A mug of coffee in our hands, coldness in our breaths

Sleep eluded me last night which enabled me to see the first break of dawn. I would have written this a while this morning as I watched the fading of the blue black sky, becoming fainter with each passing minute.

We used to do it, you and I, back then, years ago. We’d stand on the veranda of your place, a mug of coffee in our hands, coldness in our breaths. Sometimes we’d simply stay on the bed, on your crumpled sheets, and watch the night dissolves itself through your glass window. Other times we’d forget to do so.

It was cold.

Do you recall that time? You were resting your head on the creased pillow while my palm traced the patterns of your moles. I’d run the tip of my fingers, almost without weight, on your bare skin, and draw the constellations of unremembered stars. Cassiopeia, I’d say. Or Betelgeuse, the hand of the giant. Antlia. Cepheus. Pictor. Pavo. Musca.

Those moments were spectacular.

Sleep eluded me last night which enabled me to see the first break of dawn. Do you remember those times?

Orion the Hunter.

I guess not.

Because you’ve always been the blind and I’ve always been the poet. These wonders escaped your notice — you dull, specious creature with your dull, specious brain. I’ve magnified bliss, woven the narratives of the stars while your lethargic imaginations fail you.

I stepped out of the frame and collected unusual and remarkable details to sharpen your edgeless mind. The gods were with us, the gods were with me, and you missed them. The gods of olden times.

Do you recall those times? I guess not. Because you were never a poet and you’ve always been the blind. Cassiopeia, I’d say. Or Betelgeuse, the hand of the giant. Antlia. Cepheus. Pictor. Pavo. Musca.

Orion the Hunter.

Those moments were spectacular.

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Flesh and fat and rattling bones

I have this habit of disappearing — those I’ve been with can attest to that. I step back and vacate my spot, preferably, unnoticed. I hate questions. I hate answering questions. So I decamp, quietly, out of their doors, out of their houses, out of their lives.

Sometimes, I leave marks. When I want to be remembered. Most of the time, I don’t. I want to be forgotten.

I like anonymity. I like changing names and shedding personalities. I like being someone else — maybe someone easy going, maybe someone adventurous, maybe someone contemplative or scholarly. Maybe next time I’ll be someone who does odd jobs — an assassin, a spy, a detective.

I like building empires inside my mind. I like dismantling kingdoms. I like reconstructing rubble. I like being more than my own flesh and fat and rattling bones. It makes me forget about the sum of every and all tragedies.

But there are changes these days. I’ve grown fond of people, most especially those I spend time with. I like listening to them while they recollect childhood or love affairs or mind games or frustrations.

They’re actually beautiful, people — the way they wave their hands while they drive their cars, or the way they lift their cup of tea or coffee, or the way they smile at their secret selves. The way they revel in their private thoughts. The way they feel deeply. The way they defend their principles. The glint and ferocity in their eyes.

The way they retreat, in mid-sentence, in their own imaginations.

I have this habit of disappearing, yes, and those I’ve been with can attest to that. I decamp and vacate my space and recede as far away as I can.

But there are changes these days. Like, these days, I now know how to come back. To knock on people’s doors — tap, tap, tap — to enter their houses, and to come in their lives. It’s nice to be hugged, that welcome-back-embrace, regardless of my ragged clothes and unkempt hair.

Actually, it feels good. It feels really good. It makes life bearable.

Coffee, they’d offer.