Sunday, January 22, 2012

November 7th, 2010

So you allow yourself to stand there, in the middle of all that vast endlessness, right in the center, and feel like the world's spotlight is shining down on you and you're looking up at it. You can't decide whether it makes you feel important or impossibly small, whether you want it all or none of it, and if it even makes a difference now that you're here and this is life.
it comes and goes and comes and goes and comes and goes, and i'm up and down, then down and up, until it's churning in my stomach and it becomes me, or am i it?
never invited, never announced
these monsters, they come and go.

Monday, January 16, 2012

nearly 7.

There is a while remaining. You haven't left yet, and I am half a month short of my 14th birthday. The sequence of events isn't clear in my head, and it's probably unclear in her's as well. I wouldn't want to bother her with the trivialities in my mind anyway, she has enough demons of her own. So half a month short of my 14th. I divide my time between the hospital and home. I don't really want to be there, and I don't quite understand a dying man's need to see his children. I'm strangely aloof. Not old enough to know what it means to be above it all, and even if I was, not above it anyway. Just not there. There's a garden near the conference center, around a housing unit of sorts. In that garden are swings. We play there, 13, 10 and 3. He forgets our names sometimes. You can tell by the look in his eyes, it's vacant but trying to place us, he knows but not quite. 3, she's the hardest to remember, she hasn't been there long enough. She is the most cherished, with her honey colored hair that glows red in the sun and her little teeth and infectious smile. Too young to lose that twinkle in her eyes. She's the beautiful one, I wonder if he thinks he's imagining her. I do. Sometimes I'll get bored waiting and make a few phone calls to no one important. A few months later you will be gone and after that I will be in love and suffering from a malady I will never quite be able to cure in myself. A month and a half later I'll be sitting in the balcony I often stand in alone, in the middle of the night and watch the cars going round and round and round the roundabout. Everything is a blur. But then a sudden 3 am wake up, and in the morning there's rain, and then in the night you're gone. Between today and tomorrow you cease to be.
Another hospital. I hold your dying hand. You're breathing but gone. I shed a few tears, and no more after that. Not for a while anyway.
She's asking doctors if there's any way to save you, they say no. Do you want to hook him up to life support? There is no point, 80% organ failure. There is twenty percent of you left, neatly divided. Which part of you remains?
She signs the papers that will allow the twenty to join the rest of you. Her hand is shaking, but composure hasn't been lost. There are tears, oh there are more than tears. Seventeen years gone. You gone. She holds the pen and stares at it, then sinks down against a wall.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

I've come to realize that there are two separate types of loves for me when it comes to Home. One is patriotism, but the other one, the one more dear to me (and this might perhaps be the problem many of us suffer from), which overshadows everything else is what I call Karachiism. I haven't figured out yet if I'm ashamed of it, and maybe that's why I'll admit to it. Pakistan is what I read about in the news. Pakistan is what I want to save, it's what I want to see flourishing, it's what I want to change misconceptions about. You know, the traditional way you try to change an image by thinking about it rationally and not overreacting, not letting things get under your skin?
I'll admit to faults, defend it where I have to and try to clear away misunderstandings if I'm asked.

And then there's Karachi, and that's a different story altogether.

Have you felt the sort of love that makes your heart want to burst into pieces and become part of the beloved? Love that inspires poetry and anger and desperation and grief and ecstasy?
Ask me why I want to go back to one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and I won't be able to give you a rational answer. What I will be able to do, however, is feel inexpressible anger. How dare you imply that it's not worth going back to?
But you didn't imply that at all, you were simply curious.
It is I, in my crazy, stupid, senseless love, unable to see beyond perceived attacks that may not exist at all. You see, every blow is one you deal to my heart.

How can you betray her, I want to ask those who leave. How can you betray your City that gave you so much? Did you even give her a chance? Did you try to understand?
And how was it possible to abandon that place with it's salty-sea smells, the scent of roasting bhuttas, the cobbled streets of Saddr that shout out for their former, now paan-stained, glory, those buses with the men trying to look into your car with their beady eyes for a fleck of female skin they can only fantasize about, the people at Funland you share the city with but are simultaneously scared of?

My heart is Pandora's box overflowing with strange details about a certain city in a struggling third world country.

Happy 2012.

From South Hadley, with a whole lotta love. =)