Monday, 27 May 2013

The In-Betweeners

Picture credit: here

He liked running his toe between the space where the stone tiles met. From afar it looked like a seamless coming together, to him it was a beautiful falling apart, cracks cradling nothingness and free falls. Where life could be lived noisily, with the wind coming at your face, into your hair, while you're one with speed and connected to a feeling that lives in the pit of your stomach.

People were a lot like that too, with each other. They only ever made sharp, acute sense when lines were blurred. Not everything was above board 24x7. Not everything fell under neat labels. Sure, it was here that most riots, chaos and heartbreak existed, but it was only from here that poetry stemmed. The relationships which eventually gave way to definitions breathed their first and last in this place. The tiny gap where two stone tiles met.

Take love, he starts to argue, how does it start?
It's always inching its way out of a Glee soundtrack of questions. Do you love me as a friend? Am I your boyfriend? Will we marry? Is this forever? If you let this cacophony settle down, there in the quiet and peace of blurred lines you could shyly shake love's hand and perhaps even share a drink.

Find your own lines to blur, he's now urgently advising you.
The first thing you'll lose then is control. Control of how you thought this should turn out, what is the ideal next move in this template you always told yourself you'd follow. Control of how you should act, what is right and good for you. There is no resolution in blurred lines, no conclusions or peace of mind is ever  found here. 

So, tell me why does everyone want to visit here every now and again? He'll ask you suddenly looking you straight in the eye.

Don't fidget or rush to deny it. He always answers his own questions.

Because, they never feel more alive anywhere else than in these in-between relationships which end perhaps even before they begin.
You should enjoy them for what they are, he drawls this out .
Take from them your poetry and music. The validations that you deny you're seeking. Take from them everything your being needs and then go back to your definitions.

Don't try and live here too long, you'll suffocate the beauty of the nothing. You'll make sweaty, desperate attempts to box this. And remember then, what I'm saying now. In between the concrete porn that you call your cities, in between your constant attempt at a work-life balance, in between your manicured parks and the days you design around yourself, exist the lives you wish you had. They're breathing slowly, and they're yours to hold for a minute.

Don't try to cage them and don't stay too long.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Refer To The Black Box

 Picture credit: here

There was a steady rhythm to scrubbing a table clean. You started at the centre, took that cloth and swiped it hard in a circular motion. Assured that ballet dancers aspire for a similar flourish in a pirouette, you moved to the sides. Soft, clean strokes worked better than getting angry at the stains. Sadness, coffee rings and stray tomato pieces disappear faster if you're gentle and firm. 
This remained his favourite part of the day, scrubbing the tables clean so that the next customer could write his own story- broken hearts always left crumbs and empty sugar sachets, long-lost friends left coffee rings and forgotten ash. It was those he was careful of, those that left the table as pristine as they'd found it- too afraid to own it, to leave a mark, to be remembered or perhaps found. 
The constant back and forth carrying orders,could make you feel like God. You heard snippets, learnt bits of their stories and yet you couldn't interfere, these kids really had to sort it out on their own

This city is no longer strange. Perhaps, moving here 25 years ago felt surreal. The 26th year is different, the tourists ask me for directions

to his question, I have no answer. Will I marry him? Yes. Should I? No. But he only asked me will I, didn't he?

Leave a reply on her voicemail. If she still wants to do business with you, she will call. Honestly, everything does not need to be analysed over coffee. Hi, one banana muffin please

come for a holiday with me. I signed up for the tour but the thought of spending a vacation with complete strangers makes me lonelier than I have ever been

away for far too long. I don't know their dreams anymore. Do they like peanut butter with milk, or do they prefer pizza. Are they even my children anymore, or hers to call her own

manuscript, but we can't publish it now, can we? I know school jealousies should be behind us but there are somethings a 9 year old version of you will hold on to so tightly that 27 years later

a bomb in the middle of the district exploded and all I wanted to know is if they blew up the shop where I had eaten those beautiful brownies the last time I visited

her home. Her beautiful, sterilized home where red was not a colour but an explosion that really should have been contained

before it got out. You can live in a certain part of the city all you want, if your child gets lice at the age of 12, I'm judging you

and those books you loved. I loved them with you. The movies you saw, I held your hand through the reel. It seems unfair that suddenly it's my taste that's under scrutiny

was his beautifully cut jaw-line. I'd have run my finger along its length but I was afraid it would have ripped the skin on my finger tips open . Blood is never a good look on a first date

which ended in me having to pay the bill. Ordering lobster is a decision one should make when one is clear whose bill the meal is going on

for almost an entire day. I guess that makes him a recognized artist and me a proud father. Do you want to see the slideshow again

we're back at this restaurant? The food is delicious but don't you think that waiter is always lingering within ear shot

my heart to pieces with that text, but she doesn't know I read it and I can take another bullet for love.

Start with a clean cloth in the centre and move towards the side, that way you can really get the entire surface clean in a single go.