Silence

To begin with, I am in control.

I had begun to understand the reality of the world I had stepped into. I had begun to appreciate the distance and the space that surrounded me. I had begun to loosen the strings tied taut round my waist slinking their way to the base of my neck, hugging my flesh. In the hours and days that stretched beneath my weary soles, I had begun to shed off every stain on my being. I speak of myself as if I belonged to my body.

Tapping toes on the cold stone floor, I channel every ounce of strength from marking the walls with flesh of fists. Pulpy, purple flesh. Every part of me that ever once felt alive has gradually decayed into a pile of unwanted compost. I lift my weight and carry it around but the only thought that crosses my tingling mind is dropping it all. I want out.

An infant in my own hands, I find myself incapable of holding together the mass of flesh detached of a specific state of mind. I begin to wonder if I ever shall. Two years and counting and the spiral darkens and the descend quickens. Forget.

The road trip doesn’t appear to end yet the steep edge stares right at me. I desire the slip that might ultimately lead me it. I sit in utter stillness and remind myself that I am in control.

Nothing hurts anymore. Nothing feels. Nothing matters. Nothing wrenches me free of the cesspool I call home these days. I fold in onto myself, oozing below the surface of comprehension. Even to myself.

I am in control.

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Dear Nameless

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Slipping in between shifting moods or phases, do you recognize anymore? I guess, dehumanizing yourself throws you in better perspective of the countless valleys you inhabit. I shall narrate. The rest can sit on the sidelines for once. You don’t see much of me now do you? Good girl. I thought you would wonder where I had gone. Bad girl. Whisked away into a world you never liked or wanted far too fast; I worried. But, you adapted well. It almost made me proud. Almost.

I watched your transformation take form and boy did you take it up in full swing. Owing to the sidelines that you teeter tottered on, it must have felt exhilarating to fall off at last. See, not many people appreciate a good drop. It is heights that are craved, horizons that are crossed and skylines that are yearned for. You, darling, loathed the heights. And so you dropped. Had I said you fell from grace, I would be making a safe haven out of a hill on fire. I figured you’d shatter into a hundred slivers upon descent. I was right.

Do you see it yet? It’s not just you or her or her or her? It’s everyone. It’s everywhere. How you haven’t lost your way yet astounds me. Again, you make me a little proud of you. Blank.

But, you did forget about me, little one. You forgot the only one of the lot that kept your little feet balanced on that edge for so long. You could loathe me for it but you and I both know you’d have perished otherwise. Should I feel flattered at how I am back in your cross-hairs? Miss me?

You spent so long questioning him and his perceptions, fighting the weights tied around you, trying. How many times? How many years? I can only guess how you’ve stayed clean for so long. Oh, that’s right. You didn’t. My junkie darling. You were always far too intense to not dive right into the closest outlet. Rebel. Why do you succumb now?

Whose breath do you intend to whisk away this time? I apologize for losing count after the first twenty. Enchantress. I hold nothing but adoration for your suffering being. Whispering his words to yourself again? Is it you or is it her? Or her? Or her?

Wrap that pretty hand before you hurt it even more; too many bruises to count. Tie it down, pretty with a bow on top. Present. There’s a crowd. Was he right then? Is he right now?

Liar. I can hear your disapproval all the way till here. Question is, will you blame yourself? Or will you call that noose ‘Blame’ and wrap it around his feeble connector to life? Coward. Victim. Psycho. Who are you? Nameless. Shameless.

Strangers Within

So I ask myself where I went wrong or if I did at all? I had grown to love the steady monotonous pace things had taken as short earned as it was. Deprived of the common man’s desires, I finally tasted what is was like to be a common man. I did not consider it a downgrade. Heightened senses blurred out the innate sense of being I had grown to know never. There was consequence to how I played it but, no manual and hence tampering became a habit. Becoming of the habit to smack a malfunctioning device turned into habit of abuse. When you told me I had yet to live, a fraction of me snatched at the chance of brighter lights and bigger cities. Tell me why you gloated over my indifference after I took your finger and followed? Children in a sense yet leukemic strangers in fact.

I go out for walks in search of a forgotten sense of purpose. I stray and I lose my way, why do I always end up back in square one? Third person in the crowd who looks my way gets to stay. It’s almost mechanical how accurate the theory stands. We discussed limits and I hadn’t transgressed, so why the restraints around my neck? The common man is chained and I complied. Malfunctioning in bizarre ways, I sought to run. My problems you dutifully reminded me would follow. Only I wasn’t escaping them. I was escaping you.

