time outside of Time

29 10 2009

time

outside of Time

I want.

Just a tiny bit,

Just enough.

To flow myself

molten lava into you,

explore the you,

not you,

but still you.

time outside of Time I need,

to breathe you in,

to burst my lungs with you,

exploding bubbles of air

in my blood.

time outside of Time

I crave

for us.





Skin

27 10 2009

Cool cool

Long length

Shape shift

 

Skin.

 

Back bone

Hand hover

Tender touch

 

Skin.

 

Smooth swerve

Deep down

Move muscle

 

Skin.

 

Careful curve

Slow stare

Gentle grip

 

Skin.

 

And more skin. And skin brown together,

peel the layers back

moist and juicy and

the fruit is always ready to be skinned

And shift shape.

 

skin

pure white. milk white.

smooth as a baby’s bum.

 

skin

light white. pink white.

and then some.

 

skin

red when hot and hot when red.

warm in a bed.

cold when dead.

 





So you think you know what being a mistress is like

26 10 2009

So you think you know what being a mistress is like. It’s a high, going around with someone else’s woman, isn’t it? Imagine the excitement. The secret trysts. The triumph of knowing that you have what the other person doesn’t. The power to draw your woman – who is not really your woman – away from the legitimacy of the other relationship. The sexiness of keeping her interested in you though she’s supposed to be settled. The knowledge that if you want to, you can go off with someone else, and she can’t do anything about it, because she didn’t choose you.


So you really think you know what it’s like to be a mistress. Let me tell you then. Let me tell you about the leftover time you wait for. Let me tell you how you spend the whole day for that call to come, and sometimes it doesn’t. How you arrange your day with ifs to make it free for her when she can give you the five minutes in between. Or maybe, I can tell you about the other times, the times you have to stay away because you don’t want to see her with someone else. Or the pain it takes not to ask for more, because you have no right. Let me tell you about the pain of watching her walk away. And the pain of not being there for her.


And now you can tell me what being a mistress is like.





Getting married?

21 10 2009

Don’t invite me.

Recently I switched jobs. A colleague at my new work place was getting married and I was invited too. I don’t think I was invited because he particularly liked me but since the rest of my small office were all asked I think he was politely not excluding me. I accepted graciously and joined in the teasing of the soon-to -be groom.

Soon after I received the invitation, the company receptionist started badgering me about what I was going to wear to the wedding: “You must wear a sari, ah” she said very enthusiastically and then began to go on about what time we should go and how we would travel. She also launched a project to collect cash from everyone for a wedding gift. As soon as she started that the rest of the office started other little fund-raisers as well. The driver even came around collecting money for a van we were to hire to travel to the wedding. Meanwhile one girl had her hair cut and coloured. Another rushed off to her tailor to get a blouse adjusted. Even our boss came around to ask the girls for jewelry advice. Wedding preparations had begun in earnest!

I was seething inside. I knew I didn’t want to go to this or any wedding. I hate weddings. I hate the dressing up. I hate the make up. I hate the travel and I hate the sweat that pours off my face taking the make-up with it, leaving stains across my cheeks.

I hate wearing silk in the height of summer. I hate the idea of traveling in a van full of chattering ladies pretending to be enjoying myself. I hate the small talk about their own weddings. And I hate the endless discussion of the bride and how fair she looks (never mind her IQ or personality – as long as she’s ‘fair’ everyone is pleased).

You get the idea. I hate weddings. Period.

And what I hate even more is the pressure to go to weddings from everyone else: “How can you not go men, sin – he has invited you!” said S. T said “He has included you in the numbers to cater for.” L said “Come will you, we’ll have fun, it’s in Panadura!”

Panadura, I thought to myself. That’s a one hour drive in a silk saree…good God, am I to be a masochist?

Finally I decided not to go and to tell everyone this. So I told everyone – “I won’t be coming along because I have no leave – since I only just started working at this new job.”

I also offered to answer the phones while the entire office was away. And so that’s how I spent last Wednesday at work – answering the phone.

