Take a keen drag from that cigarette. You read Normal People a couple months ago, before you knew it was to be a TV series. You did not really understand what the hype was about. Some cow of a brash and privileged (failed) yesteryear actress extolled the book’s virtues in her column, and you thought, “Eh, her satire is good enough, maybe she hits the mark with this one”. You thought it was virtually unheard of and thought it was a passable read.
You read Normal People when you were at your parents' place. Funny, how you could choose to be there back then. A few negotiations back and forth and you’ve yielded. You shall leave your haven where you live as yourself in exchange for a couple days playing the role of a perfect daughter who knows the perfect balance of being old enough but not too old enough. One doesn’t need to spell out just how much of PerfectDaughter™ is a mystery to her makers.
You’re resting your head on the sill of the train window. The music you’re listening to is amazing, or so you think. It is forgettable, at best. An alert pings on your phone. They’re making a Hulu series on Normal People. You’re a little gobsmacked. Normal People was supposed to be this niche thing you thought no one else had read. You tell your boyfriend about this coincidence that seems to have shaken your world in that moment. He doesn’t really get it, but he says the right things at the right places. You both have established that you’ll watch this series while he wrestles the joystick for dear life. This is how it should be, right?
Back to today. You’re on the sill of the window this time with that cigarette. This student house doesn’t allow you to smoke indoors, the smoke alarm will wake the building if it goes off and 3 am is anyway an unholy hour. No music. You’re in your feelings anyway. You hate the taste of cigarettes, you smoke menthol ones to make it bearable. You hate the smell it leaves on your fingers. You spray perfume on them to mask it. Smoking too many make you feel squeamish. You dry retch twice and settle saying “I’m fine!” Why are you smoking? Life is SO hard. Marianne smokes and today you see yourself in her. Your on-the-surface relationship is now mirrored onto Marianne and Connell’s “deep one”. You’re finding problems that aren’t really there. Where is your mind?
It’s been three months since you smoked that cigarette on the edge (of the window). You don’t smoke anymore. You’re afraid it’ll give you premature wrinkles and stained teeth. (Love the focus on the pertinent things, don’t we?) The joystick wrestler and you are testing yourselves with another hurdle. You’re both like a person who takes a doctor’s aptitude test when all they want to be is a ballerina. PerfectDaughter™ is now a myth. Her mysteries unravelled like the end of a nice Agatha Christie novel. Reality was doled out in doses to your makers in a manner Columnist Cow has never tasted. You stopped somewhere in the middle of episode six of Normal People. Life is so far from normal and the emotionalist in you wants everything back to Normal.
Funny how when you were Normal People you thought you were anything but.
Pretending that I was okay, Was a little show for people who were watching. I wonder now, When did I really stop caring? When did I really not do it for show? When did I really become stone hearted?
Loss, panic, sadness Emotions that made me as human as you, When did they become so foreign to me? I wonder now, What made me think I had to reassure the watchers? What made me think I wasn't more important? What made me think emotions were a Pandora's box?
It's all come down to a chilling reality, Would I ever care for someone unconditionally? Is there something like pure love in this world? I wonder now, Will I ever find it in me to be not okay, sometimes?
Saoirse. Pure fiction. Very random. Really, really random.
Mother told me to let it be. Father told me it was not a catastrophe. After all, they said, it was just a lost earring. To me, it wasn’t just an earring. I’d only lost one of the two. Rendering the one with me useless.
I kept thinking back with worry. Trying to retrace the journey. Trying to recollect the exact place. But the possibilities were endless.
It could’ve been the streets of Napoli. It could’ve been the by-lanes of Amalfi. It could’ve been in the shores of the sea. But most tragically, It was not with me.
Another year later, another pair of earrings. The odd one at home untouched, almost jeering. The new pair and I set out, To woo and receive clout. Upon returning home I find The second one’s gone! And this time I’m more resigned
A year it spends forgotten in the cupboard. And every time I saw it, it did leave me perturbed. Life moved on. As did the new earrings ready to adorn. One night, I reached a Eureka, If it’s only a problem if you choose it to be one, It’s only an odd earring if you chose it to be one.