There were times when you took a backseat and threw me under the illusion that I was no longer shackled. And my patterns never changed. And you grew impatient. Because truly, where is the fun in the common man? Cycles repeat and you rebound. We have a lot of fun together, don’t we? I truly stand incapable of answering that for I am silenced and you won’t speak to me anymore. Our communication fell down to me standing at your door and begging to be let in. What happened to when you’d beckon for me to come over from miles across? So tell, stranger, where did I go wrong?

 

 

Wicked Circles

Descending the shabby lift, I wrapped my fingers around the arm of the singular other occupant. The man, visibly older and in his 40s, appeared unmoved even as I frantically whispered an apology and fumbled to explain myself. Right outside, just as the doors slid shut, the hawk eyed follower stopped short, venomously glaring at the proximity between the man whose arm I held in a vice like grip and myself. His eyes were bloodshot and large eye circles painted the bags beneath his eyes. His mouth twisted in distaste, but, he never took his eyes off me. As the lift descended I loosened my grip on my counterpart’s arm and eventually backed away into the corner. The lift halted and suddenly we traded places, my arm caught between his fingers, our bodies unnervingly close. He steered me out and I followed meekly almost as if allowing him the explicit right to manoeuvre me. Had not he earned it?

More stairs greet me and this time there isn’t a lift, there’s a body. Sprawled over, almost like a welcome mat on the neighbor’s threshold. We were asked to not touch. ‘Do not touch, keep your hands raised by your sides.’ And in that singular command, the depravity of it all vanished. It was alright to walk past his unmoving body, much like a pale log than anything right now, to attend to your tasks of the day. We were all entities in a game of cards handled by clumsy hands that dropped us, time and again. And one day, those hands grew tired of picking us up.

Curled up in a fetal position, my fingers clutched at stray strands of hair. He wouldn’t stop following me, but, I liked to believe it was my mind playing tricks on me. I never really liked my mind in the first place. I liked to believe my body and my mind were two vessels of their own that sometimes agreed on parting ways. It was an amiable decision. My body could think for itself. My body was independent of the schemes spun by my wicked brain. My body wanted out. I could feel it quitting on me, shutting down almost like how at the office every department locks up… one at a time and then suddenly altogether. The shutdown had started and my mind failed to comply.

Busy, buzzing and running about, my mind was the career oriented mother whose child sat in a corner fiddling with the unsealed bleach bottle. My body was the child so close to attaining the red card without exactly meaning to. I would like to believe my body would feel sorry. Perhaps my body would apologize to me after ridding off of itself. I would like to think that I would understand. I would like to think the bustling mother would overlook a simple error of the sort. But, right now I need to check the manual to see who is in charge of the upcoming scenario: my mind, my body or myself.

Spaces

I was afraid to speak in case my voice gave me away. I needed you to shut up. I needed you to stop staring at me. I needed you to walk away. I needed you to move farther from me lest I was too obvious. I needed you to take your hands out of your pockets and lose the calm composure that washed over you. I needed you to… I needed you.

You stayed. You stayed rooted to the same spot, gently swaying every few minutes. You stared at me, your lips continually moving. You were speaking. I could not hear you. So when you paused and raised your eyebrows at me, I realized I was too busy calming down my frantic brain to answer your question let alone hear it.

I was thankful you couldn’t hear my pounding heart that couldn’t beat any faster. My toes curling up within my tied shoes were out of sight. The crossed legs squeezing against one another escaped your already poor sense of observation along with my altered facial expression. If you noticed anything, you didn’t say a word.

Standing over me tapping your shoe on the marbled floor, you repeated your question and this time I caught it. I grinned with clenched teeth and shook my head. Obviously an unsatisfactory response, you repeated your question a third time. Perhaps you hoped I’d answer. But, I knew my voice would betray me. So I rolled my eyes at you and stared out the window. Beside me, you edged closer and slumped into the seat next to the one I occupied.

I twitched and you missed it again. At times I abhorred how short sighted you could be. But, at this moment I was too wary of my altered body language that was quickly getting out of hand to loathe your unseemly ways. If anything I was grateful. You poked my shoulder.

