Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two words. 85%. Genetics Finals.
We'll see, bitch. We'll see.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Inside my Head

Of late I have been falling in love with girls. They have always struck me as pretty, hugely identifiable creatures sort of like butterflies. Only, I don’t really identify with butterflies- well maybe the love of color and patterns. Sort of the reason why i find snakes so fascinating. All these gorgeous tracks and the skin that looks like leather but touch it, and it would be clammy. Kind of like certain people i know- oh so lovely, look utterly delectable from the outside but oh such a letdown once you reach or attempt to reach inside. Like those pretty delectably decorated gilt boxes you find sometimes in the Lifestyle shops. As a kid, ‘Home Centre’ and ‘Lifestyle’ used to be my favourite shops. Filled with little antique looking vases, papier mache roses with those tiny little dull grey beads in the middle. Pink edged gilt boxes with dinky lids and the Fur Elise playing when you opened them up. (I have always loved the Fur Elise. It sounded incredibly sad to me though, as a child when as a child when I’d only ever heard the beginning part. When I was a kid and didn’t really know of Beethoven but remembered the vague bits of information that stuck on in my head when I was outside of it, not building stories, this piece every time i heard it, would always make me feel rather sad- and conjure up an image of a blind man playing a great big piano in the moonlight with yellow pearl keys. And then we would rush off to play Hide and Seek. Babai dada would spot all of us, being the Giant amongst us all. Hiding behind the waterfall, hiding behind the beeg green plant, peeping out through the cracks, stifling fear choked laughter, when the Denner would pass you by, Strangely enough, i always felt awful when i was ‘found’ but i felt even worse when everyone else was found and i wasn’t like i was forgotten. But then we would start playing Marco Polo till the Rich-Benevolent but divorced Old Uncle who was the grand benefactor/father of the Bangiyo Parishad would shoo us out of his private spaces. Of course we would creep back inside. One of our prime and Most interesting things to do was tell each other ghost stories and scare ourselves silly, so that we looked over our shoulders and jumped at small noises. I Loved to be frightened as a kid. I don’t know, what sort of perverse pleasure I derived out of being scared out of my wits, but I think the adrenaline rush of the danger- the thrill that something might be creeping up JUST Behind you, is what got me every time. I’ve sort of remained the same since. I still love horror movies, but i haven’t found one that has scared me long enough. This was supposed to be a bracket really, squeezed in about what i thought of the Fur Elise but then it mutated into a paragraph. That’s what thoughts are like really. Or even Life when you come to think of it. Brackets, subplots, half thoughts, single events, chance happenings that mutate into chapters and maybe sometimes stay with you. Become a Main character. Having Main characters with character flaws is ‘in’ these days in Bollywood. They’re waking up to reality. Reality is what is larger than life today. Big bucks, ‘real stories’, actual connections and simple down to earth heart warmers. Box office blockbusters and relieved reviews in the newspaper like the critics have found kindred souls and are mighty relieved about it. I just feel like being all sarcastic about something at the moment so Bollywood shall have to take its brunt for the time being- I’m sure Bollywood is much affected by indifference, but like Gloria Gaynor, I’m sure it will survive the heartbreak.
Heartbreaks make us stronger right? I just think, if you get your heart broken badly enough too many times, there’s an extent to which you can sellotape it back together. Sooner or later little bits are going to come unstuck and then everything is going to become a little muddled together. Blurry- kind of like fog. Smog actually, with the dark bits in between that you ignore. I want a prince on a white horse. You know, galloping across with the horse neighing away to glory. Only the galloping is a must. Such a lovely word isn’t it? The horse shall gallop and the prince shall gallop over to me and my heart will gallop away. We shall all gallop.
I’m busy being a grump- I’m just tired really. And there are too many thoughts inside my head, all turning into one another. I’m lazy which is why I’m in my room bunking genetics and typing this out. I suspect I’m also a little sick- wretched snow! Why won’t you go?!
