My stunt in America has taken so much from me. Every day that comes to an end now reminds me not of all that I’m missing by choosing to be back home, but all that I missed out on by choosing to be away. The basants, the weddings, the aimless wandering down the streets I once knew. The birthdays, the promotions, my own engagement. The funerals. The passing away of doting uncles who never ever ceased to smile at the sight of you. Even though you knew the way to their house better than you knew them. Even though you never played with their children when you were young simply because you had a bigger house and a bigger car and a bigger allowance. Basically, because you were an asshole with an ego too big to belong to a human being.
And today, I hugged his sons. I hugged them without any pretensions of snobbery. Without any reservations, like hugging long lost brothers. And that is exactly what they are, long lost brothers. My grand parents lay buried in a grave yard that is their back yard, which they single handedly have maintained for generations because they remember that the dead deserve as much respect as the living. We go there often. To visit our dead. All my life, at least the life that was spent here as my father’s son, we went their often. And today, six years between now and then, I paid my respects to a new grave. And I stopped myself from crying for a man who deserves so much more than strangled tears. By the time I was done praying for his soul, the loss of his life to me seemed inconsequential compared to the loss his children must’ve been feeling. How do you bury your own father? I wondered as I looked over my own father struggling out of his shoes to stand barefoot on the soiled steps that led to the mausoleum where his parents are buried.
A new surge of pain then rose from somewhere within, as the thought of having to bury him one day took hold of my Ill prepared brain. I can’t begin to explain the kind of fear one feels at the notion of losing one’s father. Its like the sun has just drowned with the solid promise of never rising again. Like the world has ended and you’re standing alone in the midst of hellish demons inching ever closer to feed on your flesh. It’s a crippling fear, a terrifying state of mind because irrespective of how in command of your own faculties you feel, your knees do give way, at least a little, when you realize that this man who has never ever let you down may one day soon just cease to be. My heart sank, just like it had right before my drunken Kuwaiti friend drove us into a cliff.
The back of my father’s balding head reflecting the sunlight became the most welcome sight ever. In a futile attempt to regain my composure I tried to take a step to balance myself, but found out that whatever resolve my mind had reached about the fairly inevitable course of life, it hadn’t yet been communicated to my legs that the crisis was over. And thus I lost my balance and slipped, heading head first towards the dust laden concrete steps flailing my arms wildly to reach some kind of a support to grab hold off. And then I wasn’t falling. My arms were now in the steadfast hold of this lil old man who himself can’t walk straight because of a metal plate in his back from a botched surgery. This was perhaps the best possible physical manifestation of the psychological crutch he’s always been for me.
ON the verge of losing his own balance, he somehow found the strength to steady his tumbling son.
I know I would have been embarrassed. I am that petty, I am that arrogant. That the thought of a crippled 70 year old man aiding my step would have sent me immediately into a state of enraged humiliation. Instead, I felt like crying. From the sheer integrity of the situation, I had tears ready to fall. He saved me from falling. Like so many times before, he held out his hand and broke my fall. I looked at him and the smile on his face as he casually straightened me up and patted me on the shoulder and I swear my heart just stopped. Looking onto his wizened grey eyes I saw such unprecedented pride that I failed to understand the reason for him to be proud of me. So without wasting a breath, I hugged him. A strong rib-cracking hug. The kind of hug you give someone you never want to let go off. I guess I was trying to make him see I wasn’t ready for him to leave me now or ever. That I needed him to guide my steps all the way to my own grave.
These are things you never tell your father because you are afraid he will think of you as a lesser man than he expects you to be.
And these are the things I wanted so much to tell him, maybe somehow make him change the course of destiny, maybe somehow make him make god let him be forever. And I honestly believed that he could for a second. He is such a man that you would never put anything, no matter how credulously improbable it seems, beyond his capacity to achieve.
I’ve always known I love my father, I loved him even when I ran away from home just to be away from him. And I love him now that I have returned because he deserves to have his son by his side. Today, I know I love him more than I ever have and ever really thought I could. Today, I know for a fact that I would die willingly, happily even, if it meant he could live.
But more importantly I know now that he needs me to be sure footed and strong willed and honest and forth right. He needs me to live for him. For his legacy, for his pride. And most of all for his grandson who doesn’t yet exist and If my emotional constitution doesn’t change probably never will, but if he does, somehow, manages find his way down to god’s earth, than I will inevitably have to be the man to him my father is to me.
From one love to the next, like shadows jumping from angle to angle.
In consistent yet thorough, stubborn yet fickle.
What good is anything if it results in nothing but sighs? Is it really even an issue to have been in love if the love dies? Can love truly die? I should be able to say, for I’ve suffered it, but I really can't for mine hasn't yet.
