Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Time


If there was a time I let you down, I’m sorry,
If there was a time I let you fall, don’t worry,
There’ll come a time when they’ll be telling our story.

If there was a time when I could’ve changed, but didn’t,
If there was a time you loved me, and I wasn’t in it,
There’ll come a time I’d change that for you in a minute.

If there was a time I was next you, but never there,
If there was a time you needed me, and I just didn’t care,
There’ll come a time you won’t be alone, I swear.

If there was a time you wanted me to stay, and I strayed,
If there was a time I could’ve been the one, and you felt played,
There’ll come a time when your day will be made.

If there was a time my mind wandered, and you cried,
If there was a time I made an excuse, and I lied,
There’ll come a time when you’ll be my bride.

If there was a time you let me go, because I wanted to,
If there was a time I left you cold, not true to you,
There’ll come a time when you’ll never feel blue.

But, if there was a time I made you smile,
If there was a time I stayed back longer, for just that little while,
There’ll come a time, when we’ll walk that longest mile.

Monday, October 28, 2013

You & I



You meet someone.

You think she's really nice, really pretty and could actually be someone you see yourself with 10 years down the line. Even then, you've been hurt before by things you've never been (this) sure about, so you try to not make a big deal about it.

But inside your head and your heart, you know you've already fallen for her.

You begin talking to her, not worrying about the future but still picturing your perfect life together with her already. You share experiences, desires, your whole lives with each other. Yet still, you use the healing from past wounds as an excuse to keep yourself from getting too attached to her. (And still, you look forward to every weekend only because you get to hang out with her, even if it's with your whole group of friends)

Your professional life takes a dive; you decide to go away for a while. Yet, you still keep in touch. You keep on sharing, you keep on dreaming.

And then, one day, she bails. Without reason, without rhyme, without closure.

She's gone. She's out.

She's with someone else.

You see her 6 months later. She's happy, and she's not with you.

You're broken. And all you want at this moment right now is not closure, but her in your arms telling you the things she's telling him, consoling you with the words she's consoling him with, making time for you in the time she's making for him…kissing you with the lips she's kissing him with.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

High Hopes

I wish I could stop feeling this way about you.

I wish I could just let you go, the way you did to me.

If this was a dream, right now I'd be waiting for the ground to crumble beneath my feet so that I'd have that feeling of vertigo you have when you're just about to fall, and I'd wake up to find myself on the floor with a bruised shoulder and not a broken heart.

Thinking back now, I should've seen it coming and backed out before it came to this. I should've gone back to that shell of a person I used to be, when things were simple and all I'd ever worry about was how much money I'd have left after a meal so I could buy myself a cigarette. I can't go back in time, but I wish I could.

We could've been something, but I know it's not your fault that this shit happened. Forget being happy, we wanted each other to be miserable just so that we'd feel important/powerful enough for ourselves. Our love wasn't selfless; our love was selfish.

But that's just it - it was still love.

I don't love you anymore. You don't love me either. So why don't/can't we move on? Because we never had "closure"? Nope. There's no such thing. I want to move on, but I just can't bring myself to go all the way back to the start and work my way up the walls of someone new. I'd rather stay down here in the rubble, throw around stuff, maybe walk over to someone else's rubble for a while and play with them, and feel powerful again. But it isn't power when it drives you to guilt for taking advantage of someone else's mistakes. So I get back to my own rubble.

It's a sad, sad life. Self pity, guilt, remorse, unending loneliness...I wish I was a rock star. I probably have 10 albums worth of song material inside my mind just waiting to be written down.

Moving on isn't a choice. It's forced on you by life.

I'm waiting, life.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Empty" Promises

I haven’t made promises to anyone, let alone myself in a long time. Because I know I’d never be able to keep them.
Call me selfish; yeah, I probably am. Over the past couple of years I’ve trained myself to think about myself above and beyond anything else (Speaking of Above and Beyond, I need free passes. Somebody please have them delivered to “Under The Bridge, Domlur”. Speaking of Under The Bridge, I really want to see RHCP live at least twice in my lifetime. And hopefully play a tribute concert to them with my as-of-now-nonexistent band).

If I wanted to, I could say I’ve done that because I’ve been hurt too many times in the past and now I have trust issues and can’t stand the thought of getting out of my own zone. But that would be a lie.