Trippin’, stumblin’, flippin’, fumblin’. Clumsy cause there’s Just TOO much Snow! For someone who is as motor retarded as i am, it is a challenge navigating your way to class among all the brownish mushy ickyslush that snow turns to when it has been trampled upon by a million disgruntled university students all trudging to class.
Right now the only sound in my room is ‘With or Without you’ playing softly and the sound of me tap-tapping against the keyboard. How i love the sound of the tap-tapping. For some reason this tap-  tapping always makes me feel very efficient. Like a secretary at some important office churning out lots of letters. Once as a kid i saw this lady in this red suit at the airport. She was smoking a cigarette and this blue-ish smoke came out of her lips. I think since then that has been the image i carry in my head of sophistication and success. I’m not sure why but our childish fantasies stay with us. Oh well, someday i shall be a sophisticated lady in a red suit, with a cigarette dangling between my lips and say “Darling” in a thick accent. I wish i could go back to being a kid. Things were simpler, ideas were more clear cut, and gender didn’t really exist. We were all asexual flatworm type of creatures who loved to play what I always called Catching cook. In hindsight it was probably Catch the crook. But then, this probably speaks of my permanent bhukkadness.
I’m writing too much and I’m emptying my head onto virtual paper. In a minute i shall post this, and have doubts. But then i don’t think most people bother to read such long posts. Or at the end, when you do read this and you reach here, you will be vaguely annoyed at having wasted time. And then i shall secretly be going ‘heehee’ in my head all the way from Canada because i have met a fellow procrastinator.
‘With or without you’ is ending and Friday is here. I love Friday. And for now i feel strangely sedated. Peaceful. Like a happy little monk from the monastery nodding his head. I wish i could nod off to sleep. Insomnia is So difficult to cure, and i don’t really need another defect to add to the list. I meant to write about different girls who i am falling in love with but i digressed. I was beginning to crush on this funny man but i keep getting side tracked by his ex and her blog. So real and interesting she seems. Then there’s the wife and the girl i have nicknamed who seems to bruise my heart in different ways. So far men have been bringing me heart ache and unnecessary complications. These days i find women more interesting and God alone knows how many complications that will bring if this continues, not the least of which shall be the most important woman in my life. Distance is necessary though.
And with that cryptic sentence I stop. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I love how sometimes you can have actual "Laugh out loud moments" when online.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I am Sotired. Soso, verytired. It is not even funny. I am tired of doing too much and doing nothing. I am tired of not sleeping and having a permanent Calcutta sleep-cycle hangover. I am tired of not having the motivation to just get off my derriere (isn't that a pretty word? it always reminds me of brassiere) and do it! Like Nike says. I'm tired of being complicated and being all too simplenaive. I am tired of being inadequate. I think i am becoming someone else and a mixture of people. I am tired of the color black. I feel a tad dyslexic right now. But it is somuchfun to write like this. It is like making up your own nouns. With an added emphasis. I am tired, ohsotired, soverytired of Itall. And that reminds me I am tired of imdb, Youtube, facebook, blogger and fmylife. The ugly Angel keeps haunting me and then the Quest takes over the job. God, if you exist, random chance and luck- if you do not exist- throw some my way. Please. I would like to get done with this week. If I get through it well, with all my dignity and rank and Watcard and keys intact I will make an offering of ..of..I will. Er, I will be happy. Veryvery happy. And I will work the rest of the term, work the skin right off my nose and try for brilliance till I can fly East for the summer. All the birdies flew away in winter-time, but now the green gooey goo-shit geese have returned. But today it snowed unexpectedly. Mini-blizzard took over and covered it all with snow. Snow in my eyes, snow on my hair- when I came back in, successfully brandishing Chicken fingers, my hair had glistening beads. Verypretty. Not Sweat though, cuz that would be a bit too disgusting.
No I am not trying to be a very retarded dyslexic Salinger, I am trying to listen to Genetics Podcasts. I am trying to concentrate. I am trying to go away now. Bye.

