You are sitting at the faraway bench in a overcrowded park.This is the wrong setting. I wasn’t supposed to see you here. Hot for the first time. But here we are. Midsummer noon and fire everywhere. You have something in your hand. (Why do you have it?) This is bizarre. I’m just stringing words along, trying to make sense out of it. Or at least a mess. You’re still here, aren’t you? I feel you there. Walking towards that swan fountain, still clutching onto it I can’t ask you again (Did I ask you the first time?) Please. Tell me you’re here. Tell me you’re not me. Not again. I rehearse my lines, you see. So I hope you know yours. Steal it from my brain. I don’t care. Take it. Read it. Every word. Would you? Every senseless scrawl. Your life from my pen. You didn’t think it was possible, did you? No. I am not god. (Not theirs anyway) Come back. Don’t put that there. Water blurs what time cannot. It takes your breadth away but never you lungs. So what’s the point of beauty if it’s not haunting? I’ll hold onto it like I used to. Come here, my darkling. Come now. You don’t hear me though. You can’t. Why do we need sound, you and I? You should have turned back and ran. This is wrong. All wrong. Someone tore the papers and put it back in the wrong order. Why did they ask me to write if they change the story anyways? Is this a joke or a test? Or is the test the joke? Doesn’t matter to me so nor to you. So turn. Now. Do it. You don’t though. You never do. Busy streets, boring meets. That forest with no trees You never turned to me, so we’re stuck. Don’t you see? Don’t you see, my love? Did you bury your eyes too? I am sick of meeting you for the first time too many times. Just turn already. You put it in, in the end. In the fire, not water. Small mercies. Like death in your sleep. I still see it though, the bullet. At least you didn’t feed it this time. You got it backwards. That’s the problem. You’re not the scar, you’re the gun. So just look at me. Aim and fire. I don’t want to meet you again…
I want to live inside you.
To break your bones-
Not the ones you’d miss,
Just the ones you barely use-
And sneak into your bloodstream.
Into your every cell.
Until you cannot even think
without my neurons getting in the way.
Until you can only breathe
the air was in my lungs once.
Until your tongue becomes my voice.
And your tears become me.
Until my words become your skin.
You, whoever you are.
An old lady reading your book
at the café, so that you don’t forget
the sound of a presence that isn’t your own.
Or you, with a neon pink dress and too-sweet candy,
Waiting for your turn on the rollercoaster.
Or you, with chronic boredom, searching for something
To make that white noise go away.
Or you, on the bus, looking at the trees and thinking
Of her in the green dress you love, smiling lopsidedly.
Whoever you are,
I want to live inside you.
In that place between your ribs.
Because I cannot live in my skull anymore.
There is no place for me here.
And it is brighter than a lone T.V screen at midnight.
Bright enough for nothing but the shadows
Of my brain folds to be seen.
So I want to live within you,
But I don’t have any rent money to pay.
The parasitic tenants
come in through your eyes
to devour all your sights and insights.
But is it poison or power that you feed them?
Be careful what you see
For once in, they rarely move.
And the cages you build
to keep them demons out
are the cages that keep them in.
“Give a man a fish, and he can eat for a day. But teach a man how to fish, and he’ll be dead of mercury poisoning inside of three years.”
It tags along like a stray animal on the street you fed someday, with a dripping tongue and eager eyes. You can’t ignore it keeps because it barking and howling at you . And it doesn’t leave you alone till you feed it again. You try shooing it away, but it never stays unseen for long. So you either pick another path, one where you think this animal can’t find you in. Or you decide to feed it, only to find out that it will always demand more and more.
What is it? It is both the biggest motivator and the most vicious paralytic- fear. We are all acquainted with fear (unless you’ve been meditating in some snow capped mountain since the day you were born, in which case please do tell us the broadband service you use, seems to have remarkable connectivity). It is supposed to built-in survival tool to help us stay out of physical danger, but more often than not it becomes a weapon against our own mind. And when the brain is clogged by fear, there is no room for dreams.
It is extremely easy to say things like: “Just master your fears” or “You shouldn’t be so afraid.” but putting them to practise is another issue altogether. It takes time, a LOT of time and effort to actually win over all our insecurities and self doubt because befriending them is no easy task.
So what do you do in the meantime? I say, just run. If you see that animal around, run. But remember to run forward. It is only when we give ourselves the time to stop or look back that fear manages to creep in. You can only see your fear with your eyes closed, so keep them open and keep them fixed on your target and keep going. Once you’re done, you’ll have finished your task and had a good exercise for the mind while on it. And it helps with your confidence too and you can win that battle with your fears sooner. These little victory will be like your sparring practise.
Personally, there is quite a lot that I fear, but the biggest one- the one that causes sleepless nights or borderline panic attacks every time I think about it for long is this- to die without having lived at all.
It isn’t death that I fear, but those few moments before when I know my time is up and there is nothing I can do. I want to feel like my life meant something. I do not want any regrets flashing before my eyes. I want to feel content and be ready to let go gracefully. I want to know that I have left something behind that will outlast me. But most of all, I need the satisfaction of knowing that I didn’t just survive, but actually lived. My fear of being insignificant moulds all my decisions and choices.