The day passed quickly enough and I let out a sigh as 5 o’clock approached, thinking that’s it. I survived.

On Thursday everyone was buzzed and talking incessantly about the lovely wedding. At nine we had our usual staff meeting and horror of all horrors, the boss herself made us sit through a presentation of all the photographs she had taken of the bride and groom! And I had been under the impression I had escaped the worst of it – mustered my resolve and ditched the whole event but here I was, once again being reminded of the joys of marital life – that same old celebration of heterosexuality as the only valid union, complete with scores of relations one mostly dislikes and numerous acquaintances who aren’t really one’s friends but have faithfully come to Celebrate the Wedding.

All this, projected larger than life onscreen for our enforced entertainment. I wanted to scream!

Can we just let it be? Give it a rest? Do we all have to love weddings and everything associated with them? Why do people pressure one to do things one really doesn’t have the slightest inclination to do, just because it would make them happy or because it’s the ‘right thing to do’?

I really hate weddings.





If you love somebody…

18 10 2009

“If you want to keep something precious

You got to lock it up and throw away the key

If you want to hold onto your possession

Don’t even think about me…”

“If you love somebody, set them free”

Sting  (Dream of the blue turtles 1985)

You’ve heard the rest of the track. And you certainly know the end of that quote.

I believe in freedom, independence and giving people the power to choose. I also understand that freedom, independence and the power to choose are all huge concepts and in practice they are necessarily limited by numerous factors – colour, race, religion, income, social rank, geography, environment, genes and personal history. But I still believe that there is a gap between the degree of freedom each of us could have and what we actually dare to embrace. And maybe more importantly – a very clear limit on how much freedom we are willing to give other people in our lives.

By freedom I mean personal space, physical space, an absence of suspicion, jealousy, insecurity and all the anxious and controlling behaviors that seem so common in love relationships. People often seem to require constant attention, interaction and incessant reassuring communication while demanding conformity to accepted norms of behavior. We have a need to change the other person ‘to fit’. Even worse, the absence of this sort of possessive control in one person is often perceived as lack of care by the other.

There are clear boundary lines drawn on every interaction, acceptable opinions, fashion, eating habits and life style. And so partners in both gay and straight relationships often seem to end up with identical political views, religious convictions and sense of humor. Is it why they are together in the first place? Is it just more convenient that way? Or did it all come on over time…as part of that relentless melting of one personality into another that inevitably takes place in most relationships?

People make compromises in life for many reasons, especially when they marry or enter a relationship, however superficial. Reasonable compromise is necessary to maintain any relationship, a sort of oil in the gears – assuming the other factors such as sexual compatibility and affection are already present. But how do we decide what’s worth giving up? Do we gradually become conservative from being a liberal? Do we change our religion – become born again or buddhist? Turn vegetarian? Stop wearing short skirts? Give up our friends? Stop talking to ex-lovers? Change jobs? Get pregnant? Stop working? Move in with the in-laws? Or visit them every Sunday? Do we stop eating sushi? Give away the dog? Start wearing make-up?

Do we chuck our Celine Dion CD’s? Lose weight? Stop reading? Stop smoking? Colour our hair?

What do we have to do and how much are we willing to give up in order to keep that special someone in our otherwise lonely lives?

Someone always gives up something and too often it is a one-sided stream of sacrifice by women on behalf of their men. Observe the patient girlfriends at rugby matches, wandering around car sales or watching league football on tv? Is that ‘sharing’? Or ‘pleasing’? And are the men ‘letting’ them have their little entertainments…girl’s nights out or the spa on Sunday morning?

On the other hand are most women just filling in the time till the right man comes along with Saturday plans for the car sale, rugby and footie? And is the real unseen exchange the Child that virtually every woman seems to need and desire so passionately? In exchange for which the men get an uncomplaining wife and the power to rule unchallenged, as long as they continue to protect and provide?