I would like to believe that there is yet hope for the magnificent romance that takes away everything life has to offer. That can revoke every other need from a person's heart and replace it simply with the presence of another.
I'm an idealist. I'm a dreamer... but I’m not the only one... not by a long shot.
Every day a heart breaks and with night the wounds only deepen. Nothing heals... not the heart no not ever the heart.. .and yet this godforsaken woman can make me whimper like nothing else ever could. And even in those tears is the reflection of an older love, a different love, a lingering love that refuses to subside. I make excuses... I blame it all on anger, I pretend that it’s just my masochism when it really is that divine compulsion that made Juliet pretend to die and Romeo kill himself. It is that very sour prize that once received will eat you up through and through. It leaves nothing in its wake but a cacophony of promises that you once believed and now detest. If not detest than regret, no... not regret either, simply wonder about, simply question their honesty. Simply ask no one in particular how such magnificent promises could’ve been so false.
Then you wonder where you went wrong, for you most certainly did go wrong somewhere, somehow, in between all your conviction and your confidence you took something for granted, you took something out of context and now, in the end you just sit in the dark watch the smoke from your cigarette mingle with the smoke from the bonfire of your happiness rising to some unknown apex and vanishing beyond your grasp... just like the past, just like the memories that light the bonfire, and nothing remains but sighs and ashes.
What good are memories? When they can only remind you of what you will never have again. Of moments lost to time and circumstance. Feelings buried deep beneath layer after layer of suffocating resolve and soul stealing complacency with whatever is left behind. Tears turning to stone hearts beneath the crushing veneer of hollow smiles and empty laughter.
What good are lessons learnt when the always come so late, always after the fact?
Would you really truly like to implement them to another? Would you ever really be satisfied being the perfect man to someone you can't possibly love? While the one you love receives another shallow shell of a man pretending to be perfect? It’s a vicious circle, blessed truly are those who never believe in such fantasies, to whom love remains nothing more substantial than a chemically induced state of mind.
Yes, blessed are those to whom love means nothing. Just an emotional response, not something to govern your life, not something to die for.
But what can we do? Those of us who have known love to be a spirit, an apparition of all that is considered holly and divine. Do we hold on to the residual nothingness that love inevitably leaves in its wake? Or, should we surrender to circumstance and move on along to absurdity?
!5 year old pistons bathed in synthetic oil churning out power at impossibly high rpms.
6500- 160 kmph
Left foot flashes across the clutch, left hand zips the gear stick into fifth.
Engine sputters and roars in the span of a mosquito bite.
The brake lamps ahead of me are quickly getting closer.
The distance between triumph and defeat being eaten up by a legacy of proud battles spread across a decade.
She’s so close now, that I have to swerve her into the right most lane. Front bumper aligned with rear. The enemy is putting up a commendable fight. Its younger, faster, quicker, prettier. And its fighting hard. Its got pride too, its got guts. But it doesn’t have history. Its doesn’t have battle scars, Its skin is pristine and brilliant. While hers is battered and rusted. Irremovable dents scattered all over what was once immaculate. Each wound a reminder of a hard fought battle against insurmountable odds. Of a victory snatched from the jaws of impossibility. Of being committed to one cause and one cause alone: Victory.
Front bumper now, inching past front door.
I can see the disbelief in my enemy’s eyes. He can’t understand it. Who would anyway, who can even ever imagine that a war fought between a sword and a cannon cud ever possibly go the sword’s way. But so it is.
My own disbelief masked by the adrenaline coursing through my veins, by visions of so many races behind this very wheel so many years ago.
She’s been condemned to a docile existence without me. For 6 long hard years, she’s been a gladiator posing as a stable mate. A beast of burden. An appliance. For so long it has served my father so well, all gear shifts in civilized time, the carpeting on the floor never tasting the rubber clad skin of the accelerator. Mundane and boring, The kind of existence that makes a lion starve itself to death. A charitable existence, attributed to her age, to wear and tear. A 15 year old car just doesn’t get much done besides get you from point A to point B. It’s not meant to be driven past 120.
But what do they know?
Her spirit is only happy set afloat the winds with reckless abandon to the laws of physics that bind us to the ground. She only feels the way she is supposed to feel when she’s hurtling down the road without care for how battered and torn its manifold is from year after year of corrosive rain. Its always been enraged at being confined to the road when she really wanted to fly.
And so she is once again, trying to fly. See that maybe, the force of will and desire can over ride that natural order of things and let her take flight.
Or die trying.
Well past her glory days, like an old athlete trying to outrun age.
Alien sounds already starting to protest against my own foolish bravado. Shocks and springs creaking and swaying with minimal downforce at their disposal. The engine whining a little under the pressure of constantly generating greater speed at rpms that even new engines are not supposed to be subjected to.
