Colored

 

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I overheard something amusing earlier today. A patient’s attender had apparently asked for me, but she didn’t know my name. She asked the nurse on duty where that ‘fair, brown haired’ doctor was. The nurses conveyed the message across in the exact same terms, and it amused me to no end, because I’ve never been referred to as ‘fair’. What made me chuckle louder internally was that if my father ever heard anyone calling me ‘fair’ within earshot, he’d probably have a coronary.

I’m a mix of colors. I suppose I was a standard fat white baby when I was born, but a lifetime of playing too much in the sun, horse riding, a fair smattering of assorted sports and swimming, and the ever present tropical sun, have ensured that I never went back to the baby’s pink bottom thing I was back in the toothless days. Which has always been a particular thorn in my father’s side, him of the bone white complexion. He always had issues enough that my mother wasn’t as white as him. Add to that the shame of a daughter who was clearly headed to the other end of the skin spectrum, and it was one blow too many for his fragile ego. My entire childhood was peppered with a steady upkeep of comments about how dark I was, and naturally in succession, how ugly. There was this one particular incident, an Eid party when I was twelve, where he called me out to say hello to his friends. They all asked the standard ‘how is school’ questions, and my father answered for me, saying, ”Oh, she’s just an average student. Everything about her is average. At least if she’d inherited my looks or color, she’d have something good about her.” The comment was met with laughter from some of his friends, and awkward smiles from the others. And I stood there, in all my twelve year old offended pride, and announced, ”What’s wrong with my color? I like my color!” This time, all of them laughed. My father pulled me out to stand in the middle of the room, and said something from his usual repertoire of back-in-his-modelling-days, if-only-you-had-my-color-you’d-be-worth-something- spiel. Followed up with his standard ”See, what you look like right now, nobody likes that. Nobody’s ever going to want that.” But I was properly worked up at this point, and I informed him that I happened to be a very nice color. There were tons of white people who went to the beach trying to get to my precise color. And I still remember the faces of each and every one of his friends chortling at that statement. Including my uncle, who’d had enough of my embarrassment, and goodnaturedly told my father to shut up and leave me alone.

I guess it’s more than a little strange that I’ve made a full, full circle from that point, and come back to where I was then. I was only allowed clothes in certain shades of beige, brown, and gray, because I couldn’t ‘pull other colors off’. I think I was sixteen, when my aunt, exasperated with the contents of my suitcase, tossed half my clothes in the Salvation Army bin and replaced every one with popping reds and pinks and purples. ”You dress her like a medieval widow!”, she told my parents, to which my father replied calmly, ”it’s what she can wear, with her coloring.” And then confiscated the brightly colored clothes, when we flew back home.

I remember coveting red, and blue. I wanted blues so much. The first time I bought my own clothes, I bought four dresses in the same shade of blue, because I loved that cerulean so much. Overkill, I know, but it made sense. And unsurprisingly enough, the same shades still peekaboo in my closet now. Only more normally interspersed with other, more taboo colors. Maroons and emeralds and royal purples, lots and lots of glossy black, some pink (even though I loathe it), and even the occasional bumblebee-butt yellow.

But more than anything, I’ve settled into a peaceful coexistence with my own color. My father, I think, never will. He went off  last month and bought me a ‘designer’ dress worth a comfortable $300, in the same drab beige as the curtains in my house, the same tired color I wore almost as a uniform at home.  But at some point, we stop being the broken children of broken parents, and start repairing ourselves, because we cannot repair them. His logic is still the same. His daughter’s too dark for actual colors to look anywhere good on her. By someone else’s reckoning, I am, amusingly enough, ‘that fair doctor’. And somewhere in the middle, I am my own spotty, tan-armed and pale-legged, dark circled and healthily scarred color.

Just that I like my version of it. Because I’m more than my color. And I happen to like that.

