My best friend left – she said whatever happens she’ll never leave.

But she cared too much and I didn’t care enough –

in the last month all I talked of was cutting and all she talked of was her swinging moods, we made each other worse.

I see you on social media now- you were never active on it before. You whatsapp now has a picture with you in it, a picture where you are human, with full eyes and a face that isn’t hiding ten hundred different things which you wish I would have asked about but never did.

At no point did it get worse, because that how we began.

I never missed you when you were here, and I don’t miss you much now when you’re gone, but that’s the thing – I don’t know who I am if not the person I scribbled myself out to be in text messages to you.

In the end, I became what drew us together in the first place, something you always wanted to get out of.

 

You started dancing again after three years, you joined committees again.

I asked, but I didn’t ask enough about how you were finding yourself – that is my fault. Seems fitting when you were remembering all that you were before this depression, while I keep losing myself to it.

 

You seem to be better now, from wisps on the internet which is now all I have of you.

I really, really hope you’re better -that you would have learnt how not to care about another from me.

 

I hope you’re well.

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Quad party

there’s a static silence behind us, but it rings in our ears and in the distance between us.

“My friend used to say we’re nothing but our masks and who we want to be-”

“Used to say”

“What?”

“You said, ‘used to say’.”

You cut me off and to that, I say nothing.

“Did she die?” you ask.

“No.” The static silence around us fades. Before you dissipate I manage to say, “she just left.”

I don’t have best friends anymore, I think, as the second-year guys swoop into acad like a swarm of bees. They drop off their left over ‘alc’ from two nights ago, get some of the first-years to chug mixes of coke and vodka in second-hand Bisleri bottles, and then leave.

All the drinks taste like shit so I head to the box of subway sandwiches and fill myself with those instead.

 

A fourth-year is playing remixes through the speakers in the grass quadrangle, and no one but the participating teams seem to be enjoying themselves. Those from our college who actually are, are either drunk or are on their way there.

 

There’s a dog that’s whining in the quad, the loud noises and dim lights freak it into a whining frenzy. We tried to lure it outside the building with food but it wouldn’t leave, it just kept coming back. Now, its sitting in front of the third box full of booze and circles around itself absurdly, crying and looking for a way out.

 

When I realise I’m doing the same thing, I pick up another subway, stuff it in my pocket and head back to the hostel.

An afternoon, last year.

We had the thick curtains strung up that made the room red.
The afternoon blaze snuck in through under the door to the veranda and the last wisps of sandalwood incense coloured the room of wooden desks and bookshelves orange.

Through the haze I’d hear your guitar strum and hear your torn voice and I run my fingers over the raised pattern on he kalamkari bed sheet we spread.

Nothing else could fill me and this once, I let myself smile.

 

Fuck the notions of set-poetry. Under the banner of post-modernism I can do jack shit.

 

4/8

Our college lost at the final round at Jessup last night.

The fifth years were drunk, exclaiming and swearing at the live stream from the back of our exam hall, and just before the results were announced the fourth years had to shut them up so we could hear who won. From then on, there was just silence.

 

We won best speaker at the finals, but I know she’ll be torn up about it in a not un-familiar way.

 

Our second and third years win their moot. Having this many achievers on the same committee is too much for me, who has never known anything but mediocrity.

I try, I do. But really, the hardest thing is to keep going.

 

I panicked for four hours, and only got it to end with four cuts and an hour of sleep.

 

I feel my hands and my chin turn into my mothers’, and soon I will be her. With that thought, I wish to puke.

 

Spring isn’t here yet, but the summer heat has come. We gather in my room and take off our tops – all of us are wearing black bras.

 

They say law school is five years, but day zero was last week and our fourth years say, really, that there’s only three.

I’m done with one and I have nothing to show for it – maybe that’s why I panic.

 

It’s not easy when you’re not as bright as the rest. Something in my head doesn’t forgive me when I stop trying. So I give up trying to write poetry, but I can’t give up trying.

Not-poetry

Today, I’m not gonna write poetry. I don’t want to write poetry. I want to write prose but I can’t not label it NaPoWriMo because I want to keep up a streak.

So instead, today I will write prose and let it be marked low because in one paradigm prose can just be terrible poetry.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It’s two minutes past ten, here we go ago again.

The gnawing is back. Today I have three packets of soup and four packets of mac n cheese left. I tell myself I skip lunch because I cant afford it – well, I can, but the problem is I can’t stop eating until I feel nothing but food fill me till my throat and really, I don’t have money for that everyday.

Problem is, the pre-bought food is running out but this this thing, this gnawing lasts.

I need to do something when I’m anxious. Till now, everything I’ve done is bad. Procrastinate, binge or cut.

Everyone who knows has said the last is the worst, so today I decided not to want it. And I didn’t – till now.

So if I don’t cut then I have binging and procrastinating left. I try binging but then I remember I spent 70 bucks yesterday and the day before so I really can’t afford a third consecutive day of splurging. I make one packet of hot chocolate from the stash and officially start Procrastinatingtm by watching a second episode of Greys, halfway into which I realise I’m done with the drink and the feeling still hasn’t gone.

I feel like I’m crazy and I can’t help but cry because this shit isn’t going and what if it fucking never ends.

So I text the one friend who still hasn’t told me they’ve had enough of me and I tell her I’m crying because the urge to cut is driving me insane, and through the mess I see her text, saying she wants to call me and talk to me to get my mind off of it but fuck her I don’t want that, I only want to cut and so I do –

Oh.

I lied and told her I was going for a walk but instead I just cut.

 

 

This isn’t failure because I don’t think I want to get any better.

Maybe this is why I have no friends.

Thing is, its made me feel so much better, and if something can help to such an extent then why the fuck do people not want for me to do it?

What about it is really so bad?

Glut

At half-past midnight

two packets of chips is what it takes to make the anxiety go.

It tastes like sand in my mouth and the gravel rubbing against my sweaty my toes on the stone floor.

Slowly the heat of the summer builds and I realise it did not help.

I gulp down water and then some more until there is a swirling pool of oil and corn in me.

 

I want to puke.

 

But at least the gnawing in my head is soft.

Orange Chips

Theres something cracked under the skin, and I feel it when my left cheek moves.

I must have bruised it when i fell, but I shove my face up against the long common mirror for the second-floor girls, and look for some clot or graze, but on sandpaper skin that I have not washed in three days, I find nothing.

My project- partner asks if I’m okay.

“No,” she says when I laugh and grin till my cheeks hurt my eyes, but I insist, “everything is chill bro. its cool now ya.”

She asks me to come to her if I need to talk about anything –
like when i cried and cried till i couldnt breathe after she had yelled at me, as i walked from the acad to the exam department to the hostel and till my room and on my bed and fuck i either had to breathe or cry but my body just couldnt choose-

 

but im okay now.
i wasn’t five days ago when i fell, but she wasn’t there and no one told her so i can get away with it this once
she leaves and i finally into my room, thank god
my cheeks hurt too much from giggling over nothing

uthpala asks if my thighs are alright
i ask her not to talk about it
then she asks if she can see my arm
its absurd
but she asks and thats more than i can ask for-

when you dont anymore
and i dont anymore
and we both have stopped

 

i didnt miss you after you left

I didnt miss you till now

We always fought about you leaving, then my leaving and made-up again. This time, we decided it was better if we didnt.

So all I have left of you is the years of emails and texts,
with your poetry buried beneath,
and our real selves under that too.

 

I didnt miss you until now, and I wont miss you again for some time,
so for this duration that I do – I’ll let myself cry.