Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Month In A Motel

[07/02/2003 12:56:49]

I've been here three weeks now. My home away from home - I invariably feel miserable on Saturday mornings and I wonder why. We had lasagna and beer at Hendrik's last night. That was the high point of this week - besides feeling sick from watching "Hannibal". All the gooey saccharine of "A Message in a Bottle" would not take the bad taste off my mouth.

Besides, the TV and the Internet there is precious little to do. The weather has been lousy ever since I got here - morose and bleak and that helps my mood plummet further south. I was watching Larry King Live - amazing show, amazing man. By when you are my age he would be dead and gone as also the many bad memories in my life. Time is powerful isn't it ?

[08/02/2003 18:33:07]

AV loaned me "The Fugitive". Little does he know that I am one too - in more ways than one. Escaping from memories - the bad overpowering the good. I can't believe that this is the fifth straight year in hell - movies come to an end in hours. Someday, this would all be over - in the meanwhile J will have grown up - I would have managed to grasp only fragments of her infinitely beautiful childhood, so much would have been lost by then.

She would have forgot much - hopefully, there would be no scars. But as she goes to sleep at night I would always want her to remember my touch as I rocked her to her sleep singing her favorite rhyme. I can't construct her smile in my memory - I think my heart is made of steel - I can't feel any more pain. Maybe I am not human anymore. I probably don't love her enough - but I would give up everything for her- maybe that is love after all. After a million lost battles, motherhood was the one I still hoped to win - despite all odds. Someday, J will tell me how I fared.

[12/02/2003 21:27:04]

I adore the way you laugh when someone tickles you. I think of you a lot - in fact there isn't a lot of time when you're not on my mind. What do I think though? I have no idea - but you are like first love - they prey on every waking moment, sleep and dream. I remember because I felt that way when I was thirteen and thought I was in love. But you are mine, body of my body, soul of my soul - I feel divided in two and then thrown ten thousand miles apart.

I had a solitary dinner tonight - I remembered how you would nod your head in approval if I asked if you liked the food I cooked for you. There is no happiness bigger than being your mother. It was like my life's purpose revealed when you first called me "Mamma". The soft touch of your tiny hands on my face - I miss everything - I'm glad l don't see little babies your size around where I stay. I would miss you only so much more.

J, I miss you incessantly like
the torrents of monsoon. Nimbus
clouds gather upon my soul - heart
armored in steel that no thunderbolt
of pain can touch or bend ever again.
I know of no happiness quite as
complete as when tiny hands touch
my face and a dearly beloved voice
whispers softly in question "Mamma ?"

[13/02/2003 19:49:53]

I just got off the phone with N. I can't think more than one a day at a time - life is moving at crawl pace. How would anyone understand the desperation that drives me ? I look normal, my lipstick matches the color of my blouse - and on the days that I feel truly low, I wear "She" because someone gave it me with so much love - it makes me feel like a very special and beloved woman.

Does he know how I feel when I wear that perfume ? Does he know how much that gesture has meant to me ? There is a lingering sadness in my eyes that mascara and liner cannot hide, it takes perception to see that - maybe someday someone will.

J must be awake by now - she must be drinking from her bottle of milk and if she's a really good girl she'd eat a cracker as well. Sometimes she must wonder where I've been gone for so many days - does she have a sense of time ? Does she know that I'm growing older by the minute and that life is finite ?

Does she know of death as well ? If I were to think of the most beautiful gift for her - what would it be ? The one thing that would make her lovely face light up with the biggest, brightest smile. Sometimes a big hug and a lot of kisses is all that it takes - sometimes just holding her close to my heart and telling her impromptu stories about her imaginary friends.

[16/02/2003 20:06:44]

A good two years ago, this was the most beautiful time of my life. I was going to be a mother - my fondest dream was coming true. I called her J even back then - she was soothed by classical music - loved Mozart and Bach the most. Sometimes she enjoyed a fast tango beat but for the most part it was the soft nostalgia that made her truly happy. In a few months she responded to touch - the little games she would play with me - turning round and round in furious circles for her head to be where I placed my hand.

Did you know back then that we would be forced apart for long periods of time - three weeks is infinity but I cannot get back just yet - I want for you to have the most wonderful future - a clean bright place under the sun - I want you to be the happiest, sunniest child in the whole world just like I want to be the best mother. How far way are those days and yet the snow on the trees remind me of that time like it were yesterday - the hopes that I had then - I had truly wanted to forge a beautiful world together until indeed death did us part. Is atrophy of love worse than death ? Who was that stranger ?

How little I knew, how little I know - those years are intensely mysterious - they answer no questions. I sometimes feel like time is running out like a slow trickle of prosperity through spendthrift fingers..

See, as the carver carves a rose,
A wing, a toad, a serpent's eye,
In cruel granite, to disclose
The soft things that in hardness lie. . . .

Conrad Aiken

Published first in Sulekha as NM (my pen-name) without the Aiken quote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Sulekha hyperlink here too takes you to the Sulekha blog home page! I can't find this piece on Sulekha. You try it now.