Monday, October 29, 2012

This is why I shouldn't go to night-clubs

Beneath the vast

Sporadically starry night 
Shapes embrace and cuddle
Doomed solemn promises are made
Smoke curls up
From invisible mouths.
In the dark
Guilty consciences
Pour out of aimless lives
Covered unconvincingly by
A thin smile, closed eyes
And awkward, rhythmic shaking.
Bodies, t
hin and fat
Fashionable, l
Desirable, desirous

Young, not so young anymore
All drip disappointment
Today's despair
Made bland, sauted in 
Bottles of alcohol.
Hidden, tranquilized
Until tomorrow

Comes knocking.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cardboard Boxes

Well, you know, she stood in her doorway and said, "I guess that's it. We're done acting". I looked at my feet, at the top of her door where 415 was written. I looked at the hedge bearing witness to our Act 4, Scene 4. I looked everywhere. But I didn't look at her face.

She went inside. She didn't invite me in. So there I stood, with the light rain coming down on me, with the insects flitting near the lantern hung outside her house giving me company.

When she came out again, she was carrying a cardboard box. Nothing befits the end of something better than a cardboard box. Quitting a job that you have exchanged your life for, one month at a time, for seven years. Shifting from a house you've lived in for ten years. Ending something you thought would last. A cardboard box. One size fits all tragedies.

She handed the box to me and said, "There. Now go."

One look at the box told me what I needed to know. I looked at her face for the first time that evening and said, "But... "

She was quick to anger. "But what? It's too late to apologise."

She waited, impatient, expecting an answer. Something that would further tip the scales of the night in her favour.

I looked into the box, bewildered.

"But.. where are my comics?"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Madness: Part-I

All you need to do is ask. I will tell you everything about me that you need to know. I will tell you that there is a spot on the wall behind me where the paint is peeling off and that a friend who was supposed to meet me yesterday is now dead.

When the investigators come around, with their pocket note books and their cheap plastic pens, inquiring about the call, and then the message sent, from A's phone to mine at midnight yesterday, I tell them that I did not follow the instructions in the message, that I did not go under the bridge yesterday.

They haven't called me after that. Of course, the fact that I'm a cop might've given rise to some misplaced sense of fraternity, a fraternity which transcends state lines. A fraternity which I do not share because I recognize the type of cops they are. They are scum.

I know that they won't bother to visit the bridge. If they did, the grass there would tell them, as it did me, the story of a scuffle and of a body being dragged to the point where the grass meets the river, where the mud is slushy and your feet get sucked in. Flashlights shone from the bridge would tell them nothing more.

But they won't bother. They will go back to their offices, sit under their noisy clucking fans and drink sickly sweet tea and chomp on vada pav. They will talk, at least for this one evening, about the unfortunate upper middle class boy who jumped into the river and drowned, and then put the file on their table where, eventually, other files will smother it into effective non-existence.

I stay at home and open the piece of paper I found under the bridge. It has three words written on it in black ink in his handwriting, with the smudge distinctive of the fountain pen A has been using for the past three years.

"After Mad People"

I ponder them, these three words. After. Mad. People. A was institutionalized for a time. Years ago. Could he have gone mad again? Why had he called me to that spot, his fear recognizable even over the phone? Was someone after him? He had sounded afraid. And I have never known him to be afraid.

The smoke from my ten cigarettes hangs heavy in my room. I need to talk a walk, clear my head.

As I click shut my excuse for a door, I hear the neighbors' bed creaking. They're at it again. With nothing else in their lives to look forward to, like most people in the building, they turn to the basest, most natural of desires and seek to fulfill it.

The only light comes from the sole functioning bulb at the far end of the corridor. I make my way over there, toward the stairs. As I walk down the four floors, the mustiness of the carpet is overwhelming. It reeks of broken dreams and anguished screams.

The place is disgusting. But it is cheap. And for what I now need to do in this town, its ideal.

I step out into the  night, and bathe in the forlorn neon light of the deserted street, my hands clenched in my coat pockets. A cat meows somewhere, and a dog barks in response. I make my way towards the bridge again. The best place to begin is always the beginning.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Disillusionist

The human yawn is not a pretty thing. I can tell you this because I'm staring at one right now. I'm sitting across the table from a beautiful girl and she's being as nice as she possibly can, as I prattle on about the crisis in Europe, the underlying reasons and the way forward, four hour old knowledge newly acquired from Wikipedia for this very purpose. The end result leaves a lot to be desired.

I start to wonder, as I frequently do, whether it's worth it.

I come to the same conclusion that I always do- that anything that requires effort is never worth it.

With one last look at the ornate mirror which had, only moments ago, so forcefully impressed upon me the ugliness of my own yawn (yes, my yawn), I decide to put an end to the night, this night over which disillusionment hangs like a black suffocating cloak and, with that vague universally known scribbling motion aimed in the general direction of the overtly enthusiastic waiter, ask for the cheque.

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