Sunday, June 3, 2012

Heart in a Box



I kept my
heart in a box
and put it on a shelf.

So far behind
And untouched
I couldn’t find it myself
The combination
the words
that made it unlock
Those moments
that made it tick
were lost.


Nora woke up every morning to the sound of songbirds, and a self satisfied smile. It has been three years since she had permitted her heart to be lost.   The last time she lost her heart, she hadn't recovered for a long time. Nora knew that she was good looking, that she was smart, and that men found it easy to love her. But she also knew that those men were completely wrong for her.
Never once did she find a man who could match her intellectually. There was always something wrong. Not that the men weren't interesting, they were, or that they weren't intelligent, they were that too, but they remained woefully limited in their interests. So Nora went round looking for that someone who would be able to give her a quip? when she was in need of one.
never finding that man, she reconciled herself to her fate, kept both her feet firmly on the pedestal and looked down on the men who walked past. Then one day, her frustration peaked and a man happened to cross her path. Now he was a silly man, perfectly unsuited for someone like Nora, but he was nice, so Nora treated him well. She even let him in to her life, told him some of her secrets and loved him the tiniest bit.
then he decided that theirs was a relationship based on carnality and that it should remain that way. Nora asked him why he thought so, he said it was obvious from the beginning and that it never really meant anything to him at all.
hurt, and then hurt at being hurt, she quietly broke things up, locked her heart away and Reconciled herself to a life of solitude with the imaginary intelligentsia.
then one day, a man named Phil made an appearance in her life. He was the exact kind that Nora didn't want. Ignorant, sloppy and a massive fool in most ways. She merely sneered at him, and considered the fact that good looks did not a person decide. She pushed her heart further back on the shelf and socialised with him in a curious disaffected way.

I put my
heart in a box
and put it on a shelf

you picked it up
so softly
so tenderly, I could melt.

a soft caress
a slow kiss
a rush of passion strong.

an urgency felt
with soft lips
stirred a fire dormant long.

Nora didn't realize when she started liking hanging out with phil. but nevertheless she found herself waiting for his phone call, his wide smile and his easy effervescent ways. Phil had a gift, he was able to draw people out. So one day Nora found herself telling Phil everything, lying next to him on the grass. And then she turned toward him and he was looking at her like she had never seen before. Yielding to desire in his eyes, she closed her eyes.
When Nora opened her eyes, she would almost always find Phil next to her. She hadn't loved him yet, not in the true sense of the word. But she knew this was good till it would last, and it would do well to soothe her body's desire till she found her true love who would soothe her mind as well. At least Phil made her smile. She didn't feel terrible in using him, because he seemed to be coming from the same place. And that made things so much simpler.
Then one day he got her flowers, and she smiled. One night they stayed up talking and she had smiled bigger through her sleep filled eyes. It took her a long time to understand what the smiles meant, but she had already placed her heart so high up, she had forgotten how to get it down.

