“What if no one told you to do anything? Would you do nothing?”
It’s the silence again. We’re staring at the same spot hoping that our line of vision collides with the ceiling and we look each other in the eye. It’s absurd I know but what isn’t. You’re breathing I think. What do I do? Nothing. I think you’re supposed to breathe. I wish we were naked – that’d give us some excuse of lying together the way we were if someone came into the room. I’d have a story then. Yes.
“Your hair’s in my nose.”
What do I do about it? You have hands, push it away. I don’t want to move. This is comfortable. I like here. The pillow’s just right and your elbow is at mine. If I move my arm will be on yours. You don’t want that so please use your other arm to take my hair out of your nose.
“You have too much hair.”
Your observation is amazing. If I weren’t so snugly fit in this bed I’d have clapped for you but it’s too much of effort.
You move your arm to do something. Move my offending strands off your face perhaps. I can’t feel your elbow. I’m drowning. Quick I need your elbow. Your hand slips under my waist and struggles to come out from the other side. My shirt slips north so part of the skin of my back is a layer of gooseflesh poking into a layer of the hair of your hand. It’s all cold.
“Don’t cut your hair.”
Make up your mind.
“It’s thick but it suits your face. Your face is fat.”
I’m watching myself get off the bed and walk out of the room.
“But this is good. Skinny you would be awkward.”
What the fuck are you trying to say? It’s my body. I’ll keep it however the fuck I want.
“I’ll make you heavier when the babies come.”
Shut your face.
Why don’t you say my name? It isn’t difficult. Hardly a syllable. Say it.
I realise I have started breathing.
There’s a drizzle starting outside. You turn your head to look upward into it. Rain falls on to the grill and into the bed. A spray. Very fine. Irregular. Your mouth is in my hair. You’re turning me. I want my pillow. Let me keep my pillow, you turn.
I don’t want to stop staring at that spot. That spot is everything to me now. It’s our spot. I don’t like how your hand is travelling on my stomach. I don’t want it to stop but I want you to stop making me move. It’s my afternoon. I need to sleep. Can you please breathe into my cheek?
I must have said it aloud again.
Keep your mouth closed. I said breathe. You grunt.
“Wha – what happened? Why’re you laughing?”
Panni patti poocha only three animals in the world. Your hair feels like silk. Your grey shirt feels like mine.
It’s mine. The bed’s mine. You’re mine. That spot on the ceiling and the rain is mine.