 

Until next rant,

Your ever lovin’ Cookie ❤

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The Adventures of Two Mice Being Experimented Upon in a Glass Box

fireflies

 

 

I’ve never been afflicted by Writer’s Block. I never woke up and had a day that I couldn’t write a little more. A day where nothing happened that could provoke me to write. But all the same, my writing habits became disjointed and slowly, crippled to the point where I didn’t even want to think about writing. I’d mentally shove the idea or the inspiration along. Tomorrow, I’ll chronicle this tomorrow. And Tomorrow never comes. Because there’s no today that has ever stopped itself in time for the day before it.

The problem, I think, is Deja vu. And I don’t mean a flash of disconcerting recognition, that I’ve been in this very combination of place and time, that glitch in the matrix, so to speak. I think that the same things have been happening to me over and over again, with very little variation. And that’s slowly ingrained this indifference. Why should I write about this now? What purpose will it serve? It’s only going to happen again. It does, it always does. I go back home to the same house. I’m serving my sentence out bonded to the same slaver. The names and covers of books and authors change, but six hours a day, I sit at the same table I’ve been sitting at since I was eight. I wear the same clothes in nondescript succession, tie my hair the same way, mechanical movements and systematized behavior.

This is the pit. The pit of all things lost and forgotten, never to be rescued. I walk in circles. The same words are thrown in my direction, and I respond to them, because when I don’t, something worse will follow. I sit on the dining table, and eat – eat – subserviently. That means that you eat in intervals. You are not on that table to eat, but to serve food, serve water, run errands to and from the dining room, listen to an hour and half’s worth of sermonizing, and god help you if  you don’t acquiesce to whatever is being discussed and whoever is being maligned. You listen to a steady stream of minutely honed observations, a calculation of all your short comings, all your perceived and apparent flaws and defects. You collect a list of things-to-do for till the next meal, where you’ll invariably be held accountable for them. You take all the abuse and all the anger and all the narcissism-tipped barbs thrown your way- and the food, that you have to be grateful for- and you swallow.

Three times a day, every day. When he’s not home, he calls home to make sure you don’t miss a dose. Venom needs to be administered just as carefully as medicine. You swallow it all.

And  you become sick. The days and the nights become repetitive milestones on a road going nowhere. Some hours you have the patience to analyse what you’re seeing. Other times, you barely have the energy to keep your head out of the mire you’re sinking in. Occasionally you get enough time to indulge in a little philosophising, about the state of life, the meaning of it, the whys and hows of the tangible and perceived world that exists outside your cage/bubble. You experience it as though through a semi-permeable membrane. But you can’t swim through. Or even look in that direction too long. You’re not allowed to.

At a certain point, a life like that is little more than a lab record. The Adventures of Two Mice Being Experimented Upon in a Glass Box. Running on a fixed wheel, eventually the most stalwart of your dreams begin to gasp for air. You slow down, reserve your energy for the barest of essential tasks that you must do. You account for every iota of mental and emotional energy, and bury the rest deep inside, for when you can afford to feel, without consequence.

You stop hoping for things to change. You stop dreaming.

You stop writing.

That’s why  I stopped writing. It began to feel like a lie I was telling myself. Lies of love and lies of better days to come, even though good things were happening to me, they washed off the minute I set foot back into my pit. It has a gravity of its own and I fight it, but the words escape it with more difficulty these days. Just as I do.

I hope to get out with the rest of my sanity. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve given up on all possibilities of justice here, for karma or the law or the fucking Flying Spaghetti Monster to teach the keepers of the pit a lesson. I don’t care, I just want to get out with what’s left of me, and what I can still write.

And even if I don’t make it, I’m going to keep pushing my words out with my back to the last wall. Or I’ll try, anyway.

 

Here’s hoping, for some form of escape.

 

 

Love,

Cookie ❤

Day Twenty : New?

Strip away every known.

Every tendency

every fallacy

Clean off the bone

Past the skin but

leave the poetry

wash the words away

Dull the clarity

Take the lessons

-spare the sins

They have no meaning.

