Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Like other disasters.

The first time I fell in love was when a boy in the second grade hit me with a paper ball. I could not understand why he had singled me out for his attentions- I mean I could, but I just wanted to hear my girlfriends say it like it was their opinion. It was an exciting place to be in, a grand adventure. He was the class bully who smelled like Johnson's Baby Powder. I was the preppy little girl. Some matches are just made in heaven. Across the room I would stare at him sometimes, out the window others, dreaming of the glass slipper that could fit only my feet as they were so large, of the horse carriage like the one Cinderella got, of the Happily Ever After. My parents had to die for me to get a Fairy Godmother but that was just a minor inconvenience. First love does that to you.
One day, I finally mustered up all my passionate courage and poured my
eight-year-old heart out for him. The son of a bitch laughed!

Nursing a broken heart and a very bruised ego, I concluded bad boys are overrated. Next time I would bestow my affections on a worthier candidate who I found the following year as a new geeky, math whiz with freckles who I found shamelessly cute. Knowing that he was the One, I confessed my undying ardour. In my mind we were already saying our vows already. He did the only thing that could have possibly been worse: he cried!


Who can ever fall in love after that?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

You were...

For a moment I am eighteen again and I see myself walking into your room, lurking outside your oak door for ten minutes so that I'm not on time and not too eager. In this moment the world is new and fresh again as i collect my thoughts restore my caution and try to shelve the pain in my feet from two hours of ballet but even then i knew that all caution fails when it comes to you.

You sit on your effortlessly rich gray cushions on the white marble of your room. Something Persian plays in the background, some sarang, or whatever exotic instrument has struck your fancy at the time. You sit, smelling of the green green grass under four hours of rugby and a hot shower which still wets your hair, a tub of ice cream resting on your large gray pj's. By you, a silver tray with expensive glass cups and silver spoons and Hershey's chocolate and strawberry sauce. As I come and sit across you in my over-large tee I notice a new bruise by the lower left side of your mouth. War injuries, you'd say. You look at me and I look at you and we sit in silence letting it speak for now. We're both tired and hungry and just happy to be.

Aren't you going to share with me?
No.
In my head I trace the sonorous timbre of your voice.
Not if I said Please?
One spoon.
And you lift a spoon of ice cream towards me.
I don't want one spoon. Kanjoos na ho toh!
Bhooki na ho toh!
You speak, your voice tainted with accents from all the languages you speak, all the countries you've seen, all the people you've been. I make my best puppy face, pouting for effect. You narrow your eyes, hiding the mischief. How well you used to hide.
Are you trying to seduce me?
A girl's gotta try.
We smile. Somewhere between those silences and winsome smiles, I lost to you, my heart, my soul turning into a fluid fire and meshing into you.
I wasn't going to give up.
You know what? Give me the damn ice cream and I'll hike up Margalla Hills with you. Whatever you want.
You consider it for a moment.
Then I can tie you a tree and stare at you.
You creep!
You said whatever I want.
Maybe I will tie you to a tree...
As if I ever could, I think as my eyes sweep over your arms. How safe you make me feel.
You're changing the plan already!!
...And leave you with the monkeys...
There are monkeys there?
You sweet, sweet flower child.
So I've heard. And then I'll tie bananas around your neck...
So that the monkeys practice sodomizing rituals on me? How thoughtful of you.
I'll make up for it by buying you coffee.