I’ve done that because I just felt like it. I’m tired of hanging on to words and waiting on people who never really will get me or understand me the way I do. I could never imagine living and seeing someone 24x7 because I’d get bored of them in no time and possibly even begin to hate every single move they make. I just can’t keep up with everyone else’s lives when I’ve got so many plans of my own to fulfill, so many dreams to chase down and live. It just doesn’t seem right to give them up for someone else.

I wish I could think and feel that way, but I just can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still the nicest guy you’d meet, willing to do you a favor without asking anything in return, nor keep a tab on the number of times I’ve pulled your ass out of a shithole and not care about those IOUs you owe me (or maybe that’s just because I lost count after 937). Just don’t expect me to make you a priority over me.

Because I can’t and I won’t.

Except maybe you, gorgeous. Buy you a drink?

Gotcha! Just kidding, bro, you shoulda seen the look on your face!

Phew, I almost got myself there. Thought I was done with this rant; apparently not.

So instead, let me tell you what I can do for you: I’ll take you out, I’ll be as close to selfless as I can be and I’ll be the best damn thing that’s ever come into your life. The difference between a selfless guy and me – I won’t be left picking up any pieces if and when things end. I’ll be moving on to the next person who needs me.

Now that's a promise.

Friday, August 16, 2013

High Infidelity

He was tired of it all.

Tired of all the bullshit he had to deal with.

A wife who cared only about what her sisters-in-law are wearing to that 5th cousin-twice-removed’s wedding because “that bitch always wears better clothes than I do”. A boss who couldn’t give a shit about whether his employee needed to get home in time to help his 8-year-old with her Math so she could at least pass tomorrow’s exam. A colleague whose only aim in life seemed to be breathing down his neck with that onion breath he always has (what, does he bite into one every hour or something?). The neighbor he tried in vain to avoid running into while walking down the corridor to get to his tiny apartment before she attempting to seduce him into having a threesome with her and her step-son. And that damned grocer who never looked at him until he shoved a 100 rupee note up his nose.

It’s all just farce, this whole “life” deal. 15 years he’d been working so far, and all he had gotten out of it was a mediocre job, a mediocre family and a mediocre life.

He lit up a cigarette, the wind blowing fast against his palms enclosed around the flame of his lighter, kept at bay just long enough for it to get lit. He flicked shut the lighter, looked at it for a few seconds and threw it over the edge of the terrace he was standing on. The lighter gleamed in the moonlight as it accelerated on its descent 24 floors down to the ground. As it hit the ground, it gave a short but audible bang and exploded, its echoes bouncing off the dark walls of the building.

Even the lighter went out with a bang, he thought to himself. Its whole life, all it did was help kill people like me as they lit up their cigarettes – his colleague with the onion breath, his incestuous neighbor and the cheap prostitute he had slept with sometime the previous year, just to break the monotony of his miserable little life. And yet the lighter still found it in itself to make sure people around knew it was over. Even though it was going down, it still ensured its legacy wouldn’t soon be forgotten. At least, not by him and the two stray dogs who’d jumped in fright and barked at it a couple of times before deciding it wasn’t going to harm them.

He wanted that too. It seemed foolish to him that he would be jealous of a tiny, plastic object that wasn’t even alive (well, definitely not anymore after that fall). But that’s what he wanted. What he needed. He needed to go out with a bang.

He stepped onto the ledge of the terrace. The wind almost threw him off balance and off the ledge, but he managed to straighten himself up and stare at the dark horizon of the city around him. He couldn’t see much – a couple of lights on here and there in the apartment buildings next to his (probably someone getting lucky that night) and the sole working streetlight on his street flickering by itself, unrepaired and uncared for by the BBMP. Or was it BESCOM that was supposed to take care of streetlights? He’d remembered reading something about it a few days ago in the newspapers. But it didn’t matter.

He felt his pockets, and emptied out its contents – a clean handkerchief, his scooter keys, the empty cigarette carton and a pen. The pen, he remembered, was given to him by one of the many girls he had crushed on when he was in school. 8th Grade, to be precise. It was a confusing time for him. So many thoughts and feelings, emotional and physical. All the girls talked to him because they thought he was gay. He didn’t mind. The ability to be within such close quarters with them got the other boys in his class all jealous. They would beat him up at the end of the day, but then girls would gather round him and console him. A broken nose was worth it when he was rewarded with a (tight) hug from the best-looking girl in his class. It was she who had given him the pen. Shweta, her name was.

