notes for from mumbai
4.15am woken up by the laundry guy of konark snatching my blankets off me sleeping on the upper berth, getting my things together, last passenger to leave the train 4.30 stared at puppy peeing in the middle of the platform but i couldnt leave my bags to play got the last seat in the AC waiting room and 4.35 burnt my tongue on hot and watery chai served by a real crazy man and read Yes Prime Minister took an early local to Mulund where I’m at.
then afternoon went househunting and got fuller with stories and im excited about tomorrow im so excited i can’t
so there are a hundred things i could write about it, about home, about being home for the first time in a year then waking up the next day belly full of large breakfasts two lunches, two pre dinners and lots of dinner at 4am still hungry to the sound of my city being shaken around like a frigging paperweight you know the kind with confetti in it that looks like snow and when you go outside you can barely stand you feel like your skin is going to be torn off your bones and then you come inside and all of us go about our lives farting our farts and fighting our fights while the land we first became alive in is shredded and all the trees are falling down and slamming into our porticos and you know it’s only the most desperately trying situations that fill you with that frightening inward silence that incubates the kind of courage required to face the battered face of your hometown the next day.
i am sad. and i’m trying to put off processing it. maybe i will puke it in poetry but i’m so agitated with my dependence on the written word and putting things out there and how i sometimes invent feelings and write endlessly about them but i just kind of push the real things to the back and act as if they don’t exist. how to be a functional human being? grow, brain, grow.
and i miss him and i miss him and i miss him and how i want to be flopped on his bed messy with things we ate last night and talk and listen, talk and listen.
notes to self on grey, ochre and gold.
this manic silence in peace, the lazy afternoon walk and an idle scrolling through dreams,
quietly you feel the place that your yearnings once rested upon
you look at pavement and think “cobblestones”, the matted fur of a street dog and think
"ochre" and the favourite colours of your art teacher years ago.
this is what it feels like, to have nothing on your mind at all, when you leave what you’re doing in the next moment
to the next moment and you concentrate instead on the raindrops falling like kisses and the swirling dust
and your feet so soft you can’t hear.
this is your mind when it’s like a trampoline, taut and unwrinkled, ideal to jump from.
There’s a small candle in your heart and little mud flecks on the sides of your jeans. you’re warm enough
and you’ve laughed a lot this day, it’s going well and your legs ache from yesterday
your heart feels so full of love that you worry like the secular man with the lemons in front of his new car.
what more do you want? the curve is bumbling at the peak, let it swoop when it will
now there’s nothing more on your mind than the grey of the afternoon and the gold of your mother’s voice
when she tells you she’s bought you a new skirt.
there have been days like this, and sometimes they have stung, there will be others like this, and they won’t all have the
gold in them, but leave them where they belong in the curds of the past and the unknowable tomorrow.
think of cobblestones, your art teacher, think of the colour ochre, and take some kind of leap today.
More Often Than Sometimes- Shane Koyczan
"If I knew what I know now then, way back when we first met, I’d point to the sunset and say, “I drew that for you. Every now and then you can catch it wrinkling in the rain.” See I can talk a good game from the stage, but if you want to gage a romantic thing said when we were messing up the bed the best I can give you is, “Oh my God we’re totally humping.” Regardless, there’s something beautiful about stating the obvious. All of us do it. In the moments when we can’t believe it we have to say it. It’s like pinching yourself to make sure you’re awake. Take, for example, something as simple as touching someone. We so often say, “You’re so soft.” And the last person to touch them may have said it for the twenty-eighth time but today, I’m number twenty-nine and I’m not saying it for her benefit, I’m saying it for mine. Because there’s almost 7 billion people in the world, half of which are men, and when the number of them is 3.5 billion it’s pretty fuckin’ cool that I was number twenty-nine. And once upon a time I was first in line for a girl with freckles and strawberry blonde hair. We loved like an electric chair hooked up to a nuclear power plant and plugged into the sun, and everything we did had never been done. I woke up the next morning with a smile that told the world, “I’m number one.”
I think of her, more often than sometimes, and if she ever hears this I want her to know that our first kiss tasted like pepper. I met her on June 27th. That year it was Yellowknife’s first day of continual light and, despite the sun not setting that night we each went home alone, even though our parents told us, “Be home before dark.” We could’ve stayed out for weeks, could’ve watched the way the sun leaks like liquid over the horizon, casting shadows over all the right places of a bargain bin where love was 75% off, and we were collectively 25¢ away from forever.
