Tag Archives: short stories

That Black t-shirt

Cross-legged on her bedroom floor, she was surrounded by colours. Blue, red, grey, white. Shades of her personality, all reflected in these pieces of variously textured cloth that she had procured over the years. Scanning, analysing, judging and discarding, this was a task she had long put off, but doomsday was finally here.

She tugged at the yellow silk that was gasping for air from underneath a heavy pile of garments. Distaste contorted her face as a lemon coloured smock surfaced. Her decision was quick and her hands even quicker to banish the item to the donation box.  That specific item had lost its value courtesy of an unforgiving dynamic fashion industry, and had no place in her new life. Its fate had been sealed the day it was dyed that volatile yellow.

After monotonous hours of rummaging, procrastinating and exiling, she was left with a final pile of shirts. They had somehow managed to remain colour coded amongst all the chaos, and had a dark demeanour to them. She reached out for one with a familiar texture and the moment her calloused hand brushed its material, she was washed away by a wave of memories. It was that black t-shirt.

Impromptu sports games, carefully planned naps, rash drives in search of a pharmacy. The most obscure, and apparently random memories shouted at her. It was the call of an old comrade.

She wrestled it free from the pile and innately sniffed it. The subtle fragrance of flowers lingered, parodying an aura. It had been washed, once upon a time, but not worn since; that black t-shirt that had been lost. Lost but not forgotten, because it still carried the memories of a bright young girl, an angsty teenager, who had matured into a robust woman. She immediately ripped off her branded but “light-wear” shirt, as she called it, and replaced it with the faded black v-neck. It still fit her like a glove. She would never admit that she had discarded the t-shirt because it had become too loose on her- worn out. She most certainly did not want to admit, that the fact that she fit in it now, meant that she had ‘grown’ into it.

Her memories were violently flung at her. The fitting had once complemented her like no other had before, setting her off on a journey with a newfound realisation of how good fitting could do wonders for you in a patriarchal society. She remembered that she had had her first kiss in that t-shirt but had also broken down for the first time over a boy. She had worn it to her first non-uniform day at high-school, and the first day after graduation. Rain had soddened that black t-shirt in the past but so had her tears. It had survived the test of time and looking at it now, it also brought her an odd sense of comfort. If nothing could break this piece of cloth, if it had been through it all, and come out fine, what was stopping her.

She smoothly replaced the t-shirt with her original shirt and neatly folded it. Clasping at it hard, one last time, and ignoring all her sensitivities, she tucked it away in the charity box. She hoped it would bring someone the same full life it had given her. That black t-shirt, that miracle t-shirt.

 

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Stage 40: A meaningless conversation

‘How have you been’ she wistfully asked, refusing to lock eyes with him.

‘I’ve been good’ he responded, his feet restlessly scratching the dull gravel.  ‘And you??’ he quickly added, speaking too fast and too eagerly.

Unaware of the passion expelled through his welcoming body language, she made a silent promise never to start a ‘dead-end’ conversation again. ‘How is your mother now?’

‘She’s better. Healing… You know how painful heartbreak can be but she’ll be fine. It was good for her. For us’

‘Yeah I.. I know how painful it can be…’ her tone strayed away with her thoughts.

‘You know my brother actually got to go to that competition’ he irrelevantly imparted.

‘Oh! Yeah actually I think i saw that on FaceBook. Congratulations, I know how much you were rooting for him.’ a warm smile escaped her along with her words.

‘Thank you, yeah I think I was more excited about his win than him’ he laughed comfortably.

‘Hahaha’ regretting her choice of response as soon as it left her mouth, she knew she had ended the conversation she most wanted to have. Frustrated at her inability to think of anything else to say, she excused herself hurriedly, forgetting that he, was still able.

 

A-lot was said that day.

A-lot is said without saying anything.

