Skies 

Sometimes, the sky is a muted shade of blue, falling slowly. Sometimes the sky is a screaming shade of orange, collapsing all around me. Mostly though, the sky remains a quiet humming of spoiled silver, insidiously moving in no direction at all. 

When a certain time is to come to you, bringing a basket full of pre-written apologies for the damage it is going to cause, how do you learn to accept it with grace? How many times must this Time train you to maintain a pursed face, and learn to bow in acceptance of turbulence and disaster? 

I think you’re always learning, but never fully learn. On days like today, when the orange is bleeding through the steely grey and I watch the sky burn a hole into my chest, I am sitting as quietly as possible.

 I’ve had days where I’ve screamed orange right back to the sky, burning myself in the process. I’ve had days with the heavy grey iron blanket wrapped around myself, drenching my skin in massive rain clouds. Sitting quietly is no option when there are no more options left, and when you’re cornered and hurt, spewing orange and grey can seem imminent too. 

Twenty Three passed away writhing in her sleep, holding onto orange embers that left the burned flesh on her palms coated in grey soot. Twenty Three left Twenty Four three Coloured Skies, a memory of orange and grey, and branded palms. 

Twenty Four could use blue skies, she hardly remembers them. She’s sent a message in a bottle to the Universe, and it’s floating away in the inky black space, greeting stars as it travels. All that’s left to do now is wait, and sit still as the coal in the skies become embers. 

Stalled. 

Promises and determination lie in the corner, half polished and bent. Somewhat dusty, somewhat sticky. 

They’re like those old toys you discard after you’ve spent the glee in your chest on the newness of the shiny trinket. As the novelty fades, so does the glee. As we become older, these toys show up after every upheaval; say for example, a move. Unpacking boxes marked “toys” or “books”, when you come across these trinkets and think, THAT’S where I had put it! You spend hours reminiscing. The most exciting boxes though are ones marked “miscellaneous” or “unknown” (my personal favourite I must say). There’s no set bar on what you’d find here. Sometimes you come across an old red dress that you’d worn when you’d gone shopping at 14. Sometimes, you find a dead heart and a jar of jagged words, and it’s too heavy for you to pick up. This one time, I found a crying child in one of the boxes and I was really worried. I didn’t know what to do. It took a few days for me to figure out that I had actually just found a mirror. After that, I’ve been scared to look inside more boxes. There are so many to still unpack. 

I took a tangent, my apologies. As for the promises and determination, they haven’t been packed away yet. Twenty Four, we really need to step up our game. There are so many things that are quivering to be written about. There are still so many boxes making noise. 

Universal (R)Ejection

One questions loops around my brain, over and over, and ties my thoughts with it in a perfect, enclasping bow: Why. Why the need for this cosmic pummelling? I mean alright, everything has its own reasons and sure, the things that happen do happen for the best sometimes but I mean, come now. Enough is enough. Even the Universe must know that cruelty is just awful.

My parents will officially be moving to Bangalore. My father got a new role in the same company, and my parents are relocating. According to my father, the timing could not have been more perfect. The last few weeks have crawled along, limping through the days, only because I knew that parents would be a weekend visit. I was thankful that the shrapnels of my mother’s sociopathy would be temporary through the weeks, and that a peaceful 5 days would be enough to recuperate and ready myself for more. Now you’re telling me that she’s going to a permanent fixture in this house, ready to shoot as many darts of guilt and anger as possible?

Everything that could have possibly gone wrong is going wrong. Every dreadful thought is materialising into reality. And here I am, trying my best to throw out good thoughts, nice thoughts, needed thoughts and well, it looks like the Universe is doing this on purpose. The last string that kept this sad little puppet propped up, that’s keeping me from collapsing, is on the verge of being cut.

I am being cornered slowly, deliberately and I suppose for a purpose. My teacher told me this is the Universe’s way of kicking me out of Bangalore and getting me to FINALLY get the motor going. She expressed such faith in me, such belief that I am actually an intelligent person and in the right circumstances, I will be able to excel. That in the right place, I will be able to achieve my full potential.

That this is it. The time I have been preparing for for the last 3 years. It is here, and this 11th hour is all I have got now. The Universe is taking no chances with me. Everything that could go wrong is going wrong so that I have no choice but to start the uphill climb. It is here, it is happening.