But I know her, she’s fine. Just fine. The fine that a moth is when hurtling head first into a flame.
She’s happy even, I can almost see her smile as she begins to edge closer and closer to getting ahead.
Its slow going. Both cars are almost head to head, both pushing speeds beyond 200. The traffic before us, forewarned by flashing lights, quickly moves into the slow lane to give the two battle mongers enough space.
And the engine stalls.
She rapidly loses speed. All of a sudden the past 3 minutes are being played out in expedited rewind.
The competitor is gaining ground again, quickly.
Soon, I see the brake lamps getting smaller once again before me.
Then I see them light up.
Then they get closer as I try to shift down to find the torque curve again.
I’m cruising now, her haggard bones refusing to put her heart through anymore torture. There is hardly any impetus left. Slowly I slide towards the shoulder, where the other car has already pulled over.
She keeps coasting as if unwilling to stop. As if unwilling to accept that old age has finally done what no measure of difficulty could ever do. Spirit fighting against common sense. Heart against broken body. Guts against defeated mechanics.
A small stream of steam is pouring from under the hood. The smoke from the exhaust pipes has turned black. The smell of over heated rubber is strong enough to penetrate the rolled up windows, and the pungent odor of boiling axles is inescapable. And yet she coasts on, always losing speed but never dying down.
Once past the now stationary adversary, I pull her to the curb. Switch the engine off, with the gear in neutral I let her dictate how far she wants to go before admitting defeat.
Doesn’t go very far. Maybe 50 meters beyond our final challenger.
For a moment everything stands still. The wind buffeting from the trucks whizzing by rock her gently, as if to put her to sleep. To make the pain of realizing one’s stock in life easier.
I put my head on the wheel, and sigh. Turn the key, the engine doesn’t turnover. It chugs like a diesel truck but doesn’t come to life.
Its silent now. Just the wind and the morbidity of defeat. I can almost see her bite her lip. Keep the tears from falling. But cars don’t cry, they don’t exude emotion. Those that can come to terms with what they have been reduced to, continue to bitch and whine thru whatever remains of their lives. Those with proud legacies, with score cards and fan followings, don’t ever come to terms. They fight till they loose.
And then they die.
And so I sat in the corpse of my most loyal of all comrades. The only one who has witnessed everything that I have ever been a part of. From back seat trysts, to front seat break ups. From winning distinction to flunking a grade. Most of everything, accomplishment and humiliation have been shared with her.
They say when you are dying, you see your life played back before your eyes. But
she has no eyes, just head lights… and they don’t see much of anything, they just light the way. So I see her life played back for her.
And am surprised at how much there is. There is so much to remember, so much to be proud of, its almost a shock even to me. How notorious she had grown when every night I would pit her against competition that was always more likely to win. But never lost, because she just wasn’t willing to. Like the underdog race horse, who paves his way into history not with great speed or resilience but by sheer force of will. And guts…
There’s a tap tap tap on the window…
It’s the victor come to gloat. Inflict the final wound upon the misplaced ego of a broken warrior with illusions of long lost greatness.
I flick the switch to roll the window down.
It’s a kid. Younger than me by at least 5 years. Dressed in whatever is considered hip apparel these days. FUBU printed on his sweat shirt in bright orange letters, instantly triggers my migraine.
Before I can utter a sullen greeting he shoves his hand thru the window with a big reverent smile on his face.
“Good fight, what happened?”
I’m taken aback. This unprecedented show of sportsmanship… it would feel like salt being rubbed into wounded ego if not for the blatant admiration in his eyes as he steals a gaze away from me to soak in the beauty of chipped black paint over rusted steel.
I pop the hood and get out. We walk over to the front of my Spartan soldier and lift the bonnet. I’m in good company, I decide. He’s a kindred spirit. One who’s disappointed at winning by default rather than being justified at winning a race that held hardly any doubt about who the victor would be.
We discuss for a while what Honda used to do so well back in the days this piece of nuts and bolts was put together. Without Vtec technology and variable valve timing and pgmfi, they still managed to put together an engine that would put up a fight till the day it blew up. An engine that had a heart and a soul and pride and hunger. Not a beast of burden, not an appliance that wins because it is built to win. But one that wins because it wants to, because it will use whatever is at its disposal and make up the rest from thin air just to taste the intoxicating rush of glory that it was never meant to have,
He is definitely better versed than me when it comes to the mechanics of the whole thing.
His wows, and damns at seeing things I have never really known are strangely flattering.
“Well.” He goes, “I think I’m gonna ask dad to sell this piece of shit and buy me one of these” he says pointing at my little wonder car.
But, but. my mind says, its 15 years old?.
