It’s been a while since we met here, hasn’t it? I’m sorry I don’t do this oftener. It feels not dissimilar to gutting myself with a cheese knife. It’s not for lack of things to say, words, or even how I feel. It’s just measly armour. So pathetic. Always prided myself on such courage but I haven’t the spine to write you a letter until I am sitting in a half empty aircraft 36,000 feet in the air with not a dry eye since you drove away. If ever you wanted to know: This is what it takes to wrest a letter out of me.
I’m spelling out of myself. The centre does not hold. My own arms cannot hold. Drop after drop the tears fall like rain inside a pressurised air cabin. They don’t stop, Helen. I’m cold one moment, sweating the next. One minute I have two blankets on my and a shawl around my neck. The next, I can smell the feral scent of my sweat. The sweat of a fever breaking. There is sex under my arms. There is sex between my legs asking for seconds, thirds, infinities. It doesn’t shut up. There is sex underneath my fingernails. Behind my knees. Inside my elbow. It doesn’t shut up.
Put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. Please stow your emotional luggage for sudden take off and crash landings. The captain has switched off the seatbelt sign but for your safety please keep it on. Please. Please keep it on, M.
I got onto a plane to come to you and unbuckled my seatbelt.
Crying like I want my mother. A mother. Anyone who can pretend to love me like a mother. Nothing else will still my heaving chest now.
What have I done to myself? What have I let happen? The past week I have held on so tight my sphincter refuses to yield what my body begs to let go of. I’ve balled myself up into so small and tiny a fist, you’d think I was a baby who knew only this to do with its hand. I threw myself into deep, heavy sleep to escape. Anything. Anything to hot have to say goodbye again. I just don’t have the stomach for it anymore.
Please put away all your electronic devices and fold your tray tables. Cabin crew will be coming down the aisles to clear any trash you may wish to dispose. Please pass them plastic wrappers, cups, used tissues and broken pieces of you.
All the love in the world will not make you mine. No matter how deeply we feel, this exists only inside and between us. To the rest of the world the way we reach for one another is invisible.You are not mine. You cannot be mine. You will never be mine. There is no future. No future. No future. Nothing. There’s nothing. If I do not convince myself of this, how will I live without you? How do you live knowing the one who is rightfully yours, to whom you belong, cannot accept your hand?
Use of lavatories are no longer permitted. Please contain your meltdown. We have commenced our descent into Bangalore.
My city is lit up and if I squint my eyes I can pretend it’s a hug. Altitude drops. Temperature rises. Distance to destination shrinks.
I wait for it to be over.