There are times in the North when the sun never sets. And it gets confusing when we ask ourselves questions like, “Is it too late, or too early?” More often than sometimes we didn’t care. We lived like two games of solitaire waiting to be played by one another. Her mother once asked me, “Do you love her?” And I said if there were 1 million teachers breathing down my neck telling me that the answer is no, I would say yes. I guess that was enough for her, because that girl’s father palmed me a condom and wished me a happy birthday. Even now there’s no way to tell, was that awkward or creepy?
We loved like two hit-men hellbent on assassinating regret. Her orgasm was a wet gremlin multiplying itself into another. Her younger brother knocked on the bedroom door asking, “What are you guys doing in there?” And somewhere amid the awesome and all of the in between we replied in unison, “Studying.” And we were. I wrote notes on her skin in flesh toned permanent ink that would sink and sit inside as I tried to underline the important parts of her: bellybutton, birthmark, collarbone. And I wrote notes explaining that hers felt like silk stretched over stone. I told her, “You’re so soft.” She smiled and said, “Duh.” followed by, “My bellybutton is not an erogenous zone.” And I said, “I hate that word,” and she asked, “Which one?” and I said, “Erogenous.” I told her, “There’s beauty in the obvious, and your bellybutton is where you started, it’s where cells divided and grew into you so let me do what students do best, you can test me later but right now let me study.” She said, “You’re lucky this is a take home test, boy.” I highlighted and double underlined. Lips.
I think of the beauty in the obvious, the way it forces us to admit how it exists, the way it insists on being pointed out like a bloody nose, or how every time it snows there is always someone around to say, “It’s snowing.” But the obvious isn’t showing off, it’s only reminding us that time passes, and that somewhere along the way we grow up. Not perfect, but up and out. It teaches us something about time, that we are all ticking and tocking, walking the fine line between days and weeks as if each second speaks of years and each month has years listening to forever but never hearing anything beyond centuries swallowed up by millenniums, as if time was calculating the sums needed to fill the empty belly of eternity. We so seldom understand each other. But if understanding is neither here nor there, and the universe is infinite, then understand that no matter where we go we will always be smack dab in the middle of nowhere. All we can do is share some piece of ourselves, and hope that it’s remembered. Hope that we meant something to someone.
My chest is a cannon that I have used to take aim and shoot my heart upon this world. I love the way an uncurled fist becomes a hand again, because when I take notes, I need it to underline the important parts of you: happy, sad, lovely. Battle cry ballistic like a disaster or a lipstick earthquaking and taking out the monuments of all my hollow yesterdays. We’ll always have the obvious. It reminds us who and where we are, it lives like a heart shape, like a jar that we hand to others and ask, “Can you open this for me?” We always get the same answer: “Not without breaking it.” More often than sometimes, I say go for it.”
some truthful things
1. i’m turning 21 and i actually feel 21.
2. i deactivated facebook two days before my birthday. will i regret the rush that comes with flooded notifications and the two or three long wall posts i get from people who notice?
3. whatever duuude..
4. i’m in the mood to absorb, and less to create
5. i have the crunchy feeling that i might not want to be tomorrow who i’m so proud of being today.
6. but i’ll still be proud anyway.
7. what are these crazy mood swings man can i please have them when i’ve done something useful with my life and not now while i’m in the middle of exams thinking in cliches?
8. i dislike studying and i dislike making excuses
9. mm. audrey hepburn.
i have vowed not to be an emo-chick anymore. i finally finished editing my piece on Sylvia Plath, and it’s quite crappy but my phase has officially ended. i have decided to be a positive girl who delights in more things than she is depressed by. in the interest of that vow, which nicely coincides with my 21st birthday, i would like to write this post about things that made me delirious today (eg. shopping) instead of filled with existential dread.(eg. shopping)
1. i went for Durgotsav bhog and ate the tastiest bong food in the world and saw the prettiest Durga i’d ever seen
2. i ate this gelato which had a flavour called limoncella and it’s the twangiest thing i’ve ever had
3. i finally found a red dress in the exact pattern i wanted, except it’s lace, which makes it even better than what i wanted
4. I also found a pair of sexeh boots and nothing can stop me from ruling the world now.
5. my friend bhavika is the most wonderful person to hold on to while you fall asleep. intimacy issues over.
6. i consider earlobes and anywhere near my ears and hair more intimate than second base and i think my date outfits should be a teeshirt printed with my guidelines and manifesto
7. i don’t know why i just mentioned the above in my happy list thing, but i think i used a lot of positive superlatives in this post which i consider to be progress
8. i edited the hell out of my writing pieces for submission for an internship application. i think i have glimpsed the perfectionist in me.
9. i think a more accurate way of phrasing what “finding yourself” is supposed to mean is saying “sculpting yourself”
10. i’m turning 21 in less than a week and I’m going home a day after that and i don’t dread it. yummyyummyyayness.