So what are your fears? And how do you cope with them? Share your perspective in the comments 🙂
P.S: Despite what it looks like, I don’t actually have any issue with stray animals (other than the fact that they sadly don’t have a home)
It has been a week since Mike spoke to her, making it their longest fight.
Soon after that visitor had left, he settled on the couch. Just staring at the wall, not blinking or breathing. He hasn’t even wiped off that thick red fluid dripping from his nose, mouth, everywhere. Not even that horrid odour seems to bother him.
But what angered her was the fact that he had dirtied her knives. She’d managed to pull them out of his neck but that red goo wasn’t washing off. Stupid Mike.
Her mind went back to that visitor. And His knowing smile.
At first glance, she had been terrified. Just being in His presence seemed to awaken the part of her that she hadn’t known existed, the part most people spent their lives hiding- dark, cruel and evil. Every memory she was ashamed of, she was scared of flashed before her eyes.
His lean frame had been hidden by a black coat that clearly needed washing. There had been white stains all over it- for a moment they had looked like pale human faces screaming and wailing- and they added to her terror. She wanted to run away or scream for help.
But that’s when she had looked into His eyes-red like blood.
No, red like roses, something whispered. The same thing told her to relax. He was no enemy. And so she didn’t flee. Didn’t scream. She listened to His silk voice instead. So calming.
She doesn’t remember much of the conversation.
Only about how He had apologised for the inconvenience. She had to help Him because His workers were on strike. Something involving knives. She doesn’t remember too clearly.
She just needed to help Him.
And so she had.
And Mike hasn’t spoken to her ever since…
Do you see me,
Or do you only see my face?
Are my eyes just blue, black or brown to you,
Or can you read my hopes and regrets in them?
Are my sighs just sounds to you
Or can you hear the confessions and questions they convey?
Are my lies the truth to you
Or can you see through façades I have learned to live with?
Are my cages what you think keeps me out of the world’s reach
Or can you understand that they are what I have built to protect the world from mine?
Do you see what they all see when they look at me
Or do you see the true things I hide so well?
I need you to understand but don’t want you to.
Are you still with me because you too have believed
Or because you know and accept all that I have concealed?
Hate me if need be.
Fear me if you have to.
Leave me if you want to.
Love me if you choose to
But please don’t believe me.
I am not that. This is who I am, what I am.
Look at me and see. I can’t show you. But see.
Can you? Will you?
Do you want to?
So bright, so hot.
Oh what a sight to searching eyes he was
And with a smile that lights
the whole world up,
He really has it all.
But alas, he knew that too
and he knew it too soon, too young
So he grew to be the celestial seducing skew.
He made them plants and trees and shrubs
Twist and turn to all his crazy whims.
They needed him, were addicted to his light
And so where he went, they went with him too.
Too enthralled by his sizzling might to ask him
Where he left ever y night as he put them to
Sleep in their lovely brown mud bed.
For if they had they would have heard him lie
“Oh nowhere my dears, just protecting you from sears”
And while they slept, trusting all his words,
He went over to the other side of the world
Where awaited all his other lovers, still in a daze
From last night’s sleep the Sun had make them keep.
This cycle went on day and night, every week, every year
No one suspecting their lover’s infidelity issues.
Until one day Moon ratted his friend out, unable
To lie to and sooth Sun’s playthings no more.
Hearts were broken-earthquakes, and tears were split-floods
In the billions break ups. But alas! They were in too deep
The plants and trees and shrubs need the Sun to the life they keep.
So the Sun- now regretful and repenting- kept its daily job.
But he was forced to watch them be coddled by their by new lovers-
All the animals, birds and what-not. Oh! They really had moved on
He sits there now, alone and surrounded by dark
Burning and burning away with loneliness and agony barely at bay…
The sky, marked by crimson dye
Of the divine tears from the kingdom atop,
Watches as the debacle unfold with its usual helpless sigh
As the men become beasts and all sense is forgot.
The sharp call from the messenger of war
Blinds them with lust-for victory, for blood.
To win mere land mind, body and soul allowed to scar
And soon with severed limbs and broken bones, the land begins to flood.
It ends as it always does, with orphans, widows,
Wailing mothers and friendless survivors.
The others’ celebration, as the rush wears off becomes the curse
To be borne and thought of at night with silent, muffled cries
The young must prepare, for their time arrives
Not too far from now, it will be their turn to bleed
Born from pain, bred amidst violent vibes
The cycle goes on. Can’t no one see it’s not what they need?
As the sky begins to turn away dismayed,
It sees the two little specks of hope
Mount the ladder of reason, rarely used, for aid
To reach the broken wires of the fence that binds them with nowhere to lope.
“Never again,” the fair-haired child assured
She holds on to little brother and vowed
To go far away and never visit realms of war that inured
They had lost far too much and seen far too many to be cowed.
The sky smiles lighting up the horizon bright yellow
Perhaps a chance yet remains
For this rabid race to mellow.
It hopes and waits for the time when love-not lust takes their reins.