Hashtag Freedom


I was visiting an old friend I had not seen in a while,

So I knocked on the door and was invited inside,

With a bright, genuine smile, with life bursting out, with every breath.

We go to strange place, a place I don’t know, but have been to before,

We look into to the space, embrace it, our bones shatter and form,

We are space.

The little people are running around, frantic,

Chasing each other, like a Dada-dance,

I don’t, understand. She says, neither do I.

There’s a white balloon tied to each of their feet,

And on it’s engraved “Freedom” in black ink.

I stare at the smudgy ink as they chase each other, trying,

Grabbing, popping collecting the balloons from the other’s  feet.

Who can collect the most freedoms?

I don’t understand. She says, neither do I.

I see a person walk away, a bunch of floating freedoms in hand,

Quite serendipitous,

The others, retreat from loss, rejected, dejected, ostracized,

No white balloons on their feet, no freedom.

What if you chose to not play?

Isn’t freedom choice, they ask me,

I say, I don’t understand. She says, neither do I.

She turns to me and says,

Freedom to them is choice, choice to take or give,

It isn’t real,

They don’t see,

It’s all just air,

Hand it to them and they would be free.

It’s all a game. Real to them.

I thanked her and turned to go,

My Eucalyptus, woefully closed the wooden door,

Saying we won’t see each other anymore,

I say I donot understand. She says, neither do I.

Rain


I hope he reached home safely.

I hope he didn’t get that phone call.

I hope she didn’t forget everything.

I hope he wakes up.

I hope she wakes up, tomorrow.

I hope he still remembers.

 

The rain fell with a beat on the earth outside,

The smell of perfume and beer,

Good and gold, mundane and mediocre,

The room smelled of sweat, cologne, reef-ff,

Reef-reefer-fer- the smoke that ebbed its way into the  music,

Out of the music into the body,

Consuming, overpowering.

Flow. Floor. Flow.

 

She hoped the words would flow,spew through,

His mouth- her body- his heart- his soul- her soul,

Welcome dear floor- the Earthy smell of rain.

A past mistake-her’s,

Then his and his and his and words bubbled in a convoluted angry form,

Biting the toes grounded on teh floor,

She hoped. Peeled it off her skin-ouch!- Inebriation-a vintage autonomy.

 

She tried to communicate, but, drool,

She hugged, and tried, sobbed, drool

They didn’t understand.

She hugged back though.

A memory hugged back- pepper hair? – she remembered otherwise.

Who cared! Would he awaken?

Please.

 

I hope the seed grows. Makes it to the garden.

I hope they love the fireworks.

I hope you lay there bare, stripped of your pretences,

I hope, I can hope to hope.

 

The smells engage in a sensual contortionist dance,

At the tip of her nose.

Her eyes droop and the dreams come again.

It rains.

Melting


A month? A year? Two years? 

It’s been a while since the Sun smiled like this. The sorrow of losing winter, always bothered summer. So close. But every time spring came around the bend. Suddenly, the Sun looked and realized that Summer was gorgeous too. As she set, the lake rippled in red, purple and the music of the birds, that never sang in winter.

It was good and beautiful. And everything was alright. “I guess.” 

Innocuous?


A certain silly existential crisis, she kept calling it. If she peeled the orange would it leak, and stay fresh. She just wanted a whiff of the fresh citrus aura emanating from underneath the delightful tough skin. Touching it, peeling the thin membrane off, she gazed in awe. Was it right? Her delicate, cautious  anticipating fingers touched the raw flesh of the orange and the aroma wafted, ebulliently gushed out, dreaming, daring, tempting, the senses. It was beautiful, and she drew it closer to her nose as the citric juices trickled down her index finger, her palm and down to her elbow. It wasn’t until her fingers got soft from holding it for too long that she realized that it was eroding her skin. Shifting her grip, she squeezed a little too hard and the fragmented parts of the orange fell apart, fracturing the perfect embryo shape. Parts of it on the table. Popping the portion still in her hand she proceeded to clean up her mess. Perhaps that wasn’t the best way to smell an orange and eat one.

