out the past, kicking and screaming
These are two somethings from a long, long time back.
There was once a time when I was in love and then when I wasn’t in love and then I was in love again.
Flower I gave and flowers you gave
I placed them in a shoebox, you in between a book
Bells rang, teachers walked and students ran
And flowers wilted
Mine in the shoebox and yours in a book
Yours were red and yellow, with petals like thick rays of light
Mine was symmetrical pink
On the roof, our hands would find each others’
Out of their own volition
And intertwine, like knots not undone
And we’d draw together,
Our hips interlocking, until we became conjoined
I wasn’t much taller than you were,
But yet, your head managed to find my shoulder
I remember your tresses, after they’d lost their ruler-edge
How they’d started to curl, like tiny prawns,
Resting on your shoulders like wisps of fine clouds
And my hair grew longer
Unmanaged and uncombed
You never complained.
We drifted, like dead wood on a flowing river.
I lost you and you lost me, to whirlpools of desire.
And you threw away my flowers, my wilted pink flowers,
I kept them, your golden rays,
For I knew, one day, they’d bloom again.
(July 28 2008)
And this one is even older, from a time when smoking marijuana and seeing a girl in a thong meant something else to me. (Madonna used to inspire.)
Don’t look at me but don’t turn away. I speak and transcend. My body lies still but I float. High above, ethereal and astounded. Trapped in an endless spiral, my brain continues to turn the same fact over and over again – that girl has nice eyes. Big eyes, that look even bigger with the eyeliner and brown. Beautiful girl with eyes like the desert. Her hips swing as she dances slowly to the reggae beat that the old player in the corner pumps out. Her shaking behind offers me visions of her thong but I’m not interested.
I turn and find it’s hard to. My legs feel like blocks of wood and my arms like branches. My stomach clenches and a strong spasm reverberates through my body. I taste bile.
Someone struggles into me. He grabs my shirt and pukes on my shoes. I’m too dazed to care. He smiles an apologetic grin and turns away to puke on the carpet. I lurch onwards. I have no destination, I’m just moving. In a corner, a few people sit, shooting up. The needle goes in and the head goes back, eyes rolling and spit leaking from the mouth. Spineless and sublime. I don’t go near. I smoke but I don’t inject. Maybe I’m a pussy but at least I’m not stupid.
My legs give out and I fall on the floor. Someone comes over and offers a hand. I hold it and am pulled up. My legs still don’t support me and I fall against the person. It turns out to be the girl, the one with the dead eyes. She holds me easily around the waist and I wonder how she is able to do that. We walk (struggle) towards an end couch. We sit. Her hands move up, towards my chest, tracing a line along my stomach. She leans close. I know what will come next. My marijuana clogged brain doesn’t want to respond but I force it to. I push her away. She looks bewildered but then shrugs and lights up another joint. She passes it to me and I inhale, deeply. The smoke approaches my lungs and my brain does a double take. My stomach tightens and I close my eyes against the inevitable. My head between my knees, I retch. Nothing comes out. Another spasm, another retch and a stream of liquid oozes out. I am disgusted with my own puke. The girl is now patting me on the back and somehow, this comforts me. I grab a shirt that is draped over the couch and wipe my mouth with it. That felt good, to an extent.
I turn back to the girl. She smiles. Her eyes are dead as ever and her smile looks ghostly, as if it was painted on. She leans in again and I have to push her away again. I notice for the first time that she is not wearing a shirt. Maybe I wiped my face with it. She’s not naked but not fully clothed either. I’m confused. Everything is in slow motion. I try to get up but am not able to. The girl is still smoking. Her empty eyes and bare stomach scare me more than the needle ever did.
“Everything sucks,” she speaks for the first time. Her voice low and husky. Not as deep as a man’s but not as soft as a woman’s either. She sticks out her tongue and licks her lips. It’s not a sexual innuendo, rather a nervous habit.
“Yeah,” I manage to croak out. My throat is parched and I am in desperate need of water. But the high still hasn’t worn off and I’m apathetic to everything.
“I don’t know you,” she says and I realise that I don’t know who she is or where I am. I look around but the hazy smoke, bad lighting and closed windows make it impossible to distinguish anything. I squint, trying to see something. I’m blinded.
I lean back, surrender and give up. It’s overwhelming. The girl beside me has finished her joint and is leaning back too. The taste of bile is still strong in my mouth. I close my eyes. Sleep comes like a thief, slowly and stealthily. I am enveloped by the black.
The room is littered with beer bottles, cigarette ashes and stubs and syringes. Someone is resting on my chest. I blink and find that it’s the girl from the night before. She stirs slowly and lifts her head. For a moment, she too seems bewildered. Then her eyes find my face. I get a clear look at her face for the first time. Her dark hair falls lankly around her face, surrounding it in a cocoon. Her lips are full and even after a night of wasted pleasures, they’re rosy. For a moment, I can’t take my eyes off of her. She smiles slowly, a small hesitant smile in sharp contrast to yesterday’s hip-shaking, thong-wearing hippie. Beautiful girl with eyes like the desert.
(November 14 2006)