Never mistake silence for weakness. Remember that sometimes the air stills, before the onset of a hurricane – Nikita Gill, Her Silence
I tried to write this post on a Friday night. I leaned back in my bed, opened up a blank page on my laptop and stared at the cursor, blinking at me tauntingly; I think it knew it would be stationary for a while.
I was listening to the thunder crash around me, half wishing I was outside being soaked in it. I was talking to a new friend about sky poetry. I was thinking about eyes and what is silently projected through them. Is this why my Dad likes being around his new friend and her children, because when he looks at them he doesn’t see the (albeit unintentional) resting anger, resentment, maybe even fear, like he might when he looks at us? I was thinking about a guy who mocked me during last semester for not holding his eye-contact. He scared me with his too-many questions that I didn’t know how to say no to. I was thinking that I can’t actually recall the eye-colours of my friends, because I don’t focus on their eyes enough. Maybe my mind wanders too far during conversation. Some people tell me I’m attentive and a close listener. They’re wrong. I’m never present. There’s too much to think about.
I used to write about snakes. Not the type that betray you, not those with stealth who sneak up on you in disguise. We forget that snakes are enchanting and alluring, as well as dangerous and deceitful. That’s the first thing the Bible got wrong. Vipers, with mere bright slits for eyes, who ferociously leapt out at you in anger, and a basilisk, whose huge eyes would never blink, but froze my insides if I dared to make eye contact. So I don’t do that anymore. With some people.
I came across a photograph of a basilisk and me recently. Quite the charmer, with the deadly gaze to go with it. I mutilated it. I tore the picture, over and over, and scrunched up the little pieces. I shoved them back in their little slot in the album. That memory is still there, in its physical form – because sometimes you need proof of old dreams – but now he can’t look at me.
The snake-scales have become
Leaf, become eyelid; snake-bodies, bough, breast
Of tree and human
-Sylvia Plath, Snakecharmer
I never did figure out what this post was supposed to be about. I was too lost in thought to compose something structured, with planned meaning. It will come, though. Until then, I can see my cursor blinking at me hungrily in my reflection, when I stare at my own eyes in the dimmed screen.