Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Diamonds And Rust.

I can hear my mind humming Diamonds and Rust as we walk. It's a strange thing how my mind is singing songs to me even while we are together. It is as if I have a distraction, something I don't want happening. It is almost seven in the evening and the purple of the sky has been washed by the grey-blue clouds. We are walking, searching for somewhere to sit, with a vengeance. While in one corner of my mind there's Baez playing, another part of my head screams out loud. This place sucks. This shitty place sucks. There's just too much noise in my head. Too much to capture in words, or chart down in diaries. I wish you'd turn around just once and try and see what is wrong with me. Why Diamonds and Rust? Why not something else? Why Baez? Baez kills me slowly with her music and lyrics. And you cannot let this happen to me. My head is spinning. Baez's arsenic treatment has already begun, I guess.

Well I'll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that's not unusual
It's just that the moon is full
And you happened to call
And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I'd known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall

You look back more than once to check on me. You're wearing black and white. You're walking faster than me. Ahead of me. Just like Baba. Something that makes you even more desirable to me. Did you know girls love men who are like their fathers? Yet, you don't notice the crinkled expression on my face. It's the ebony darkness, I think, that plays with your eyes or is it my fake smile that has snared you. I see pictures. Several pictures in front of my eyes. Like family polaroid collages on softboards. They are scary pictures. Pictures of the past. I think, they call them memories. Memories I thought I'd buried in some corner of my old book cupboard. The memories flash past, as I smile foolishly. I don't want anyone, not even you, to know that these pictures are running through my mind. And these pictures are scary, they have no nexus at all; they just go on one after the other. It's like a deja vu. I've been here before. I've walked this way before. I've been with you before. Who are you? You are him? This is scary. I want to close my eyes and pass out.

As I remember your eyes
Were bluer than robin's eggs
My poetry was lousy you said
Where are you calling from?
A booth in the midwest
Ten years ago
I bought you some cufflinks
You brought me something
We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust

We are still searching for a place to sit and I hear you mutter an expletive under your breath. You smile at me. Your eyes have so much affection in them that it leaves me a little dazed. You are not him. You cannot be him. I'm in a different world away from the shreds of old, abandoned rust. In a happier place with you. We reach the place near the building with mirrors, where we had first sat down after we discovered we like each other. There are far too many people here than there were a week ago. We decide to turn back.

Well you burst on the scene
Already a legend
The unwashed phenomenon
The original vagabond
You strayed into my arms
And there you stayed
Temporarily lost at sea
The Madonna was yours for free
Yes the girl on the half-shell
Would keep you unharmed

We are walking back. I can see you walking ahead again. You stop at intervals so that I can catch up with you. I decide I'm better off observing you from the back; it gives me time to deal with Baez and the pensives she rekindles. You really want a place to ourselves so you keep searching. I have given up long back. This has happened before, and has left me disappointed before. Expecting leaves me in disappointment all the time. So, I had stopped my expectations until I met you. You are him. He is you. And I'm sure I'm going to turn to stone again if you leave. Your images will be all I'll have left of you. And the images of the shadows of the trees on the road, that I can see now. I've bared too much of me to you. You know me quite a lot. There are only a few shades of me that you haven't managed to explore. The more you discover me, the more liberty you get to leave a scar-story on the wrist of my left-hand. The more you know of me, the more opportunity I give you to call me up one July afternoon to say goodbye. This is crazy. Baez stop playing. Stop it, this instant!

Now I see you standing
With brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair
Now you're smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there

You're still looking around totally oblivious of the demons in my head. And thankfully so. I tend to mess up things, you know. I destroy moments. My fear does mean things to happiness. Someday my fear, my thoughts - I - will gnaw away at your happiness. Stay away from me, dear. You know, I could do with some crying on your shoulder now. I want to hold you tight now, and tell you about my fear. I don't care about this conservative city or the orthodox people here. I'm not scared of loneliness. All I fear are these pictures in my mind. And this song. It's haunted. It makes me feel dissolved. You are him? Ends are often beginnings. Where is this place? We reach where we started from. I want to run away from all the chaotic thought. I'm really hungry but I don't want to eat anything. The song is maddening.

Now you're telling me
You're not nostalgic
Then give me another word for it
You who are so good with words
And at keeping things vague
Because I need some of that vagueness now
It's all come back too clearly
Yes I loved you dearly
And if you're offering me diamonds and rust
I've already paid.

We go sit inside. The song still plays incessantly in my head but I'm too dizzy to acknowledge it. You smile at me; you know something is wrong. I'm plagued by uncertainty. I really want to run away to somewhere more secure, somewhere more safe. I'm tired of my mind, I'm tired of this fear. I want to write down about all the pictures I saw, about all the thoughts I had but I know time will eat away at my ink. I just want to put my head near your heart and hear your heartbeat. This is strange - the farther I want to run away from you, the closer you become to me. History repeats itself.

A few moments later, we are sitting beside each other. The song has almost faded. You have your arms around me. I don't want to think about those pictures or that uncertainty. At least not now.


Arjun said...

Your mind is a mirror maze....
There is no exit from this maze...
So you look around.. see yourself and try to make sense of things....

if I may - please let it go... don't old on to things so tight (within) that it hurts!!

Vagabond said...

Hmmm.. I know. I'm trying, I'm trying my very very best. I'm trying not to hold on to things which had hurt in the past and still do hurt sometimes. But there's this weird fear I don't know how to deal with.