~First string~ page 13
Outside it was drizzling; a sort of programmed rain as if some master benevolence was in control.
The drizzle was unexpected for this season, but it didn’t stop me from my usual evening stroll. As I stepped out I got a feel of dampness under the feet, the whispering wind chilled my marrow and I knew I was due, for my cigarettes.
Monsoon smoking is a privileged indulgence, you can say, a rare kind of bliss bestowed upon only a few. The shopkeeper was a pretty woman in her early thirties with a strange but fair attractive face, an intriguing pair of button eyes, an upturned nose and sensuous full lips.Can’t remember how long I gazed at that face. Sure must have been drowned in the devil of meticulity. As in any other such elevating moments that life offers us seldom, I was beside myself. Suddenly it felt quite awkward. Her eyes just told me that. Silently. Out of acknowledgement, she blushed crimson. I drew a pale blank. In the practice of life, things can get out of control just like that. Playing the old pretext of looking for something, I broke eye contact. Needless to say, It was hugely relieving.
I served under 'time' for some moments, then I asked her in my best of the charming ways for my particular brand of cigarettes. A sultry reply arrived in an apologetic tone for not having that particular brand followed by if the ‘double strike’ would do? She almost recommended it. Bright, beautiful sparkling set of teeth. And what a smile!! ? I would have jumped into a compliment any day, but today, I found myself holding back, stuck, and why? Was she so extraordinary? Was it the weather? I tried hard not to succumb to my own thoughts. I won! Now it would be easy.
With my seventh smile I asked for a pack of what she had suggested and as I collected the box from her hand, I felt the feminine gentleness of her fingers that you often read in the books. She reflexly withdrew and stood silently with a palpable approval within. Encouraged, I asked for the light in the most casual (Im not in this world) manner a.k.a. ‘Humphrey Bogart style’.
This took time or so it seemed.
But she dropped the lighter into my hand from not more than a few inches, which seemed to me, like light years. Her little caution had turned into my big void.
And I turned to go she called me with a melodic “excuse me” and placed some loose change right into my hand. I felt more than her hand and now the very familiar smile was picnicking in the corner of the frame. I slowly fell into the abyss of her eyes, half closed gazing vacantly towards the floor and the angles of the lips curved into a tentative semi-smile, that’s going to haunt your soul like a devil when you sit with a steaming cup of coffee on a rainy evening.
When I walked back home, I caught smoke from a distant chimney caressing the raindrops in the horizon. There was some life there, may be inanimate, but there......
~Sixth string~page 47
Past the whoosh of whirling spires parks smiles and courtesy nods with the calf crying tired by pumping blood against winter and gravity I stand before the library desk split within between catching air for my lungs and looking to add a memory for the blonde librarian before me whose early twenty image with that body language reminds me only of students working in supermarkets to colour the shades of their future; yes, of course this place is a less competitive supermarket with black shadows of wanton souls impressed on paper as word-epitaphs assembled by their deweys waiting to be sold, bought borrowed etcetera filling the whole room with a scent of bare buoys sleepwalking in the broad daylight. What was such a devil's delusion that the god was tempted I mutter to myself and then she calls my first name in a timbre that it can mean only one thing in the universe that my book request has arrived, conveyed in a safe box from far away and I acknowledge all that by smiling and scribbling a residue of what is supposed to be my name and a smell of dying carbon engulfs me as I open the box; ah now I remember wasn’t she the girl who wavered off my fines some weeks back and called me the nice chap who had participles with salads for breakfast whilst laughing a laugh that left you itchy, salty, and drowned yeah, that tsunami laugh. Returning the pen I noticed that she had long slender hands with fingers delicate and dangling that would have inspired an impressionist into a mad frenzy to paint them playing a piano, not poor me I ponder what neruda would have said of those hands if he ever shook it, would he have kissed it or would he have shared it with silence and wrote about it later ah what a cocktail of borderline and schizotypal onions with romanticism pickle, then I catch myself gazing at my own arthritis aspiring fingers that would have made even Tolstoy proud for carrying unabridged war and peace for a continuous month and then as she whispered a farewell into my ears I caught her fingers now laid bare over the white table clearly presenting at the distal end a faint dark stain of unmistakable nicotine a story of woe, silence and epiphany in the making, subfusc subfusc I meditate aloud......... only to be drowned by the rain outside.
-A window ajar is a prelude in building to the joy of being limitless! That uneasiness of being familiar somehow, sometime, somewhere.......
Friday, December 31, 2004
~First string~ page 13
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