Late. So late.
Tonight. We are.
‘Shouldn’t we be going?’ she says.
‘Where?’ I ask.
She tilts her head 15 degrees to the left,
locks of hair brush her shoulder and fall over an inch.
and she looks at me
just a touch of exasperation playing on her lips.
her eyebrows arch.
her hands one over the other wrapped together.
her fingers under her armpits.
I look at the lights, billboards, cars and strangers with familiar faces
I recline over the car
I will meet her gaze in a minute
this living being who is staring at me.
oh I know..
she means some place we call home
that place has doors and windows.
ceilings and floors,
neighbors and guests
I am bored
I have been bored all year.
I can feel her fidgeting
standing up on her toes and then down on her heels
curving her shoulders
darting occasional glances into the distance
It is cold
and I know she is cold
but she doesn’t say anything
she just fidgets waiting for me to get out of my sulk
I am thankful.
and I can’t focus anymore on anything
may be its the guilt
the thing is I am brittle
I crack easily. From the inside first.
‘Let’s go!’ I turn to her.
She is staring at her stilettos
she hears my voice and turns her head towards me
she doesn’t look surprised, she knows me
sometimes I want her to act surprised
For God’s sake. Act surprised. I wish.
She lithely circles the car
and pulls the door open to the passenger seat
‘You drive?’ I ask tentatively.
‘Okay, but keep me awake.’
The road stretches before us like a dark river
snaking its way, curling, swaying, splaying at the joints
I slump deep in my seat
and watch her. Watch her drive.
Her earrings sparkle, reflecting the green light from the dials.
‘Do you wanna play something on the radio,’ she says.
I put my arm on the base of the window and rest my chin on my palm.
Its dark outside
and above a million stars
light years from us
failing, faltering, struggling
like a luminescent jelly fish in the depths of ocean’s inky water
beautiful, magical, divine.
Rubber spins on concrete as we drive through this night
surrounded on all sides by space
all the cars, all the people
a car goes past us,
and I think -
there is someone in that car too who has to be somewhere,
because it’s late
and may be they are wondering the same thing
the jelly fish thing,
the spinning twirling thing.
I suddenly feel very sad
I don’t know why..
an emotion unbidden flares intensely,
like all air has gone from my lungs.
like all hope is clotted by sludge of reality
there is no help, no way out
no immediate care or cure
and I want to cry
and I want to cry for a very long time
but I know the feeling will pass
it always does, and I can function like a normal human being
I look at her as though for deliverance
she doesn’t know what I am thinking, I hope
she is driving.
Her hands on the steering wheel,
her long fingers curled around the leathery grip,
her eyes fixed into the distance.
She is humming a song -
Gliding like a satellite in the broken night
And when I wake you’re there I’m saved.
‘Turn the radio on, if you like,’ I tell her.
‘No no. that’s okay.’
we are crossing the city limits
soon we will be there
that configuration of bricks and cement
that pit of civilized chatter.
Once again, as though by gravity we are drawn to it
the place, the people, the jobs
the routine, the clinical procedure of living
meticulously sprinkled with recreation..
I wish we could keep driving.
and drive past that place,
and by the time we remember, we are already far far away
we are in a different place, and we are different.
Closer and closer
and I have to say it.
I turn to her.
‘You know we should move to a hotel right now.
We shall live there as long as we like,
and then move.
We shall drink, dance and fuck,
as long as we want, wherever we want.’
she looks at me for a second.
and then her lips curl into a smile
first to the left and then all the way to the right,
the way she has
and then she caresses my arm and starts to laugh and she laughs all over the place
‘You are funny.’ The words through laughter ring out.
‘Yeah, may be.’
and the street lights, like a giant insect’s protruded milky eyes watch me as though I were a prey.