Chew on it.

Chances are all we have.

Tag: alcohol

Premonition

I know what this will feel like.

12 years from now
When we ‘meet up’
You’ll be with her
And I’ll be with him
And he and you will be
The awkward pals you were years ago

I’ll know you though
The slight of hand and the twist of your words
And how every word was a dreamy sound
I imagined your voice
And you imagined my feet
Why didn’t we meet?

He will then settle for a table
So you’re across or close
Do I meet your eyes or elbows
You will see the red seep in
And wish you could find a corner
To take it out
Sip it away
Lick it off

She is quiet
She is graceful and charming and well –
Quite like nothing you said you loved
She is observant of nothing
A dullard image of pristine perfection
Awash with your attention
Drowned in her assumption that
All is well, all is well
With you and your old friend and me
Who of course, you haven’t met before

Now the dinner has begun
And the memories and the chatter
Between the girls and the men
Begin to start again
‘What do you do?’
‘Do you remember?’
She watches in amusement
I mimic her expression to be part
Of the ruse you are living up to

If hearts have to be broken
Let them be ours.

Slowly the silence seeps in
Between the aridity of conversation
Between you and me
He and she are the quiet ones who
Never noticed the change in the air

I want to stomp off
Shake him
Point to you
Can’t you see?
I tell him
Can’t you see what happened?
We ruined everything
We ruined you and me
Him and her
Before we met
We ruined nights
And trust.
HA!
You fool
You empty man, you.

I sigh

Look up to see him and her
Looking at me
His brow
Her stiff lip
You lift your champagne and sip
I’m sweating and I’m dazed

Look here, I command you wordlessly
We need them to not know
Not even guess
Not even feel
Not even doubt
That there has been smoke
Without fire
And that dark, distorted desire
And dreams of uncertainty
In the last 15 minutes
Through the salad and the champagne
(I’ll sip it again)
You – do you realise?
You – look me in my eyes

I sigh.

They talk of illnesses now
And how suffering is physical and inconvenient
The worst kind, they comment

(She is looking at me though)

He is patting my knee
It’s a gesture, I want to tell you
A promise of attention
And that later tonight
As he unzips this dress
He’ll worry again
And hold me through the dark
I’ll let him

You?
Let’s leave it here.
I fold my napkin.
Good girl that I am
And intertwine his fingers
Give him the smile he loves

You sigh.

You? You have nothing of me now
Nothing I owe him
Though your knee against mine
Keeps me alive.

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Forged, unwilling friendships.

You’re at a party.
Your seniors got promoted. I hear the hint of alcohol in your voice. There’s music. You’ve eaten, and you’ve asked someone the score. You have calculated the Fantasy League points your players have got and will go back to the guest house and check if they’ve increased. The music isn’t something too loud but you don’t mind it. You never mind most things, even if you wouldn’t do them yourself. You’re dressed in a light shirt and trousers and you’re worried your hair will catch attention. “It grows up,” you’d told me, when I asked you to not cut it. You’re mixing with the men in your confusing Hindi and you’ve come to terms with the agreeable company you keep. The scotch isn’t the finest like your GM’s party had, but it’s a week you’ve decided to enjoy anyway. You are still talking more than your alcohol.
A few hundred miles away, I’m curled in my bed. Ready to hear your voice put me to sleep instead of your arms for yet another night. Filling in the distance with words that we share to bring us closer.
I dial the number you usually answer. It rings. And rings. And rings some more. And falls silent. I remember that you must be at the party.
But you had the phone. Why aren’t you answering? Is something wrong?
I try the number you asked me to call. It follows pattern and falls silent with the same result. No you. A pit forms in my gut.
What if he’s passed out? Or had an accident on the way to his room? Is anyone looking after him?
I try the first number again. It rings. The seventh time, the ring sounds different and my spirits soar and crash, as the ringing continues. It ends. And sighs with me.
It’s like the wind has been knocked out of me. I curl in more, cradling my now-alive tummy that has abandoned hope. I shut my eyes tight, opening them for the 3 seconds I need to leave a message on your IM.
Call?
I close my eyes. Alcohol – 1, Radha –
You call. I almost choke.
Among other things like what time you will call and if I should stay up, you say it. “I love you,” you say. Reassuring, fond, firm, alcohol-induced because you never say it otherwise, even if you feel it. I am overwhelmed. In tears. Choking.
Do you know what that does to me? Your grip on my heart has tightened at 11.45 pm.
You kiss into the phone, and say you’ll call. I nod my understanding.
And for the sake of those three words and bringing them to your lips so I can exhilerate in that moment of your attention and love, I shake hands with alcohol.

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