Had my parents not moved here, I might have gotten comfortable with Bangalore and the lovely stay with my grandmother. I might have thought, why not pull this ahead another year? It’s not so bad. I have finally found love and peace, and more importantly, a loving mother figure in my grandmother. I might have stayed for her. Had my friends not left, I might have continued and lived on with the available social support. I would have managed to postpone the studying, the hard work for some sort of happiness I get from lighting up joints through the day, laughing it away. I would have thought, a social life is important too, it keeps me sane. Had things worked out with the nice man, I might have stayed back thinking that it could work out to something better, something beautiful. I might have thought that the sacrifices in the pursuit of love are massive, but maybe the gains are too. I might have thought that staying back in Bangalore for a while would be alright, it might be really nice actually.

Here I am now, without parental support, without the social support needed, cooped up in a beautiful house and somewhat heart-cracked. I have no place to go but out. I have nothing to do but leave. And leave I must now.

Maybe now I know Why, Universe, or I think I know, but if I do all that I can, will you come through for me at the end?

June

Twenty Four, three months ago, had a promising start. Twenty Four, now, sits awake at night and wonders when it unravelled. Twenty Four vividly dreams about people she shouldn’t be dreaming about, she doesn’t know how or why he is frequenting her dreams so much. Twenty Four’s rock bottom has been the most difficult to fester in. Twenty Four now is nowhere close to the same Twenty Four three months ago. Twenty Four now looks like she is losing the first fight.
****

Even the most supportive friend tires of hearing the same winding tune of depression and lament over and over again if it goes on for long enough. Supportive pats become floppy hands, intent faces become disinterested and 20 minutes of listening turns into 5 minutes of impatient nods. In all of this, the saddened, struggling being wilts even more. After all, the constant cosmic pummelling is not something she asked for. Who would know, really, of being cosmically pummelled for so long, that even the being tires of being herself?

Constant reminders of This too, Shall Pass scrawled on my ribs, of the Lotus Flower blooming on my right shoulder, of a foreign voice in my head whispering that “somewhere down the line it HAS to get better” (who is this deluded person???); all of them can only take me so far out of the swamp. All of them now have less power than before. It doesn’t make sense to tell your already defeated self covered in slime and grime, barely crawling forward, that there is something better coming. There is no crutch right now, there is no help to get up, there is no one around. This lone battle has no victory affiliated to it, just a survival of it.

June, you bitch. You have malice written all over you. You have slithered forward through the days so slowly, so terribly that each day’s passing cannot be felt, the ringing thumps only continue and the end doesn’t seem like it exists. May taught you well, and I do not know what you and July are discussing. I play a waiting game to see when the turbulence will stabilise, but I have to tell you, you have taken almost everything out of me.

Almost everything.

I look forward to your demise.

Maybe 

Maybe someday I’ll run into you when it’s snowing. Maybe by then I will be ready to believe that I can be loved. Maybe by then, you’ll be ready to love me. I dream of winter days when the snow falls slowly, deliberately and when we both can watch it together. I think maybe, because it seemed so perfect, because it fit so beautifully for one week, that fate can still give us a chance. One week can’t be enough to give birth to Maybes but here I am, nursing them.

If you had told me that I would have been caught like a fish on the line, dragged painfully into the breathless outside, that I would be breathless for you, I would have laughed. I would have told you that you have no idea who I am. I would have basked in the impossibility of it. Yet here I am, throwing out Maybes into the Universe thinking, how did you know? What have you done? I’ve become completely undone.

On rainy days, amidst warm sleep, I tell myself that I can’t dream of you anymore. That you must not visit me anymore. There is too much to do, there is so much left to finish, there is too much that needs to begin. Yet there you are, looking away from me, when my eyes are closed and still searching for you. I think, what have you done?

Maybe you didn’t know me, when I was broken and I fixed myself. Maybe you didn’t know that I’ve met monsters in men and cried. Maybe you didn’t know that you shouldn’t have done what you did. Maybe you didn’t know better, but it looks like I didn’t either.

Maybe I never knew what I could become in one week, when you looked me straight in my eyes and kissed me softly on my cheeks. Maybe I didn’t know that that was all it would take. Maybe I’ve been so damaged, that even one week of sweetness made me believe that bitterness can be removed. Maybe I thought that for once, for the very first time, maybe, it could work out.

Yet I sit here, dreaming of falling snow and warm tea with you, a few years from now. Maybe, I don’t really know any better. Maybe by then you would have forgotten the week you spent with the severely damaged girl, for whom you have no time for anymore. Maybe you won’t know that someone thought of Maybes with you years ago.