Another one I found, just lying around- See how well I rhyme!

List of books most of them sitting unread in people's bookshelves to " make them look smarter". The rules are: bold the ones that you have read and italicize the ones you have started but didn't finish. Since I have Chem midterm and Genetics midterm and Lab report and Calc assignment due and since I prefer talking to X's and lovering with Phews, I now use even more time constructively.

1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
2. Anna Karenina
3. Crime and Punishment
4. Catch-22
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude
6. Wuthering Heights
7. The Silmarillion
8. Life of Pi: a novel
9. The Name of the Rose
10. Don Quixote
11. Moby Dick
12. Ulysses
13. Madame Bovary
14. The Odyssey
15. Pride and Prejudice
16. Jane Eyre
17. The Tale of Two Cities
18. The Brothers Karamazov
19. Guns, Germs and Steel
20. War and Peace
21. Vanity Fair
22. The Time Traveler's Wife
23. The Iliad
24. Emma
25. The Blind Assasin
26. The Kite Runner
27. Mrs. Dalloway (well..reading is more accurate)
28. Great Expectations
29. American Gods
30. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
31. Atlas Shrugged
32. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
33. Memoirs of a Geisha
34. Middlesex
35. Quicksilver
36. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
37. The Canterbury Tales
38. The Historian: A Novel
39. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
40. Love in the Time of Cholera
41. Brave New World
42. The Fountainhead
43. Foucault's Pendulum
44. Middlemarch
45. Frankenstein
46. The Count of Monte Cristo
47. Dracula 
48. A Clockwork Orange
49. Anansi Boys
50. The Once and Future King
51. The Grapes of Wrath
52. The Poisonwood Bible
53. 1984
54. Angels and Demons
55. Inferno
56. The Satanic Verses
57. Sense and Sensibility
58. The Picture of Dorian Gray
59. Mansfield Park
60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (I know I read the first page for sure..I honestly have no idea)
61. To the Lighthouse
62. Tess of the D'Urbervilles
63. Oliver Twist
64. Gulliver's Travels
65. Les Miserables
66. The Correction
67. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
68. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
69. Dune
70. The Prince
71. The Sound and the Fury
72. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
73. The God of Small Things ( I was in the 8th grade...I give it another try sometime after this wretched week)
74. A People's History of the United States: 1492-present (Not happening anytime soon)
75. Cryptonomicon
76. Neverwhere
77. A Confederacy of Dunces
78. A Short History of Nearly Everything
79. Dubliners
80. The Unbearable Lightness of Being ( reading now, in between bouts of studying and other forms of procastination)
81. Beloved
82. Slaughter House- five
83. The Scarlett Letter
84. Eats, Shoots and Leaves (I think I flipped thro this.)
85. The Mists of Avalon
86. Oryx and Crake
87. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
88. Cloud Atlas
89. The Confusion
90. Lolita
91. Persuasion
92. Northanger Abbey
93. The Catcher in the Rye
94. On the Road
95. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
96. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
97. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Enquiry into Values ( This is my perpetual on the plane- get distracted by movie and food and put down-book. I should read it on the ground once)
98. The Aeneid
99. Watership Down
100. Gravity's Rainbow
101. The Hobbit
102. In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences
103. White Teeth
104. Treasure Island
105. David Copperfield
106. The Three Musketeers

If this were an exam, I'd most certainly fail it. As for the coming exams, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be failing them too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Book tag (stolen aeons ago from She whom I do not remember)

Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?
 Sci-fi – Hmm.. I’m pretty sure Animorphs doesn’t count. H.G Wells I didn’t much like. I want to start on Asimov. Aldous Huxley and Kaziguro were good if they qualify.

Fantasy- Er. I’m not sure what exactly you’re categorizing
Horror- Rarely. Dracula. Frankenstein. Bas.

Hitchhiker or Discworld?
Reading Hitchhiker, haven’t Discworld.

Bookmark or Dog ear?
Bookmark! Urgh, dog ears are desecration.

Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?

So. I feel stupid now.

Alphabetize by author, Alphabetize by title, or random?
I used to be very big on arranging them according to title and favourites and author. Now it’s more like size.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
Keep. Keep all of them and accumulate and buy some more. Beg, borrow and steal till they grow silverfish.

Keep, dust-jacket or toss it?

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Too different. HP is HP and I like Lemony Snicket’s grim humour of despair.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

Stop reading the night before the exam. Or when someone calls or nature calls.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?

Fairytales annoy me of late. Methinks I need some pixie-dust.

Buy or Borrow?
Borrow. Buy if I’d like to collect and read a kazillion times.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
Browsing all the way. Book reviews also. Recommendations from selected people.

Lewis or Tolkien?
I didn’t like Lewis much actually. Tolkien I haven’t read. Yes, I know. DON’T look at me like that!

