Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The dollar bill

I sat watching the crowd go by. I have never understood how these malls are crowded even on weekdays. I mean, I am jobless, but that woman with the pantsuit, that man in his pajamas and sneakers? Why are they here? Are they killing time, are they meeting someone? Do they have a specific agenda in mind? Or are they simply whiling time away?
I am jobless. I have been for a long time. The money for the chocolate milkshake I slurp comes from the pocket of my mothers dress. Stealing, borrowing, eh? What's the difference when you need the money. I look at the lady sitting on the next bench. She seems hassled. Looks like she is a new mother. Her things are everywhere. The baby in the stroller, the shopping bags down on the floor, with some its contents spilling out. Sparkly things, frilly things, baby things. Her handbag is on the side nearest to me, a Louis Vuitton! Nice. She leans down to get the bag and grabs a tissue out of it. She looks up when she straightens. I smile at her, she smiles back.
A dollar bill falls out. I follow its flutter and see it plaster itself to the floor. She doesn't notice it. Looks like a hundred. She goes back to wiping the baby's face. She smiles and coos at it. She picks the bag and collects the bags, hangs them on her arm and prepares to walk. She stops and turns back. She smiles at me and leaves with her heels clacking on the tiled floor.
I get up as fast as a lightning and rush to the bill. I grab it and look around furtively. Noone seems to notice. For a second I search for the lady, maybe I should give the money back.
I think of the cigarettes and burgers I can get for the dough. Easy money, finders keepers. I tuck it safely inside my underpants. Good day.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The rain

The tears refused to come. My cheeks were rough and moist. The tears that I did not wipe away had streamed down to my neck and my blouse was wet. I was hunched over in the corner fo the room. The bare floor was cold and the cold walls had condensed in my outline. The tears refused to come.
I slowly got up. Food deprivation had caused my legs to weak. I stumbled and almost crashed into the dressing table. I caught myself. And looked into the mirror. My red tinged eyes were puffed and swollen, like I'd got up from a deep sleep. A good sleep does that too, you know. I really looked. My scars were still healing. And the wounds were definitely deep, in my body too. The pitiful creature in the mirror can not be me. I am a modern woman, am I not? Doesn't the world preach equality and feminism? Do I not have a backbone?
I wipe my tears with the back of my hand. The tears make the scrapes on my knuckles sting. That jolts me. I push the curtains for some light. It has rained. Fresh, cleansing rain. The ground is wet and shiny. The fallen raindrops cling to the window and drip down, reluctantly. The leaves are green. The griminess and stench has been washed away. The earth is new. That beautiful scent now pervades the air.
My rain has come and gone. I have no more to pour. Within the depths of my heart, a small green leaf lifts up its tender head, the griminess washed away. The sorrows and hurt of yesterday will stay just there, yesterday. A tree starts with a seed. I will grow, stronger,my branches will spread.
A rain signifies a new life. And I think I am ready to start mine.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The remote control

I walk into the living room. I grab the remote lying on the coffee table, lean back and switch on the television. I tune into sports. Some old tennis game between Agassi and Sampras. I put it back on the coffee table and sigh. Life is truly about these little things. How I miss them.
She walks in with a heavy tread. She grabs the remote and angrily switches it off. She is in a mood, that's what it is. She goes back to the bedroom.
I think I will play with her for a little while. I so love irritating her. I switch the television back on, tennis again, but this time a little louder. She runs into the room and switches it off and runs back again. She doesn't even look back. Hmm..I can play longer. I turn it on again. This time she doesn't come running. So I switch to music. I play my favorite, "Scarborough Fair". The tunes are haunting. I listen to her quickened breathing. She walks out of the bedroom. She is a convert too. She hated this song initially, but grew to love it.
She sits on the couch and stares at the unchanging screen. Tears stream down her face. She closes her eyes.
I sit beside her.I hold her hands in mine. She gasps and sucks in her breath. I close my eyes too.
I miss these little things in life. How do I move on? I look at her ring finger where the pale skin shines. She only removed the ring yesterday. Maybe I ought to let her move on too. I kiss her forehead.
I switch the song off. She looks around, sorrow and relief fighting to be foremost.
I walk by the withered flowers that our friends sent. I walk by the phone that has unheard voice mails, no doubt carrying sympathy and condolences. I walk by the pictures, the memories that I share with this woman. Life was truly about the little things.
I walk out, through the door.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Excellent genes