You throw your head back and laugh a laughter so rich so vibrant so untainted that it will live to haunt my lonely nights for years to come when I lie in the darkness thinking of you of the curves of your face of the bruise on the lower left of your mouth of what was and what could have been the door we never opened down the path we never took. Perhaps even then I knew it would be over so I preserve it all in my head, a second-by-second mental photograph, a movie that would play itself in my head over and over robbing me of any sanity. How I would throw away this world and everything in it to hear you laugh like that again.
I bite my lip.
Acha na! I have a better way to figure this out.
Hmm...
We'll compare hand sizes. Whoever has smaller hands gets the ice cream.
You smile. I hold out my hand. You take it in yours.
Nahi, whoever has lesser hair gets the ice cream
I groan. My tresses go down my waist, waving ever so slightly at the ends. I resort to drama.
Fine. I'll get my hair cut.
Don't.
It's very long.
I like it long.
But it's so hot.
Come closer so I can decide that.
You tug at my hand and I come sit next to you.
I meant the weather.
You smile, slow and sure. I go for the trump.
No wait. Who ever can get waxed wins.
You just sit there and smile. In my mind, I trace a finger to make the crescent of your smile. One last move.
Give it to me or I'll take it and run.
A bluff so obvious.
Don't go anywhere. You can have it all.
I take it from you and turn to my side.
Aren't you going to share it with me?
No.
But I gave it to you.
It's mine now!
All caution and exhaustion exhausted, you reach for the ice cream and put it on my face. This means war. There is vanilla and praline on your hair my face the white marble of your room. When our lips meet, there's laughter on yours. There's Hershey's strawberry syrup on mine.




Be eighteen for me tonight, won't you?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Because I know no other way..

"You're.. leaving?"

This time you're the one who says these words, the breath of that joint you smoked last night on my face. I want to reach up and stroke your hair, your long, wild hair that you love so much. You liked how I didn't try to kiss you even after all that time. You liked how I held you close and tried to comfort you, tried to take away the pain that makes you who you are. You liked how we sat in silence and I stroked your hair and we heard each other's heartbeat. And after all this time, that is all you want again. The simplicity of it is my undoing, the unapologising shamelessness. I like how you're so broken.
Guys shouldn't have long hair.
Don't try to change me.
Why would I want to change you?
You don't know how lovely you are..

I want to but I don't.

"What difference does a few thousand miles make? We're separated by infinity."
Have you had anything?
I believe in smoking on an empty stomach.
Kuch kha loh na.
I've missed you.
Your urgencies, your intensities, your extreme freedom.

It's strange. Sometimes your absences make me love you more than your presences.
I wrote you something last night but it didn't make any sense so I want to say 'Thank you' instead.
Since when did you care about making sense?
Leave all of this behind. Travel the world with me, become obscure with me. I will sell my father's land. We will never have to look back. Forget this all, forget all these people. Be mine.
I've found comfort in the calamity you caused.
I'm an architect. I'll build you a bridge.
Can I own the bridge?
Look at you... aren't you all about owning?

Yes.
What?
That's my answer.
What was the question?
You grin. My heart tweaks like we never left. Aren't you a devil in the morning? We pick off the same pieces and everything comes rushing back, the silver fountain we sat by on the clear sunny afternoon, the silver water on our feet a silver thread running down your neck
When are your parents coming to visit you?
They were supposed to be here last week.
And?
Apparently it's not safe enough. It never will be.
Do you miss them?
No.
Your skin against my feet as you took my shoes, walk with me barefoot on the tarmac in Lahore's rain again in the brazen streets of Defence to Hot Fuzon to have Death by Chocolate to have the man behind the counter look at us the way he did that one time his eyes wide with alarm how you don't let me protect you but shield me from this world
Let me help you design that kiosk once more. Paint me again, a monster, a goddess. Lie with me again on the roof of your car and count the stars with me. Lie with me in silence and let me stroke your hair.

New York City, I tell you.
People go to NYC so they can make out.
What?? You want to go to New York so you can make out?
Yeah, if that's what you want.
You crass, crass man.
So where are you going to be?
Near Times Square.
We can't do it in Times Square. People will think we're animals.
I push you away. You laugh. I relent.

Your eyes never leave me. I have to go.
It was nice running into you.
It was nice being your bridge.
It was nice owning you.
You smile. We leave it at that. We always leave wanting more.

But I push you away.
I will always push you away.