Inside Jokes and Late Goodbyes


This must have been a dream because I can’t remember how it began, the details of the ending are hazy, but I remember everything in between. What followed waking was rebuilding, reconstructing, retracing, recovering. You and I recanting – all that was said and done before.

I was sewn back, not in a hurry, and yet threads of you embroidered themselves into me. Your dust got caught in the bricks that remade me, your voice trapped in these crooked crevices, reminding me to look for you. And so I do even a world away.

I look at every passing bus, to see if it’s your face in the window reading comics at the back of the paper. And every time somebody orders a steak well done, a smile rises to my lips, the resurfacing of an inside joke that once was – your penchant for rich food, and mine for poor puns. I look under coffee mugs, behind polished oakwood doors, waiting for you to spring at me, for the thrill of a fear anticipated. But I’ve lost the fragment of that sorrow, the piercing I felt when it was new.

When did I become so audacious, rushing to the edges of sharp cliffs? It is you who taught me to fearlessly jump. You became the air around me that scraped my skin as I fell, holding me, cradling me, even as I bled. Through those cuts and bruises, you entered and remained, like fragrance in my hair, revealing itself every time I moved. You permeated the notes of a lullaby. The one with the mockingbird.

The mockingbird…

…mocking me in turn.

Image Source: Shutterstock


From The Ruins

The spot. Everyone has one. Unnoticed, but special. Never thought of, but never forgotten. That spot in the corner of your city, a building, or a park, quiet, ordinary, unimportant to all eyes, even yours. Until…

You will cross that spot some day, when life has forced you to change the lanes you take. You will find, what stood there has been razed to the ground. The fence still stands. There are people sitting on the fence, laughing, talking, as people always have. Strangers. You search for familiar faces – you had lost this habit of seeking them out in crowds, but the familiarity of the very air causes it all to rush back. The memories of you dreaming your unfulfilled dreams, the memories of that unrequited love, the memories of shared secrets while sitting on that same fence – the only relic still standing from a time pushed back, only to resurface now, like ghosts from an old well. A silent grey fence, guarding the stubs of a dead building, a spot you would not glance twice at, except that it has heard your whispers. It has known you like it was your diary. And until it’s torn down, unnoticed is what it remains. Then you suddenly see it, as if for the first time; you remember it. It reminds you.

It wishes to tell you, something new is going to grow here, and before that happens, it wishes to return your belongings. Something will grow on the ashes of the keeper of your stories, your secrets. And taking your belongings back will teach you to regrow.