 

 


Art work by Roxanne Daner

 

 

 

Stage 39: A lawless love

I watched her from my side of the room- it was an unspoken rule between us- i was allowed to admire her for the price of never knowing her; damned to the solitude of my attraction towards her forever.

It was physical too though- our divide.

I hated the most terrifying exhilaration I’ve felt in my entire life.

Whether it was day or night, my feelings had to be confined for I knew they were worthless.

I knew she would never reciprocate the emotions i harboured and i was sure of this because of the pure terror i saw in her eyes whenever she glanced my way.                         I knew I would not survive if i revealed myself to her but i craved the thought of how close it would bring us together… and eventually after months of suppressed yearning I decided it was time.

Coming out of the background, which i blended into seamlessly, was more difficult than i had anticipated. She was too busy writing in her blood red journal- it was her favorite thing to do, no matter what her mood; sometimes her hand would quiver with fury as she wrote and other times i would see that same hand steady and calm as if it belonged to a yogi . I was jealous of that book- It knew everything about her i never would, and it would continue to learn everything about her long after i was gone.

Before I made my final steps, I remembered the day i fell in love with her; It was my first day there and it only took me a fraction of a second to find the most dominant presence in the room- a presence I wished I could call mine.

Never had i ever seen something so beautiful in my entire life… never had there been born such a fool to love someone the way i did- enough to die for them.

I left my web and scrambled across the bed- she had noticed me and was lifting her book over her head, her eyes turning wide. I had to be quick, I had to be faster, I had to touch her before she..

Stage 37: The final act.

She plucked the eyeshadow palette off of the cluttered dresser. It was hard to see in the dimly lit room but nevertheless she applied the pigment to her lids like a seasoned professional.

A tube-light flickered in a distant corner of the cramped room. Undeterred, she masterfully coated her lips with deep red paint. Next was the highlighter- the highlighter was most important. Anong had always said that next to a good pair, glitter was the way to a man’s heart. She glanced at the clock as she simultaneously swept a brush across her cheekbones, leaving a trail of arrogant shimmer.

5 o’clock.

Her eyes, now relaxed, fell upon her face. She lifted her hands up to her cheeks, her fingers tugging with a gentle persuasion at her skin. It was a futile attempt to smoothen out the various creases that had formed over the last few years. She had wondered where, when and how the lines had crept up, wondered whether they were demons of accumulated stress or scars of surreptitious smiles, wondered whether she could have done anything to avoid them- whether she could do anything to stop them.

“15 MINUTES LOVE” a voice boomed from the room next door.

Snapped out of her resentful trance she diverted her attention to her hair; an asset age hadn’t managed to claim. She caught a glimpse of Serena entering the room behind her, cuing her to finish up, and prompting feelings of jealous detest. Serena who was unaware of the feelings she harboured, smiled respectfully- she smiled back dutifully.

However now rushed, she added the finishing touches to her hair; a sprinkle of glitter and a generous amount of hairspray. She pushed a bouquet of feather boa’s aside and set down her curling iron. It was time.

5:30 am.

She emerged through the colored plastic beads onto the stage. The epileptic lights beat harshly against her bright makeup, a comatic combination for the exhilarated men in the room. She lived for this moment- The feeling of having control over every soul in the room was orgasmic. But when she danced, it was even better. She knew the people watching weren’t themselves anymore- she knew they were in a lucid state, completely and utterly enthralled in her, their minds vacuous stores, ready to be filled with every move she made. Although she was the one in garments that left nothing to the imagination, the people watching her were the ones exposed.

5:50 am.

She had their souls… They were hers to take and Anong had always said that a person who attained souls was wealthier than a person who attained capital.

Inebriated with her own grace, she made sure she never made eye contact with anyone; that was the most common mistake. Direct contact was harmful but inevitably, without fail, it happened…  Although their attention was intoxicating, eventually, an excess of anything becomes unendurable, intolerable… poisonous.

In this case their poisonous glances induced disgust. Her command over drooling dogs no longer held its appeal and that, was the result of tasting the forbidden fruit.