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
Anytime. Lazing in bed in the morning, lolling in bed in the afternoon and much the same at night.

Standalone or Series?

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? (dunno about the nobody
Cafe Tropicana- I don’t remember whom it’s by
The Land of Far Beyond, The House at Redroofs- Enid Blyton
Haroun and the Sea of Stories- Salman Rushdie
Coram Boy- Jamilla Gavin

Top 5 favorite genres of all time?
Anything. Not too much of a thriller fan though. Archer I can tolerate, Cook not at all and for some reason have always been allergic to James Hadley Chase.

Top 5 favorite genre books?

Uff, enough with the genre aantlamo. Some I can remember at the moment:

Sophie’s World
The Kite Runner, Not without my Daughter- Go classify
The Book thief, Chocolat, An Equal Music, Gone with the Wind, All quiet on the Western front
Comedy- The inscrutable Americans
The Hungry Tide, Opal Mehta, Rebecca, The Little Prince, Matilda, The Witches.

Currently Reading?
Milan Kundera- The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Virgina Woolf- Mrs. Dalloway

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love is a four letter word too. Bomb never should have been. RIP.

Violence is NOT the answer. and it never will be. I guess when we hear about these Bomb blasts, we feel shocked for a while. But it doesn't really strike us. I guess it doesn't really strike the bombers, or perhaps it Does strike them and some incredible way, they just don't care, that these are real People out there. Actual living breathing people with lives of their own that are going to be scattered. That are going to affect a thousand other lives entwined with theirs.
I guess it does shock one for a while, and you know how bad it is. Or that, you know, justice and peace has been violated again. That this is a sad occassion. But stuck within our cocoon of all the things we build our world with, our tiny little crises and thoughts, and wants and desires, we forget about........the bigger picture? What Real problems may be like. How fleeting, and impartial and even ruthless life can be. And is.
This isn't a post really about how much we should value life or how important it is. Or then again, maybe it's a post reminding me of exactly that. But it's about more than that. This isn't one of those customary 'post bomb blast-passionate writing' thingies. It's just something that i Had to write. It's about much more than that. It's about how Unfair and how Incomprehensible and just how little sense it makes that people as brilliant and by all accounts as wonderful as Ankik and Anindyee and their friends had to be killed. It's about how difficult it is then to believe that good things happen to good people and stuff like everything happens for a reason. It's about how there is absolutely NO justification for these deaths.
I was just going through Anindyee's Facebook page- the tons of people writing on her wall, the group she had last joined and the normal Social interview questions. And it's so ....funny? ironical? heartbreaking? I don't really know what to say- it just Is. to see this stuff when she's dead. Her brother Ankik with a brilliant future ahead of him with a JP Morgan job and a gorgeous fiancee, a promotion and a new posh flat all lined up for him, now instead has bereaved bewildered friends and parents and an obituary and a webpage dedicated to him. Reading about this has really shaken me very badly, and why it should have this huge an effect on me, is probably 'cuz I can relate? It could have been anyone. It could have been any of us. They were young, and full of life and smart- all the things we belive ourselves to be. They were students. It could have been any of us and where the thought of ourselves dying seems incomprehensible except as twisted idle "Who will cry when you die" type fantasies, the fact of them dying contradicts that. It's an anomaly. Which Shouldn't have happened!
 I believe 2 rickshaw wallahs also died in the bomb blast. But I'm not writing about them here 'cuz they're easier to dissociate ourselves from. But when it happens to people as close to ourselves as Anandi and Ankik, it becomes a terrifying reality.
I'm not really sure how writing this helps. I Definitely know that violence is not the answer. All the stirring up, all the protests and all the citizens being proactive type stuff that occurred after the Mumbai blasts- I'm pretty sure they meant well and they were trying to Do something. I just wish something could be done. I wish I knew what we could do. And that this could stop.
If this post is a little incomprehensible, it's 'cuz I'm a Lot shaken at the moment. And I'm unable to comprehend why these things have to happen.
In the meantime,
Love, not Hatred.
Life, not Death.
Peace, not Terror.
Light, not Darkness.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cinder and Smoke VI