He never knew why he had kept the pen for that long. 25 years, to be exact. Not once had the nib bent or broken, nor the body scratched. He kept buying ink pellets over and over again out of habit, and he never once let anyone borrow it. It had stopped meaning something to him a long time ago, but he just didn’t feel like throwing it away either. It was a good pen that worked just fine. Why throw that away?

He put it all back into his pocket, breathed in the last drag of his cigarette and threw the butt away. He watched the butt travel, much slower than the lighter did, towards the ground. It took its own sweet time, allowing itself to be blown here and there by the wind, before it finally touched down, no bang, no echoes, no dogs barking, nothing.

He stared at it again for a few seconds, one eyebrow raised. He then shrugged, stepped down from the ledge and walked back towards the door.

It didn’t matter whether he went out with a bang or not, he thought. He was going to end up dead someday, somehow. Just like his wife. Just like his boss. His colleague, his neighbor and his grocer. And of course, that 5th cousin-twice-removed whose wedding he was going to attend the next week. The only difference was how they chose to go out.

He walked back into his apartment (he was both thankful and disgusted he could hear his neighbor and her step-son watching porn together in their living room) and shut the door behind him. He picked up the cordless phone and dialed a number he’d memorized from an email he had received earlier that day informing him about a school reunion.

He heard two rings before a soft click, and the grown up, unfamiliar yet familiar voice of Shweta answered.

“Hello?”


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Guitar Zero

I haven’t played my guitar for a while now. It’s been lying in the corner of my bedroom, gathering dust (thankfully it’s in a nice foam case so the guitar itself shouldn’t have too much dust on it) and catching my eye every morning.

It gives me this glare that says, “You jerk. I took you through the hardest times of your life, I was a part of every happy and sad moment, right there on your shoulder. And now, THIS is how you treat me? Throw me in a corner next to a rickety old table? Oh and don’t get me started on my sisters. Poor electric was at your first real public performance, and now look at her – bent over, strings rusted beyond recognition and with wires inside looking sicker than your fat ugly face! And of course, my elder sister, your ex. Yamaha’s been bed-ridden ever since you snapped her neck. Yes, don’t think we’ve forgotten what you’ve done to her. To us, you sick freak!”

I keep telling her “I’m sorry, babe. I’ve been busy with work, you know that! I’ve tried…I did go to the store to see if you guys could be done up and back to your former beautiful selves again – of course I’d gone there for a completely other reason (work related, you know). And it’s not like I’m doing this on purpose. You know I’ve always loved all of you. I miss holding you in my arms, caressing your sweet curves, taking in the smell of polished wood and plucking at your strings. You know I want all of that back again.”

And you thought you had girl trouble? Psh. To quote the great Jay-Z - If you havin’ girl problems, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems, and my guitars’ one.

Okay so maybe he didn’t say it exactly like that. But you get the drift. I need more time for my music.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Three's Company

I'm starting to wonder,
I'm starting to think.
I'm starting to make my decisions in ink.

For no one else knows,
For no one else speaks.
For no one else sees that my guiltiness reeks.

It's no longer easy,
It's no longer sweet.
It's no longer nothing, it's now a feat.

There's nothing inside me,
There's nothing to hold.
There's nothing to say, it's all untold.

Take me away,
Take me today.
Take me somewhere, on my knees I pray.

Giving up my soul,
Giving up my past.
Giving up my sorrows, my sadness, at last.

It's over,
It's done.
It's finished, my son.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fuck Outta Luck

Stop expecting things from me. I can’t do this anymore. The pressure. The solitude. The damn pressure.

That shit gets to you, you know? It’s like taking a leak and you have to push it all out as fast as you can because if you don’t you’re gonna miss the train you got off from, and in the end you end up shitting your pants, running with a turd rolling down your leg and crying to yourself. And the only reason you wouldn’t go use the toilet on the train is because you thought it was unhygienic. Oh well, at least it’s your own shit that’s now found its way into your sock and shoe, making a squishy sound with every step you take. And now you’re banished from the booth on the train by the rest of its occupants for obvious reasons. Yep, your life sucks.