The next day I wear the two odd ones together, And just like that everything turns out to be even! Some mocked at the combination But most lauded it as a celebration, Of Imperfection.
I'm making a huge mistake by posting this. But judging by all my previous posts, I have a penchant for making mistakes :)
A feeling crept up on me last night. A feeling I could not discern. A longing to be set free. And there was the snag! Why would I want freedom? When I had everything I wanted in front of me?
I looked to mummy for aid. And I implored with daddy to help. Neither had an answer to give. I expressed my sadness to my friends, They said, it's just ol' depression You'll be fine Pampered little princess like you, Everything will turn right.
Their answer satiated my questions. But the very same night, that feeling crept up again I was smarter this time and I told no one Some answers are to be found out on their own. I thought and I thought hard What could possibly cause me disillusionment? Depression, maybe not, I had nothing to be sad about!
It struck me as clear as day When I asked mummy the meaning of my name 'Saoirse', she said, 'means freedom' And there the answer lay, Theastaigh saoirse uaim ó mo dhé shaol [I wanted freedom from my dual life] A life where I wanted to be as aunthetic as possible Life was better from then on, I could swear
And tonight, when I shall leave you at last, My swan song shall be a memoir of the past.
I’ve never been a man of grand gestures. You, my wife of twenty-eight years must know that by now. They say that during its lifetime, the swan chooses to remain silent and non-musical and when it knows its end is nearing, sings with all its splendour and might which culminates into a melodious first and last song.
Dear girl, my end is nearing. My long and hard duel with cancer is now realizing its end. Now that I am finally leaving, I have an eternity of things to say. We speak of death so casually when life is a raw fruit in our hands. When the fruit begins to ripen, we take it for granted. When the ripening turns to rotting, do we finally realize that there are so many unsaid things left to say.
Being a musician my whole life, people around me assumed that consolidating my feelings, my emotions into lyrics would be as simple as a new-born child receiving love from its mother would be. They do not realize that emotions are currency. They shouldn’t be traded around unwisely. They have a value and mindlessly trading it around will only cause its value to diminish.
It was with this pathetic excuse that I forgave myself for never writing about you. I wrote about our daughter. I wrote about our son. And I wrote…. But never for you.
Perhaps, my cruellest action would be writing about Lucy, and you assuming it to be you. Forgive me darling, I would say the alcohol made me do it but emotions are currency. One shouldn’t play around with it and give excuses for losing it. I think, some part of you stopped trusting our married life when you found out.
Yet, you stuck around. Loyalty flows within your veins and I hope and pray that our children learnt faithfulness from you. You are the paragon of constancy. I apologize, and cannot do so enough for all the misdemeanours I have done. I love you so much darling, I really do. You live in my heart and I cannot bear to leave you and the children. The turnstile has chosen for me to pass through and I shall. Remember that little shelf in the cupboard where I keep all my unpublished music? Go there after reading this and play the cassette, titled S.S. You deserve the honour of being my swan song.
I love you Sally Sharde.
With shaking hands and streaming tears, Sally placed the cassette in their old player and hit the button to listen to his swan song.
I saw her today. It has been fifty eight years since I last saw her. Fifty eight years since we bade our farewells and fifty eight years since I’d loved her.
At this point in time I can only wish that she, like me is sitting at her study writing in her almanac because that’s what we did in our day. The children of my nieces and nephews, they just use their phones. Us? We prefer to write our closest emotions in our closest possession.
Where was I again? Oh, her.
Yes, well I saw her at the marketplace today. The younger ones ask us to call it a mall. Still, a marketplace is what I consider proper. She was there, dressed like she always was. Plain long-sleeved shirt rolled up at the sleeves and a long rustic skirt, vibrant in colour and loaded with prints. This she paired with one of her “statement” scarves. “Jimmy,” she would say, “You simply do not understand. Girls nowadays do not appreciate the importance of a statement scarf. Tie it how you want, it adds to the whole POP of the entire get-up!” I wonder what she would say about how girls dressed up these days. I imagine the conversation going like this, “Oh horror Jimmy! Do not tell me girls are wearing their bicycle shorts as part of vogue these days….”