Leo! Damn, Leo. Damn, damn, damn! I glance at the clock and see that it’s past 8. Another frozen dinner tonight. Leo must have eaten. I ignore her or rather tolerate her presence these days; our interaction is at best, limited but somehow, she’s always in my head- I have to go out, where’s Leo? I have to eat- Leo- has she eaten? I’m sleepy, is she asleep on the couch again? Leo. Always Leo. I feel obsessed. Behind the facade of this life we are living- no this stagnant Existence. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t. Nobody blames me. I have the cushy job, I pay the bills, and I had the once gorgeous, brilliant girlfriend. I’m still young; I’m on Sheridan’s team, for the love of God. I have- I have “prospects”! Nobody would say I’ve shirked responsibility. Nobody would say anything. Mama would be rather relieved if she knew. Vinnie- she always liked Leo. Vinnie might refuse to be reasonable for a while, but she would come around. That is, if she even called one of these days. It wasn’t my fault. I couldn’t have possibly stopped it or seen it coming. She was so strong, so sure. I Couldn’t have prevented it! I stuck on for this long, trying to make it work. Did I? Did I persevere, did I ignore? At least I tried; didn’t I? I’m not being hypocritical, I stuck on this long. It’s not my fault! There is nothing left from who we used to be, no reminder of the life we led before. Nothing but the cracked remains. The chipped cherub in the hall that bears the ghost of Leo’s mocking smile. It wouldn’t be difficult. She could still have the house. I am a gentleman. And I did love her. Did? Do? I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know.
Leo with her mocking smile. Leo lost in my white shirt with wet tousled hair, humming Van Morrison. Leo on cold winter nights with hot coffee in her hand. Just Leo on cold winter nights. Leo buying Vinnie a big bouquet of gladiolas when she came to visit that one time. The way Leo smelled and the way she felt curled up tightly beside me. The way she loved to be kissed, softly on her eyelids before she fell off to sleep. Leo screaming and arguing-arguing furiously and suddenly laughing by mistake halfway. Leo‘s rich, husky voice. Leo’s love for anything that involved James Dean. Leo and her Bob Dylan-Robert Plant obsession. Leo. Leo’s face when she was excited. Leo on the rare occasions that she blushed. Leo running her fingers gently up and down my spine. Leo lying next to me on the balcony. Leo and her fiery brown-black eyes. Leo trying not to cry with her nose turning red. Leo making me laugh. Leo’s laugh. Leo. My Leo.  
I have to talk to Leo.

"But my hands remember hers, rolling 'round the shaded ferns
Naked arms, her secrets still like songs I'd never learned”

I walk into the living room. “Leo”, I walk towards her. She’s asleep. Her hand flung over the edge of the sofa. Her eyes shut, barely breathing. Her tangled hair hides half of her face, her lips a little parted. She looks so frail. I take her hand and for now she is my Leo again. Things will be different. Things Can be different. Unsaid things don’t have to smother what’s left. Maybe we could- we could talk about it.
I kneel down beside her and knock into the bottle. It rolls away beneath the sofa, clinking into the chintz darkness and I catch a whiff of Leo's permanent scent these days.

“Cinder and smoke
You’ll ask me to pray for rain
With ash in your mouth
You’ll ask it to burn again”

