Saturday, December 26, 2009

Two Deaths in Silence

We have a friend who is dying. It was sudden. There he was entertaining us, fake punching us, there he was passing out the cards, or ordering the eighth beer tower between the three of us while we're puking our guts out on the floor.

Now he is lying on the bed comatose. Distant, unreachable.

We are sitting on opposite sides of his death bed. Sometimes we glance at each other, hesitantly, never knowing what to expect.

I feel like telling them. The one dying. The one living.

That she has left. That my heart and soul has been ripped asunder. That there is a void in the centre of me so large, so massive, so powerful that it feels like everything might fall in.

But I cannot speak it. It would feel like a mockery.

To speak of living death before the dying.

We both of us die in the still tense silence.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Manners and Murder

They say manners are a good thing. Manners bring polish and politeness. These in turn bring amiability. And that is useful to lure good fortune and seal favours. People generally like those that possess if not inhabit manners.

But manners prevent me from the sayings the things I need to say. I cannot call you a fucking murderer. I cannot accuse you of being a slimy scum sucking ball licking piece of shit. No. Manners demand that we respectfully dance around the massive gargoyle in the room that whose upper body has crashed through the ceiling and the pieces are raining down on us. It demands that we presume a person so unworthy of humanity to have a good reputation. The more loathsome the person, the higher their presumed reputation. So even though everybody knows what you did, we have to smile and pretend it didn't happen. 1984 in 2009.

Manners demand I politely remark in the words utterly devoid of emotion of your impropriety. We can only accuse you of that when you have betrayed and ruined us and still hold our beating hearts in your hand. Manners demand a considered and reasoned reaction to your intended madness when I want to choke the living shit out of you with my bare hands. Manners forces my mouth when my fingers want to dig into the softness of your neck and rip out your spine by tearing off your head. Manners forces a handshake when my hands wants to murder your entire family in front of you while you lay dying as you have done to so thoughtlessly to many others. So the last thing you are able to comprehend as you fade is your complete annihilation. So that when you are faced with death, you will long for it. And when you finally beg for it, pray for it, long for it like a fresh love denied, I want to keep you alive. But only just enough for you to comprehend you are living death.

And maybe after that, perhaps we can use manners a smidgen more meaningfully.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Solitary Walk

It is a pleasant thing sometimes to walk alone incognito in sprawling deteriorating and decrepit streets.

Nobody to wait for. Nobody to catch up.

To look at those dirty chipped walls sometimes stained with beautifully unappreciated art. To see the rats quickly dash by as if we couldn't notice it. It need not worry. We are mutually indifferent.

There is more life in the areas of developmental entropy. There are flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches as there are weeds, little flowers that struggle up from the cracks of broken undulating concrete.

Last night I walked past a scrawny wrinkled who looked too old with a child sleeping in her lap. His head was on where her thigh should be. His legs dangled from her other thigh. She had called out to me from the darkness. The bowl in front of her sat empty. Symbolic more than useful.

I didn't know what she said in her foreign language. But I understood. Completely.

She played on my mind even as I walked on. Even though I didn't see her clearly, she weighed so heavily on me. Eventually I returned and pressed more than I usually did into her hand. I felt the wiry thinness of her fingers clumsily grabbing the money from my fingers as if afraid I would change my mind.

At the least it should spare her a day off the streets and a decent meal.

So why did I feel worse after that act of charity?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Morning Assembly

The morning sun cast glowing yet cool shafts of light through the thick clouds, softening the edges of everything it touched. The dew still hung precariously on the edges of the flowers and leaves. The birds had not finished their song nor the butterflies their dance.

King Baloo was already standing on the pavilion with Prince Balroukh on his right perched above a massive armoured war elephant, which stood at least a head taller than the largest in the platoon. A golden aura glowed from the many fine gold threads carefully laid their breastplate and sewn into their fine splendid garments.

Before them not too far away were the prisoners they had captured after a 10 year battle with Tuk'aranth. They were hemmed into an irregular rectangular crowd that stretched into the horizon by the row of soldiers on both their sides. They were bloody, filthy, ragged and yet despite their misery there was not a sound from any of them or the soldiers. Silently the stood. All the eyes in the crowd were riveted to the two glowing figures they could barely make out, even those at the front of the crowd.

The commander after what seemed an eternity of silence turned to King Baloo and said, 'Your Magnificence, they are ready.' After King Baloo acknowledged him and the commander returned his gaze to the crowd.

King Baloo turned to the mass of bodies before him and finally turned to the Prince touching hi
m on his left shoulder.

'The time has come, my son,' he said gravely.

Prince Balroukh turned to him with a searching look. And King Baloo saw the silhouette of his head mirrored in his son's eyes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Before the Crash

Phuket, Thailand
January 2007