What happened to our Paris

Tripti

What happened to our Paris?

You read to me as I limply lie in the bathtub- fixated, dreaming, everything at once. I look at you intently, picturing your every word.

Contraries.

You- clothed like a Frenchman with a scarf around your neck.

Gift, my gift to you.

Ages back, when we counted time in numbers, you chirped like a bird and professed your love for scarves to me.

I have gifted you one every year thence.

I rummage for the shades you love, for the tints I love, for the colours we love together-

Navy blue, leafy green, moonlight yellow.

I style your scarf every time you get dressed. I plait the green scarf around your neck- a piece of me- think of me. Let the remembrance be passive, a constant as you live through the day. Let my absence before your sight not entail an absence in your thoughts.

Me- naked.

Wearing translucent water as a cloth, partially wet hair, blurry vision.

I see you though.

I see you in your words when you read to me, restlessly searching my face, my frown- the same child that perennially inhabits you in your black button eyes.

I see you in your voice-raspy, a little shrill.

You hate your own sound, don't you?

I love it. So read to me. Now. Tomorrow. Always.

You never lean in. Instead, oddly extend your bony arm to get the few strands off my face.

You get me my towel and tell me to hurry, complaining as usual. I take too much time getting ready. My response as usual-denial.

You are hungry.

That café serves good food.

Let’s go now.

Hurry.

I am 22 again.

Tell me.

What happened to our Paris?


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