Cinder and Smoke V

The telephone rings waking me from the trance I’ve fallen into. I’m not really in the mood to talk, it’s probably J.D or God forbid, Madison calling about the latest brief. I sit on the bed idly, listening to the discordant clang of the phone ringing. Leo won’t pick it up, she never does. Leo. As I sit here on the bed playing with memories, she must still be in her stupor. Her self induced, poison stupor. It’s difficult for me to come back into the present. These perfect memories don’t fit in with the life we lead now. I feel like I’m dragging them through the mud, soiling them even as I associate them with us, now. The Leo I knew and loved and this Leo are so different. I don’t know who this person is; I doubt that even she knows. Or cares. Who even knows what Leo thinks anymore. She’s isolated herself from her circle of friends since she started flirting with drinks. One too many at the last party she had been to, and I gather she’d embarrassed herself. I hadn’t been there that day, so I didn’t know. I’d been working late as usual; it had been a busy period of time for me. We were working on a pretty high profile case as I remember. In fact, I’d come out of that looking pretty good. Got into Sheridan’s good books, and earned myself a most comfortable position. I heard about the party later. Not from her, a few chance remarks from an acquaintance. Something about Leo being in pretty high spirits that day. Btu I’d put it out of my head. Leo was always dancing around, I’d figured. Must have gone a little overboard. She didn’t tell me and I forgot to ask. Besides, I was preoccupied with work. But that was the last party she went to. Occasionally the odd invitation still trickles in. A discarded envelope in the dustbin or by the ashtray in the evening.  People know now of course, or at least they suspect. It’s one of those things you don’t quite come out and say in polite society. Besides, vodka is a relatively tame indulgence for a lot of the people in her business. Her friends or whatever it was that she had, do know by now. They don’t blame me for it though. I don’t think anybody does. If anything they respect me. I get the title of being “the responsible one”, the “strong one”, “a really decent chap”. Sometimes they invite me over for dinner. Very rarely, I accept. Leo never bothers to ask me why I’m late. I don’t know how we slipped into this routine of not asking each other questions, or asking them and not waiting to hear the reply. That would be me. “How was your day, Leo?” Much too often she has fixed me with a blank stare in response to any questions I would ask. And now-now I can’t even stand to be in the same room. There was a time when we’d put off eating, sleeping, even sleeping together- though that, not very often- to just talk. She would talk and I would talk and then she’d talk some more. My Leo. And I’d listen. She would tell me about their old house by the cliff, the sound of the sea each time her father would return and her mother’s half smile goodnight’s. She would tell me of the glitz and the veneer of the sets she visited and of the worlds they took her to. She would tell me of the new idea that had just struck her and sometimes, she would practice her lines on me. She’d always wind up laughing though, halfway through them. I didn’t care. I listened some more, caressed her hair, ran my tongue along her ears. The hollow of her neck, where her shoulder and collarbone met- that was where she loved to be kissed. I would talk as well-when I wasn’t distracted. She knew about my solid childhood, my sister Vinnie and our hikes with Papa, Papa and Mama and the incredible safety they provided us with. Our country house, Frankie in the kitchen cooking pot-pi on Sunday afternoons. Papa with a pack of cigarettes, the perpetual cloud of blue smoke that surrounded him, Mama in her flowered apron and her crinkled smile, smelling vaguely of cinnamon. Vinnie and our imaginary fortress, her sneaking out to meet her first boyfriend, growing up with a cloud of friends and degrees balanced on her head, moving away and sometimes reminding me with an unexpected phone call that I missed her. Leo’s  moon-river outside her house, her attempt to run away to bring her father back one day, her first boyfriend who taught her how to kiss, then her second boyfriend who taught her that her first boyfriend couldn’t kiss. Radcliffe and Rilke and a trip to Spain mixed up altogether.  back to me- stammering till age ten, my fascination with red hair, baseball and hockey- the only two subjects she showed little interest in, though she definitely tried to fake it, university, J.D and our sudden passion for long hikes into unknown places, weed, my failed attempts at writing poetry, booze- lots of it and the guys, summer days spent doing nothing. More memories. More talking, then no talking at all.
Her mother was a dipsomaniac.

“Give me your hand
Your mother is drunk as all the firemen shake
A photo from father’s arms