Old age had done her good. She had aged gracefully. Her voluminous chestnut hair had turned grey and what used to be a short bob had now become chest length hair. It was poker straight still, but it waved at the bottom. Her features were set in stone. Her nose hadn’t dissolved into pudge. (I know mine has) Her smooth skin had become crinkled and her graceful gait had become elephantine but all in all Kendra Orwell still looked beautiful.
I didn’t talk to her though. I don’t think she noticed me standing there watching her.
You see, greed is an unforgiving thing. Nothing satiates it. First, it makes you crave for a beautiful wife and then it turns you to the bottle and the bottle turns you into a monstrous wreck of a man and then, when the same bottle that you seek succour in, turns against you? Well, you take your final plunge.
That’s probably the reason why Kendra couldn’t see me. I was perhaps, just an apparition to her. All dead people are apparitions, really.
I sit on the sill of the window you used to climb into as I stare up at the moon that lit many a night of ours. The ruminations crash into me. Oh Quacey! The times we had!
The Waxing Of The Moon So, he climbed in. Quacey a tall wiry boy, nine, jumped onto my window sill and came into my room. I… I didn’t scream. And from that day onwards, not even industrial machines could separate us. We went to school together, we went to the swimming pool together, we went dog-walking together, we spent the night together, heck, the neighbourhood thought we would have babies together (which we thought was rather boorish for them to say) Even though we were attached to the hip, I knew we wouldn’t get married. We loved each other, and our friendship was iron-clad. Romance was never in the cards. We were friends for so long, we had forgotten about the world outside of us. But, we had grown. We had a major falling-out when we were seventeen. He had asked me if we were too invested in each other. Hurt, I had asked if he had any qualms about it. He had shook his head no, and said, “Amaris, I love you.” His eyes told me that the love he had for me was a hundred miles away from platonic. I got terribly scared. Love of the real kind scared me. I loved my mother. And, she was dead.
I ran away.
The In-Between He brought me back, patiently. He said to forget this happened. I did, gladly. The brain is good at blocking out bad memories. The next morning, he met her..... and as he began to wax eloquent about her, our bond began to wane.
The Waning Of The Moon And now you walk into my room, through the front door no less, a glaring reminder of our lunar past, and the excruciating present, and when you give me that same sad smile, I know our connection has waned like the moon. But in my heart, I know, as long as the moon shines through, our connection, whatever it is called, shall remain as immortal as the craters. You are marrying another tomorrow, her name is Solana – the Sun and I get it, I do. I see why you’d prefer sunlight. But I also know, when you will need the cold comfort of the moon, you’ll come back to me...... Because, our names? They represent the moon.
Fun facts: Quacey is a Scottish name. Amaris and Solana are Spanish names.
Inspired by the challenge @lovenotes_from_carolyn hosted. It is not an entry, but it gave me an idea to use names as a central plot
Walk not into the meadow of wildflowers Mama told me the other day For it is not safe to smell the intoxication What is imagined to be sweet May take hold of your senses And leave you in a state of Amnesia. Delirium. Inebriation.
Walk not into the meadow of wildflowers Papa told me just yesterday It will leave you wanting For you shall pine for the insobriety until you have a whiff And when you do have a satisfying whiff What you are, what you are to become All shall be lost
Walk not into the meadow of wildflowers I tell myself Just as I skirt at the meadow’s ingress The colours, violet, blue and yellow Indigo, and amber I stand at the pathway entranced by the beauty Clenched with the anticipation I walk into the meadow Paying no heed to what Mama said Turning a deaf ear to what Papa said I walk into the meadow
Walk not into the meadow, they said But oh dear me, I am already in. Inhale not a single breath of the wildflowers, they said And I lay engulfed with the scent of their poison As I stood amongst the lethal flowers, Enwrapped in their heady luxury, The voices in my head muted once and for all I felt a peace in the poison A paradise in a prison I succumbed to the beauty That was the Wildflower Poison
- Saoirse x
Edit: I cannot believe this was POD. I still do not believe it. But thank you @mirakee I appreciate it.
