Time guarantees us experience and experiences are supposed to be lessons to guide us through the time. But now, years later after collecting skills like trophies and experiences like a burden I have learnt nothing. If this should be the end of my time I feel cheated. And foolish and inadequate. The only thing I have learnt to be true is that pain always finds a way to make itself felt. As the trembling begins in my toes and climbs up the veins in my legs, I feel the fluidity of all walls I thought I had put up. I close my eyes and try once again to find where the locks are and fly behind them. I feel it on the tips of my fingers and my nails dig deep into my palms. There are no doors to hide behind. I am as open as a plain as the floods rush into my head and crush my heart. And the pain that comes is like a blow from god. It burns a thousand fires in my chest and I feel my brain slip into madness. But still, from somewhere, I scream. Maybe seeking an outlet, I roar into the night. It is painful and desperate and it calls out to the saints in the worlds beyond. Nothing cuts quiet like the cry of a dying man. I fall to my knees and I sink into the earth. I feel the soft roar of the river in the soil throb in the distance beneath my palms. Lying here at the end of my time, my heartbeats fades.
The shadows that I cannot outrun chase me all the around my life like I am but a goat tethered to a post and they were the death that touches simply to taunt. The shadows that I can never hide from find me tucked in the corner under my bed with my little light and they come just to see me squirm. To hear me scream in terror and to see my heart pounding in my throat. All these years going by and all the miles on my soul but when they come I am a child again. Helpless and thin and scared out of my mind. A mind that learned to heal itself by numbing the pain and forgetting the past but the traces of evil cannot be completely erased. They live inside me, buried under layers and layers of false consciousness and once in a while they slip free and rise to the surface. The surface that is a no stranger to the claws of such evil. The surface that is somewhere inside my skin that burns with the fire of a thousand little matchsticks. And not my nails nor my sharpest of knives can pierce through and let even a drop of that pain seep out. But I suppose that every time my physical body dies my mind becomes stronger. And I suppose that I’d rather be disfigured and ugly than mad and dead. So maybe one day my mind will be strong enough to confront the source of our pain head on and I’ll live to tell that tale. Maybe one day all this reflected suffering will end and when the shadows come, they will pass by me like I was a rock and they were but a soft wind.
As she got close to the lock on the steel door, a shadow suddenly blocked the portion of light from the corridor bulb right behind her. She froze in a second of surprise and a bit of fear. She turned slowly but not too slowly and clutched the ray in her hands a little tighter. He was tall and slender and he looked a little unbalanced. He was definitely a boy. Just then, he stepped aside and started walking to her by the wall, in the glare of the light. She saw his face and he was smiling. His hair was a little shaggy and his red tie was hanging loose from his half tucked white shirt. He wore a black pair of trousers and they had to be sneakers because of how soft the thuds came when he moved. She smiled back as he reached her.
“Hey.” He said, still smiling.
“Hi.” She replied.
Up close, he smelled a little of weed.
She couldn’t wait.
She was still in that light blue cotton dress that they made all the girls at the school wear, with knee length black boots that made sure just the right part of her legs under her thighs were exposed. He thought he could hear his heart beat with enchantment. He couldn’t help but smile. Her hair was all around her ears in thin dreads that fell just short of her shoulders. He could tell a hint of red lipstick across her perfect lips. Intoxicating. In her hands, she held a small tray close to her chest and she almost looked a little vulnerable. But just as she reached her, she smiled back at him and lit his world on fire.
She opened the door with one try while he stood behind her, calming the night that rushed in from outside. They stepped outside together and he turned and locked the door as she waited at the foot of those half stairs. He turned back and stepped down to her and hugged her. Delicately and not for too long. She felt the faint trace of his back bone through his shirt as she hugged him back.
“You got it?” she asked, taking a step back when he let go.
As a reply, he reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a joint, straight and neatly rolled.