What do you do then? What do you do when life literally takes a dump on you, leaving you depressed, covered in your own shit and just plain old fuck-out-of-luck?

You rise up. You stand up. You strip down to your bare bones, no matter how embarrassing to the public eye it may seem. You throw away every single piece of clothing that’s covered in everything that was wrong with your life. You take a deep breath (not too deep, you’re still smelling of shit – you might puke) bite the bullet and face your fears. Face every single thing you’ve feared in that little room you refused to step into.

Don’t close your eyes, you’ll only slip and fall to the ground, probably covered in someone else’s shit. Eyes open. Aware of what you’re doing. Aware of every feeling, every emotion that’s racing through your veins.

Your fears are only as big as you make them out to be. The more you watch them, the more you learn about them. The more you know just how and when they strike and just how much they affect you. And the more you know, the lesser that effect on you becomes. You learn how to overcome them and be free to make your destiny. You’re free to open the tap, let the water wash away every single piece of you that was shit and step away a clean man.

Put on a change of clothes (and lots of deodorant to make up for your shitty life before – people will appreciate that more) and you’ve got yourself a whole life ahead of you that’s filled with nothing but endless opportunity.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Leaving It Behind

I didn’t know what to expect, really.

I’d been waiting for about half an hour already (late – check) and I hadn’t even gotten a call or a text from her apologizing for the delay (snob – check).  Already done with a cup of coffee and half an hour’s worth of my Twitter feed, I didn’t know what else to do to pass time.

There was a kid sitting at the table in front of me with his mum. She was trying to read the newspaper and have her tea, but the boy kept asking her questions about fish and other marine life. He’s going to be a marine biologist for sure, I thought. Or at least own an aquarium for a few months until he found his next obsession.

Anyway, the kid was at the next table. This had meant that even though I had a cigarette lying in front of me on top of its carton with my trusty lighter right next to it, I couldn’t light the damn thing. I have this thing of not smoking in front of kids, no matter what.  I guess I want to set a good example to them. Smoking really is a sick and disgusting habit. It does nothing but hasten you to your death bed. That is, if you’re lucky enough to have a death bed. You could just end up having a heart attack on your bike in the middle of the road and then crash into the truck in front of you that you’d been trying to overtake for the past 20 minutes, and then ricochet off the bridge and into the cold, dark (smelly) waters of the Hussain Sagar. A triple-threat. And No death-bed. THAT’s a bad hand to be dealt.

So I don’t smoke in front of kids.

My hands were itching. I either needed to go all the way down and order another coffee or pretend that the kid wasn’t there and light up. But that wasn’t going to happen.

I got up, turned around, and there she was – smiling, brushing back the hair from her face and just being gorgeous. She was late, but I didn’t care. She wasn’t apologetic about being late, but I didn’t care.

We said “hello” and she sat down in front of me, blocking my view of the kid (now explaining to his mum why octopi had sucker-like-disgusting thingies on their limbs). I still couldn’t smoke but it didn’t matter. She was here.

We spoke a lot; college, life in the two cities we’d both lived in, families, how living in India’s a pain in the ass and a lot more. She smiled all through. I was mesmerized by her. I had 3 more cups of coffee. I knew I was going to regret it later on, but I didn’t want her to stop talking. The way she spoke with just that tiny hint of a South Indian accent – I was hooked.

We finally got up to leave a couple of hours later. I offered to drop her home and she accepted.

We hardly spoke on the ride to her place, but I didn’t care. The conversation we had at the coffee shop was still running through my head.

When we finally reached the end of her lane, she got off the bike, said she had a really nice time, smiled again and left. I watched her walk down the road for a few seconds, and then decided it would be stalker-ish to wait any longer. I turned my bike around, but stole one last glance as I did. She didn’t look back. I didn’t care.

As I lay awake in bed that night, replaying the whole conversation again in my head, I realized something - I had left the cigarette, lighter and carton back at the coffee shop on the table.

Friday, May 31, 2013

POV

I tried to make her see the point, but she just wouldn't budge.

She tried to make me see her point, but I just wouldn't budge.

It’s hard to convince people who’re stubborn as hell to change their minds about something. Especially when it’s things they really believe in. I guess it’s good in a way. You could say that they're really principled and true to themselves. That they’re loyal.

But how do you learn to differentiate between being true to yourself and being selfish? They’re two completely different concepts that still manage to overlap each other because they complement each other so well.

