Sometimes she would sit down with a thought in her mind – the fridge needs cleaning, for instance – and find that half an hour, an hour or more had passed and it was still as if that thought had just come into her head.” – Monica Ali, Brick Lane
Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’
“I’ve loved you so long
that I can hardly remember
What it is was like without you here” – Shine, Nashville Cast
When the air begins to change in New York
from blistering cold to lukewarm
the way ice water pumped up, from beneath the dirt
hits your humidity drenched face
in Bangladesh on a summer morning
while beads of sweat cling from your back
and cats lie with legs outstretched on the veranda,
smoke and the smell of roti catching you, welcoming,
I stop waiting for the bus —
And stroll down cement sidewalks,
past frame houses with colorful shutters and small yards
under the shade of green ash,
the corner deli filled with students craving grease to stuff their faces
and sex, drooling
not paying attention to street lights
or stop signs
or school boys passing their rubber balls,
smiling to myself
filling the air with compliments
remembering conversations that never happened,
wishing they had.
– Shammy 3/20/13 4:33pm
My brother and I used to play manhunt with the neighborhood kids: GJ, Manny and his older sister. We would hide in the factories, under the loading docks, in the alleyway that was paved with gravel and weeds down the middle. We would play sometimes till our parents came looking for us, to take us home. I remember going exploring in those parts, taking flashlights and climbing down the stairs of the underground sewer system. I don’t remember it smelling bad or being uncomfortable. It was like a cave that no one knew existed but us, and we were happy with just that.
One day I packed all my schoolbooks for the year, some clothes and my shoes into three plastic grocery bags for me to run away with. I waved goodbye to my mother, who didn’t notice in the mist of tending to my sister. I left with a sinking feeling; picked up my bags and made my way to the shed in the middle of the alleyway with its cracked window. It was winter and I remember the cold air that left frozen streaks on my face. I stood in the rubble of the abandoned shed for awhile before I set my bags down on the gravel. There was no place to sit so I took my notebook out and held it in my hand, too scared then to open it. I wouldn’t have a bed to share anymore, but at least I had all my books. I could still go to school every day and have lunch and it will be just the same but better, I thought. When it was starting to get dark my brother came and stood in my broken doorway, “you couldn’t find a better place to hide?” He snickered. With an evil grin on his stupid face, he picked up my bags and led the way back home, “why did you run away?” He coaxed. “Why did you run away?”
“Nobody likes me,” I said.
We had a cat in those days, named Fluffy. She was like a live stuffed animal colored grey, black with specks of white and eyeballs made of glass. Really she was just a stray. She would come to the window we’d give her bones and water and sometimes milk, but so rarely that it could go without mentioning. She was allowed to stay in the house some days when we were feeling friendly but as soon as darkness covered the sky, my mother would parade around till she found her and promptly put her out. One day, my ten year old brother who was a criminal in my eyes decided he wanted to see Fluffy’s tongue stick out of her mouth, like in the cartoons, so he wrapped his tiny villainous hands around her neck and squeezed till she was an inch away from death. Then he laughed and did it again, whilst hot tears streamed down my face.
When Fluffy got fat and lazy, we all thought she was dying. My mother kept her in the house so she wouldn’t get cold at night and die on a sidewalk alone, but one morning, to our surprise, we woke up and there were four little kittens sleeping under the bed with her. They were the tiniest creatures I’d ever seen and oh so soft, like the most expensive stuffed animals that would only be carried by FAO Schwarz. We gave Fluffy a bowl and kept it full of milk so she could feed her babies. One of them was all white. She was my favorite, but my mother soon thought it best to give them all away. She barely had enough money to feed her kids how was she going to feed five cats? Fluffy became our house cat for a while and probably never saw her four babies again.
After my mother got pregnant again she started talking about letting Fluffy go out into the wild where she belongs, just like her babies. My mother was worried Fluffy would eat my newborn sister when she arrived finally, from the hospital, and so my mother had Muna uncle get rid of her. I came home from school that dreadful day to see my mother breast-feeding her new baby and my beautiful stuffed animal gone forever. “I held this baby in my stomach for nine months, not to be eaten by some stupid cat” my mother said.
I bought them in bulk to cheers and drink
With my mates from the states. My first adventure on my own
Through the streets of London,
where all the lights and things were
From a shop made for foreigners like me.
The banks of the Thames sprinkled with European couples
On one of their many holidays.
Overcast, with breakthroughs of light
Rain unannounced and gone before you run for cover,
That’s London for you.
Past the Tate Modern, munching on my broccoli and cheese pasty
Under the rows of trees there is a bench
And a lovely couple sat there,
Posing with one arm outstretched.
The belly of the Tower Bridge opens up to let the ship through.
Ships of goods, ships of money that won’t go to anyone who needs it.
The tube to Liverpool street in Old London
Where I meet you for a drink or two
At a hotel bar full of suits
Sparks flew and our nights turned into days
And back to Crawley we went
To your two bedroom apartment, with my flowers waiting for me
On the kitchen table.
– Shammy 7/29/12 5:26pm
It is water that runs through us,
Natural The mucus that clogs my lungs
All fixed by a tall clear glass.
Do you thirst?
You will when you see all that I can do
But I won’t feed you
Your heart is one that cannot be cleansed.
– Shammy 10/23/12 10:16am