They sat down next to the wall on a small bench that they’d brought here together not so long ago. The building was a dining hall that also doubled as a kitchen. It had been converted from someone’s house when their hostels had been built just over the fence. It was a very convenient and effective set-up and the nursing school had been immensely proud of it. He was close to her and she felt his arm against his at the elbows, felt the tiny sparks that raced through her hairs. The excitement built up inside her a little more and she felt wet with joy. But he was speaking.
“I hope we have food for later.”
“Uh huh. Or else you are going to go get it in your boxers.”
He laughed for a second before he leaned a little into her and placed the joint between her lips then held a lighter over it. He leaned back and watched as she drew in a long puff. When she next opened her eyes and blew out, he thought he could spell paradise in the smoke.
He had been eating alone, at a table by the door seemingly lost in the book that was next to his plate. His backpack was beside the novel the other side of the plate and his left elbow was resting on it supporting his chin. He did not realize when everyone else left. She had been with a group of hearty friends who chatted away in low delight with an occasional burst of laughter. She had decided to stay behind after everyone had left though. She would help clean the tables. The matrons appreciated her help. They had worked silently around him for about three minutes when the other two women left. She promised to lock up for the night, after he had left. The women had smiled knowingly but said nothing. They had just left and she was just done with her last table when he left his bag and his book and followed her into the corridor.
Thirty minutes later, she was pressed by her back on that special shelf that he’d said his grandfather and left his mother. Her hands were locked in one of his above her head and his body was almost crushing into hers. The buttons on her dress, which were at the front, had all been opened and her belt had been untied. His other hand was on her flat stomach, a few inches below the dark blue bra that she had worn that day. Her dress rose a little further up her thighs on her sides as he had set her above him on the shelf’s base against the books. He was bare-chest and she burned to run her fingers on his narrow muscles. His belt was unbuckled but it still clung to his trousers that still clung to his legs.
Then, he was kissing her.
It wasn’t frantic. But it was not tender either. What it did, was leave both of them breathless. She wrapped around his waist with the long legs, still in boots and let he let her hands drop to his shoulders. He held her there and sought to delve even further into her mouth. But just before he did, she suddenly said.
Confused for a moment, he asked.
But she was already driving both of them across the room and tumbling onto his bed. She stretched out over him and grabbed a chocolate bar from his nightstand. She broke two pieces in her mouth. Then she sat, straddling him at the waist. She looked directly into his eyes as the dress fell from her shoulders in a bundle around her ass. A small naughty smile as she sucked at the chocolate.
“Come on baby,” she said,
If for some reason we ever find ourselves speaking from the heart. Really saying what we feel regardless of how we would make someone else feel then I will give you a call. I will log into my Gmail and I will restore your contacts and I will not spend a second hovering over that dial button. I will call you and say that I have found god and that he has whispered his disappointment in my ear. That I have spent a lifetime trying to be impenetrable and that you shook me to the ground and that that is why I left. That I am a slave to my habits and that I haven’t got half the soul of half a fighter. That we must have left a mark across multiple dimensions that the universe felt a little threatened. And he had to push as apart for balance to be once more restored. He came with fear, with doubt. He came with a huge burden of self consciousness but just a little pinch self worth. That I don’t like how you fuel my writing now with the inks of regret and that I miss my shining black muse.
We are all addicted to the things we shouldn’t be addicted to. If you are lucky enough, your addiction may be fast and fatal but if we are of the same boat then we are cursed with only those that kill us slowly. Be it hope be it love, be it cigarettes or be it all the sadness of broken hearts. We almost always find a way to subtly kill ourselves. I am a victim of myself and you are the victim of the two of us. Your method of slowly dying wore a halo and mine soared with burning wings and we all know Evil wins everywhere else except in the bible and in movies. We are both victims of our natures in a world with very little that tells you of the contrast. We are prisoners of ourselves and the savior is two billion years a little too late. So as much I wanted to chase perfection with you, I fell a little under the earth and I’m still trying to get up.