Which brings me back to this. I knew I wasn't going to change my mind about what I thought and felt because in my heart I knew that it was true and I was dead certain about it. She felt the same way about her assumptions and beliefs.

So what are two stubborn minds supposed to do when that happens? Shut the hell up and move on? Or continue to try talking things out and attempt converting the other until they finally give in?

You move on. Because you obviously cannot see her point and she obviously cannot see yours. It’s just too damn hard to get someone to see things through your eyes. Or maybe they do, but just aren't willing to believe what they see because it’s not their problem anymore.

Of course, it really sucks that it has to be that way, but it’s for the best. You may not get what you want, and she won’t either. But at least you've got yourself to hold on to. You’re not making a mistake for staying true to yourself. And the line that separates you from being a selfish jerk? Well, you don’t need to worry about that. Because when it all comes down to the wire, nobody will give a shit about you more than yourself. That’s the way life is, and that’s the way it’s always going to be.

You are your own boss. She is her own.

And that’s why I wasn’t able to take my dog Brandy out for a walk in the rain.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Shake It Out

I've always said I never regret the mistakes I've made in my life. That I've learned to be better man because of them. That I have this wisdom to distinguish between right and wrong now because I didn't know how to before and made stupid mistakes to help me realize what an idiot I've been.

And that's how it is, right? You can't be sure of which side the grass is greener unless you've gone up close and examined a blade of grass from each side under an electron microscope?

No.

I would literally give anything I could to go back to certain points of time in my life, shake past-Chris, punch him in the face and say, "What the FUCK do you think you're doing, dumb shit? You let the perfect job, the perfect life and the perfect girl get away from you and now you're doing THIS?", and then spit dramatically on the ground. Okay, maybe I wouldn't do the spitting bit, I hate that shit. That would be something else I'd regret.

Truth is, I live a life that's filled with regret. I'm sure I'm not the only one too. Everyone regrets things they've done in the past. That's the annoying thing with life. It's only AFTER you've done stupid shit you realize how much better you could've done.

Then again, I'm not living in the past. I've learned to let all of that go and focus on the here and now. But every now and then, you really can't help it when the consequences of all those stupid decisions keep coming back to bite you in the ass. And boy, that is one painful bite that bastard's got.

So what do I do in times like these?

Open a new document on my computer or memo on my phone and start typing.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Brave


We try to be calm. We try to be brave,
We try our best, our hearts, to save.
But no one can tell just how bad it gets,
How far it goes, before the sun sets.

It’s not the last time that we meet, for sure.
It’s not the last time our eyes greet, once more.
Yet, still, the heart hardens when facts are faced,
When we see that our love, with spite has been laced.

We stop all the lying, all the cheating, all the hate.
We stop all our thinking, leaving it up to fate.
No more shall we share, cherish, nor keep.
The last of our tears has been put to sleep.

Our paths once seemed destined to be forever one,
Our paths are now split; as each other we shun.
Was it love we had? No, it was more.
But we shall never feel that way again, of this I’m sure.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chop Chop


He said sorry. But he didn’t really mean it. Nope, not one bit.

He had tried to make it work, even though he knew the two of them would be here again sooner or later. It was never meant to be. This however, was.

He wasn’t completely blaming her, of course. It was, after all, he who had decided to try to give it another shot. He had been selfish too. So in a way, he was sorry. He was sorry he had bothered trying. He wasn’t sorry about the way it ended.

He had tried to build it up when he knew it would all come crashing down again. He tried filling the seemingly endless gaps, but he knew he would never be able to bridge it completely. He knew that no matter how hard he tried to stand up, he would stumble and fall again.

In some weird way, he thought, he actually wanted to do this. He wanted to fall down to the ground and get hurt. He wanted his world to come to an end.

Why? Because that’s what he was trained. It’s all he knew. Taking the blame. Breaking the fall.  Being the piece of wood that wedged itself tight in the space between the door and the floor, leaving it open just wide enough for someone else pass through. That’s what he was taught to do – Be the stopper.

So when he finally did manage to bring himself to stopper the unnecessary flow of emotion, he wasn’t sorry about it.

On the contrary, he was glad. He was glad he was now free. That he could take the blame, and yet, somehow, manage to find redemption in the same unchanging fact – he had sacrificed himself, his own feelings and freedom, for the greater good of the world, and himself.

