Saturday, April 23, 2011

Turn out the lights and what are you left with?
Open up your hands and find out they're empty.
Press my face to the ground, I've got a find a reason,
Just scratching around for something to believe in.

Something To Believe In - Aqualung.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Aegri Somnia (A Sick Man's Dreams)

"Wake up. You have a text."
Drowsily, I pick up the phone to read:
"My mother died... :("
I fall back to sleep.


I jump out of bed with a start and run across the room. It's red, with beds and belonging strewn across itself haphazardly. I'm getting dressed. My roommate steps into the room. He looks at me and shakes his head. He's laughing now, "What kind of a friend are you? Go. Go now!"
I run toward our door with is a metal mesh that opens into the corridor, sweat breaking from my brow.


She's running. She holds out her hand and smiles as I give her chase. She's still holding it out until I clasp it and she pulls me along the road, a childish game. Now I'm ahead of her, running backwards,her head is turned skyward behind her, she's pointing at the Moon, saying, "Look, it's the Rabbit! It's the Rabbit! Smile for me, please!"
I can't help myself, I laugh and stare at Moon and her in the horizon as I run. Suddenly, she stumbles and falls.
But I keep on running, feet falling back after each other and me receding. I hear laughter, "What kind of a friend are you? Go, go NOW!"
I stop and run back forward, she's only scraped her knee. My phone rings in my pocket. It's a text:
"She's dead, and gone.... "


My heart is racing, I keep hearing the laughter. I walk down our hostel corridor and men in their rooms that have grills for doors lunge at me. They walk funny, some of their growth is stunted. Some mumble in their sleep, others circle round me, never touching. I'm walking more briskly now, two of my friends appear, they look just as terrified as me, "Where have you been? Don't you know she needs you? Go. Go now!"
They lead me down a set of stairs that opens into the metro. I run out the metro into the streets of Delhi, it's empty, all the neon signs are on and there's music in every shop, but it's deserted. I see some strangers walking by, I ask, "What direction is the girl's hostel?"
They're a pretty couple, this man and woman, they look at one another and laugh, that same derisive, haunting laughter, "We wouldn't tell you if we knew. It's not like you have anywhere to go."
My limbs feel like dead weight as I continue to sprint, blood filling my head and what felt like water, my lungs.
Another boy, who looked 17,
Boy! Where is the hostel?
His lips curve from a gentle smile into a sinister toothy grin that unsettles my gut, I'm only more afraid. I see the entrance of a metro, I scramble in and ride the escalator. People look at me, stare at me, and grin. I feel helpless, hopeless and lost.
My phone rings, it's my mother:
"Son, I'm leaving. It's over."
"Mother, no, let me talk this over with him. Don't Ma-"
She hangs up. My mind is racing. It's a flurry of grey and white memories. Why wasn't I there sooner? Why wasn't I more sensitive? Why wouldn't I believe her?
With every rhythmically placed foot a drum beats in my ear, the volume of a foghorn, followed by that laughter. I try to cry, I can't. Two days ago I'd told her not to bother me anymore, yesterday she's told that her mother visited and I said I didn't care. Three days ago, she told me her mother died.
I see a metro and dive in.


"Is she here? Where is she?!", I storm into a dark room with a broken lamp and liquor bottles. My roommates are waiting, "She's inside with her grandfather. He wished to console her first. Where were you? Why weren't you here sooner?" That same laughter. It rings so clear in my head I want to tear it open, seam to seam.
"He's left some food on the table, there's the cutlet, and inside is the Chutney. Have some. We're leaving."
My roommates got up and left, just like that. I feel stranded. I pray. This is just a dream, this has to be a dream! Yes, nothing has happened and  I will wake up soon enough and tell my friends all about this. I begin to cry. I tear open the food packet, but there is no chutney. Panic. The chutney must be inside with the grandfather. If this really isn't a dream, then she's inside with her grandfather and he has the chutney and her mother is dead. If there's no chutney, this must be a dream, without it, this madness has to be!
Immediately, the packet becomes the center of my universe.The true and only reliable marker of  the nature of my state.I try to rationalize this plethora of sorrow I feel, the hate, the self-loathing, the anger, the despair, the helplessness and utter devastation of myself. Surely, this can't be real, surely, I'm in someone else's tale? There is only one way to know now. Yes, no doubt, the existence of the packet will discern reality.
 As I edge closer to the door, the laughter resumes now accompanied by screaming. It grows louder and louder, culminating in a wail that fills my being to the brim, as if replacing my very soul. It consumes me and yet I proceed, my ears bleeding, and my pores dilated. The door opens.


"Tonight, we're re-inventing language,
He says he loves you,
He's full of hatred.

When you dance with the devil, you dance in the street. 
Come on then, kick up your feet."


"Wake up! You have a text!"
I start and sit right up in bed with my eyes wide open clutching my brow.
"Are you all right? You're shivering."
"I'm fine... fine."

I check my phone:
There Are No New Text Messages.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I am diametrically opposite of where I want to be.
But my destination and I are connected by a chord.
When I move left, it moves right,
And we run, madly in circles.