Holding her surreptitious gaze she slid down the pole.

6:00 am.

Carrying an un-communicated sombre aura she retreated into the containment of the beads. Todays performance had drained her soul entirely. She could not revitalize herself with the usual dose of a content audience – today their whistles sounded more like the cries of hungry mongrels.

But, as if they had heard her silent flee, the intrusive cheers drooled through the beads as an inescapable voice reverberated from the stage finding its way to her hesitantly welcoming ears- “Another round of applause, you bastards for the Queen herself… Our very own, Queen of Bangkok”.

‘Queen’. She cherished the words as she dressed up for her final act.

“Anurak! You’re home ! How was work today?… My god you look tired-  they need to stop calling you in for those night shifts. Why I should go down there and have a chat with your boss.Honestly, yours must be the first postoffice to get midnight influxes”

“Oh nothing… The usual- as you said- influx of packages, they needed me. No. Don’t worry your pretty little head Anong- I can handle it” he sneered back, planting a kiss on his wife’s cheek.

The final act had begun.

Stage 32: The thoughts of a person who can’t write.

It’s the sadness that pushes us. The gnawing, tugging, inescapable emotions that drag us into our creative zones. Writing is a catharsis and there’s no need for it unless you’re looking for an escape; for the reason a reader reads and a writer writes is the same.

And when you’re content, there is no need for an escape- *introducing the all new and improved ‘writers block’. Now in 4 different shades of frustration.*

It’s every artists internal conflict. For them to create they have to have inspiration, for inspiration they need an extreme emotion, for an extreme emotion they need exhilaration or depression, the latter being much easier to achieve when you have no inspiration and thus the vicious cycle begins.

What to do, what to do, what to do.

Take a break I guess. Go out, switch off, forget. I say I guess because evidently I still can’t write. Atleast nothing along the lines of profound or mildly entertaining.

Sorry for wasting your time if you made it this far.

But a word of advice because I never publish a post without something quotable ( ✔️ ) and something kinda sorta not really helpful- Don’t force yourself to create something that has to be appreciated… just. create.


Well, i woke up to that faint blue light that I now so easily recognise (c.e. https://itswaypastcurfew.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/stage-7-34-progress/ , where i flipped out, seeing it for the first time)

WordPress informed me that it was our 2 year anniversary. Possibly the longest any of my relationships have ever lasted (platonic and romantic).  *cringing at this sad truth*

Also I haven’t been able to write at all lately and this is more or less a forced post and I have to end up asking myself the question ‘ why can we write so much better when our life is going to the dogs?’

Diary of an Over-thinker: 2

Let me set the scene for you.

It’s a pleasant, cool day. You stand around nonchalantly with a group of people. Banter is being passed around like a ball and a contest of wit seems to be taking place. Generally a satisfying spell has seized control of the day. That is until

 

Irrelevant person 1: “and then i said to her if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate!!”

*unanimous laughter at punny chemistry joke*

You: “hey that reminds me irrelevant person 3, did you watch that documentary?”

Irrelevant person 3: …

*pause before you attempt to ask the deaf irrelevance your question again*

You: ” Did you see that docum-”

Irrelevant person 3: “Oh btw guys (proceeds to talk about irrelevant topic)”

You: *cue feelings of wanting to move to Lithuania to sell cats for a living*

 

Not being heard and having to repeat yourself is the worst. The only thing worse than that is having to repeat yourself and not being heard again. ( and the only thing worse than THAT is it happening with your crush but that’s a whole other post).

I mean I know it’s kind of dramatic to feel so worthless, but that is EXACTLY how you feel. I don’t know why, but the insecurities just thrive off of moments like those. It’s the most terrifying thing that can happen to you and somehow it leaves you feeling like the least important human on the planet. It leaves you feeling irrelevant.

Overthinking coupled with abandonment issues and crippling social anxiety- Life’s peachy keen.