Friday, 30 August 2013

Tender Enquiries.

She had tender enquiries - do you think, she said, the moonlight collected on us like dust if we were still long enough? He parted her hair and exposed her breast to it. The falling of the blue hue reminded him of autumn leaves. If you were patient enough, between the dimming of summer and the growth of autumn, you would find in Richmond Park, the first fall of a yellow leaf. Every leaf after that, fell unceremoniously.

'If it collected like dust,' he said, 'then it would cover your breasts.'

His words made her think that light was like a cloudy liquid and cloudy liquids made her touch a memory of soap bars which she would drown in large buckets of water when she was a child so that they would dissolve and spread like a billowing cloud on a clear day. When the cloudiness had stopped reaching out - when she could no longer see the white tendrils stretching farther - she tipped the bucket. It splashed; foaming at her feet, lapping up her shins and licking the hem of her dress. She would laugh, as only a child could at childish joys. But the light didn't collect now. All it did was illuminate her further. I'll collect you, he said, and took her breast into his mouth.

The sitar was playing. You could play anything when you made love these days. The moonlight fell on his back and onto her covered breast, on her coarse hair that he adored, and onto the apex of her navel that birthed a small shadow between its folds; fathered by the moon - a beautiful penumbra. It fell on her hands, and on his hands, and their hands that were tangled vines. These are weeds - they are like parasites, his mother would say. They creep up trees and suck their nutrition. We don't want that. She had been ill and was unable to tend to her plants. In the interim, things grew.
Parasites like those worms in our stomach, Ma?
Yes. Like that.

Looking around the greenhouse and looking at his mother mercilessly rip them apart, he thought gardeners must have such power that they could decide what lived and what did not. But Ma, if they were parasites - and here he paused - why do they look so beautiful? His mother didn't have an answer so she stopped ripping the vines that kissed the trees.

He squeezed her hand harder and she managed a whisper; like vines - our hands. He stopped his hip, there was sweat on his forehead and an oily sheen on her neck.
'How did you know?'
'You touched the vine that day,' she said, 'like I touch memories. I could never kill them either.'

He saw, when he began to move again, that the moon filled the sweat on her neck -  like milk fills into tea, like soap fills into water - and shined back at him. He whispered, 'the moon can be collected, after all.' Like dried jam collected dust. The sitar was playing.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


The discipline to write only came to him when he was inspired. He often thought himself a terrible writer because of that. Wine made him write. Making love made him write, or a fuck. The smell of a rose, or the memory of jasmine bushes. Or whatever that, at the time, awoke something in him that grew like an angel or monster that it must be given birth to or spitted out. When the sun started to set on Soho, men gathered around the pubs and clubs. He would look at them and wonder if they could be made into characters. It was often the case - and most did not understand this - that the habit silenced him among his company. He found others more interesting, and his own company - unless they were extraordinary - a poor fit for his literature.

'So he writes too, you said?'
'Any good?' She paused awhile;
'He can be good.'

They walked on and he laughed under his breath. She must have noticed this and resented him. He looked up from the road and saw that there were men who dressed up like women, and women who dressed up as things he could not recognise. By now, they were halfway towards Leicester Square.

'Have you painted anything?' He asked.
'I haven't had the time. But I've been writing a little.'
'I always told you to write.'
'I could never write when I was with you,' she said.
'I'd always be under your shadow.'
'That's ridiculous - but you can when you're with him?'
'His shadow isn't as big.'

He read once that loneliness killed us even in our sleep - through our dreams. It must the reason she chose to bed one man after another. It was easier to love a hundred than it is to love one. When he took other lovers, they were sweet, they were bitter, they were easy and they were difficult. But they were all ordinary. His greatest worry was to accord the place he reserved for her to another; he feared diluting her memory. A writer needed a poison so strong that it left him with life enough only to write about it. She was venom and he had written about it - now it was time to spit it out. When two who do not belong together are broken, they are saved, from each other's poison.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Inability to Witness.

Through deplorable means I got to find where she was about to be that day. I justified myself because I thought this was only fair after all the pain she had brought into my life. There was no nobility in love - not even mine. I sat there hating my soul; that I was reduced to this thing of obsession. The place was St. Martin's Lane Hotel and I hid in a coffeehouse before it. Somewhere along the way, I thought, if I saw her with another man, it might make it easier. But how can that be? How can it ever be easier to see the woman you love with another man? But at the time this reasoning seemed sound. What extraordinarily foolish things we humans think in times of despair.

I picked a coffee table that overlooked the entrance of the hotel. The line of sight was clear, and there, I tried to read a book; Greene's The End of an Affair. There was a japanese man at my table with whom I had to share it with. This was the best table for this sort of occasion; the occasion of spying. Sharing tables with strangers made me uncomfortable and in any other circumstance I would have avoided it. But then this discomfort paled against my natural jealousy and obsession about the truth and what it might be. Did I hate myself that much?

The human creature's attraction to the tiniest things is a perplexing state, I thought, while waiting there. I found that the thought of not being able to see her in that new coat that she got before our separation, or perhaps those new leggings that would have looked lovely on her, almost heartbreaking. When the mind is fresh with the shape of a lover's body, when we can still imagine the things that would adorn her beautifully, the heart fractures at the inability of witnessing it.

Two hours later, she exited the hotel with another woman. They had gone there for dinner.