“They don’t make em like they used to anymore”. He answers my subliminal query
We shake hands, he offers me a ride. I decline saying that she’s just over heated, that I will stick by her till she’s feeling better.
He doesn’t roll his eyes or looks at me as if I’m crazy, he nods his head and says he understands, that he would do the same.
I instantly like him, think of teaching him the finer points of street racing so that he can be the best amongst the rest. But he’s got a younger car, one with vtec, and pgmfi and variable valve timing. He’s got technology on his side, the finer points of double clutching would be wasted on a car without a carburetor. So we wave good byes and he screeches away to where he was headed before I had to make overtaking me a hard fought battle for him.
I get back into my car, smiling ear to ear. Wondering if she heard this youngster singing her praises.
Nuts and bolts, I think. Nuts and bolts. Baby, you’re anything but.
I turn the key again, the engine chugs.
And roars back into life.
She’d heard him all right.
I pump the gas a few times just to hear the reassuring battle cry of 107 horses in unison.
Put her into first, jump the clutch and let the tires squeal onto the tarmac.
The road stretches long and straight into the night. Somewhere in the distance I can still see his break lamps burning the horizon red.
It’s a challenge.
Like a suicidal bull, she and I aim at the red far in the distance. Bet he’ll be surprised.
And this time, we play for keeps.
As I feel her engine surge with renewed will, I begin to smile.
She sits erasing the traces of his existence from her memories.
One clean sweep, and one night dressed in white linen is gone.
Then a tear filled good bye in the street, hugging and kissing, regardless of convention and the prying eyes of the neighborhood, is slowly disintegrated into residue.
There are no tears. They have all been shed while what she sits ridding herself off was still worthwhile. Now there is only the stench of lingering emotions that are not welcome here anymore.
Feverishly she condemns whatever she remembers. Each moment buried in its separate grave.Each grave unmarked and indistinguishable. Each grave meant never to be visited, never to be irrigated by the salty water of her eyes. Each one formed simply to hold tethered to oblivion a past that reeks of heartbreak and pain.
Not the kind she’s suffered, no. Those are being surrendered to fate in a different graveyard in a different land in a different life by a different heart. These graves are for what she has wrought. For what cannot be forgiven so must be forgotten. Must be erased.
Wipe clean the slate so she can re-sow the seeds of dreams and aspirations for another, with another.
Nothing cherished, nothing retained.
So that she may march on into the future free of tell tale scars. Adorn a new skin that doesn’t have his lips marked all over it. So that every time a new kiss from a new mouth is planted on her flesh, it doesn’t feel like betrayal. Heals instead of hurting.
And so she sits, scraping away her life. Hoping, dreaming of a new beginning. Of starting over. Of being free, and new, and unoccupied. To be charming enough for someone else, and pious enough for herself. Of knowing that life holds too much promise to be whiled away in the pursuit of a commitment, of a love that ceases to be invigorating anymore. She looks to the future as she pries her finger off the past.
By all logical calculations, I’m supposed to be well past all remorse and regret and hope by now. It’s very near been an year since you extricated your self from my life. In lieu of my past break ups I had allowed you a luxurious extension in getting over terms considering the magnitude of our association. But by all learned opinion from experienced friends and family members, by around this time all feelings are either sorted or forgotten. And you have the temerity to linger on like strong BO.
That makes me very mad. And frightened. Its so futile you know. Absolutely and utterly useless to still think of you every time I allow myself to think of married bliss. It’s unfair to picture you again and again lying next to me when I wake up from a particularly grotesque dream. To feel you holding me is such a nuisance now.
I wish you’d just stop.
Just stop being here, infested in my senses, in my dreams. Stop existing. Stop smiling at me like your smile is the only comfort I seek. Stop making that sympathetic/understanding/condescending face every time I loose.
Stop invading my residual loneliness with your scent and your touch and your memories. Stop being my anchor and my crutch and my destiny. You’re not any of that anymore. You’re nothing, Absolutely nothing. Just a faceless nameless stranger who exists in this world for someone else. That’s all you have become now and that’s all you are allowed to be. Stop please just stop and leave me the hell alone.
I don’t need you when dad goes groaning from diuretic induced cramps and needs his potassium pills. And yet when I have done the needful and find my way back down to my room in the dark I still end up thinking of how you and you alone could’ve been the one to replace me in this duty. How happy daddy would’ve been to have you handing him the glass of water and the tablet and how happy I would’ve been laying in our bed waiting for you to come back, with suppressed tears and your always beaming smile.
I don’t know why I still picture you in all my dreams, why I think of you in all my tomorrows.
But I do okay.
And it sucks.
It is just the most pathetic thing ever. I hate being this way, this fucking caught up in a past that was wonderful while it lasted, but didn’t last long enough to transform into a future. I hate it. And still you’re everywhere.