He didn’t know what exactly to call this – Salvation? Hope? Reincarnation? Whatever it is, he knew it felt good. And he had absolutely no need to feel guilty about it. No one in the whole world could take this feeling away from him. He had torn someone else apart. But he was whole. He was complete.


And that’s how he managed to chop the onions that morning.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lines out of the SuperNothing - II


I’m not the one you sent for. I’m not the one who cares.
I’m not the one you dreamed of. I’m not the one who’s there.

***

It may be sad, it may be bad. But it’s the truth, and it is right.
It makes me glad, it makes me mad. I’m running towards the light.

***

I’ve gone away, to that place I know. It’s far away from you.
I’m alone, but not crying. Cold, but not dying. I don’t wish you were here too.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Our Time Is Running Out

6…5…4…3…2…1

Buzz! Bu- SLAM!

He didn’t need to wake up to turn his alarm clock shut.

He had been awake all night dreading this very moment. He could’ve slept through the night, getting the rest he knew he needed to survive this day. But he just couldn’t.

He sat back straight up, staring at the foot of his bed. What was going through his mind, nobody knew, not even him. It was all just a blur or words, music and emotion. Anger turned to lust, lust turned to Matt Bellamy’s guitar solo in Hysteria, which turned into sorrow.

His stomach lurched as he looked at the clock again to see he had wasted a whole minute sitting and doing nothing but let his mind wander into the eternal craziness of oblivion.

He rose from his bed and stretched, thinking what could be on in everyone else’s minds. All the people in the rooms next to his. On his floor. The whole building. The whole sector. The whole Colony.

Then he remembered that it didn't matter. None of them mattered any more. Today, it was all about him and getting through the day.

The cold water from the shower was enough to shake out any form of exhaustion that was still left in his body. His mind, however, was a whole other story. He hadn't slept more than 3 or 4 hours in the past few days, thinking about today.

Fifteen minutes later he was out in the cold. It was still dark, as the days in recent times had become; the Sun set hours earlier than it normally would, and rose much after every one was wide awake and going about their daily routines.

He stood in line for the bus, and when it arrived, there was no jostling and pushing to enter the bus first. Everyone walked calmly inside and took the seat that was designated to them with their names written on it. The doors closed behind him as soon as he boarded and the bus jerked forward, throwing him off balance for a moment.

He found his seat next to a pretty girl who he had never seen before. He almost let a “Hi” slip out of his mouth, when he knew how pointless it would have been. He would probably never see her again in his life. Or that day. Whichever ended first.

The bus ride was long. He had enough time on the journey to remember his family and what it was like growing up in a time when none of the rules of the Colony applied, or were even needed for that matter. The swing sets he had played on as a child, the barbecues with his parents and brother in their back yard, the house parties as a teenager, his first kiss, the first time he made love to his girlfriend, the first time he stole a six-pack from his uncle’s refrigerator to get drunk with his friends – all of it seemed such a long time ago. Then again, he thought to himself, three years is a long time to have lived through after what happened that night.

The bus finally stopped with another balance-throwing jerk, and he snapped out of his reminisce immediately.

He checked his watch. It had taken them 3 hours to get to the warehouse, much longer than the 5 minutes it would have taken them to travel the same distance of 7 kilometers just 3 years before. Earth had become a crazy place to live in, even crazier than what he had been chosen to do today. Which was the only reason he had signed up to do so in the first place.

He got back in line with the others from the bus, only this time the line was a good 800 meters long thanks to people coming in from the buses from the other Colonies. There were 7 such lines, all leading to the 7 doors that let you enter the warehouse. He was standing behind the girl from the bus (he made sure he stood behind her). There was a light breeze blowing from the front towards him, and every now and then he’d get a light whiff of the flowery perfume she had on. He was glad to have something other than the usual scent of fear that he could smell from every single person around him.

Ten minutes later, he was in front of the door. He had watched the girl from the bus step across the metal frame and suddenly fall limp and slump into the arms of the two guards standing in front of the door. He swallowed dryness from his mouth and stepped through the frame. He knew nothing more.

***

“I swear, I’ll come back, babe! Just stay here, I’ll go get help!”

He had left his girlfriend under the car, where they hidden to stay out of sight of the giant machines that were now tearing up the streets of his neighbourhood.