‘Huh?’ I swivelled my head around to look at you. I realized you were talking to me again. Why were you sitting so close? Edging away from your protruding finger, I wanted to do everything but that. I eyed the space between us and measured it, calculating how hard it was to close it. You noticed me eyeing the space and moved away. Always the gentleman.

I had spoken of my profound disliking to touch before. And you had listened. You respected the odd space I maintained around myself at all times and never questioned it. In the hollows of my mind, I yearned to dismiss of it. In the hollows of my mind, I wanted you far gone before I did something I would regret.

Truth is I couldn’t trust myself. Sitting right beside me grinning like a lost fool, your face so close I could count the wrinkles around your eyes every time you chortled and squinted at me, your obliviousness relieved me. I bit down on my lip and shook my head. Oh, what would I do had you known?

Sermons

I erred and failed to see the wrong in my ways times a thousand despite the staunch belief that I believed
So I doubted
Myself on more occasions than one, convincing my subconscious that your aid was a necessity
Rather than yet another error
Silly me, I thought of the scripture meant to guide the straying fragments within and turned to you for reprieve
From myself
From a higher power that instilled terror jarring my bones in a graveyard of empty coffins that once lay full
Refuge I sought
I quaked, falling to your feet in a hollow embrace of the religion you once called yours
Still do
I wouldn’t call you a predator for your ways are stealthier than the bold vulture that entraps its prey nay you’re the fox
In the shepherd’s attire
Do you not call upon the wandering and the lost to lead and to guide while fingering the locks on our pens
Beneath hooded eyes
And my blood soils your hands and your body, spilling over the ground upon which you stand delivering sermons of righteousness
And faith
In the tatters left behind do you seek gaping craters to fill with numbing speeches that only rip one apart
To feed a depravity
That lies in the crannies of a vessel on the surface of a truth much larger than the fickle expanse of our thoughts
Steeped in ignorance
And I have to check for wounds over healed bruises in fear of finding blood in places I never thought could bleed
Once more

Lists

Lists are my guilty pleasure. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. My obsession with lists borders psychotic and my brain refuses to accept any data structure otherwise. Chronological is the order I prefer because how else can I process information? Tomorrow has already started and two hours in has already tempted me into organizing the next twenty two. I need a list. To help my psychosis, he said to try and narrow it down to five. A list of five. Of course as a doctor I presumed he’d have a better ‘cure’. After all isn’t that why he spent all those years in med school? Or did he even attend one? I’d need a list to help me verify that information.

Back to Monday and its wee morning hours. I jot down a title. ‘Monday’s 5’. I scribble the date beside that because it is important. I start with early morning shopping for groceries.
1. Groceries.
I move on to two before I realize I’ve erred. I move back up to one. The pen hovers over the word reluctantly, unsure whether to cross it out or to add to it. Several minutes of staring later, I decide that it was indeed perfectly alright and move on to two.
2. Guests
Samantha is coming over and I need to be ready to welcome her newly expanded family. I move over to three before I realized I have definitely erred this time and move back up. Cross two. Cross one. Start over.

I need a list. I need two lists. I need a grocery list. I need a list of things to prepare before Samantha’s arrival. I need a third list for Monday. I need to keep it down to five. My head physically feels like it is whirling, I need five lists. But, the doctor said a list of five. Or did he say five lists? Do I need another list to recall what he said precisely? It’s 2:30 in the morning and I need a list.

Crumple. Toss. Start over. New page. New list. Monday’s 5. Groceries. Do sub lists count?

Crumple. Toss. Start over. New page. New list. Monday’s 5. Groceries, peanut butter, coffee, pickle, bread, tomatoes, milk, cheese, lettuce, butter… Cross. Cross. Cross. I have made a mess, cross. Cross. Rip.

Crumple. Toss. Start over. New page. Same list. Monday’s goddamn 5. Groceries. I vow to memorise them, but, I don’t do well without lists. Rip. Crumple. Toss.

Groceries. Samantha. I forgot how the rest of my Monday would go. I’m not sure if it even will. I need a list. I am too fixated over the first of the five to even think as far as five. It’s 3:00AM and I need a list.

New page. New list. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Title. Monday’s 5. Date. 1st of August, 2016. I stare at the list and sigh in contentment and relief.

I have a list of five. The calender gets a tick. I try and ignore the incessant red crosses before today. If I pay them any attention, I’d need a list of why I failed.