These quiet manipulations are not necessarily gender biased or dependent on sexual orientation. Queer relationships are often very emotionally manipulative and controlled too. Everyone does it to everyone else all the time to different degrees and in different ways. And often the personality that gets swamped is quite happy to be that way – passive, accepting of guidance and the state of benevolent dictatorship that guarantees the comfort of the relationship. It removes responsibility and the need to make decisions. Often it guarantees that one person (usually the woman) need never have to work for a living again. It takes away the need to think for oneself. It fits into and wins approval from society. And so, in exchange for uncritical support you get a socially acceptable, comparatively peaceful life.

But why can’t we arrive at the same place while accepting or even insisting on our own and the other person’s right to be independent? Surely this is something to aspire to? How can we become fully developed personalities if we get sidetracked on the way by the desperation of our need for love, sex, social acceptance, escape from parental control, maternity or companionship? None of which are available without the accompanying sacrifice of a degree of our thinking selves? How do we become accomplished writers, artists, scientists or musicians – or even simply free-thinking individuals, if we have taken this smooth path to hell?

The alternative is terribly difficult. It requires constant effort to find a balance between necessary compromise and independence of spirit. It is hard work to defend one’s beliefs if your partner does not always agree. The battle for freedom to live in the way that makes you happy can often be fatal to the relationship itself. But this is surely one of the finest efforts in life? If one has the slightest interest in personal development, surely this is the place to start? Neither to bully nor go under but to find a way to live with someone else as two individuals together, different but equal.





10 things to do before I die

15 10 2009

10 things to do before I die

Be thin
Have a baby
See same sex marriage legalised in Sri Lanka
Own a house by the sea (without the neighbors looking in or stealing)
Spend too much time taking photographs
Teach conversational English to young girls in Sri Lanka
Write a well received book
Live in a lesbian commune
Take my love to see the Aurora Borealis
Retire

10 things to do before I die

Colour my hair and become a firewitch
Visit Dharamsala
Own a house with my love
Retreat to a place where there is no one else
Open my doors to a garden full of trees
Go on one unlimited book-buying binge
Become a homemaker
Own a library
Live in a lesbian commune
Retire

10 things to do before I die

Have a room with a view
Grow a (big) garden
Have two dogs and two cats
Have a library
Live Tao
Learn to dance
Go to Mozart Week in Salzburg
Talk to strangers
Give up everything and live in a monastery
Retire





Sex education = more sex?

13 10 2009

Well, that’s what people in this country seem to think. Not everyone of course, but a significant number. Like the government. And many religious leaders.

Why has it been soooo hard to get sex education into our school curriculum?

When it comes to teaching children about reproduction – forget it. My biology teacher said “You know what cats and dogs do, no? This is like that, but for people.”

End of class.

Needless to say we were most disappointed. After all, it was the one class which no one had bunked!

There have been so many attempts to try to educate children about sex and so much money has been pumped into the country for this purpose… it has been called by different names: body literacy, health education and God knows what else; but no one has been committed to take it on. On top of that, no one wants to teach it!

I read a study* recently in which parents were asked if they thought their children needed sexual health education. All of them said yes. But they didn’t want to be the ones to give it!

It really makes me wonder – as a parent, wouldn’t you rather be the one to talk to your children about sex – taking their age and exposure into consideration, instead of trusting a stranger to teach them about one of the most important things of life? And this stranger, most likely a fellow or senior classmate, very likely might not always pass on accurate information!

I was in Class 5 when I first heard about sex. My friend Gita’s parents were both doctors. She told me: “My father pissed inside my mother and I was born.” I refused to believe her and said “My parents would never do that!’

I most certainly don’t want any child of mine to grow up believing stuff like this! Would you? Imagine me, aged 10 with buck teeth and a ponytail on top of my head, thinking…so  that’s how I was born! So ugly.

What a childhood!

(More soon.)


* References:

“A collection of Research Papers on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.
Edited by Prof. A.R. Wickremasinghe and Prof. A. Pathmeswaran.
The study referenced is titled “Sri Lankan parents’ attitudes towards adolescent reproductive and sexual health education needs: a qualitative study.”