The kitchen is the heart of the house. Come inside. The waft of the tadka is playing hide and seek with hungry wind nymphs. The fluttering pages of Grandma’s secret recipes are singing siren songs alluring little girls with mermaid braids.
Five more minutes, Mama, I am caught in a happy dream.
Five more minutes, Mama, I am telling the moon stories of comfort in your old dupattas and warmth in your vegetable soup.
Five more minutes, Mama, I am building a pillow fort of your childhood dreams.
Five more minutes, Mama, the jungle of my dreams has marigold smiles and a baby shampoo advertisement that says, “no more tears leaking moonlight.” You will like it here, Mama.
Hey, Mama, if you are happy in a dream, does that count?
Nothing prepares you for the ache of mourning. I am mourning my idealism today, trying to hold onto the ideals in a quicksand hug while reality grapples me like an inseparable birthmark. The trajectory of growing up is learning how to make a coral museum of grief inside the wormholes of your heart. Unable to build a Lego bridge where your idealism kisses your reality, unable to write yourself a soft epilogue.
You can’t sleep so you go out with a smartphone flashlight, looking for yourself. Optical illusions of people surround you like Aurora lights ice skating on skies.
Before we were trapped, we had nursery rhymes in our smiles and technicolor cartoons in our eyes. Marigold cheeks engraved with red constellations carved by English teachers and moon craters for dimples. Before we binge ate cynicism cookies, there were slices of sunbeams for breakfast and playdoh dreams in our hearts.
I like to believe that time is pixie dust washing away in an hourglass. This year, it seems pixies were playing with the hourglass like Tiktokers play with playback speed buttons. I saw loneliness courting humanity, foxtrotting around the planet like Newton’s law of gravitation.
When did we start folding our souls like an origami of backspaced texts? When did we decide to play Russian roulette of “what ifs” before displaying fragments of our hearts to people? When did we become security guards with 7 years of experience to keep an eye on the people who wandered in our minds? When did we master the warfare of defense mechanisms with self-depreciating jokes? When did we construct an outpost to prevent the softness of vulnerability?
Sometimes art is a canvas of whiplash shades of your anatomy chemicals and sometimes art is a sketch of a reality you string in a necklace of “sweet dreams”.
They didn’t tell me growing up was nurturing houseplants of responsibilities and often failing to water them because you are binge-watching a DVD of nostalgia on nights when loneliness sublets you it’s house. They didn’t tell me growing up was walking in circles in my room past midnight trying to remember the face of my imaginary friend. Dimming in my mind in slow motion like the night mode of my phone.
My heart and mind are caught in a bar brawl and I am writing a list, 101 reasons why I do not want to take a bath in a tub full of cheap barroom whiskey. I am under so much pressure, that every time I yell about my mundane frustrations, a diamond falls out of my mouth.
This year morgues served welcome drinks no one ever wanted. We inclined towards ice skating, tiptoeing with skates on sheets of paranoia and uncertainty. Silly! You don’t tiptoe on ice, you will plummet like snowflakes that never had the chance to twirl magically in a Disney movie.
They are building altars on bloodied grounds and calling dead gods to bless purging promises they made in their name. They are cultivating hatred for melanin sundresses and rainbows. They are killing trees, making paper, and writing “save trees” on it.
I am a liar.
Let me tell you a story you wouldn’t even try to understand: I have vanished into easels and thrown myself into an ocean of stories.
Continue reading “The Tooth Bunny – Doodle”
“Bunny kinda sus”
She is whiskey in a teacup, swimming under the sunbeams of passions,
lightening at her fingertips painting a graffiti of wild dreamy fables.
Yet icicles are jabbed in her eyelashes, causing wrecks of ships and inaugurating museums for humans.
Continue reading “Lab Rats – Doodle”
“There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.”~ Edward Tufte
In my daydreams, I am cuddling the moon and gluing the stars to form constellations like the connect the dots puzzles that arrived in the newspaper every Sunday.Continue reading “Witching Hour: Snippet”
This year you saw morgue taking human walk-ins and loneliness getting into a life long committed relationship with humanity. Homes appearing in claustrophobic nightmares and dream-catchers sanitized in alcohol, freeing your past demons because the present time is an infinite while loop of a horror movie. Demons are lurking in empty hallways, past demons seem weaker in comparison.
Yesterday night, I swirled a globe with my fingertips that shimmered under the neon fairy lights emerging from my roommate’s canopy wall. It looked like a dilapidated disco ball of a downtown club that shut down not long before the pandemic followed. My eyes were filled with the portion of witches, predatory hunger and gentle fascination, a toxic hazard.
You see, I was desperate, searching for the map of a magic shop. A magic shop that still followed the barter system. I wanted to barter my fears for better dreams.
On good nights, I can think of the future without flinching as if I have crushed the stars of fortune and constellations of fate as if I learned cartography before I learned to dream. The map of the future is planned and scaled, pinned with rusted rose gold push pins on the corkboard of my heart.