Red

On choppy waters,

Rain came down.

The sea gargled,

The boat broke down.

Swam to the coast,

Sandy and rocky.

The shipwreck floated,

Away with the bloated.

Deserted fort, tall and grand,

Shelter and sustenance,

Were hunted and found.

A pinch of magic,

And a feast laid out.

Warm candles and smiles,

And blankets went around.

The wind blew hard,

The sea turned red.

A boatload of folks,

Walked in with a shard.

Share, they said,

We are ravaged too.

The water was so murky,

Everything turned blue.

Breaking bread together,

The young and the old.

Watched through the window,

As the ghosts turned cold.

Advertisements

Boomerang

I was sixteen,

Father was fifty.

I was ill,

Mother was at work.

Father came home early

To check on me.

I asked for hot cocoa,

He made it for me.

Handed me the cup,

It slipped off of me.

I cried like a child,

Sobbing, “Sorry, Daddy”

He said it’s alright,

And wiped the spill.

Years went by,

Father was sixty eight.

I was a grown woman,

Father got sick,

He was in pain.

I brought him home,

To keep him company.

Drugged and confused,

He asked for a juice.

I held the drink to his mouth,

The straw slipped with a splash.

He said, “Sorry dear, I am weak”

I said, “It’s okay Daddy, sometimes,

We all get a little sick.”

River

They tittered away, thick as thieves, both being drawn to the chasms of vices, without them knowing of it. They had managed to pilfer two packs of cigarettes from the convenience store. Rinsed with a new-found caffeine rush, the two set out on foot to smoke their first cigarette, then the next, and then, maybe one more. One, armed with her writing pad and blunt pencil, the other her sketching book and a small chunk of charcoal.

They reached the banks of the hushed, deep river, the sun upon them. One was an expert with matches, so she lit the cigarette and dragged in her first tobacco-laced puff. The other watched on with curiosity. She struggled with matches, but was finally able to light hers. The wind over the water, brought in a mixture of smells; dead fish, putrid faeces, lifeless crushed grass. Their olfactory senses did not make anything of this foulness and instead concentrated on the burning tobacco. She was smoothly able to draw the smoke in and out of her lungs, the other grappled with the power she wielded between her fingers. She kept toying with the butt of the cigarette, watching the water slowly glide under the bridge. In between a hacking cough, she uttered, “This isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.” The other, nonchalant, blew something that came close to a smoke ring, and laughed, “You’re not doing it right.”

They went through one whole pack between the two of them, one getting a heady tobacco rush, the other hacking and cackling like she had slugged a bag of glass marbles. The nicotine in their blood streams now, they drew out their notebooks. One drew the other, with a piece of charcoal. The other, wrote the other, with her blunt pencil. They looked at each other’s work and guffawed at their tomfoolery. They ripped out pages from their notebooks and tore them into little pieces, littering all around them, laughing wildly all the while. As the clouds gathered over the blue river, greyness took over. “It may rain”, said one to the other. It was nearing evening, and evening meant darkness. One pulled out a little yellow plastic jar, which she had sneaked out of her father’s medicine cabinet. Both opened their mouths wide and carefully placed the pea-sized white pill on their tongues. They let the warmth of their tongues melt away the chemicals into their bodies. They waited. To be swayed, to fly, to float, to wing away like butterflies.

The pregnant clouds above them burgeoned the sky and down came the pitter-patter drops of water. They decided to stay put, watching the bits of paper around them getting muddy wet. With the continued onslaught of the rain, evening turned to early night. The city lights came on. Wet and cold, they felt no magic of the tobacco or the chemicals. They were disappointed. They walked back through the muddy puddles, under the swaying trees. They both grumbled, splashed, and howled at the rain. They struggled to roll up their jeans, way up to the knees. Their canvas sneakers were already indelible and they liked them that way. Deep inside, they felt a tinge of happiness, but none spoke of it. They decided to call it a wasted day and parted ways.

The next day, they again met at the river, with the leftover pack of cigarettes. They first popped open the yellow jar that contained the pearly white that would set them swaying and dancing and floating and gulped down the entire contents of it. Then, without waiting for the fog to clear from their minds, they lit a cigarette each and puffed away. They did not want to write or draw or rip paper today. They only wanted to float. One cigarette gave way to the next and then the next and before the sun had reached its peak, the whole pack was done with. They felt like they could climb a mountain, they felt like they could swim the entire stretch of the river, they felt they could cry, they felt they could laugh, they felt. Wading in the cold water, they both felt like everything was being washed away; they forgot that night of being violated, they forgot the running, they forgot the shivering, they forgot the fear. They let the water take over, until their lips turned blue. And then they floated, like they wanted to.

Rampage

The dependence on alcohol develops over time. The dependence on controlled substances develops over time. The dependence on someone develops over time. The dependence on routine develops over time. The dependence on dreams develops over time. Over time, everything develops and deconstructs.