What the fuck is this woman?? God? Angels? Hello?? Is any body getting this? I need a lil 911 here!!!
This is becoming a perpetual state of existence. The closer I come to letting go of you the deeper you sink into my psyche. I don’t care anymore. I don’t wonder whether you are combing your hair in your time zone now or reading one of my letters. I don’t wonder whether you have burnt all remnants of me or do you still peek at them from time to time just to remind yourself of what never to do again. That’s all in the past. But that made sense you know. The wounds were fresh so I could indulge in a little bitterness. But now, there ain’t no freakin wound. Not even a scar. But the pain just rises out of nowhere like a long forgotten volcano erupting. You still bloody exist in the nooks and crannies of my psychosis which I fail to occupy with work and responsibility and over any other every day bull shit. Playing peek-a-boo with my head…
Its like I’m being haunted by my own dreams. One random thought leads to another which runs into another and then another and Viola, from wondering about how the GDP of china has grown over the last 5 years I find myself wondering how I would love to have you make me some tea.
I mean, when did I become this sad? I’m like that asshole in a movie that makes all the women go awwwww, and all the men go, ‘loser’. When the hell did this happen? When did I metamporphosize from the hero to the forlorn side kick? And why the hell am I being so overly dramatic about this anyway?
I’ll tell you why.
Because no matter how occupied I become with mundane existence. No matter how dad’s sarcasm or mom’s sad faces upset me, how much I worry about my sister’s marriage falling apart. Beneath it all, buried under the dust and grime and smog and toxic waste of every day life, I miss you.
I miss being able to just be myself with you. Being vulnerable, being breakable. Being imperfect and careless and rude and angry and passionate and lecherous and lustful and horny and insane. I let myself go. I just freaking lost control with you around. And no I'm not going to diss you for throwing it all back in my face, instead I choose to feel miserable about never being able to do it anymore. Because you can only get bit once. Its like being immunized from pain… you learn to tell when to run away very far very fast. No one else is ever going to be able to make me as unguarded as you did. Simply because now, I know better.
The sky, the earth, the hands, the face… the blood.
He sits down by the body, searching for recognition in the silenced eyes.
They are empty. Devoid of feeling, life or pain.
Reflecting the darkness spreading without from the darkness spreading within.
The blood streams down to his feet. The murky red surrounds his toes, seeping to his skin, calling to the man locked inside.
Instinctively, he jerks his foot away. Sickened by the thought of her life essence beneath his feet. Then slowly, he places it back in the pool of blood collecting there.
Slowly he feels the warmth of the liquid. Slowly he allows his skin to be enraptured by the comforting stickiness.
Its dark, its almost like stepping into soup. Just like she used to make. Hot and Sour, cure for all illness. All thick and yummy. At his feet.
Crawls over to where she lies dead, drowning in the blood draining out of her. Its dark. Mercifully dark. He can’t see the shock registered on her face. He can’t see the smile turning into a scream.
Brushes his hand across her face, seeing her features with his fingers. Features he knows so well. A tear falls. His mouth contorts into the sickening shape of a man about to cry.
He stops himself, brings his lips back to normal. But the wound from the knife stuck in his stomach is too much. His face contorts again. Tears burst out of his eyes, and bile from his mouth. He swivels his neck away to throw up in her blood on the ground instead of the blood on her corpse.
Wipes his mouth with his Sleeve. On a better day, a different day he would be disgusted by the stench of his insides sticking to the air around him. But today, there is no more room for disgust or disdain. He has witnessed her fornicating with another. Has seen their naked bodies entwined in passion upon his bed.
Our Bed. He thinks.
Our passion shared with someone he doesn’t even know. Some one random, off the street. Someone she doesn’t even know.
And she did.
As painfully as he had when he saw her giving herself away to another. When he saw her naked body bouncing up and down upon his without fear or regret. Her moans of pleasure louder than they had ever been for him. Gestures of erotic fulfillment he had never seen her perform.
He remembers standing there at the door, watching her for several minutes. Stunned, even excited by the things he never knew she could do. Sucking on her own fingers, you never did that when I came inside you. He thought and felt his sanity give way.
Then she bent down at the waist atop him and licked his mouth. You never did that with me either. Sanity slipped another notch.
And so he stood there watching her extract amounts of pleasure he thought were only faked in pornographic movies. And yet there she was, his angel, his very own angel rutting with another man like only a whore can. It was like he was watching a Vivid film being produced. Once or twice he even felt the searing discomfort of having walked into someone else’s house and being perverted enough to watch them make love. But there was no mistaking the tattoo at the small of her back. His name. Carved in maroon ink. The gesture of permanent love, staring back at him now, jiggling upon her flesh as she bounces up and down.
