Friday, April 23, 2010


The pain is still there. The yawn stops abruptly and his body slumps back onto the hard mattress. Something is wrong with his right shoulder; there's a dull ache that doesn't seem to go away, his fingers are swollen and his whole body is rebelling against its senses. There's a thick fog in his brain. The phlegm is stuck on its way down from his sinuses to his throat and it makes him want to puke early in the morning: at 11:30am. The curtains are open a crack and a hard ray of sunlight strikes him across the neck where sweat builds up slowly; never running or drying, just sticky. He wishes he had got drunk. He swings his feet down to his Adidas slippers, drags them to the bathroom, pulls the blue-green-and-purple eight-thousand rupee cotton sarong from Barefoot over his waist and carefully pisses onto the rim of the commode. Flush. The sarong falls, so he bends to pick it up; he could kiss the piss-pot on the way down. The Apple i-phone blinks, he checks the number on the screen and puts it to his ear as he ties the sarong and walks towards the balcony.

"Baby, good morning!"

She's chirpy.


"Did you just wake up?"

Chirpy and asking questions.


"Did you sleep well?"

Still chirpy and more

"No, I woke up from a dream and couldn't go back to sleep"

"Aiyo angel, I keep telling you no..."

A year and half and still the same rattle. She loves him, he knows; but there's nothing to say and she wants to talk. The phone starts getting hot and his ear sweaty; the sunlight, the dead air and the flies doing jumps-and-saccades around the balcony table don't help. There's a throbbing behind his eyes. He takes up the pack of cigarettes, flips the cover and carefully picks one. The white-gold lighter with his name engraved on it clicks and he puffs, then inhales, wincing at the smoke.


She's still talking.

"Here, I have some work to do; I'll call you when I'm free"

The chirping stops.

"Ok... I love you"


He knows it hurts her, but it doesn't matter now. A fly settles on the edge of his mug and washes its hands in his tea.



The real-estate man hasn't called. The offer is not good, but he doesn't care. The ancestral home with the surrounding paddy, villages and thickets are worth at least five million dollars, but he's desperate now. If he gets five hundred thousands, he can come clean. Anything goes now, everything.

The house? sold.

The car? sold.

The family name; his children's heritage? selling.

But he knows the man won't call.

The there's the woman. He could sell her. She loves him; she'd do anything for him. She's all he has left; and the Magnum 45.