Monday, May 14, 2007

Not merry, not even close.

You know what this heat is? It’s insidious. It gets under your skin. You can shed your layers of clothing till you’re naked as a jaybird, and even that won’t be enough, you’ll want to take off more. This heat. It lies low all morning, patient, waiting, pretending to be all ‘oh pay no attention to me, I’ll just lie here in this corner doing nothing at all’ and then, when the sun’s at its peak, it pounces. Runs under your skin like an army of spiders, starting at the back of your neck, then spreading. Across your shoulder blades, down your arms, in the crease of your neck. A million little metallic spiders under your skin.

God I hate May.

And like that’s not bad enough, there are clouds. They’ll hide the sun for a couple of minutes every now and then, fill you with longing, make you turn your face up to the sky in anticipation, and then float away.

If May were a man, he’d totally be the kind all your girlfriends told you to stay away from, knowing all the while that you were too far gone to listen. Because May? May was Bad News. He was the kind who’d never call when he said he would, vanish without a trace for three months and then, without any warning, show up at your doorstep. You’d be all casual because you couldn't possibly let him know, he’d know, but pretend not to.

Crafty bugger, that May.

But I’m three summers old in this city and I know that these clouds mean nothing. I know there’s going to be no rain till June. I know. So you can stop flitting across the sky, stop your hide-and-seek with the sun, just stop with the goddamn teasing alright?

I’m on to you, May.

7 comments:

Tabula Rasa said...

seems like you're on to the yin to louis armstrong's yang :-D

Chimera said...

ah, what an analogy...May and men,can it be Mayhem? :)

Falstaff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Falstaff said...

Okay, I can't resist. The second part of this post reminded me too strongly of a poem I wrote six years back called 'The Summer'. It's not very good, but it's apt anyway. Here it is - in slightly edited form:

Every day he was at the bus stop,
eyeing me – his need dry enough
to be flammable, hot enough
to set ablaze; his bleached
hair stirring lightly, like grass
you want to run fingers through;
his smile surprising, watermelon sweet.

The shallow traffic of his breath
followed me everywhere,
even into the house, until
I had to shut the door in his face,
turn on the air-conditioning,
just to keep from remembering
the burning in his eyes.

It was only when I found him
squatting motionless in the parking lot
watching the children play,
that I realised how lonely he was.

It took him home then, kept him
with me all night, dissolving
naked in the stars of his sweat,
stifling him in my arms so that
the city wouldn’t find him.

The next day in the bus
they were all talking about him,
the women, about how dangerous
he was, how suddenly he would
disappear. I smiled,
but said nothing. I thought I knew.

But when I got home there was only
the breeze like a letter slipped
under my door, and the dust
of his touch on everything.

He was going south, he said,
he’d be back. And I imagined him,
walking bareheaded in the afternoon,
whistling that old mournful tune of his,
following the black hips of the road
to wherever they might go.

And I lay on my bed, wondering
if I would ever feel cold again;
my regret like a monsoon
blocking out the sky.

sougata said...

It is also very good.

iz said...

Sigh. I just got back from Bombay and boy, Bangalore seems like heaven now! Never will I diss the city again.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

TR: Like 'Chronicus Armstrong Skepticus'? I like the sound of that. :D

Chimera: Mayhem is right! Y'know, that would've been the perfect title for this post.

Falstaff: Heh. I've never known anyone who 'couldn't resist putting up a poem'. :D

It *is* apt though. AND I really like parts of it.

Sougata: Erm...thank you.

Iz: Yeah yeah, go on an' rub it in why don't you. Evil woman!

(I get there in two weeks though. There'd *better* be rain!)