Thursday, March 18, 2010

The house by the sea

"We will take it." he said.
Of course, it was beautiful. I had nothing to complain about. In a world where everyone has to fight for just a bit of the ailing earth, a breath of the rancid air, a glimpse of the decaying sea and a piece of the pallid sky, this was ours to have.

I walked out to the balcony. I could see him. Not a flimsy streak of grey-blue somewhere in the distance, not a thin line of poisonous blood seeping through a slash in the city's concrete body, not a borrowed view as I walked down a crowded boulevard. He was all mine. My own to behold, to paint, to capture. The sea, my new moody neighbour.

His reputation travels before him. They say, at times he roars and rants. He starts quarreling absurdly with the sky, lashing out at the onlooking boulders without a reason, turning violent. You wouldn't want to catch him on a bad day. He can be rude and impudent, uncaring and insensitive. A madman angry with the world.

But they also say that on some evenings he sits back and plays the violin. The music is serene and mystical, gentle enough to lull you to sleep, sweet enough to keep your dreams beautiful. The notes make the sky blush and even the wind becomes a gently whispering, shy breeze. He can be a real charmer when he wants to. He can draw you in and keep you away from the world for as long as he wants. The magic of his deep voice, the flamboyant blues and greens of his being, the enigma of his hidden secrets, all weave their inescapable web around you and you forget your very essence.

Today, as I stand on the balcony like a lonely princess trapped in a tower, he seems to be in a mood for love. I smile and look away. I look away and look upon reality. I look upon an empty house. White walls, closed doors and rooms filled with nothingness. We will colour the walls. Autumn reds, spring greens, morning blues and midnight silver. We will unlock the doors. We will fill the rooms with idiosyncrasies, quarrels and mundane madness of life. But yet it will remain forever empty. Because what could have filled it is gone. Banished. Exiled. Locked away. Forgotten. Dead?

I look at my husband. He seems happy. The house is lovely. We are going to live here. We are going to live here, I repeat to myself. Our separate lives in our separate corners. Faces to the coloured walls, backs to the unlocked doors, in rooms filled with so much unnecessary baggage that there is no room for anything else. We are going to live here, forever.

Suddenly the walls seem to close in. I gasp and try to breath. I feel dizzy as I stumble back on to the balcony. My neighbour whispers sweet nothings and his voice calms me down. The wind caresses my face and I take deep breaths. I feel his voice getting louder, the wind getting stronger. Louder and stronger, louder and stronger. I feel the roar in my ears. I feel the rush in my body. I feel him. His binding embrace, his deep kiss. I feel all, I feel nothing.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Seer

How long have I lived?
Is my hair the white
of burning desert sand?
Are my hands gnarled?
Like roots twisting, turning
desperate in their search
for just a drop of water
in the deep recesses of
this barren earth?
Does my back bend
as I tread on weary feet?
Do my knees tremble
with every faltering step?
Is there no light in my eyes?
Do you see the sorrows
swimming in their murky depths?
Like ashen, shapeless ghosts?
Is my skin like coarse parchment?
Like a yellowing paper
cracked and crumbling to dust?
Is there a tremor in my voice?
Does it sound hollow, feeble?
Has all zest left me?
Has beauty turned her back?
Can you tell me what you see?
For they say I'm young
yet I feel old.
And I dream of tragedies
yet untold.