And they weren’t making love either, We made love… he is fucking her and she is letting him…
Exhausted. She disengaged herself and collapsed on top of him.
He could almost visualize her breasts pressed against his skin. He could hear her breathe heavy, he could hear the satisfaction in her sighs. He stood there as they lay entwined murmuring dirty words in each other’s ears. On his bed.
He stood there as the stranger began to be aroused again, stroking her, fondling her. Seducing her with his words and his hands. Slowly she began to rock a little, the way a woman in heat does. The way she used to once beside him.
Eventually they decided they were ready for another round before he is scheduled to return and ruins their fun. This time around, working on a different extremity. He flips her over and guides her gently to where he wants her. And that is when she sees him.
Standing there, at the door to their bed room. Watching her prepare to be sodomized. Their eyes lock. She sees his heart break in his eyes, he sees her heart sink in hers.
She stops gyrating, the strangers strange hands still trying to place her properly, but its hard to move a woman no matter how light she is when she is unwilling or unprepared to be moved. And she was stunned. Even forgot to breathe for a second or two. Mouth agape, eyes wide with fear. Fear but no shame. Fear but no regret. No remorse, no pain. Suddenly aware of her nakedness she puts her hands across her breasts. That is perhaps what finally sent him off the deep end. She sits naked with another man inside her ass and from me she shies away? She sees him gasp and maybe understands that her instincts have led her astray again. That maybe he could have forgiven her the adultery but he can’t forgive her the humiliation.
She lowers her gaze and gets up off of him. Her heart beating faster than it did during the last orgasm. Fear is stronger than pleasure after all. She slides off the bed as her love, unaware of her true love witnessing all of this, sounds a complaint in words that will forever remain etched in the walls of that room.
He never even sees his face, and walks away.
Down the stairs, to the guest room. Takes off his clothe and slowly walks into a shower of searing hot water. As if trying to scald her sins away. As if trying to burn himself enough to not have to remember the sight he has just witnessed. As if hoping that maybe some how the boiling hot water will erase the image that he knows he will never be able to forget for the rest of his life.
It doesn’t help. If anything, the sight of her innuendo is burnt deeper into his mind. He turns the water off and stands in the tub staring at his feet. Smoke rising from his skin, blood soaking his eyes from within.
He hears two sets of feet walking down the stairs. The main door closing. Opening. Closing. Being locked.
He hopes they have both left. He tries to remember where the gun is.
Gets out. Puts his slacks on. Watches his middle aged pot belly pour over the sides. Looks at himself in the mirror. Sees the shadows beneath his eyes, the nicotine blackened lips, the wrinkles forming, the laugh lines etching themselves around his mouth. He wonders if this is why she strayed. If this is why she thought she needs another man. He tried so hard to justify her choice. To find forgiveness for her from himself. To seek blame and claim it. But no matter what excuses he finds for her, from beneath the voice in his head formulating the excuse comes another voice that says just one word: whore.
NO! He screams out loud. And immediately regrets it. He didn’t want to be so vulnerable. He wanted to be cool and collected. To sit them both down and make them tea and poison it. NO. Another scream. To talk to them to find out if they were in love… he would divorce her, he would tell them to go and have a happy life. He loves her after all. Love means letting go. NO. Love means being true and honest and fair… fair… what’s fair here he thought. Is fair crucifying myself because she was too horny to wait for me to come home? Or is fair punishing her for her sins.
He walks out of the guest room. She’s standing in the kitchen making tea. Wearing the robe he had gotten her for their anniversary. She wanted the pearl necklace at Nieman Marcus; he got her a bath robe from Macy’s. Maybe?? He wondered.
No. She said she loved it. She said she loved me. Maybe… but it doesn’t matter now.
He sat down on the couch. She brought him a cup. And sat across the coffee table. He looked at her and saw her staring at his cup. Is it poisoned? He wondered. That would be so fitting, she wins on all accounts. Fucks strangers, kills husbands… who would’ve thought my god fearing, pious and forth right wife could be a murdering adulteress, Well so be it. Maybe it is poisoned… but it doesn’t matter now. Let’s let her win. I told her I love her. Besides I really feel like tea.
Takes a sip. Its perfect. The perfect one gets after cup upon cup of tea prepared to please one person. The perfect one gets after molding her own tastes to better suit the tastes of her husband. She is perfect, he thought. Was perfect..
Drop dead gorgeous. Built like a porn star. An irreverent smile crossed his lips at this thought from several years ago when he had begun to pursue her. Case in point, if it looks like shit, and smells like shit, it is shit. She may not be a porn star, but she sure as hell could be one. For a second he toys with the idea of being totally unscrupulous and proposing a career in the dirty movie business. Even envisions the money rolling in from the billions of sick bastards around the world jacking off to movies of his wife getting fucked by several different men. Smiles Again. If only he could be that decayed. She probably wouldn’t even mind. Maybe that’s the kind of man she wanted, maybe she got suckered into a life with an honest, decent, simple man. Maybe… but it doesn’t matter now.
