Denial Our mayor just launched his bid for another five years in office. No matter that we peep through garbage heaps to see the sun every morning. That’s the only way we know the earth still turns on its axis, even as our city grinds to a halt.
Then we get stuck in traffic, heading to businesses that are posting negative growth. We pray we make it back home without getting robbed; there’s no guarantee doctors will be working today. No running water? Oh, that’s climate change. But our mayor is like Adam, his fast mouth will get him re-elected.
Tears flow freely down my cheeks. I blow my nose noisily into an already wet tissue and I feel another sneeze coming on. My eyes are getting redder by the second, and I’m very, very hot.
It’s the worst time of the year. The rain has brought the dust particles back to earth where they belong. They are now helping every living green thing to spring back to life. Me, I feel like I’m dying.
Adam, please note: it’s a coincidence that you left me at this time last year. These tears are not for you. It’s hay fever.
Last night was peaceful. You’d get my meaning if you knew my neighbours. They fight. They fight often. It’s loud. It’s ugly. It keeps everyone up.
Last night we all took the night off. I was happy to hear my own heartbeat again. I drew the blinds. I dimmed the lights. I got my bowl of popcorn. I burrowed into the couch and started the film.
And then I heard that eerie sound again: the kitchen door opening, distinct footsteps slowly coming my way. I froze. My pounding heart rose to my throat. How I wished the neighbours would fight.
On cold days like this, I cannot help but remember the winter days we spent snuggled up under the covers, drinking hot, masala tea and watching inane shows to pass the time. In the evenings, we would cautiously venture out for some air, and spicy soup to warm the belly.
That was long ago. We scattered in the wind, didn’t we? I hope you found fertile ground, and that you’ve taken root wherever you are. I find myself perching on a delicate branch – a sparrow, waiting to soar on the next gentle breeze. I doubt I’ll fly your way though.
“A woman’s handbag is a mysterious dungeon. It’s the key to her real self; the prosaic answer to many poetic conceptions. A magician does not want to explain his tricks. There is an aura of taboo about a closed handbag. Every woman has an uneasy look if somebody glances into its sacred privacy,” reads a passage in an article titled ‘The Inside Story of a Handbag’ by Anita Daniel in The New York Times of January 21, 1945.
There was once a time, even in this country, long before terrorists roamed the earth, when a woman’s handbag was cloaked in mystery. Those days are long gone, and baring all to strangers during security checks has become the norm. Continue reading