Maybe, by then, I would have forgotten too. Maybe by then, the Universe will be kind enough to let me forget.

Mommy Issues

I would never have thought that I am capable of such negativity in myself. I never would have known that I could carry around the weight of hate like this. I would never have guessed at the end of the day, it would all be because of my mother.

I feel like I have been put into a very bitter tasting nightmare. I had imagined that my stay at home would be uncomfortable, filled with anxiety, dreadful in ways but it has blown up into a noxious plume of anger, disgust and absolute hate. I am confused here and there, I am curious as to what would make a woman do this to her child, I am pained by the fact that I will never have a mother as described by those that are loved by one but more than all of that, I feel such hatred. I feel like my insides are being frozen solid slowly with each passing day as I keep looking at my mother’s stone face.

It seems surreal, it seems impossible, but it is. It really is.

This past weekend, my family had a huge blowout just like the one we had a year ago. From that time till now, nothing has changed. Nothing has gotten better and now, I know for sure that nothing ever will get better. I heard things come from my mother’s mouth that no child should ever have to hear. I heard my grandmother feebly try to defend me, to feebly remind my mother of her motherly duties before being shot down by 3 people. I sat numbly as my father told me that I am not a good daughter. I sat silently as my very loved and pampered brother told me it is unfair of me to say that my mother is not capable of love. I sat next to my mother as she spat out these words “Had you guys not been there, I would have killed myself because of HER” after she literally strangled herself.

I have been sitting on the same sofa, in the same house everyday afterwards. She sent me a couple of messages saying she is sorry, but I did not respond well. Why should I?

Because I have not responded, because I am not doing what she wanted me to do, because she has not been successful in emotionally blackmailing me, she has stopped talking to me now. She walks about the house in her ice cold manner, doing what she wants, as she pleases while she shoots looks of disgust and anger at me whenever I speak. I should not be hurt anymore, especially after the worst weekend of my life yet, but what do you know? It still stings. It still hurts. It still pricks my eyes.

She seems almost like a sociopath, almost like she has no traces of any empathy when it comes to her daughter and her mother-in-law. It almost seems like she hates me too. Like she has always hated me.

Like mother, like daughter I suppose.

I have lost a childhood, a mother and any hope of recovering any of this. I carry a burden too big and too much for me right now. The days pass by slowly, the words said still on the floor of the living room. Those fat, heavy words that suffocate my chest every single moment. I pray for the times to pass, I pray for the days to leave me.

I pray that one day, somehow, somewhere, the Universe tells me why this happened. That the Universe explains itself for this huge, painful blunder in my life. That the Universe makes up for the absolute horror of my 24 motherless years. I thought for so long that I was wrong, that I could be wrong, that I have misunderstood her. That a mother could never hate her own child. That a mother could never want to hurt her child. So much guilt and anger at myself for hating my mother from the very beginning.

I should never have bothered. She has hated me right back all along.

Cursed child

After the words have been thrown at me like daggers

Going through my body,

My mother used syrup to sweeten her voice,

And thinks that wounds that will remain for years to come

Can be glazed over and forgotten, as she flashes her stone cold eyes.

Words she types in her messages of regret

Cannot stop me from seeing her eyes

Bulging out of their sockets as she threatens to die,

Only because I asked her “why?”

Father dear, I had hoped you’d come to rescue me

When it all went down.

You tell me I’m wrong, you tell me I make my mother cry,

And I wonder how I will continue to survive.

Both of you scream that family comes first,

That family must always mean more than the rest.

What kind of family makes the girl regret that she was ever born in the first place?

What kind of family silences their daughter through death threats?

Your eyes can see the whole wide world, you’ve travelled so far and wide.

Others tell me that my parents know the secret to living, because they’re so kind.

I’m considered ungrateful and a liar, angry and sullen,

The daughter a curse to parents with such open minds.

What have they seen? What can they know

Of the cold of my mother’s empty, barren eyes?

Funny, I think, that the world can see how benevolent my parents seem.

Behind closed doors, not even my father has seen my mother’s eyes lose their gleam.

Call me a liar, call me ungrateful, call me a curse upon this family so clean,

One day, if the Gods allow, they all will see what I have seen.

Till then my mother’s syrup sweet voice will continue to poison my dreams.

Cursed child, we continue to walk with head held high

And heavy chest. I know not if solace will come,

But we must walk on, we cannot rest.