Puts the cup back down. Looks at her face. He can almost see the places where he kissed her glowing like toxic waste. He can feel his blood begin to boil. She looks at the floor, tracing the rim of her cup with her finger. Sitting with her legs closed but the lapel of her gown low enough to hint at cleavage. He can see the path trodden by the stranger’s lips all over her body. She smells like lilac and wine, her favorite soap but he knows she’ll never be clean again. Not for him anyway. The thought of touching her is repulsive to him now. In one orgasm she has bled out whatever chance they had at eternal love.
She looks up. Her lips widen as if about to say something.
Don’t say sorry. Please just don’t say sorry.
“Sorry” she says.
He nods his head.
“It’s the only time… you know. I mean you’re probably thinking every time you leave he comes and we… we.. You know… but, it’s the only time….”
Funny. He thinks, that’s the only thing I didn’t thin of.
“Who is he?”
:”Do you love him?”
“What! NO! I love you.”
“Oh! And you’re fucking him because you can’t keep your legs closed for more than 12 hours?”
“Its not like that… I told you, it was only this once….I don’t know what happened…”
“ONLY? You BITCH! This is only to you?”
“He.. We used to go out in college. He came to visit and and one thing led to another and…”
“You just had to test his dick out”
“Why are you being so mean, I told you I’m sorry”
“You’re sorry? No, I am sorry”
“Its just that, we have gotten so used to each other, na. There’s no excitement anymore. I just wanted to have some fun. You know, life is just so routine. I haven’t orgasmed in I don’t know…since our honeymoon. I needed to know if.. if I still can”
“Oh my god woman! Not only are you a whore, your also fucking stupid. Talk about the absolutely wrong thing to say… this is supposed to make me feel better?”
“Look I don’t care okay. I’m telling you the truth. I’m being honest. I expect you to understand. We’ve been together for so long, can’t you understand?”
“You think your sudden fit of honesty makes up for the betrayal? Did he fuck your brain too?
“You know what… Fuck you. I love you. I always have. I just needed a change, you suck in bed. You don’t satisfy me. And yet I’m here every fucking day serving you food and your needs like a fucking servant, and you can’t break free from your ego long enough to see what led me to these desperate measures.”
:”Janu, it’s pretty obvious what led you to these ‘desperate measures’. You’re a whore.”
“All right then. What the hell are we doing together then? I’m dissatisfied you’re unhappy, it’s obvious you’re not going to let go of this so let’s just take this as a sign form god and go our separate ways.”
“Wow! Sign from god? How long have you been preparing this speech? It’s like you orchestrated the whole thing just so you can get me to get rid of you. You know you could’ve just told me that you wanted to be a slut, I would’ve taken you to a brothel myself.”
“Ah. So that is what it was all about?”
“I can’t live like this; trapped inside the fantasy my husband has for me. I want to be free. This was such a mistake getting married. And to you…divorce me. Please. Just don’t say anything, just say it thrice and we will both be free of this gilded misery.”
“You never loved me did you?”
“I did.. I still do. I probably always will, but but this just isn’t the way I wanted to live okay, I mean… there’s no fun. There’s no… there’s nothing except morning tea and dinner and bad sex once in a while. I’m bored out of my mind.”
“Are you a nymphomaniac?”
“What? Are you crazy? I have sex with one man besides you and… what kind of an idiot
“One man? You weren’t exactly chaste when I found you.”
“Yes, okay fine. I’ve always been a slut, and I can’t help it, I like fucking. Okay, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s the way we are supposed to be. You knew that. You told me you never had better than me, and that’s cuz I enjoy it too. You said you don’t want to be with someone whose frigid and prudish and you got me. And then you became frigid and prudish. And what the fuck am I supposed to do? Buy a dildo? Why should I when I can have any man I want.”
“So you just want to be free?”
“Yes, please… I am suffocating here… I know you love me but our concepts of love our so different it’s almost painful. I can’t pretend to be enjoying myself when I can’t even find myself being turned on by you anymore.”
“You want a divorce”
“And the money too?”
“Well only my share.”
“You know if we go to court your stunt today will override the pre-nuptial.”
“We won’t go to court… you love me don’t you, why would you want to drag me to court and embarrass us both and our families in the process…”
“Why would I?”
“You know, I didn’t want you to see this. I was thinking about how to you know, bring this up, but god is so kind, he made the whole thing so easy?”
