...and then

Saturday, 27 October 2012


There's a little red eye flashing somewhere between the ceiling and the middle of the wall where my head touches. Closer to the ceiling. Flashing and red, assuring a room full of expectation that everything is cool. I sit alone in the corner, in the darkness, always in the corner in the beautiful perfect three-lined L that corners make. I crouch, a mouse afraid of anything that moves, capable of making afraid anything that moves. I crouch and no one comes in. I spend an eternity in the cold not being able to decide if it will be the moment I move that someone might come along into this beautiful perfect white square that my room is, to look for clothes, to find a handbag, to take their clothes off and subject me to their very terrible humanity, their ageing nakedness; all sagging skin, and breasts and creased dark  elbows. Ageing without their minds wanting to. Ageing without enough cremes in the world to stop it. And I still quiet in a corner, my stiff, creepy swishing tail watching all this. Were I a man, someone would call me lucky. But I am a woman. No. I am rat. Afraid of everything that comes in; making afraid everything that comes in.

Who but a rat knows the endlessness of darkness, the furtive, fragile comfort of it? Darkness as nothing as clouds, darkness that shatters, implodes and disappears completely with the thinnest gash in its armor. I know it well this darkness. And I choose to break it sometimes. I sit in a corner, sniffing the air, acutely aware than another human being can come, make a cruel click on the wall and make this womb in which I rest go away.

I break this darkness sometimes. I open the door of light against the dough-softness of darkness and sit down to release everything that's gathering in me. I use words, so exquisitely painfully, so acutely carefully for the fear of using an ordinary word, making a pedestrian sentence. Nothing wrong with that I suppose but that is not who I wish to be. I am not happy with every day. On those days, nothing satisfies. And everything is wrong. And I don't have enough clothes and it's been ages since I've been held at night. Games don't go well and I cannot do what my one true love wants. Those days are blotched ink days, days when, if I decided to race with myself, I would lose by a whole 50 meters. Those days are also the days when I can hear the blood coursing through my veins, the days I feel my coffee machine head is way too small to hold everything that's frothing there to come out, the days I feel like there is a second brain there telling me to end that sound of blood coursing because silence is comforting and honest. And one can sleep in darkness.

At the edge of darkness, is also the edge of the universe. Where I can step off that cliff and fall into Permanence. If this room is temporary, this darkness Transient, then the pouring-chocolate abyss I fall into, without light or wings, is Permanence. I haven't tried stepping off because I imagine it feels a bit like going mad. That if you take one more step, the mesh-bag full of marbles that your life is will inexplicably tear and all the spherical, perfectly flawed elements of your life will scatter. And you, the bag, torn and gaping, like the Earth dug for progress, stand helpless. You can't reach your hands out and gather them, close that gaping hole in your life and remember how many marbles you had so don't have to replace them with a make-do one.

Who do you think, then, holds the bag?

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Blogger narendra nath said...

At the edge of darkness, is also the edge of the universe...SUPERB!!!

10:49 pm  
Blogger Shula B said...

Every creature has its own universe, and expectations in life.

Wonderful, and well written.

1:57 pm  
Blogger The Visitor said...

I might have said this before - your prose is poetry.

4:27 pm  
Blogger Sandhya Menon said...

thank you, all of you. so very kind and encouraging your words are!

10:28 pm  

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