Thursday, February 21, 2008

Times like these

How does one live
In times like these?
Does one have to live
In times like these?

I don’t remember last night. It rained heavily and I only have faint memories of being held up at a traffic intersection. My shirt collar was still wet when I felt it this morning; I had not changed my clothes. While I was asleep, the maid had kept a cup of tea on the side-table, covering it with a tattered copy of Humboldt’s Gift. And now my tea tastes of damp earth.

I take out a cigarette from a pack, crumpled in my jeans pocket. The match sticks won’t burn one after another. I get up and stumble towards the kitchen. I light the cigarette with the flame of the gas burner; I think a few strands of my hair also get burned.

I stand there, taking stock of things, and of my own life. I open the cupboard and peep into the small bone-china containers. There is no sugar. Only a little bit of tea leaves is left in another. A lump of ginger lies withering in one corner.

I close the cupboard and then return to the bed. The cigarette ash falls on the bedsheet. I remove it with a stroke of my hand. It leaves behind a grey line. I throw the cigarette in one naked corner of the room and slip back into the folds of the blanket. I try to remember last night.

I can’t remember last night.

What does one remember
In times like these?
Is there anything to remember
In times like these?


hera said...

anyone who can embroider a beautiful short short story like this from the dregs of a few moments in life has no worries, but let's not tell him that, because from his seeming worries come his embroideries.

love, h

Raza Rumi said...

wah wah
What an original piece of writing..
the grey line says what thousands of words cannot..