Dissect understanding.

Amputate

that knife edge balance

of what I have and

what it takes

Snip, snip, all the habits

Every face

Remove the wings

Bind the fingers

Stitch the lips into closing,

eyes frozen

I take every bit of I from me

and I

still remain

But who am I then?

New?

©️Yusra

19.04.2018

Under These Red Sheets

Under these red sheets,

I bury my morning dreams

The clay of the sky is raw

shaped by fingers that hesitated

to smooth the creases out of

intentions, prevaricated

allowed to harden, flawed

left to permanence, endowed

with the attributes of being just wrong

these tiles are poised to fall

These doors that lead to walls

dead ends of dust and bone

Tombs to mistakes preserved

of people and pain long gone

Under these red sheeted tiles

I bury mourning memories

Baskets of forgotten scents

routines of glories deceased

In corners, green shoots still crawl

traces of persistent hope

Pathological, sometimes it seems,

that cancerous happiness grows

I cannot hope to recover

the already hardened faults

the cracks that run, closed over

by vainly slapped on gloss

Broken girls grow into broken women

And despite the damage being done

The soil of my mind is fertile and

with stubborn resilience overrun

The dead wood still speaks to me

There is escape yet in these leaves

To nourish what I know I can be

Under these tiles I bury my dreams

©yusra

06.12.2017

Winter blossoms. 🌺

Membranes

Reality, as a membrane

is so very thin

It stretches over my probing fingers

I breach the taut whisper

And in the moment it

replaces my skin

pushing into nonexistence, across

The barrier I blindly feel

between time and place, flaws

ripple, faults splinter, I

cannot hear the walls implode

My middle ear collapses and

I pause on the lip, pigeon toed

Perched on the rift

Jumping adrift

hanging out of a wound in the sky

I can almost touch you- almost

Maybe just one step more?

-Where does this road go?

Membranes

16.11.2017

.

Where does this road go? Hang me from the torn clouds, string me up from the stars, rip a hole in the fabric of reality, I pushed myself face first into the unknown for you and I don’t even know where you are. Somewhere at a desk, where the window on the right has a potted plant with a drooping yellow flower, you’re leaning back in your chair, letting the noise of the room wash over you like the cold processed air spewing from the vent across the fat girl’s glittery table- it fills your ears, it’s filling your lungs, it’s filling your eyes, you choose not to care. Once upon a time, you tore the fabric of reality for me. You laughed and you shredded the meanings of what I held true into pieces into words and fantasies and utter absurdity. And then you shut the door. Your ink blue fingers flowed back together and poured themselves into crevices I hadn’t dared to expose.

Can you blame me, for tearing my mind apart, breaking windows into every wall I meet? Can you blame me for setting fire to every road behind me, looking for you, and trying to understand why I even do?

Wait. Here’s a fork. Where does this road go? .

.

.

.

.

Membranes | yusra

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And the cookies. Love. ❤️

Let Me Just Fall 

For James. Where there is a tomorrow. Where there is an honest love. Find me there. We only truly wait for what we are meant to have. 

.

I looked beyond you into the stars  

Outer space was not far from me   

But you remained a fallacy   

A galaxy of self deception  

I scrape my skin off my hands  

My nails blunt on my bones, but  

I feed this immolation
A schism of the tarry night   

Take your hand, reach for mine  

But you never will  

These stars have gone still  

Their burning eyes swill  

Cups of soot, poisoned glances  

Bittered tears, the ashes  

of my blazing, broken, disintegrating heart  
I looked beyond you into the stars   

Outer space was not far from me  

Unlike the ground, duplicitiously calling  

Promising non-existence, falling  

Wouldn’t be hard   

I looked beyond you into the stars   

Pleading that I could just be let to   

fall to you   

But you were so  

so   

so very far   

Let Me Just Fall 

For James. 

06.11.2017