"Wow, you really pack it away don't you?", she questions me.
"Of course! If you are hungry, eat up..is what I say". I shine my smile on her.
I now see her picking through her food. Then she breathes in deeply and asks the waiter to take it away. I still am eating my third course in the meal. I signal the waiter to bring in the dessert. Mocha lava cake with strawberry ice cream. I sit and savour each spoonful of heaven.
She says, "My treat" and grabs the check before I could lay hands on it. Fine by me.
"I have never seen you exercise. And yet you put it all away. How do you do it?"
"Oh well! Excellent genes." I smile back.
She says she will drop me. I negate it and hitch a cab. I tell the driver my destination. He looks up and down at me and his faces lights up in recognition. And gives an conspirational smile. I hate it when they do it. Like they know my secret.
I get down, pay the cab, tip him pretty well. Encouraging him to think what he wants to. I walk in to the building. "00" is the name. I go around the reception, there is a heavy waiting crowd.The girl there waves at me. I go in to the cubicle. And change my dress.
The doctor comes in. "How are you?" And shows his pearly whites. I shrug at him. I hate this part. The part where he pretends that I am a new customer.He has my chart from the previous visits. My body is my temple. Nipping, tucking, sucking, lifting, pinning-all of it regular procedures. I come in regularly at least thrice a year. I also schedule visits for Botox and teeth whitening.
Excellent genes, my ass.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I love you but...

I can not remember my last conversation with you.
I woke up this morning and tried recollecting what we had spoken the last time. I can not remember. What I remember is that you wore a grey dress with a blue belt. You decided to pin a small red flower in your hair because you were feeling adventurous. You smelled of Chanel no 5. I hated that perfume. You wore black heels and you still had to stand on tip toes to kiss me and you wrinkled your nose after that. But I can not remember the words.
I know we had cereal for breakfast. You weren't sure if it would stay down since you were in the first trimester. I coaxed you into drinking orange juice. You stuck out your tongue at me and you drank the juice. You touched my face and said something. I can not remember.
It was 20 minutes after this you left. We spoke a lot, we usually did. But I can not remember what we spoke.
I am now in a panic. I rush to the bathroom. The bottle of perfume is almost empty. I spray some into the air and take a deep sniff. I then come out to the bedroom with the bottle in my hand and go to your closet. I touch the clothes, feel the sleeve of a jacket and rub my cheek on a stole.
We spoke of happy things, our future. The baby and the new house we'd put a down payment on. Reconnecting with your father. I now remember.
Your last words were "I love you, but you smell!"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The odd boy

You are a strange boy.
You smiled at me to seem friendly and the next day you frowned because I smiled back. You spoke to me to promote friendship and yet when I texted you, you remained silent. I walked alone and you did not bring your bicycle after that. You argued walking was better than cycling.
You loved to argue. You said that what you felt was the result of hormones. Yet you wrote long letters and sweet poems for me. You thought buying flowers on Valentines day was a conspiracy and yet you did that to boost economy.
You argued that Big Bang was the reason for our existence. Yet when I knelt before God to pray for my ailing grandfather you could say the same words of prayer with me.
You said you could not guarantee a secure future for me. And still you picked out china patterns that would be on our dinner table.
Why, oh why did you then break my heart? Only to say it was good for me?!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Baby cries. Really hard. No one is able to soothe it.

Mother- I will take a leave of absence from office tomorrow and spend some the day with her. She is missing me. She probably feels she doesn't know any of us since she goes to daycare. Maybe she is frightened of all of us. Maybe we are strangers. I think I might even quit my job end of the month. I feel so guilty.

Father- Maybe we ought to change our daycare provider. Maybe they are not giving her enough attention. Maybe they are giving too much that she misses all that at home? Maybe some of the older kids teased her. Maybe someone yelled at her. Maybe she is overwhelmed by elders.

Grandmother- Maybe it's the food at the daycare. You know, making her tummy hurt..Maybe it's the food at home. I told you she was too young for cake even if it is a small bite. Maybe the water,are we filtering it? Does she have a temperature? Does she have a cold? Are her ears hurting?

Grandfather- Move away from the baby. Give her her space. You have been smothering her. She will be alright in sometime.

Baby's brother- (sniffs and makes a face) Baby poo-poo!!