Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Story

Full moon. Warm and milky. Wheels crunching on gravel, doors opening and closing. Shadows from the flowerbed to the stairs. Cold and hazy.

- Well I'll be off then.

- Stay a while.

A telephone rings from somewhere within the house, a ringing that seems to have it's own time and space, it's own sense of lethargy, a ringing that seems aged and musty, felt and understood only after it stops, like an echo trapped within silence.

- You should go in and rest. And he's probably calling. He might get tensed. I mean, in your condition..

- Kiss me.

- No.

- Kiss me.

- Don't do this. I don't deserve this. You don't deserve this.

A teardrop glistens, the moon inside it. I was calling you a long time back, pushing startled shoppers with my heavy, strong hands, running and slipping and recovering on the carefully scrubbed floor, shouting your name, consciously enjoying the fact that every eye was on me, and following mine, every eye was on you. I couldnt suppress the laugh that came from nowhere I was aware of and could control, some never-to-grow-up part of my heart, and watching your face turn a comical shade of red as I came nearer and nearer only helped it grow. I laughed and laughed and fell on my knees and catching my breath, amidst dozens of baffled, amused, curious people, said I wanted to marry you.

- It's a strange world, isn't it? I still call you my bestfriend. I still call you my bestfriend and my husband buys it. He didn't even feel jealous for a moment. He thinks jealousy is a scar. He thinks jealousy is against his rules of integrity. He will not allow himself to feel jealous or angry or whatever that spoils his ideal of perfect love. I don't understand. I wanted to torment him, I wanted to make him beg for my love, for whatever he wanted. Why couldn't I make him need me? I've been there and he's been there and we've been together but why couldn't I fucking make him need me?

- Don't cry like that. Don't cry like that..

Words become needless entitities sometimes, not because gestures and unsayable emotions replace the necessity, but to make way for a greater want, the desire to hold close and smell every word that has been said before, every word that has led to the moment of realization. She gestured outside, and I followed her, not saying a word and feeling a million soft pinpricks on my forearm, till we hit sunshine and she stood on her toes and kissed me. Kissed me to tell me that all past and future had merged to a present, a wholesome, complete present where all expectations and plans were laid to rest, and all we had was us. Raw, stinking in bits, and happy.

Ten years can seem like a lifetime, but it's always that one moment, the intitial spark and clang and blow and fire that every day holds on to, every day building itself holding a mirror to that first upheaval, the grandest and scariest and fiercest of all. I imagined that she cried beyond exhaustion to satisfy my sense of justice when I left without a word, when her father refused to hear my well-constructed arguments, my insistent promises to keep her happy and prove myself and work harder. It all seems so stupid and adolescent now when I think of it, being a grown-up, practical man with the knowledge of the future in numbers and figures, not something as vague and misleading as words. I rationalize my present by thinking that I tried to toy with presets, I put my heart into changing what was always, and almost pitilessly, not in favour of change. I invested too many emotions into a present that never was, I thought, and I became a practical man, day by day, sleeping dreamless. But it all seems so wrong and meaningless now, her tears falling without a whit of self-restraint, asking me to kiss her. I leaned forward and put my lips against her warm forehead and let it remain there for a moment. Without thinking at all, I fell on my knees, and put my lips on her bulging, animated belly. Past the slightly stretched black cotton T-shirt, past the soft coverings that protect the life inside from the imperfection and the dust, from the absurd injustice destroying and ironically reinventing lives and consciences and priorities, I kissed it. Raw, pure and complete.

- You should go now. My car's getting lonely.

- Come back sometime.

- I'll try.