I did not leave the race. I did not abandon you on enemy territory to face the world on your own. But I cannot ask you to come back for me now. If I want us to survive, I will only ask you to wait for me where you are. For if you came back here, then we’d just be two fools stuck in the mud together. It might be dangerous, and it is sure far from a safe bet that I will make it to you, but I call out to the woman of hope inside you. If you get a glimpse through all the fog of pretence and see that I am worth waiting for, then, wait for me.
It is a little cold in my bones
The way you don’t wrap around me
She said as she teared
In that voice she owns
Is it choice or is fear?
That you keep loving me in halves
And I said
Baby, you have no idea
I am half man as I am half devil
The animal that ravishes you between the sheets
He whispers to me when you sleep
He wants to eat you,
He lusts for tearing you apart
I can only love incompletely.
She tempts fate
The way she looks past my surface
Into His eyes
And with those two splendid feet
She dances on her graves
He knocks and He asks
I fight and she pleads
But he is stronger
My God, the way she bleeds.
I am you
And everything else that you dread to be
You know she wants me
The way she licks my claws
The way she sticks to my tongue
Give her to me and stop all our pain
I promise she will not suffer.
But if I was to take her
It will be by her throat and by her corpse.
He came with that great fire of ’09
I must have left my doors open
She did not scream but she wept
Silently, like a still river
In that dream I had
He was as naked as the darkness
And he picked apart her ribs
And he dug out her heart
And he took her.
Some things fall apart more beautifully than others. Some things shine more as they die than when they fight. Some people feel more alive in moments that overwhelm them than the times when they perfected control. Some people never learn control. A carpenter’s hands were made for his trade just as a lover’s heart was made to suffer. If the bones in your fingers were as strong as a boxer’s, then perhaps you’d have learnt how to hang on a little tighter. But they are not. They are as brittle as your struggle and as frail as your resolve. Some of us were just not meant to scale mountains. If however, by the same unfair forces of nature that rendered us inadequate as such, we find ourselves up on a wall of sorts, whether we soared the way up or we rode on someone’s back, then letting go becomes the only option.
It is fifty meters above ground and the only thing you have got going for you is a fairly gray shade of survival instincts. But you cannot will yourself to grow a coat of steel when you are in the middle of an inferno. Just because some little part of you isn’t convinced that you cannot grab into the wall and gently (or otherwise) lower yourself down, does not mean that the rest of you will magically adapt and survive.
This is a song for you and for me. This is a voice in the bottom of the sea that waits to welcome you. It is the sound the thousands that drowned before you calling out and soothing you. It is that hum that assures you that we are not faulted. We are just different. And in all the different ways that we gave up, all the specific times that we bled out and all the wounds that wouldn’t close, we found our way to each other. To kindred souls that speak of the same pain and reek of the same shame. There is another world down here. A world that does not glorify strength and neither does it shun weakness. It a world that does not need to evolve, it just exists.
Past the fountain in the streets,
Past the grasses in the shades
In the trees down by the east river
A little girl held her heart in her hand.
In the little palms that had aged past her years,
She whispered to try and bring it to life
She counted the creases in the veins,
She rubbed on the bruises on the surface
She felt the weak pulses against her palms.
In between the rushes of god’s waters,
She felt it whisper back.
In a clear rasp that cut through her curtains,
“Take me Home.”
She smelled of a lot of vodka and a little of despair.
When he flipped her around by the waist,
She felt like a loose leaf that would float away with the breeze
So he kept close of her like she was his.
When she talked, she sounded like your favorite song fading out,
Deliberate and slow, and low and almost melts your brain from the back
The way her red dress clung to her ass had been exceptionally distracting
But between the semi darkness and the raw passion of alcohol
He’d toured her curves with best of his hands.
In between the seconds when the music died
She pressed her lips to his nape and whispered
“Take me Home”
Your mother was my theory to the universe
She was the universe in my theories.
But she wasted away with the brutality of time
Like the way nature reclaims an abandoned city,
Slow and gentle at first, and then all you could see was green.
I had promised her to never let her suffer,
And so when she nodded at that switch and found my eyes,
I knew it was time.
I saw her close hers, and murmur to me,
And to the blur between life and death,
“Take me home”