Sunday, December 23, 2007

Scatter

There is a dirty green bottle in a corner. It is dry and covered with dust and cobwebs. Darkness hovers here, in this corner. A spider lives in the dusty green bottle. Living with darkness can be lonely sometimes. But there’s always the mystery. The spider’s web marks out her half of their living space. Not that He keeps to it. In fact, the darkness sprawls. Occupying the entire corner. But he cannot possess her half entirely. Drops of forgotten moisture hang in her web, in the now-dry bottle. Trapped in the sticky drops, are shards of light. Sometimes the spider scuttles out of the dirty green bottle. But she never ventures far. She only strays as far as He has dominion. Light is pretty… but sometimes too garish. The comfortable subtlety of darkness and its strange mystery enchant her.

Strange, how fast the sand scatters. ‘Scatter’. What a perfect word. It even sounds like the yellow brown sand glinting in the light as it rattles softly, bouncing off the spot, on the mosaic floor, where it fell. As the steady stream of sand falls from between my cupped hands, though, the sand stops bouncing off and begins to form a mound.
A small mountain, growing slowly and spreading outwards as the upper layer slides off. Like a breast stretched out of shape. Without slowing the constant trickle, I transfer the remaining sand to my right hand. I watch it fall gracefully, my head propped on my left hand, the mosaic floor, cold against my bare elbow.
I lay my head down beside the small mound of sand, and watch it spread. The floor is cool and hard against my cheek. A few grains of sand prickle as they hit me. One stings my eye. I blink away the immediate moisture that blurs my vision. My hair is fanned out on the floor around my head. I wonder how I’d look to an observer. I blow softly, into the steadily falling stream of sand. The grains fan out in the air. Like spray paint. Sand coloured droplets. Interesting.
The last of the sand has trickled through my fingers. I twiddle them against each other, to dust off the last few particles. Then, I let my right hand fall. It makes a soft fleshy thud against the cool hard mosaic floor. Winter sunlight filters in through the windows. The fluttering curtains of frail lacy white take on the golden hue of the sunlight. The sunlight makes cheerful golden yellow patterns on my mosaic floor. Clear window-shaped rectangles of yellow with definite edges. But inside are varying fluttering shadows, made by the curtains. Lying like this, with my cheek against the cool floor, I can see a fine layer of dust- not sand, mind. Dust. I make a mental note to sweep the floor. Perhaps I should get up.

The walls of my room are yellowy-cream. Or maybe they’re just yellowy, because of the sunlight. Along the edge of the wall, at my present eye level, are pasted the paper cut outs of happy yellow flowers. When I was little, my mother used to do that. Paper cut outs of flowers and leaves pasted along the edge of the wall. I remember alternating pink and blue flowers, with yellow centres, lining the edge of the walls of my room. I don’t know why I picked yellow flowers. I lie here on my side and stare about my room. Behind me, lies my towel. Not one of those luxurious Turkish ones… though I do have those. This one is the crisp cloth kind. It’s a crumpled crisp, faded off-white towel, with a faded brown border.
I lie curled in a C shape. My feet pointing to the open door at the end of the room. My toes are just within the golden border of the rectangle of light that looms from the door. The sunlight casts my naked toes a bright yellow. If you stare into the clearly defined slanting beam of sunlight as it comes in through the window, you can see the dust particles suspended in the air. Watch them move. Dancing. Twirling… whirling… swirling… dancing dust particles.

I spread the little mound of yellow sand evenly with my right hand. I begin to write… to draw in it. Squiggles. Patterns on my mosaic floor. I smile. My mother used to doodle squiggles on nearby paper as she talked to my father on the phone. A line of ants marches purposefully past my happy-yellow flowers. I lie and stare at them. Industrious. Going about the business of life. Perhaps I should too. At some point I should get up, off my cool smooth, hard mosaic floor. At some point I should sweep the floor and turn my cell-phone back on. At some point, I should put on my clothes. The door is open. But I just lie there and stare. I don’t feel like getting up.
The ants are carrying enormous weights, considering their size. I sigh and draw twirleys in the sand with my finger. I hear footsteps approaching my door. I really should get up… or at least reach for my towel. But I don’t feel like getting up yet. My hair is splayed on the floor, like a black cloud. The floor is cool, smooth and hard against my bare skin. The grains of yellow brown sand sticking to my cheek are making impressions on my skin. The footsteps get louder. My towel is just behind me.
A large figure looms in the doorway. A huge black shadow falls abruptly into the yellow-gold shades of my room. He wears shiny polished black shoes. I lie on my side… and stare.

4 comments:

Samyuktha said...

I am glad this grew! It's beautiful. Love you.

Daughter of the Night said...

Thanks!

Roshan George said...

Wow! I loved reading that...amazing stuff.

Daughter of the Night said...

Thank you, thank you!