Cinder and Smoke IV

I sit on the unmade bed for a while. No loose sheets litter the floor now.  I was never given a chance to get irritated, you see. It simply hadn’t been long enough. Once my workday ends I’m not really sure what to do with myself anymore. Leo had always been the driving force at home. Impetuous and insistent. “Bear we have to!” she would shriek gleefully. And we would. Whatever she happened to want at the time. I would go along with her and we would have fun. I remember this one day on the beach. We had been driving because Leo had suddenly had an urge to go for a long drive. It was just that sort of a day where the sea was calling out to her apparently. I had woken up on a lazy Sunday morning to find a dark sky looming and a breeze swirling the leaves outside. “We have to go for a drive, Bear”, she’d said, as soon as she had seen me. I feebly protested and she waved aside my arguments with a kiss and some coffee. She was wearing something white I remember and she had her hair cut short just a little below her ear. She had lost a lot of weight at that point of time, and she looked like a little lost boy, with her elfin frame and pixie-like face. She had been unusually quiet for a while; stressed about this screenplay she had been working on.  We had been driving in silence for a while with the only sound that of the wind and the sheet on the backseat flapping with it. I turned to see her looking at me seriously. It was so unusual for her, I panicked a little, I’ll admit. I thought she was going to tell me it was over and she was bored. Instead she smiled at me so sweetly, it almost broke my heart and said, “Thank you”. “What for”, I asked her, completely mystified, but she just smiled and nodded her head like an adorable little kid. We had nearly reached the beach and you could see the blue temperamental gray of the water. Hardly had I parked the car that she bounded out. She whooped and ran across the soft brown of the beach, spinning, arms flung out, and hair flying in all directions. The beach was empty for once, not surprisingly. The storm was getting close and the wind was strong now. Leo of course, loved it. She danced with wild abandon on the beach. That was something i loved about Leo. Unlike myself who had so many hang ups,, my image, respectability and just, “being proper” in front of people, Leo had no such qualms. She just didn’t care. She let herself go completely and she did exactly what she felt like without a second thought. Her moods dictated her actions. Perhaps, she hadn’t completely grown up, perhaps she was being immature. But to me, she was a wild, untamed spark. She was free. That day she danced with the wind and flirted with the waves. She danced with me.
She was laughing as she reached for my hand. She pulled me into her dance. Clumsy, uncoordinated, stiff fool that I was, I just couldn’t do it. Bound by my limitations, feeling like an utter jackass I tripped along clumsily. I couldn’t look her in the face; for the hundredth time I questioned what on earth this creature was doing with stolid me. Leo drew to a stop and put her arms around my neck. She smiled and then we were slow dancing. Unhurriedly, so close that I couldn’t figure out where I ended and she began. “This we can do, Babe?” She gave me her funny little grin, with eyes sparkling. “Music?” I asked. “I would say something like the music is in your heart, Bear, but you, Mr. Big shot Lawyer would need concrete evidence” She rummaged in the car and brought out a   CD. “Def leppard”, she said grinning, like a ridiculously delighted child.

“Oooh, I miss you in a heartbeat.
Oooh, I miss you right away.
Oooh, I miss you in a heartbeat.
It aint love, if it don’t feel that way.”

The music washed over us and we swayed to it. Looking at Leo then, she looked so fragile, so incredibly/ bafflingly beautiful, I couldn’t say a word. Strangely I wanted to protect her. Leo is a strikingly attractive woman. But that day on the beach, in her white dress, and her little-boy face, with her blazing eyes shining- that is what I think of when I think of Leo.
I’ve never been a romantic person; I don’t have enough imagination I suppose. But nobody has ever had the effect Leo did on me. She was electrifying, she was-free. She scared me by the intensity of what I felt for her. She made me – happy isn’t the word. She made me, alive. She made me alive.

“Give me your hand
The dog in the garden row is covered in mud
And dragging your mother’s clothes”

Cinder and Smoke III

I step out of the shower and start dressing under the cover of the darkness. The blinds are always shut in the bedroom; that was something she had always insisted on from the very beginning. She wrote better without the sunlight she said. “It’s too bright, Bear!” she had exclaimed, tossing her head. “All that yellow light pouring in just makes everything so goddamned Ordinary!” And of course darkness can be used to uncover as well as cover, so I didn’t complain. Now we hide in this darkness, seek shelter in the silences, leave volumes unsaid- not because there’s nothing left to say, but because we’re too afraid of what we’ll be left with if we do say them. An elephant in the room. Such a funny phrase isn’t it? But that’s what it feels like. From the moment I step inside this house, our ‘home’ there’s this tension like everything’s hanging in the balance and something needs to be done. Something needs to be said, but no one can find the courage to say it. I don’t know when it started and whether it was the drink that drove away the work or the work that pushed her over the edge. But she started to take refuge in it. It was strange and it didn’t alarm me at first, because oddly enough she had always been the one to stay away from drink, even social drinking. I’d teased her about it in the beginning, but she’d stayed firm.  The strongest drink she would consent to touch would be a cosmopolitan. She liked the tangy taste of it, she said. She didn’t drink alcohol but lemonade was an obsession with her. Lemons with mint and sparkling water, lemonade with a hint of citrus orange. Lemonade with spices. Lemon tea. She loved the tangy taste and the scent. Even the perfume she wore had a distinct lemony accent to it. “Lemonora”, I used to call her. My Leonora. Leo, Love. Love, Leo. Where did you go?

