Monday, 23 January 2017

on my fingertips I can count the number of friends
i've had since ten, twelve, nine years, and in between
but there's one i can't forget
i met Aloneness (A) in school, she was the dark mysterious girl in the backseat
who everybody wanted to know
but I liked colors and company and cold drinks, A and I only crossed paths
she would watch me take friends to the bathroom and back
she saw me skip lunch when by myself
I would run into her dining at restaurants, she needed no company
I thought she must have never skipped a meal

we stayed apart, A and I, our worlds were different, too different
but in college it got harder to find people to go the bathroom with me
they told me I could do it alone – travel from point A to B and B to E
those were the days when I saw A again
this time an old woman, she looked so free
while I missed talks and lectures because my friends were on leave
A was there learning about the Mahabharata and existential psychology
then one day I gave it a chance, told them I would go for the talk no matter what
stumbled up to the room, the lecture on the geography of time
the only empty seat right next to A
we didn’t say a word but we were friends
A would be there for bathroom trips and class to class expeditions
A filled in all the gaps that were killing me

as I grew older, A came and went
she changed faces too – next year she came in the face of a bearded man
we loved each other’s company
we’d sit and talk, we’d sit and stay quiet
we could be together but not quite so
A taught me to eat by myself, A embraced zoning out
A also sometimes laughed at my neediness
how I wanted to be around people
A believed in self-sufficiency

and now I’m here, A my best friend
but this time A is the face of a baby looking for someone who cares
this time A is shriveled and weak and bitter
this time there are birthdays with A and happiness with A and sadness with A
this time A has taken over my face
and I move and talk and speak to people
but A stays inside somewhere
A scolds me for eating lunch with people
A tells me to watch movies only with her
A says people will leave you
A cuddles me when they do
A tells me it’s alright, A tells me it’s fine
I tell A to quit for a bit
I beg A to let me fall in love again
but A is now my best friend
Aloneness refuses to leave me alone.

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