I put my
heart in box
and put it on a shelf

but when I climbed
to get it down
it is  for you I fell

you caught me
of course you did
but I fell anyway

now for me
bound to me
fallen you must stay

Phil made Nora happy in unique ways. She didn't feel he was her intellectual match, but she liked him anyway because it didn't matter. He would be over eager to learn from her whatever she wanted him to, and he always asked after the book she happened to be currently reading. It had long been in Nora's mind that if a guy wanted to strike a conversation with her he should ask about  the book she were adding, because she was always reading anyway.
It was hard to imagine for Nora, that she would fall for a guy like Phil, but she did and she liked it. One day she found the time to confess to him her feelings and Phil was severely non committal about the whole situation. He spoke about things like lust and bodily hunger, which seemed to be plaguing both of them, and that they really shouldn't take this seriously, because they were a long way off from love. Which was funny, because she had seen the way he looked at her and presumed he was just shy to talk about things she could see from a long way off, and hence she had picked up the conversation.
it took Nora some time to realize what was going on, but she caught on eventually. It took her a long time to come to the conclusion because she honestly didn't want to see it. She really didn't want to know that he had found love with someone else. Or that he had been kidding her the whole time. But she did find out, and that was that. So she went ahead and found out more information about the woman who had the gall to do something like that to her. She used all her means to make sure that the woman didn't have hold on Phil so that she could pick up where they left off.
In her days she plotted revenge on the woman and spent her time trying to guess the perfume she found on Phil's shirt. That it was cheap, she knew. But the plethora of cheap perfumes didn't help her pick the one it was, or the one who wore it. So she waited. She waited that one day Phil would come to her to breakup, or that one day she would confront him and just, not look at his silly deep blue eyes. Till that day she simmered and bubbled every time Phil came over. Because till she said something, nothing could end.
then one day, Phil came home and told her. He told her all about the sister he had and the Parkinson’s Syndrome she had. He told her that it had been recently diagnosed and that she had needed a lot of support. He did blink in surprise when she actually knew about the syndrome, because that meant she knew what he was going through, and his eyes absolutely melted when she nodded in understanding. What he didn't see was her eyes hardening and her begrudging the woman's syndrome, because that meant she couldn't have him as much as she wanted, even if she tried.

I put my
heart in a box
and put it on a shelf

you picked it up
and put in yours
and left me without help

wherever you went
you went with it
and I tried to follow

why don't you
just stay here
and not leave my chest hollow

Nora felt totally defenceless when it came to the scenario she had been presented with. Her vast knowledge and intellect couldn't help her face this particular scenario because she hadn’t prepared herself for emotions and unlikely situations. She would sit around everyday, even when she had other things to attend to, and obsess over the fact that Phil wasn't next to her. It wasn't that he wasn't around at all, of course he was. But Nora didn’t want him gone at all, because when he would come back, she could see the sadness in his eyes and his preoccupation with his sister. Even when his visits weren't close, his eyes would be clouded with worry.
Nora now spent an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with ways to get more time out of Phil. Somehow, she wanted more time out of the man she now realized she loved. It was still a matter of confusion if he loved her or not, but since Nora had decided she loved him, it only made sense that he did too, and so she went ahead making up new excuses everyday so that she could have more time out of him. Assuming of course, that he loved as much, if not more.
Nora wasn't daft, she understood what Parkinson's meant and the toll it took on a person, but she still didn't makes any effort to try and meet the woman, or offer any type of help, because as far as she was concerned, she was a hindrance.

I put my
heart in a box
and put it on a shelf

if in your hands
I placed my heart
and you upped and left

there is a lesson
yet for you
at great peril, to learn.

for if you did
I'll hunt you down,
and leave you to burn.

One day, Phil didn’t come back. He called, he sure did. HE explained to her that her sister was having a surgery and that he would have to stay awhile for her recovery, and that he would return, of course he would.
All of it was taking a toll on Nora. It was too much, and it was tearing at her. The old memories came flooding back and she just couldn’t handle the same heartbreak, the same pain all over again. In her double mindedness, she came up with all sorts of explanations for Phil and even convinced herself that there was indeed another woman, and that he was just conning her.
Furious and disbelieving, she promised herself that she would have to leave, to protect herself from all this, she would have to leave. She would leave, and maybe she would leave a piece of her heart behind, but she would indeed leave. There was no other solution. Silently, she gathered her mind around her and rose to leave, seething from inside, she didn’t understand what was going on. She was just furious at Phil for not returning.
She didn’t want to leave a trace of herself behind when she left, let Phil know what abandonment felt like. Let him know how deep her anger ran, something that he couldn’t see in her at all. Fuming and sputtering, she left the apartment, fully packed. Phil wouldn’t remember that she existed. But it didn’t matter, because Nora certainly wouldn’t. If a man couldn’t give her his undivided attention, he might as well forget the mere thought of her.
The next day, Nora got up, and for a few moments, looked for Phil, his smile and the smell of coffee. Then, before it could hurt her, she put him out of her mind and assumed her standard stony expression, but this time it was harder than before.
On the metro to work, the man sitting next to her asked her which book she was reading. She looked up, he had a warm buttery smile flecked with adoration. She smiled back.