping and hurting and not hoping at all. It’ll just hurt anyway.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shields of Silence



I watch the night’s sky graying with black clouds following their invisible trails to evanescence,  ghosts of a time that is no longer there and let my mind wander away with them.  Occasionally my  eyes fall on a blank page imagining a chaos of spilled ink on it. Between my index and middle fingers I  toy with my pen and from time to time, I let it draw words on the paper but then, I tear it and start anew, staring at a stark white page. It’s been hours and I still don’t know what next to write.  What is her name going to be?

   She feels every eye scrutinizing her.  “What’s your name?” The teacher asked. They all want to know. With each minute elapsing , a daunting pain hunts her young heart. Finally, the teacher tells her to sit down, but at that second, her voice finally escapes her lips. “Drew,” she says.  Silence. Everyone laughs. She said her name the wrong way and now she has to be trapped in the echoes of it being imitated by the other children. Listens. She listens. But she cannot bear it anymore. “They all hate me” They all hate her. Rage is building up fringed by her shields of silence, but then, it evades. “Stop!” She yells, “Just stop!” She runs out of the class, slamming the door behind her.
   At the end of  Drew’s first day in middle school, two things happened: She got punished for leaving the class and she earned the name “Drew the Whacko”

Drew. Her name has to be Drew. She is Drew.
   When I hear the sound of footsteps thudding, I hide the papers under the desk and manage to slip the pen into my pocket. Matt must have woken up. He says good morning. Then, I find myself  within Drew as the next scene gets written within my head.

   Years pass by. Drew is now married. She stands silently watching her husband as he gets dressed knowing  too well what his destination is going to be. Creased, in her hand, is a note she’d found the other day forgotten in one of his pockets.  She can face him, tell him she knows but.....

Matt’s cell phone rings. I move out of the room as fast as possible in order not to hear.
He calls me on my out.
“Drew,” I turn my head, “Can you please wash the black suit? I am having a meeting tonight”
  Yes Matt yes, it was in the black suit that gave you away. Her name is Jane and not James, like you are calling her in front of me. And by the way, I know you are not going to any meetings because you were fired two months ago. But you think I am Dumb Drew that’s why you find it so easy to obliterate me and talk to her while I am in the room. But you are right, I am dumb and stupid. I wash  to you every night the clothes you stained with her so that she can see you as beautiful as can be, while all I deserve is  you in your dirty pajamas. I cook and clean to save her the effort of doing so. And of course I have to pretend that it’s all alright treating my heart like a stone. But Matt, I won’t be the one shattering the peace of our family. I will have to wait. I am the one you love. I am the one you come to at the end of the day.
  When I am done, I hurry to my story. Drew faces her husband. He confesses but also tells her he can’t be with her anymore. He leaves her and all she gains is regret for shattering her shields of silence.

10DoM Post



Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Skin

Click-Click-Click
Her beige shoes trod across the winding road. Faraway, there were pizzas and waiters. The place teemed with them walking swiftly not looking at anything in particular. They frowned in concentration with a Herculean effort not to drop the trays.
She walked starring at the tiles and listening to the Tick-Tick-Tick of her shoe.

Big tile. Small Tile. Big tile. Small Tile. Big Tile. Small Tile.

Tick-Tick-Tick
Tears hit the floor as her hands froze on the doorknob and her lips pressed into a thin line. She tried to imagine herself,  a figure standing in there with flushed cheeks and empty eyes, a huge lump rising in the throat.  But that looked like someone else. Her features lost their distinction as they drowned in the whirly sameness of days.
Wake up, survive, sleep.  Wake up, survive, sleep.  Wake up, survive, sleep.

Vrrr-Vrrr-Vrrr
    The voices in her head went dull, echoing the mechanical roars of the car motor. Her mind was an immaculate reflection of the world seen by those tarnished blue crystals, free of her vision, free of herself. The sun rays slanted across the black sky and spread until there were no traces of darkness. Yet, in her inner mirror she  saw where they resided, lurking right beneath the surface of the days. Days were masked nights. Nights were perpetual. The twiddling autumn leaves that flew in the far horizon were never free; the wind propelled them to the dead ground of her thoughts. And now, she was running away, peeling away that person’s skin she came to recognize as a self she no longer wanted.

Hush!
Listen to her tears fading away…