“Cinder and smoke 
Some whispers around the trees 
The juniper bends 
As if you were listening “

Cinder and Smoke II

Give me your hand 
And take what you will tonight, I'll give it as fast 
And high as the flame will rise

I want her. I want to go back. I want to see her alive again, and see her gaze not dullened or stupid or indifferent. Fiery eyes. Not green, or hazel or blue or any of those exotic colors. Dark brown, blazing. Just the intensity and the determination, the spirit? Now I’m being cheesy, I know. But I never was the one good at words. That was always her job. She’d written me a poem. Just one. For all the amount of writing she did, I have to admit I was more than a little hurt that she’d hardly ever written anything for me. “You’re too good to spoil babe”, she’d told me once, matter of factly. Then she’d kissed me and I’d forgotten about it. I never told her this, for fear she’d laugh at me, and find it silly. But I’d written down the poem again and kept it in my drawer at work. J.D has a picture of his wife and kids on his desk, mine remains conspicuously empty of personal belongings, neat and clean, methodically arranged with the stacks of files kept according to urgency. I’ve been accused of being an automaton more than once by JD and the rest. But inside my desk, I’ve got that poem. It would remind me, that somehow incredibly, I’d managed to capture the spark that she was and hold its attention for so much longer than I could believe. She was fascinating, impulsive and changeable. I was methodical, intensely competitive and focused. The both of us were ambitious though. And we did so well towards the beginning. She did So well. They loved her, loved her incisive wit, her quirky use of dialogue and the words that made the scenes swim with color. Somehow though, it all unravelled.

“The snake in the basement 
Found the juniper shade 
The farmhouse is burning down”

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cinder and Smoke

She’s lying on the sofa as I come in. I take in the ashtray coated gray with her disappointment. The raincoat discarded on the floor giving a shape to impatience. Her hair is straggling out of its clasp. She looks so utterly beautiful with her head turned to one side, exposing her long white neck.  She turns to look at me and smiles, “Bear”, she says, and I realise she’s drunk again. “Cm’ere, babe, I’ve had such an awful day”, she rises slightly from the sofa and fixes me with those gorgeous eyes that I fell in love with. I loosen my tie and look at her. I don’t say anything. I know if I do, I’ll say too much. Too much will come out. I drink in the way she’s draped herself, I drink in how the slightly faded dress has clung to the small of her back. I drink in the alluring lips that can look mocking, that can look condescending and even now, sometimes have the capacity to look alive. I avoid her eyes. “Well?” she says. I walk into the bedroom and I shut the door.
Running water. Cold water. Drench me. Numben me. Help me to feel something. Make me feel alive. The shower needs to be fixed. It either gushes scalding water or ice-cold flush that sears you with its intensity. We intended to fix it when we first moved in, but somehow we never got around to it. We were too busy, preoccupied with other more important things. There was so much to do, so much to explore. The smell of the varnish as we came in, the hardwood floors, the linen sheets that she had excitedly bought and that we had stained and thrown away. The chipped cherub that hung crookedly on the inexplicable single pillar in the living room. Her. Me. The feel of her hair as it fell on my shoulders, the comfort of velvet darkness, no time to think or even bother to try.  Then there was work. Coming in from an incredibly draining day of reading and listening, and trying to make sense of it all, and then finding her still in bed. She would be writing, scrawled sheets lying around on the floor, with her tiny, painfully spiky handwriting. She would never use the computer when she really wanted to write.  It was one of those things that are endearingly quirky in the beginning and then the cute-sy uniqueness of it all wears off when you see sheets of paper flying around the room. It’s funny but seeing her still curled up in bed at the end of the day, didn’t irk me as it would now. There was this feeling of coming home, and peace.  Once she saw me, she would abandon her work, this smile of undisguised pleasure would take over her face and she would jump me. Yeah. Not very subtle is it? Not terribly classy or romantic, but it was, it was. The spontaneity. Her impulsiveness. Just her, made me alive. Alive, and gloriously crazy.

Give me your hand 
And take what you will tonight, I'll give it as fast 
And high as the flame will rise”