It’s a quarter to one and my eyes are yawning lazy in the summer noon. I’ve left my right foot a foot above the ground, swinging carelessly as my left foot stays tucked under the right knee where my right fingers are humming a tune whose lyrics I’ve forgotten. I fidget a little with the hems of my skirt, occasionally with my hair that the humidity has curled in ways no curler can. It’s a quarter past one now, and I browse through my chats on social media, hovering over yours just for a second longer. You’ve thanked me for something I don’t seem to recall. I hover for another four seconds before opening our conversation.
You’ve left your black slippers beside the shoe-rack; ready to tuck your feet into them when you’re back from work. There aren’t any bright shades that blind the eye, just the warm browns, reds and a streak of golden here and there. I see you’ve hanged a family portrait above the sofa and I can tell, it’s what catches the guest’s eyes first; what you want their eyes to catch first. I lightly trace the walls with the tips of my fingers as I walk deeper into the apartment, waiting at the doorway of the kitchen long enough to catch last night’s dishes sitting quietly in the sink. I don’t need to look too hard to be able to find where you’ve kept the detergent; it’s where you’d always keep them – in the cabinet below the sink, on the left, in a margarine case. You’ve left the kitchen monochrome, with the only pop colour being the crimson utensils’ basket.
Do not wish me
Happy Independence Day
The room smells of dust and memories. Looking at it through its eight feet entrance, I try remembering home in it. Purple curtains and the table by its side. Walls with posters; walls with paintings. I lightly swing my torso backwards, resting pale knuckles with a single ring on the mahogany frame as I see the reflection of emptiness echoing back at me. I’m not sure if it’s the silence that makes my heartbeat so audible or the silence within. Leaving my imprint on the door, I walk in with the company of wheels rolling by my side. The fans wake up with a creaking I’m glad to hear. I sit down cross legged on the unfamiliar mattress with the familiar bed sheet of pearl with red roses. Pulling my knees close to my chest, I close my eyes and try to focus on my breathing only to juggle chirping, creaking and dry gulps. There’s a buzz that breaks me from the silent chaos as I’m notified of a message.
The flight’s landed twenty minutes prior to its promise and I can smell last night’s forecast lazing around in the air as I wake up from my much needed, eight o’clock nap. I still don’t care much about how my hair looks after the heavenly slumber treat and trust my French braid to make me look stylish enough to pass off as today’s fashion. But, I subconsciously carry a comb in my bag because Ma liked to redo my hair and part it on the left as, I swung my legs three inches above the floor. I can feel a sting even today just at the memory. Especially today.
There’s a delivery package on my table that I haven’t had the heart to open yet. It’s half past five and I’m still dressed in my black sweater and black jeans. I’m tired enough to hang my feet a few centimeters above the floor with the black socks still hugging them as I’ve stretched my body diagonally on the bed but not tired enough to not remove the black watch that lies gracefully on the study table with a white table clock, monochrome calendar and, a black pencil stand that has nothing but blue pens and black, and one bright pink pencil. My stomach’s rumbling and shooting me sharp punches to remind me of the two days I haven’t visited the dining table. But I’m trying to focus on the playlist playing into my ears that I was humming to on my way back but can’t seem to pay attention to now. My head’s spinning and I close my eyes shut; maybe it’ll help. But I’m sucked into a spiraling downfall and I don’t know if I should open my eyes or not. My feet are getting choked in the embrace and I chose to free them from the bondage. And now I’m sitting crossed legged on the mosaic floor with a rolled up black sock in my left hand, choked throat and welled up eyes.
I’ve been staring at the canvas with the steak of red and brown for the last fifteen minutes. The limelight wraps it in an air of importance I’m unable to give it. It’s the maze that traps me at lunch and, again at midnight when I’ve fluffed the pillow thrice, or anytime between, before or after.
It’s half past three in the morning and I’ve just finished wrapping up for the day. I wonder if you have too. I remember worrying about your schedule a long time ago. I remember worrying about it yesterday and right now in this moment. Except, it’s a wondering worry; the one’s you can’t stop from being so you try not to notice it. Say, do you take coffee shots in the mornings that were preceded by nights like these? I haven’t had coffee in a while. And I can’t remember the last time I went to the cafe that made coffee the way we liked it – bitter and strong.
There’s a wall
That has the door
To her Universe
Engraved on it.
And when you
Enter through it
You’ll see her with a glass of whiskey at the bar
In a black dress and, red lips.
You’ll find her drenched in sweat,
Walking out of the gym at seven the next morning.
She drapes a saree perfectly, you’ll praise
But then you’ll measure her integrity