The man was in need of a bottle of bourbon. And some pills. And someone to talk to. He had everyone around him, but he was as alone as he had ever been. The capricious child, the sleeping zombie, the zoo he call home, were not exhibiting the usual inviting vibes tonight. he was in need of port-keying to another dimension. Why was this urge to escape so strong? He could not, He would not, but the fact remains, there was an urge. He was not ashamed of it. He liked escaping, into a world where everything he imagined was possible. And he imagined so little. He asked to be happy, without being unhinged. He asked to see the snow, without wearing a jacket. He wanted to get away from people and places.

Him, his solitude, just stare out the window. Morose and engulfed by the shenanigans of the world, he poured himself a golden elixir. Within minutes of gulping it down, he was dancing with the wolves, yodelling with the werewolves, flying with vampires and flirting with the witches. Aah! That elixir had brought to life all the merry things he so wished for. He no longer was gloomy, if only a tad unsteady. He looked around the same room he was in before and realised that the crystal had found its way to the ground, much to the chagrin of the old lady he lived with. He did not care. He smiled a sinister, satisfied laugh and ran into the snow-field, where, weeks ago, he had dug a hole, about six feet deep, now blanketed with brown twigs and snow. He laughed maniacally at his own grave and jumped in. He stayed there and wondered if he should put a window there, so he could see through. He wondered if the snow tonight would freeze him solid. He laughed at the thought of that and began to pack snow into balls, throwing it in the air and catching it over his dirty brown hair. He did this till he was tired. He did this till a wold cried in the distance. He laughed and howled back. He decided it was time to go, and he started to sit up, climb up, but the stormy snow did not help. He tried, he gave up. He let the snow take over and took cover in the snow. He lay down with perfect contentment, smiling with a heavy heart. He asked the snow to tell the sun to give a light kiss to his wife and son in the morning. He asked the snow to not melt and stay there, even when the sun shone. He thanked the snow and lay there in peace.

Three days passed, the-zombiesque woman that he lived with remembered that someone was missing from their house. The dogs smelled him out. He was smiling, albeit a purple-blue smile, the dirty brown hair, slicked by the snow. The body, as rigid as can be. His eyes were open, much to the bewilderment of the locals. They hadn’t seen many bipolar bears on the other side of the rainbow. A funeral procession was held, much to the dislike of the deceased, where hymns and hyacinths were laid. He chuckled from within his dark coffin, “What are they chanting about? I was a bipolar, and they all though I was crazy.” 

Lucid Dreams

A crystal globe, the size of a plum, adorned the heavyset desk in a musty, den-like room, full of books, some dog-eared, some yellowed from never have being opened. An intimidating couch lay perpendicular to the desk, where many a tales were told. The venerable doctor, adjusted his bespectacled frame and asked once again, “So what did you do afterwards?”

Was that for the couch to tell? Or was that for the doctor to assume? It replied, in between sobs, “I lay the bottle aside.” The doctor gasped at this prospect. He was so enthralled with the tale the couch had told so far that he half-expected the bottle to have been emptied. Shaken from his reverie, he further enquired, “And why did you do that?” The couch had no answer. Except big, fat rolling tears. The doctor assumed it was from the shock of coming so close to wielding the powers of the bottle. He contemplated if he should perhaps use a different approach. He steered clear of the oracular subject and very deliberately asked, “Did you regret it?”. The couch sat up, wiped away the tears with the shirt-sleeve and said, “Not one moment, not at all.” Perplexed, the doctor asked, “So, what do we do now?” The couch said, “I was hoping you could tell me.”

Exasperated, the doctor opened his notebook and began reading his notes out loud. Cringing as the words came out, the patient in question closed his eyes and saw the mist, the lake on the side of the road, the absence of people except in cars, the rain, the little cottage, the branches under which he stood. the pair of hands he had held. As the spiel continued, he, the patient, recounted how he had kissed those hands and then, almost out of romance, torn open the thorax and revealed a bloody, beating heart. Horrified at the recollection, he asked the doctor to stop. He woefully said, “I know I should regret it, but I do not. Cure me!” The doctor ran his dexterous fingers through the few strands of greying hair on his head and said, “Time, my dear, time!” He let him sob and sob some more. He did not offer a glass of water, nor coffee, nor a tissue to wipe away his tears. He let him cry.

After some time had passed, the doctor very simply asked, “Does that feel better, son?” He received a slow nod in answer. Not knowing what to do or say next, the doctor waited patiently. The silence in the room was comfortable. Comfortable enough to be lured into the magical world of dreams. The patient on the couch, now well-rested and reassured of the doctor’s prowess, recounted the tale, albeit with a shiver running down his spine. He recalled the many good-byes, the many nights, the many drives, the many telephone calls, the many promises, the many glasses of vodka, the many laughs, the many dreams. He laughed at his musings. He said with a satisfied smile on his face at last, “You know, I came so close, but I did not do it.” The doctor agreed. He realised that even if he was dissimulating the encounter, there was a speck of sincerity that he believed was pardonable. He signed the release forms and let him go.

Daunted at the prospect of letting loose a maniac, the doctor suddenly opened his eyes, much like a body being exhumed from rest. He looked around and inspected the room, the chair, the empty couch, the books, the notes. He heaved a sigh of relief. The rain thudded against the windows. The almost empty bottle of whiskey lay open, the smell mingling with the mustiness of the room. He wiped away his own tears, smiled pensively and gazed at the sombre tears from the skies.