No, don’t talk to me anymore.
I am done with you.
You are fuming. Your words are like little spurts of impotence.
I have nothing to say to you anymore. As if you ever listened to me in the first place.
At first you pretended.
That must have been so hard.
Then you asserted- Don’t speak.
I sat, looking at you, wondering why your eyeballs wouldn’t burst with all that ineffectual fury.
You seemed angrier.
I’m sorry, my staring must have unravelled your spool of verbal venom. Do you know, your eyelids twitch when you are raving this way?
My silence seems to aggravate your anger.
You pace about, like a caged tiger.
(Sorry dear tiger, you pace the forests in all power, never losing your majesty.)
This specimen, pacing in front of my disinterested self, is a study in wasted effort.
Well, you seem to be asking for an answer.
Didn’t know you had any questions.
Oh, wait a minute, you have the classical bearing of a warrior about to wage war.
Oh, you want to know what it felt like.
Is that all you are good for?
I’m sorry to interrupt, but could you just give me a moment to put my glasses away.
No, I cannot see a thing without them. It’s just that they are my glasses, and I really could not see the optometrist, after this, not after you have had your way with my face for it gives you so much joy, trying to rearrange my features.
No, that does not hurt. It stings a little. But I’m thrilled that you have not mellowed with age.
Please carry on.
Wow! Is that all?
Let’s take a break now. You must really be feeling it now.
What’s that you say?
It is my fault.
I totally agree.
It has been my fault all these years.
It still is.
The pancakes weren’t fluffy enough. The rice wasn’t done soft enough.
Yes, your brother had been offended. The meal wasn’t up to his standards. But you made amends, didn’t you, you showed him who was boss.
He looked our way, shocked, then looked away.
Did he say anything?
But, you continued, the flood unabated.
Yes, you poor thing, I totally get what you are going through, you’ve been having a bad day, your boss has it in for you, never mind, I’m here.
Take it all out on me.
Yes, the festival is here. I arranged the lamps and lit them. You did not like that I did it all on my own, I should have waited for you to take the initiative, after all you are my lord and master.
The crackers burst outside.
Thank God for them.
What would the neighbours have thought?
They would have been on your side.
You are the man, after all!
I must have caused this.
I must have done something to deserve this.
Yes, I agree, I deserve this.
I am this insignificant being, causing great annoyance.
Yes, I am such an annoyance.
It annoys you that I can actually feel enough to let tears course down my cheeks. It angers you that I can feel enough to cry.
Do you remember the first time I cried, you had been more than eager to let me know, in no words what you felt about tears.
Always a man of action, aren’t you?
The pride and joy of your family.
Hold on, I think that is the doorbell.
Sorry for the interruption, let’s take a rain check.
Oh look! It’s your favourite aunt and cousin.
I marvel at the way the cloud lifts.
You become sunny and cheerful.
The smile on your cheeks highlights your dimples,
Are you the same person you were a few minutes ago?
As if to answer my question, you look my way and when you know it’s safe, because no one is looking our way, your face clouds over and you mouth a menacing message.
I look away and hurry to the kitchen to put some water on for tea.
I stand by the stove, allow the warmth from the flame seep into my cold clammy palms as I wonder if I could ever melt the icicles in my heart. Icicles that are driven there by every word you spit out at me, every hurt you cause me.
If these icicles melted, would I lie in a pool of melted water, dead, with nobody to solve the mystery for there would be no murder weapon, it having melted away.
No murder weapon, no crime.
Actually, no crime.
Because there would be no body.
For I’m still alive.
How can I be so serene, you ask? Have I no shame? No guilt? Don’t I want to mend my ways?
After being the way I am, not being the way I am supposed to be, for looking this way, for not looking a certain way, for still breathing, am I even human you ask.
Well, I don’t know.
Maybe I’ve got used to all that you dish out to me.
I learn fast, you know.
I’m like water.
I do not hold on to my identity, form or shape.
I go with the flow.
I have just learnt to float like froth on turbulent waters.
Lingering in the eddying pools and spaces of some respite, I move gently, my essence remaining the same, the ability to be exist, just simply be.
I catch your troubled reflection in my quiet self and there is hardly a ripple.
You see, I’m placid with so much that I’ve learnt.
I’ve got used to it.
What if I get tired of it all and just collapse with all this gathering energy, will you have the strength to be my dam and hold me back?
Will you be able to hold my fury when the waters turn?
God knows I have held back.
I pulled it all in and held on to it, my strength a certain barrier to impending implosion.
Can you feel the roaring waters ready to drown you in the deluge?
Till then I can wait.
I am patient, still and deep.
Now, let’s have tea.
No, don’t talk to me anymore.