Half a story

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Art work by: Kayenaat Sandhu

(I)

H

ave you noticed the dance of mosquito groups on top of summer trees hustling to the force of sea breeze?

I only once.

You say it doesn’t inspire any beauty in you, and I am now distracted, muzzled by your honesty to art, your existence in art, in life. You don’t think it’s all beautiful, but you also don’t think it’s meaningless. I have seen your toes curling to songs that you play, maybe because they really serrate your senses, make you fall in love.

You’re nothing short of a metaphor, but metaphors are only words playing with each other trying to sprinkle a little bit of more aesthetic to life than what you and I already have. So I’ll leave them for someone else to use, when they write about you.

So much needs to be written about you.

I was sitting next to the warning barricades by the beach, on a full moon night, the biggest this year was going to see. So the tides were very high, but I really had to smoke a cigarette because I had directly come from work running here to watch a show, and it was really bad and it made me feel lonely. The waves were too strong and the winds wouldn’t let me light my cigarette, and so I started to cry.

My phone had no batter so there was no one to call and share grief with.
But that’s grief. It doesn’t just open up to you, but teaches you how to live with it slowly and tenderly, until it knows you’re ready.

So I wrote a sad poem and on my diary and pulled put the page to shove it inside my empty tiffin box and left it half buried in the sand, hoping it would be gone with the sea, but I also left my number in case it didn’t.

That’s how you found me.

Now you lounge in my balcony and give me books to read, and complain about the shape of joints I roll.

You’re nothing short of a metaphor, but metaphors are only words playing with each other trying to sprinkle a little bit of more aesthetic to life than what you and I already have. So I’ll leave them for someone else to use, when they write about you.

So much needs to be written about you.

I have told you many stories, and you have let me enter your mind like an unflinching shard of glass letting sunlight pass through.

I expected to meet you only once, so I thought it’s the last time I am seeing you when we brunched in a café. You didn’t even ask me why I left a sad poem with my number in it for a stranger to find. You let my beautiful act feel ordinary. Just like it’s suppose to be. Ordinary.

Now when we meet your friends you always find a guitar and give it to me to play and sing along very occasionally, as if careful to not steal any attention coming my way, which is rare, because I haven’t played much to people. I think that’s very sweet of you, because you sing really well.

And then you fade into the background playing cards with your friends. But I wonder why you never ask me to play.

You’re nothing short of a metaphor, but metaphors are only words playing with each other trying to sprinkle a little bit of more aesthetic to life than what you and I already have. So I’ll leave them for someone else to use, when they write about you.

So much needs to be written about you.

(II)

“Have you noticed the dance of mosquito groups on top of summer trees hustling to the force of sea breeze?”, you ask me one cold winter night. The night of us – each willingly trapped in the others embrace. I remember saying nothing at first – just hovering smilingly in silence – staring loosely into your eyes, those eyes that are sun and supernova. You look back at me questioningly and I say mosquitoes do not inspire any beauty in me. Now, it is your turn to glance at me in silence.

I wonder why I said that, why I didn’t just tell that I haven’t, that I can rarely look beyond the edge of my own nose. I could claim I was distracted but then, that is just an excuse men make.  And I do not want to be that kind of man.

You’re nothing short of a metaphor, and metaphors I can love. Somewhere between them and the other, these half-words let me say what is often left unsaid. And there is so much I need to say about you.

I have always been half-deluded – a quiet builder of sand castles – each home to a fresh variety of sadness. And such was the agenda that evening even as I let my feet slowly dissolves into the grains that are the beach. I had come running here, galloping away from home after conceding yet another shouting match to my mother. I ran and ran until tar became stone became sand. I walked to a solitary corner of the beach, sat on the jutting head of a rock and began quietly molding the wet sand into some sort of home.

And that’s when I found your box. A tiffin box of sniffing sad poetry.

And how I cried when I read your words. Words of patient melancholy.

I never brought it up when we first met because I didn’t want you to know that I cry. I am a coward that way. It took me seven days to work up the courage to call you and in those seven days, I awoke each morning to wayward questions of your identity. Who are you, sand castle tiffin box poet? You came into my life, like a pleasant voice in the wind and some part of me wanted it to keep it that way. And so I sat on that seventh day, phone in hand your phone number in another, questioning my own inability to fall into your life. I thought until I could think no longer and decided to hop off my comfort hill. I dialed your number.

Now I sit in my corner of your balcony. Your voice flitters through the cracks in the curtains, occasionally revealing your smiling face, your singing lips, guitar held against your hands of plenty. This is my white picket fence – the warmth of the suburban and settled or so I think. I often wonder what goes on in your head. Is it a tired factory like my own – disturbed by the products of its own creation – or is it a bakery – each thought a cheesecake blueberry mango. When you reveal your mind to me, however, it is always a cotton candy carnival. There is always melody, always love, always a dance.

You’re nothing short of a metaphor, and metaphors I can love. Somewhere between them and the other, these half-words let me say what is often left unsaid. And there is so much I need to say about you.

You told me once that all life is a play. I stand here now in firm soliloquy thinking out loud to an audience of one, clawing desperately at every tadpole whisper that escapes my mind, hoping that atleast this time I’ll be able to tell you a story for a change. Instead, I walk up to you and stare in silence as you play your guitar. I close my eyes and curl my toes.