If something deserved an apology a “sorry” would hardly suffice, while something that could be settled with a “sorry” is trivial enough that the apology is redundant. Even so all I can say is, “I am truly, truly, sorry.”

Purple heels, skirts and misogynists


Image

“Fuckingmeesogynists”

Whispering under her breath, the little girl continued playing with her dolls. She had heard her friend’s older sister use the term with her boyfriend. It mus be a term of endearment. She chuckled. What a funny sounding term. She wondered if it was English at all. Her friend’s older sister, Hoho, knew many foreign languages, she knew a lot because she went to college. The rag doll bumped into the teddy bear. The teddy placed his paw on her tiny braided head and she said,

“Fuckingmeesogynist, how are you today?”
“I met some nice modafukkers today”
“They were playing with some nice little girls”
“Did you play with them”
“I’m a friendly bear. I love playing with little girls. That’s why I’m here right?”

The sun was setting outside. Her parents would be home soon. The toys dropped to the floor as the little girl scurried to the room next to the entrance and propped herself next to the window on the blue velvet sofa. The two storied house echoed with the sound of the silent walls and the babysitter’s banter on the telephone somewhere in another corner of the house.

Yellow and Red were looking at a collage of mini skirts and hijjabs and talking about the imposition of essence on a human being by another simply because of a symbol associated with them. Purple, standing in hearing range, snapped his cellphone shut and interrupted, visibly irritated by the discourse.

“Everytime you bring up short skirts, those damn feminist bring up rape, violence on women what not. If you’re wearing a skirt above your ass, you’re a slut. Period–”
“I wasn’t talking about men raping women–”
“What the fuck do they think of themselves. As if we can’t get pussy of something. Shut up faggot!”
“Who’re you calling faggot! Also for your kind information, she was talking about identity issues and self pity–”
“Gentlemen.”
“No I was not talking about men being lecherous rapists. 30% of rape victims in the US are men. Thought you’d want to know. I was referring to body image and the connotations associated with the skirt length. I don’t know what ‘feminists’ say but I do not think that you should label a girl a slut because of the skir–”
“That’s much better. But chances are that if her skirt is upto her ass she’s looking to get some. Otherwise I can’t possibly imagine why anyone would want to wear–”
“I don’t think you would be able to understand why anyone would wear skirts at all! It’s not like you wear them–”
“Anyways all I’m saying is that she probably wants some. That’s her signal. Maybe all of them don’t but it’s a high probability. I’ll ask her if she does.”

Yellow closed her eyes and took a long puff of her cigarette. Her eyes wearily wandered from the city lights to her heel shoes left in a pile next to her, on the steps of the college building.
Purple satisfied with himself walked off, whistling.

“Fucking misogynists” Red hissed.

Yellow quietly handed him a cigarette and smiled.

“It’s so amusing how it all boiled down to getting ‘some’ so quickly,” she pointed at the hijjab, then the mini skirt, “maybe she wants some, maybe she wants some or maybe neither do.”
Red lit the cigarette, “I suppose it is difficult for your argument to hold when there are so many women who will internalize the view of slut floating around in society so that they do construct their dresses to reflect their sex drive”
“I never said those ladies don’t exist. I just meant that they shouldn’t be the basis for judging the skirt-”
“It also depends on the cultural context. Slut somewhere else might be defined by a longer length of skirt height–”
“The fact that she’s being labelled slut is annoying to start with! When men sleep around their buddies pat them on the back. The chick’s the whore. Of course. No it’s not about friendly vaginas,” she starts laughing uncontrollably, “I just stole that from ‘Rock the Slut vote’. Plagiarism Alert fuckers!”

Pulling her legs close to her, she pulled her barefeet under her long skirt and leaned her head on her knees as she reached out to put out her cigarette on the ground. Red leaned against the pillar of the doorway to look at her 3 inch heels lying in the corner. Only the muffled noises of the birds, the chaos of the students near the tennis courts made up the background static that graced their presence.

