Like most places, I think I’ve come to believe, you have to be there to experience it. Like nothing really authentically describes how it was, or how you felt, being there at that time. It’s like touching air or feeling your heart racing in there. I’m coming off sounding like I was just on the moon. No. It’s not the barren majesty of the heavens. It’s incredibly full of life and you see it for miles. You can feel it in the earth beneath your feet, giving way under them because there’s just been a good soaking. You can smell it in the air because one of the cows has just dropped a load, and the wind has ruffled the pine trees. Leaves are falling. You can taste it in the water that gushes unheeded below you from one of the many hills on which you’re standing. The steady, hypnotic flow of it is something one can sit there and listen to as you stare off into the distance. There are little green shrubs and tall trees; mud and grass thatched huts that you can see, dotting the hills. Far away the heads of herds are bent to the dark green ground and the apex of the hills have lone trees against a background of blue and white. The sound of what could be a giant saw comes at you from a distance as you look at the terrains with precise demarcations of jade and brown. You smell wood smoke. Continue reading “Highlands and Slutty Crickets”
The three of us were very active after school. Meeting in the CBD, going to each other’s
places and hanging out, letting one another know when we got out first personal phones. We kept in touch real good. I even went over to RayRay’s campus one time and slept over.
I can’t, however, tell you when we started to drift. Or how. I had long lost touch with
Constance. She lived the furthest out of the three of us. It was hard to get her to come out. I remember this one time I found her in the CBD, I was so excited I left my family to go talk to her in the middle of the street for more than half an hour. My mom chewed me up and spit me out for days because of that. But that was the last time I ever had a
real conversation with Constance.Continue reading “Raylin – Part 3”
Time went by and the pressures of school became very familiar burdens. I stopped feeling lonesome, and I knew it was because of the books. I looked forward to each new story with boundless urgency. Everyone who’s ever read a book they enjoyed can tell you how satisfying it is to forget for a moment who and where you are, what you’ve been doing or where you’ve been. And get lost in a completely different time and place.
I don’t really remember how we started talking. I just found us there. We had a mutual friend. The girl on the top bunk next to me. I guess some geekiness was displayed and acknowledged, and we moved from there. This girl we shall call Constance. She was a little tall and spoke very well. Everyone spoke well except me. Dark in complexion with clear brown eyes, but a little on the quiet side too. The three of us became a thing. We even got those old photos they take of Seniors when they are doing the final exams about to finish school. It was pretty. You either found one with the other, or all three of us together at any given moment. Continue reading “Raylin – Part 2”
We slept in the same dorm room. It was a comfortable little structure, with wooden beams across the open ceiling, supporting the aluminium roof, which was red with rust and housing small birds. There were four double-decker beds on each long side of the wall, and one window fronted with grills. The walls were light blue. So was the door and the one window, as was the wont in high school dormitories. She slept on the left side near the exit, I slept further in, on the right, near the window. She was built squat, with a cheery smile and an open face. Fairly along in physical development. Unlike some of us who looked like we never even heard of that bus. But we didn’t become friends until Form 3.
I was painfully bad at social interactions. It was very difficult for me to carry on a typical one on one with just about anyone. I had crippling social anxiety. One that you couldn’t hide it felt like a built-in warning on my head. I was so quiet even I wondered what was wrong with me. She, on the other hand, was something of a loud mouth. She never ran out of things to say she spoke a mile a minute. As I watched from the side, I used to sigh and think about how I could never feel any pressure to go back and forth in conversation with her. Not with a mouth like that. My role would be to listen. And I had that skill in spades. Could do that without even thinking. Continue reading “RAYLIN”
I don’t know why I do it every time. The sound of the main gate opening leads me to rush through the morning rituals that are the cause of my tardiness. But I can’t imagine not doing them if I can. Unless the resources aren’t there. Maybe then.
The gates close and my head is angled to the right as I watch the inside compound disappear. The thickly grown shrub fence glides by and you can see lights through the windows at the back of the house. The cold dawn breeze feels crisp and divine on my face. I close my eyes, wanting to absorb it. I always thought it felt the purest, like cold water down a dry gullet. I drop the window down lower to let in more. The bumps are something I got used to, after some time. The grass looks greener than it has for a while. It has been raining. So it’s grown a good couple of inches, and the dew can be seen reflecting off the light, forming teeny tiny rainbows in the air above them. There will be thick black mud everywhere. No one will be able to walk with shoes on for two days, at least. The path is flooded. Flowing heavily downhill, out to the main road. Continue reading “RUSH HOUR”
The nagging is what bothers the most. It’s bad enough the feeling is there to start with, but that it’s practically ricocheting around in your system, letting you know it’s folly to even start just guts a body through. It’s like a loud dull thudding that hits all the buttons only You thought you knew. And it gets you when you are the most optimistic. When everything seems bathed in buttercups and yellow and golden sunshine. And isn’t it funny how this is precisely when everything starts going to shit? In every instance one can think of when something went unspeakably wrong, the moments that preceded it couldn’t have been brighter. Full of strawberries and ice cream. The way of life. One moment you are right as rain then the next you ARE the rain! Falling all into pieces, all over the place. Continue reading “LABOUR”
It should not be this hard to speak back and explain myself. The temperature has somehow risen a little, because why would my armpits be damp and tickley. Why does the need to justify myself feel so strong when the right response is obvious? And in any case, it would only serve to make her more aggressive. In the young minutes of this confrontation I could have sworn I had a good argument for anything she would say. I had good, justified reasons for any miscalculation she’d throw my way. But she has gone and got personal. She has touched a nerve. I feel that I should not be so easy, that one should dig up the foundations of the Great Wall of China before they find my hackles, but here we are. Continue reading “BOUND”
Appeal to your inner troll that it should try and be more impartial in your judgements. You cannot suck at everything. It’s not realistic. There must be slipups. You go about in one state of mind probably not all that regularly. You change, your thoughts change. Your movements change too. There is no one day where you do the exact same things you did yesterday. No one day is ever the same as the one that came before it, or the one that follows it. Don’t listen to your brain. The little things will make all the difference to someone who is looking for the slightest chance to make a break for it. Continue reading “SHEATHING”