“God is kind? This is easy? “
“well, heh, maybe not to you but like, you know… you’ve been so well, relatively cool about this. And I didn’t have to rack my brain trying to figure out what fuck up of yours I could use for an excuse for a divorce.”
“Ah! Well, tell me this, we now know that you’ve been a whore all along… when did you turn into a bitch?”
“Huh? Am I being mean here? I’m sorry, I just want to be honest to you… just let it all hang out, we love each other after all. We should be able to get a divorce in peace. “
And finally that was one mention of love too many from her to him. His resolve that had been dwindling between life and death for her finally settled down. There was no anger anymore, just repulsion and regret. He finally wanted to be rid of her just as much as she wanted to be rid of him. And he knew that there really was only one way for that to happen that could be both satisfying and judicious.
“I’ll divorce you. You’ll get your divorce all right. But it won’t be peaceful”
Before she could formulate the implications of that sentence he had picked up and tossed the cup of tea at her brazenly beautiful face. It broke on impact. Tea scalding her silk skin, shards of broken china piercing her almond shaped eyes the color of . She screamed with shock and agony, and her cheeks and nose and lips were scratched and cut.
He sees her screaming and scratching her face to free it off the pieces still sticking in her skin. After a minute or so of watching her cry blood tears from her blinded eyes, he gets up and carefully extracts the biggest pieces sticking out of her eyes.
Blood oozes as she screams that she can’t see and shakes her arms in disbelief and pain.
He unties the belt of her gown and slides it off her shoulder. She is naked underneath.
She looks at the body he once used to dream about and finds himself nauseated. The blood from her face trickles down her neck.
He lifts her up with an arm across her back, and slowly leads her outside to the back yard. So gentle is he in his actions that despite what she has suffered she finds herself lulled into a sense of security that perhaps she isn’t on her way to death.
“Oh god what did you do! I can’t see. It hurts so much! Can the doctors fix me? Will I be able to see again?” ”You won’t have to”
This of course resulted in all her illusion being shattered, and she let out a loud scream of despair that everyone in a two mile radius would’ve heard. But the land in a two mile radius was essentially a corn field that her husband owned. So only the birds and the insects heard her plea for mercy and forgiveness and they were in no position to take on an enraged man proving to himself how much he loves his cold-hearted beloved.
“Shh. Its gonna be okay. Janu, trust me, I’m making your sin mine so that you can find heaven. Trust me. Its gonna be okay.”
“NOO NO NO NONO”
He lays her down on the ground; the sand beneath her head is immediately caked in her blood.
Her depravity, turning into his madness turning into a stainless steel butcher’s knife in his hand.
They say there’s a danger in loving somebody too much, and that danger is in not being able to let go.
And even as he plunges the tip of the knife slowly and softly and with great love almost, like when they kissed, he knows exactly how wrong and inhuman whathe’s doing is. And yet he is held fast by the way the cup crashing on her face made him feel. Justified.
And even now he feels justified while his hand pushes the knife deeper into her heart, feeling the blade sever skin and nerve and tissue and finally organ. She gasps, just gasps. As if she believed the last words he spoke to her and feels salvaged instead of slaughtered. Maybe she understood him finally, maybe she understood that this is no pain compared to the one he felt when he saw her penetrated in a different way.
Maybe… but it doesn’t matter now.
She breathes her last breath. He extracts the knife and holds it fast. Utter silence in fields spread out around them. Sees her body grow numb and the blood pumping out through the gaping hole beneath her breast. Slowly, the loss begins to register, slowly his sanity begins to return, slowly his eyes widen as he understands what he’s done. Slowly, his own heart sinks to unconquerable depths. Slowly he pushes the knife into his stomach.
wierd things are happening! I can't write. I mean i can, but everytime i sit down to write i end up composing page after page after page of what could eventually be a novel. But i never even get that far either. Right now, theres one 7 page story waiting for culmination and i've started off another that was supposed to be an ode to my spartan car, but has spawned into another almost 7 page long incomplete excercise in fiction. As if that wasn't bad enough, i started reading Maps for Lost lovers which sux. The author is trying so hard to be profound that he is ending up being utterly boring, he should read kartography, learn form someone who's actually interesting. Anyway, so for some reason i find myself unable to compose anything blog worthy because everything i write is turning out to be too long to be posted. Toyed with the idea of putting some of the unfinished work up here to atleast get comments on them in the hope that they will be bad enough to dissuade me from pursuing atleast the naughty one further. But I doubt that anyone will be willing to go through 7 pages of a story that doesn't end. So instead i decided to copy other blogs by purging my system. . . And even as i write this, i feel an irrepressible need to get back to work on the latest story that i have started writing. Knowing full well that in another page or two i will run out of things to say and leave it abaondoned in limbo. Every writer knows and hates writer's block. What the hell do you call this?