freedom is the freedom to choose whose slave you want to be.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I drip into Faiqa's living space while mine is painted mango. Toothbrush, books, socks, contacts, music. Her elbows rest against my back as we sleep. We wake up to the radio, to Avril Lavigne. To promises of greatness, and to fucked up days.

We'll remember this one hurting like a bitch, she said later. She's got period cramps. I've got a headache and unwept tears. We find our way to London Book Co. and hover around the man and woman trying to sort out relationship politics, we look for books and then nestled between two looming shelves of books we open Wordsworth and crisps and ketchup and it's a miracle we read out loud to each other without our voices cracking, without tears, murmuring sometimes, racing through verse to get to the end and the essence and repeating the childhood the childhood, and sometimes we shut up at the end of a poem, speechless, in our own thoughts, and sometimes it's too much and we're quiet and we look at each other with sad sad smiles and we don't know whether to laugh or cry, and there's nowhere else to look. And it's so beautiful it aches instantly. Before, during, and after. And she says, as I finish one, that's us, Azka, that's us!

Each Scrabble match reduces one from the total we'll ever have. The finite-ness of everything is the elephant in the room. Still can't articulate two nightmares dovetailing into one, though words creep in lending tangibility to most of what we never stated.

I mistook my own reflection for her in a mirror in Saeed Book Bank once.

We'll remember this one hurting like a bitch.


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