Saturday, August 15, 2015

Growing Wings



My Ma had asked my Pa, so, how is the copra going? And Pa thundered, “How should I know?!” and I told Ma in a whisper, “Don’t worry, Ma, I will go, I am your Magick Daughter, your runner, I am your Mercury, I go where ever you want me to go and you don’t have to worry because I run so fast; just like Mercury, I grow wings on my feet.” She looked at me with amused disbelief, and when I came back, she was surprised that I have paid her tax dues, paid the electric bills, pre-empting impending disconnection, talked to the people at the farm, all in one sweep. I said, I told you Ma, I’m your magick daughter, do you believe now? 
I’ve been intrigued by life at the farm. I’ve never been here for years except to sleep in Ma’s bed and then gone off the following morning, chasing love and happiness, which was always beyond reach.
But now, Ma’s crumbling memory, Pa’s ailment which we want to believe is only old age - [sisters don’t want to talk about Pa’s lungs anymore now that Pa has stopped taking painkillers] - have forced me to stay here several days a week to find out how they’re doing. 
I always find them in the mornings staring into space, their faces devoid of any sense of urgency; and so, I get disoriented, too.  I couldn’t touch the things I was supposed to write, as I stare into space myself.  
But life in this place intrigued me a bit.  Some curious things always happen to people and the rawness of them sometimes struck me dumb. As soon as I arrived here Thursday night, for instance, I heard about a boy the neighbors rushed to the hospital because he cut off the tip of his penis. They’re still in the hospital now, I hope the boy survives, and why would he do such an unimaginable thing? People here are asking. His classmates at the public high school said it must be the exams which are getting tough, but I suspect it must be something about his mother or father’s attitude towards sex, the rest of the folks said it must be that madness running through the family. His elder brother was mad, his father was mad, they’re not the kind of madmen you can see running around naked, but still they’re mad, said T, our househelp. 
I forgot to tell her madness is also a sign of genius, and I hope, I’m also mad—but I mean that in another sense.  I spent the morning reading part of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, thinking about you; and about what he said about the two of you, target shooting inside the property you inherited from your Pa and Ma. He asked, what did you two call each other before? Luv? Swiddah? I cringed. Questions I’ve been longing to ask you: What is your name? Who are you? Where did we meet? Where were you when I left my childhood?  Where were you when I arrived? 

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