At length Yellow stood up and broke the silence, “I suppose it is ingrained in society but no one questions a man when he goes around bare chested. I’m not saying that I want the same for girls. Personally I think its obscene in the case of both sexes but all I mean is,” she slipped into her shoes, “it would be nice to wear heels, just because I like them or want to, without any ulterior motives being attached to it. Goodnight buddy.”

“She was only doing that stuff because she was drunk!”
“Na’ that one’s crazy. That’s all. She’s all over the place. It doesn’t matter if she’s drunk or not.”
“I doubt she’d be so comfortable with the people around her if she wasn’t inebriated.”
“Drunk people!”

A thirteen year old girl in the middle of a crowded flow of shoppers returning from the bazaar, her little brother in her right hand, her left hand pushing through the . Her mother was ensconced in the crowd a little further ahead. As the wave of people surged through suddenly a man came placed his large hands on her premature, tiny breasts and corkscrewed her nipples. In the split of the second before she could raise her freehand to strike his face–push him away-box–kick his balls–tear his hands off her–scream in the sea of noise where no one would hear–protect her little brother–hit the man–lash out–take revenge–t-so-p-ff-f-a-a-a-

He left as quickly as he came.

A self sustainable young girl. An activist. An advocator of peace. A dreamer. An idealist. A hotheaded, independent, smiling fool.

Don’t let them beat you because of your sex or your poverty. You have soul.

A smiling, hard headed fool who wanted to save the world.

Always stand up for what you believe in.

When she was three she wanted to be rich so that she’d donate all her money to the poor and they’d be rich and she’d be the only poor one left.

Fearless, relentless.

At six she tried to campaign for animal rights. The grownups didn’t take her seriously. The newspaper editor she contacted regarding the extinction promised to respond, but didn’t. She didn’t think of what they would do anyways, but she had rallied a team of thirty other seven year old classmates.

Honest and strong.

She told them to stop bullying the new kid. They violently lashed out, asking who her friends were. She replied it didn’t matter. And told them to stop being mean! Her friends stopped talking to her for a while.

Dare to dream.

She was thirteen. She was there to meet every challenge head on, ready to save the world if she knew how. In small ways she tried. But that day.

An eye for an eye will make everyone blind.

She wanted revenge. The small protruding things on her chest–why didn’t she just have cancer–have them removed–why wasn’t she a boy–then the other girls wouldn’t tease her anymore anyways–what good were these things.

No!–Of course I don’t want revenge for myself–I want it for all the women he’s wronged–he will wrong–revenge?–no I want justice–I wish–revenge is bad for the soul
I wasn’t strong enough–how can I protect others if I couldn’t stand up for myself–
No one would know. I am not a victim. My family will worry.

I believe I can fly.

Yellow?
I hate sex.
Why have you tried?
I can’t bear the idea of another person inside me!
But-
I don’t need–
I thought you never–
I don’t need to be reliant on another person.
What about love?
My love is to big for one, I love the world-
But–
I get bored of people-
You don’t have to be with–
Red, i don’t like these things. I’ll be celibate.
But-
That way I won’t be distracted from crafting change, to ensure the happiness of others
Yellow, you really don’t get it do you?

What do colors mean?
Red: Passion. Yellow: dauntless.
I think you are lying to me.
Why on earth would i do that.
Because I like girls.
Tell me you like boys.
Lesbo. Lesbo.
I don’t like anyone. I’ll tell your mother.
I hate your dress.
The children in the garden continued chasing each other on cycles, as the wind played with the brown autumn leaves. It was beautiful.

Stay away from me.
What happened?
Why did you say that to me?
She’s Hindu, you’re muslim-
So!-
Muslims don’t-
Shut up- she’s my friend-
And I’m you’re best friend–
She wanted water-
You aren’t supposed to give it to them-
I don’t want to talk to you.

*Thanks to Gilbert Kiggundu for his back cleavage