Well, he felt a yank and a strange buzz of static that signaled the end of his communication with the outside world. “This is it”, he thought with grim acceptance, “I am in the Bermuda Triangle, and there is no coming out.” He fiddled with the dials of his trusted bird, the contraption that allowed him to fly. He managed to keep circling around and tried to spot her. Before they had embarked on this mission, they had promised to each other that once in, a maximum of one day would be allowed to search for the other inside of the triangle. This, because, the ship was slower than the plane and also because one day was the maximum Pete could stay about without exhausting his supply of fuel for his bird. He glanced down at his watch. The dials were whirring crazily like a plane out of control. “Well, there blows my chance of reading time like a normal person”, he thought as he took out the bit of paper with the time he had written last. He calculated and came up with an estimate time.
24 hours to go. No sighting of Janey.
She made it in. A jerky motion of the ship gave it away. “Nothing subtle about that”, she thought blanching. She loped up the conning tower and peered up from the crow’s nest. No sign of Pete. Yet. She grasped about for her compass within her capacious pockets. The dials on it were flailing about like a man trying to save himself from drowning. “Well, there blows my chance of navigating myself in here like a normal person” Apparently, the Bermuda Triangle had no stable magnetic field. “Hmm, that means something. Definitely”, thought she. She tried to send SONAR waves, they came back to her. Either it hit nothing, or scientific equipment didn’t work here.
24 hours to go. No sighting of Pete.
Perhaps, there shall be sightings in the near future? I dunno, you’ll have to stick around. Sit tight, bumpy conditions ahead...
Completely fictional. But then, what if it wasn't?
PART 1 OF 3
One of the biggest unsolved mysteries of the world is most certainly The Bermuda Triangle.
Humankind, known for their curiosity, will go to any lengths, and I mean any lengths just to solve an unsolved problem. So it is rest assured that given time, we will find out where ships and airplanes disappear off to, and most importantly why.
To families of the ‘missing’, the biggest question or dilemma is whether they should be given up for dead, or whether these people are simply missing. Sucked into a different region and slowly navigating themselves out of this ‘world within a world’? Or maybe, there was a certain death-sentencing element in the area, which could vanquish entire ships and planes? Which must the poor families believe? Fantasy or science? Hope or resignation to a certain fate? Which force should they turn loyal to?
In a small village, almost unknown to the world, live the O’Leary’s. Mr. and Mrs. O’Leary had had two children. One was a boy, a replica of his mother in both looks and beliefs. He was named Pete O’Leary. Pete’s sister was Janey, an extension of her father. This perfect chiasma of attribute-transfer was a marvel in itself. But that wasn’t the only marvel the O’Leary’s would witness. Mr. O’Leary was a proud member of the merchant navy, and his daughter, an Aquarian had not let him down. A water baby, since birth, she was inclined towards ships and sails rather than the choo-choo trains, kids her age were more inclined to. In a similar vein, our dear Pete, taking after his mother Mrs. O’Leary (née Goldstraw, an air stewardess, thank you very much) was very taken with airplanes and staying in the air and having wings to fly. Now, naturally the want to have wings to fly meant that our Pete was a Hopeful and regarded life with a view of Fantasy. Darling Janey, having chosen the more sensible option compared to her brother, was as Scientific as you got them and was content and Resigned to what she had. (Easy for her to do, Pete would sniff, it’s not like she needs contraptions to be one with the water whereas, the sky, the sky had no limits and yet humans had limitations to fly in the sky)
One fine morning, Mr O’Leary set off on one of his expeditions, never to return. The only news they received of him was that the ship had been lost in the fearsome Bermuda Triangle and that no sign had been found of him, radio had lost contact, location couldn’t be found. The ship was, funnily enough, AWOL.
The one thing both siblings shared was burning curiosity and the one thing they sought was closure and understanding. So off they set in their chosen mode of transport. The brother in a plane, the sister in a ship.
Now I won’t bore you with details of what happened, I will only tell you what happened after they crossed the imaginary line which meant they had officially entered the Bermuda Triangle Territory.
