Hauntings

A face, her face,
Strains of a song,
Wafting into the room,
And a bleeding heart.

My heavy heart,
My bitter tears,
Her arms around me,
And her lips on mine.

Our bed? Our space?
Her raggedy doll,
And her peaceful face,
Her tiny hands holding mine,
Dreams cloaked by sleepy eyes.

Her laugh like a wave,
So innocent, so soothing,
Watching her sleep, amused,
Head on the pillow feet in the air.

If she had loved I couldn’t ask,
If she had asked I wouldn’t tell,
If she had felt that way,
I wouldn’t be writing this today.

A thunderstorm in my chest,
She stands there in white,
Oh how Cupid mocks!
As I watch him take her arm.

She looks at me,
Standing at the door
Suddenly the shadows shift ,
My eyes had so much to say.

She couldn’t understand.
Should I tell her I loved her?
an inaudible whisper escaped.
Betrayal and hurt in her eyes,
metal doors close,
a conversation unfinished.

On the island of my heart,
wind whistled, palm trees swayed,
Crusoe on that raft drifting away,
days got longer, nights colder,
My eye on the horizon,
It grows weary each day.

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Life lessons from my grandmother

She is 86 a surgeon in retirement and a real badass.

#1 the pubertal,hormonal, immature kind of love happens. And then one day it leaves you lying flat on the pavement with your nose touching the ground.
When it was my turn and I was 17 she called me to her room. Asked me to sit down. And said “it will hurt and you will bleed. But you will live through it. And you will never fall head over heels again. Because whenever love truly is
it is forever. It is not the excitement of youth but the comfort of old age.”

#2 karma is THE bitch. No one is a goody two shoes and when you mess with someone you get your ass kicked.
I was not quite the devil in prada (those girls are in for major ass kicking). I was the girl in dirty sneakers who one day decided to fight back. The teacher called home to tell my parents what I did to miss prissy.
My grandmother heard about it and next day on the phone all she said to me was “young lady, don’t get your hands dirty. You will always have an assassin to do it for you she is called karma.”

#3 DIY.
Be it a card or a cake it is best when you do it yourself. The fun of the process, the glue and glitter on your hands, the ruined kitchen table, the messy apron, the hours of admiring that ‘masterpiece’. All of it, immensely satisfying.

#4 Over achieve
She always says she is a woman of average intelligence and almost pleasant to look at. When she was down and out she imagined her most difficult case and said tomorrow it could be a patient with acreeta (a condition where the placenta that attaches the baby’s cord to the mothers uterus invades into her abdomen) with twins and i have to keep standing if they will ever have a shot at life.

#5 Family is everything.
You have friends and then you don’t. But the one thing as constant as the sun is your family. She (whom her father did not leave much in his will) fed and clothed the children of her almost royal step sister(who squandered the wealth that comes with being the first child of a very competent judge and counsellor to a king). When I asked why she looked at me with those all knowing eyes, “the cinders and soot from the kitchens blackened my skin and clothes but it couldn’t touch my heart.”

#6Treasure. “Some people covet gold and diamonds. But they forget about that old box of precious things, a broken pencil from the first time you spoke to your crush, the sweater you knit for your child, the letters from your mom when you were at medical school, the trinket the love of your life got you during that walk through the local market. They are the gems of a life full of love.”

#7 make up is a face devoid of beauty. “The colour in your cheeks should be that which comes with a good haemoglobin level and a long walk through the moors. Never forget, the twinkle in your eyes and the smile on your lips and the tousled hair every morning will be beautiful till the end of time.”

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What could have been.

We all grow up doing pretty much the same things. But sometimes after you reach your twenties being the irresponsible adults you were destined to be, you meet someone. Someone who makes you wish you knew them since high school.

To skip class just so you could read Emily Dickinson and Whitman. To meet up everyday after school and talk about how one day you will graduate and go backpacking through Europe. Someone to knock your head against the lockers every time you go dreamy eyed and weak in your knees when….the cliché high school drama. Someone who knows you spill more food than you eat. Someone your mom knows better than she knows you.

Someone to binge watch cartoons and all the TV shows that are now ancient. To sneak out at night through the bedroom window. Whispering so that your parents don’t wake up. To drive to your favourite spot. The lights from the town twinkle in the valley below. You lie down on the grass and look up at the stars. Side by side, like that is where you were meant to be.

I wish I knew him when all that mattered was the canvas and the palette in my hand. When every emotion had a shape, a word, a colour. Every dream had wings. When every laugh was carefree.

To spend countless hours on Internet chat rooms. Hanging out in Record stores. All those mixed tapes. My room, from when I was less anal about where the sweaty clothes should be. Nirvana, Springsteen, U2 on the radio. I can picture him there in that dump loving it every bit as much as I did. If my life were to be anything like a John Hughes movie he would be there holding a boombox outside my window. If I get to change one thing it won’t be wishing I didn’t barf during that debate in school. It would be to grow up with him.

It is too late now for endless conversations over telephones with cords or box TV sets with musicals and black and white movies. It is too late for notes exchanged in school libraries. Now we can’t spend time by that stream skipping stones like tomorrow is a distant dream. We meet as we part, the memories we share are the one page that was from a book that could have been.

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