The validity of a physical retching sensation in response to life and all things it entails.
There are days, many more these days than acceptable, when I lay awake in bed overhearing the tiresome morning sounds of a geriatric household.
The deaf one is shouting at the lost one; he simply stares back, a stoic sculpture of incomprehension.
The authoritarian know-it-all is being himself, snubbing even the lizard under the dining table with derision.
It’s dark. Lovely cool darkness.
It’s early. Too early for me.
I am awake, my late-night long forgotten, sleep has slouched away not once complaining of insufficient attention. I want her back. Back in my blanket. As I try to shove my face down into my pillow within the darkness of my blanket, I want her to kiss my eyes back to peaceful oblivion. But she won’t hear of it. She is gone, long gone. I will myself to switch off instead.
In and out.
A throbbing thought loops around my mindspace like a news ticker—I wish I were dead—it’s on repeat. Along with its monotonous drone, unawares to my senses, there is a rising discomfort; now in my throat. I wake up to the realisation that on early mornings like this one, life makes me want to puke.
I don’t mean puke metaphorically or metaphysically. I don’t mean it in a shouting-from-atop-my-literary-high-horse sort of way. I mean the physical response of throwing up when met with highly disagreeable content.
That can’t be normal. Or maybe I just like slow, peaceful mornings. And I don’t remember the last one.
Glass Boys, the book I am currently reading, was picked up for its resemblance to family feuds I’ve grown up with. Until the first time I heard about this book, in my head faraway places like Newfoundland, Canada could not possibly have family feuds.
I’m barely 20 pages into the book and each page with its bleak yet hopeful imagery, seemingly simple language and dextrously written dialogues makes me want to write. Write about how the wind blows outside my window-playful- how the elderly fans talk to themselves- loudly-how a certain philanthropist barber in my neighbourhood spouts English when drunk-friendly- how electricity hides in the dark when lightning plays hide and seek with thunder in the sky above my house-coward. But I’m out of adhesive; what will glue my lines together to form a cohesive chronicle?
Lines, strangely, brings me to rain. Where I come from, rain is a celebration. A yearly purging of the land, necessary to offer a clean welcome to a new generation of Spring.
It’s now the dying vengeance of summer; it’s blistering, parching and scorching, the heat. Even in the middle of the day, when sunlight blinds your eyes, bakes you wrapped in your own skin and that last litre of water you drank seems to have died in your mouth leaving your innards stuck together, I am sure of rain. I know rain will find me in a week or I will find rain. Then for months there will be a humbling of everything other than that immense downpour; a rather literal dampening of spirits so as to bounce back resplendent with the first new leaves of spring.
In the pop culture of my constitution, rain is a miracle, a symbol of hope and new beginnings. It is open-throated singing, the song of the gods and unapologetic pleasure. It is also nature’s fury, a purifier or a dramatic interlude. Most importantly, it is prosperity, a way of a life and always welcome in any measure granted. By contrast on the other side of the equator, I have found that rain is often described as being morose and despondent, poking fun at miseries, falling in icy sheets or adding insult to injury. I often wonder how my jubilant rain could do something so out of character.
I wish story ideas would come to me with the certainty of monsoon, easy and natural, unending and prosperous, like a habitual season, providing for all my needs.
The only idea I play catch with is family. Their eyes, their words, their hands, told through my eyes, my words, my hands. In writing about them, I stand to lose my only idea; becoming a one hit wonder who will never outwrite that lived narrative.
Thoughts hit me in a blinding flash
Of sublime pleasure of knowing it all
In the store room measuring out flour
In the bus looking out of the window
Beautifully strung words strangle
Stunning, choking, numbing
Mind like a mirage beckons
To that elusive paradise
Paralysing in its intensity,
taunting lingers momentary.
Softening into oblivion like suds
Gifting a mélange of glee and gloom
A mesmerising drama of conception
played out for me by me.
They are my many aborted babies.
I’ve never known bliss
I’ve never known that that was it
But in the numbered moments of reminiscence
I know that this had to be it.