"there is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion." —edgar allan poe
i don't know which phrase do we have to leave from edgar allan poe's statement, should it have been something that makes it clearer but doesn't deviate from its particular meaning. formula derivations, from a particular root, which alter the equation in proportion to what is needed in play. does the worth of a dollar change if you substitute its first quarter to its last?
"there is no strangeness without some exquisite beauty in the proportion," and i couldn't tell if synonyms commit the same crime.
my brother always preferred milk over coffee, and i the other way around. mornings with either cereal or cream don't really have much of a difference for lactose intolerance. whenever the body reacts dramatically, mom would worry while dad would just nod. he'd always come knocking to say "you should avoid it for your mom at least," but a little rebellious to sneak in a portion of his ice cream when chances aren't at bay.
suffocation always fit the ocean, mom once said when she refused to go swimming with us. dad never understood what drove that fear when time grew. he said that there was something always in link with the sky and the sea, not the color, but the way it feels. yet i always knew that the moon wasn't much of an interest to mom. "it's just the moon," she'd say as she spent just a split second fraction to take a glimpse of it in the binoculars, yet it only looked the same for her as to every moment i'd tell it's following us back home.
there were instances when they left for a walk and the night was quiet for some time. i'd play chess against myself, but always tend to lose over the best probable moves thrown back. i mean, i do give way for recklessness to allow myself to win. definitely not biased that way. yet to think of it, perhaps time and its courses have the same thought: to remain in a straight line whilst staying secondary to space impingement. maybe one can always claim victory against itself when consistently in a battle against constancy, and that's only if a partial has the right to claim a win against its whole.
Internship has been one of the most thrilling things I've ever done in my entire life. I've never been someone who's adventurous. I've always been the one sitting around in the corner listening to music. But internship, so far has given me so many memories, so many firsts that I'm more than grateful for.
It's not Grey's Anatomy, but it's different. Better.
It's not all sunshine and rainbows. It's blood, sweat and tears. Literally. Sometimes all at the same time mixed with some urine or saliva.
I know I'm not being a poet or a writer since a long time here. But I'm learning to be a doctor and so far it's been an incredible ride.
A lifetime down the line, you and I will meet, at an ice cream parlor round the corner, at the end of this busy street. I'll scrunch my nose at your black currant and at my vanilla, you'll cock an eyebrow. With amused eyes you'll say, "Choco chips don't hurt, you know?" I'll tell you that I hate chocolates for they're too sugary for my taste, like pretty smiles and men's lies and vows made in wine and haste. You'll call me a corny cliché, like those wishes made upon a dying star, I'll tell you, that's the reason why they can be admired only from afar.
A lifetime down the line, we'll watch a sunset together. Distances and hours apart, yet living in it, a forever. With wrinkles wrapped in greys, you will take a stroll down the street. And at an ice cream parlor round the corner, a corny cliché you'll greet. Faded and quite hazy, yet living on in your memory. And you'll smile at how it lingered without reminders, without galleries. With a distant look in your eyes, You'll order vanillas, two. And on being asked if you'd like some choco chips, with a smile on your face you'll say, "no".
In another age On a different Day, under the Same skies, though Colored a slightly Paler cerulean shade In a glib Tongue, you promised To love a Boy, and he Laughed too, though Neither of you Really knew what You were doing.
Twenty years on The sunlight bounces Off your thirty Year old skin And that boy Looks at you With green eyes And he tells You that he Loves someone else.
You wonder if It is your Fault that you Expected him to Stick around all These years, but You never really Stood a chance His thirty year Old footsteps have Always been impatient.
His heart has Never known the Warmth of home And there is A wildness in His veins, you Could never quite Expect to tame.
But then he Kisses your forehead And tells you That he wishes He could fall In love with The ten year Old girl all Over again, but Too much time Has passed, and There is too Much bitterness in His soul, you Believe him, all Of him, because In your heart You have always Known that he Could slip away.
And the sun Lights up his Thirty year old Dark brown hair One last time As he walks Steadfastly away from You, and the Tears don't often Bother you, but This time you Do not want Them to stop.