Before and After

Déjà vu is him saying something at dinner that you have heard once before and are thinking of obsessively 12 times after. It’s the sad looking tree that multiplies by the minute everytime you put your head out the window, when the music in your earphones dictates the life you want to have. It’s the perfect life because you are wearing a green skirt and black vest and it’s a perfect song, the kind that you’ve listened to a 100 times before but feels new now, like kissing the same person after a really long time. You wonder what it’s like when you are in faraway lands, you wonder if their tongues will probe deeper into your mouth, seeking out every bad thought you have had about other tongues. That grab of the buttocks is the squeeze you give your vagina in the back seat of a taxi because you are thinking dirty things. Nobody is looking and you squeeze it harder, crushing it between your thighs wondering why you don’t do this often.

The woman carrying the hungry baby in her arms is guilt that speaks several languages. The distance that you put between yourself and your bag is lazy virtue. The laziness is telling yourself that it would take ages before you find your wallet to put coins in her hands before the signal goes green. Virtue is telling yourself that you would be enabling her laziness so you don’t reach for your bag.

On the highway, as your car speeds into thoughts about life and death, career and women, writing and reading, drinking and sex, you look over to your left and wonder if the vacancy in his eyes is boredom or sleep. It’s the same question that finds itself on tables devoid of conversations because you have exhausted them all. As faces gleam in the light their phones throw over them, you wonder if there’s a new question you can ask that can send that phone skittering across the hall, while they ponder over the brilliant question you have just asked them.

In bed, you let go.

The morning after, you try to remember how you let go just so you could do it again. Sometimes you succeed and when this happens, the journey back home is pleasant, like watching rain drops fall on windows from a distance and not wanting to touch them because you are the heroine of your life and you don’t go around chasing after things that want to go. When you don’t succeed, you will think about fish and prawn because you know you will never have to let go of them.

Déjà vu is the pain in your neck you knew you would be shaking off hours before it happened.

It’s also a tree that’s part of your story a little too much because you don’t want to be guilty when they cut it down to dust one day. At least you wrote about the tree. It doesn’t matter if you wrote about it the same way you write about that mug. As long as you write 500 words every day, you don’t have to wake up with the nightmare that like driving, if you don’t do it enough, you will forget how to write.

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