They had come out of nowhere, and the news on the television had told them that there were similar reports from hundreds of cities across the world that were similarly invaded by “robots from outer space”. Straight out of a science fiction drama from the 50s, he remember thinking to himself just before his garage was blown to bits.

He crawled out from underneath the car and looked down the street. There was nothing left on the street except for overturned cars, burning houses and lawns and the sounds of alarms and bombs going off in the distance.

He shouted for help, but no one came. There was no one left to hear him yell out for help, telling them that his girlfriend had a broken leg and needed immediate medical attention. (He didn’t know that he himself had two cracked ribs from being thrown back by the blast from his garage) He turned around and started heading back towards the car.

He suddenly stopped dead in his tracks. He could smell the gasoline pouring out from the car under which his girlfriend was hiding. He could see it flowing, inching closer and closer to the Felix’s place right opposite, which was now just a smouldering pile of burned down wood stone.

Before he could even open his mouth to yell to her to get out from under the car, he was thrown back (once again on to his ribs, not feeling them crack this time either) with the force of the car blasting.

***

He woke with a start, sweating and breathing heavily. He tried moving, but he was now strapped onto a chair with rows and rows of buttons and joysticks laid on a panel in front of him.

He looked to his right, and the woman from the bus was there, staring at him, scared.

“Sorry,” he said, “Bad dream.”

She calmed a little, told him not to worry about it and turned away from him. She had already begun her run down procedure, flicking switches and buttons seemingly at random on the panel that extended in front of her too.

He looked back in front, and found his own rundown sheet. He began his work.

“Mission: Explorer is good to go.” 

A voice had spoken from inside his head. He’d almost forgotten about the comms systems they’d embedded into every pilot’s brains after they had completed their training procedures.

“We go live in 10 seconds”, the voice added.

He glanced at the girl. She looked back at him.

“9…8…7…”

“Do you really think we’ll find another planet like Earth out there? Somewhere we’ll be able to go back to our old lives and die old and happy?” she asked him.

“6…5…4…”

“No,” he replied and turned back to face the shining Sun that was now a deep, dark shade of red at 12 in the afternoon.

“3…2…1..0”

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Low Road


“Take the high road,” they said, “it’s all you need.”
But why take that path, on what shall your soul feed?
You can lift your head high, as high as you please,
But deep down inside, you’re still on your knees.

Your darkest secrets, your biggest fears,
Your timeless desires, your lonely tears.
Those drunken nights of fun, soon forgotten,
Lost with the wind, no more shall be begotten.

Daylight has passed us, we’re deep into the night,
No more left between us to put up a fight.
It’s time to give up, let the present burn into dust,
Tongues of fire, laying all equally; its punishments, just.

This darkness surrounds us, no orange lining the ground,
Everything we were, now none can be found.
Justice has been done, we’ve taken our last breath,
We were presented life, but it was laced with death.

So go on your way, and I will tread mine,
The lower path, yes, but I’ll still be fine.
Taken the fall, the beating, the enslaved heart’s scourging,
For that will now be my soul’s final purging.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Fool


He could see her coming from afar,
He knew he didn’t have much time.
He packed up his heart; holes, pieces and all.
And tucked it away, not giving her any bearing of where it could be.

She came to him, like a maiden in a dream,
She approached his space and whispered a scream:
“Are you the one they speak of?” she said.
“The one who’s afraid, not willing to serve?”

“I am willing,” said he to her,
“But I have no heart, you see. It was taken from me.”
He shuffled his feet and wiped his brow,
Hoping that his lying heart would not show.

She held out her hand.
She smiled and said, “Trust, you need,
I mean you no harm. Don’t hide it from me. Don’t let your lips bleed.”
She promised to him that his soul would be freed.

Alas! A fool he was, for he did what no one else would have,
He gave up his heart; holes, pieces and all.
He trusted her word, the seductress’ tongue,
He gave up his heart; holes, pieces and all.

She snatched it from him, held the heart out of his reach,
Drew a dagger made of gold from her robes.
She stabbed the heart, not leaving a piece untouched;
She threw the heart to the ground, leaving it to beat its final beating.

He was a fool to have trusted her.
He was a fool to have given himself up.
He was a fool to have sold himself to seduction.
He was a fool to have given himself up.