Letting her go

Feeble, she couldn’t eat any more. Doctors said she’d soon move on. He wept, yet knew it was best. She had taken too much pain and painkillers that failed. She had endured injection after injection while he sifted through test reports.

He had done all to help, keep, and guard her. He could hold on no more; her weakening heart begged to let go.

He sat by her side, listening to the declining rhythm of her heartbeat. He looked at her closed eyes and smiled, remembering their first meeting.

A trash collector, he had found her purring in the dumpster.

Hold It Down

I sometimes read poetry, and often, I come across a poem that strikes me so hard that I have to save it, savour it, and share it.

One such poems, by Gina Myers, is Hold It Down.

When I first read the poem, I was so awed that I wondered why I hadn’t heard of the poet before. I studied literature, but I’m ashamed, neverthelss, to admit that there are so many popular writers I’ve never event heard of. I read, but I don’t read that much. I’ve felt small when friends talk about books and writers they cherish whereas I’m just lost.

Regardless, I read the poem again, and realised it didn’t matter that I hadn’t heard of the poet before; the poem speaks louder than the poet could’ve.

It’s a little long, but it’s worth it. Here it is from Poetry Foundation:

It’s 70 degrees outside but in the drugstore
Christmas music plays over the speakers as
I stand in line balancing my checkbook
in my head, stretching things thin until
my next paycheck when the rent is due.
The security guard cracks a joke, but
I wasn’t paying attention, so I just smile
& step forward in line. Images move
across the screen. When I think about money
it seems impossible. All over the country
people are moving into the streets
& we’re here in Atlanta starting a new life.
Darkness surrounds the latest revision
of our shared history. Everything clouded.
Yesterday 1 couldn’t tear myself from the news
& already today the events have been distorted,
the numbers downplayed. It’s late fall
& in the early morning crispness, the leaves
fall from the trees & cover the sidewalks.
This new feeling we lack a name for, struggle
manifested in the streets & in parks & on bridges
across the nation. The headlines read
“Protesters clash with police,” but as we watched
the live stream, we saw aggression only by officers
dressed in riot gear. We saw people tossed
on the ground, hit with batons,
a woman punched in the face, an eighty-four year old
woman’s face drenched in pepper spray.
The images endless in this land of the free.
I’m losing focus, distracted by the newsfeed
on the computer screen, hitting refresh.
The cat paws at my leg, demands its own attention.
This shift entirely unexpected but necessary.
Leaves blot the window. Every so often
I leave & start from scratch, imagine
damaged relationships & sick cities
where there was no damage & no sickness
greater than anywhere else. In Atlanta,
everyone drives. The bartender called us
“hardcore” when we said we’d walked there.
She said, “No one in Atlanta walks anywhere.”
Walking home from work in post-daylight
savings time darkness I pass no one on the
sidewalks. I pass the traffic backed up by
the stoplight. The weekend passes too quickly—
I wish it would last longer, which is what this all
is really about: time & my lack of control
over it, my inability to do what I want with it.
And there’s a greater futility at work
here too—a greater frustration in my inability
to control my environment or to stop my country
from killing its citizens. The police beat people
standing still, linking arms, holding cardboard signs.
Each day I think more & more about the past,
about where things began to go wrong, where I, too,
began to go wrong. Before I moved, before I
got sick, before I unfriended you on Facebook,
before I decided I no longer loved you,
before New York, before college—thinking back
to childhood when we could run fearless
through the neighborhood at night, when
we didn’t think about the future, when we loved
our country because we didn’t know better.

Gina is a modern poet. Perhaps that’s the reason I relate to her writing so much. The story and the panic-inducing lifestyle of a youngster is all too familiar. And as I read through the poem, words jumped at me making me feel it’s me she’s talking about.

We’ve all had that mid-life crisis moment, when we look around us feeling repulsive at the society we call home. People are mean — to animals and to each other. Just as we’re trying to figure out our purpose and way in life, we watch our fellows taking incredible measures to hurt each other, and that’s heartbreaking.

We look around us and wonder why the country’s gone to the dogs. We look at authority wishing they’d be less brutal, we look at weapon-wielding children and wonder where the flowers had gone to. It’s the reality of our lives, a sight that none of us wants to see.

Growing up is a curse. We’re forced to see things and know things, and understand situations we’d rather not. It’s disturbing and painful, making us wish we were kids again, when we loved without conditions because we didn’t know better.

This poem is the heart of a broken person. It’s the heart of every 21st-century person.

All the Love in the World

Frank — the people’s icon. Colleagues loved him, his respectful nature, and knack for avoiding controversies. Friends appreciated his remaining unbiased despite political influences.

He’d seen many downfalls as he had seen successes; lost awards, media insults, lame caricatures, and even protests against his works. Yet he shone through all that without batting an eye. He was used to it all. Fourteen years in the business had taught him how to keep his head through thick and thin.

But all the glitter of Hollywood couldn’t make up for missing his daughter’s birth. For the first time, Frank’s eyes glittered with tears.

Nervous

nervous

I stood backstage listening to my heartbeat’s crescendo. It was my first time. I watched her prepare herself; sneaking glances at the mirror, checking her makeup, and adjusting her bracelet. She seemed calm, panicking only when an assistant informed that he’d misplaced her headdress.

I looked at my sister. I had watched her growth since our parents died. She was three then. I, ten. An artist now, she was about to perform live, and I saw no nervousness.

She walked into thunderous applause. I stole a peek through the curtains–everything blurred.

I remembered. I had forgotten my spectacles at home.

When Amazon Pissed Me Off

It’s amazing how much we, as consumers, rely on brand names. I don’t often buy stuff online, and when I do, however, I always choose Amazon. Whether it’s books, clothes, or something bigger like electronic goods, Amazon is my go-to place online.

I have specific reasons, and they’re simple, too. Amazon is the most popular ecommerce site and it’s ubiquitous. Obvious conclusion: you don’t get to do business on such a large scale if you’re not good.

But as it is with consumer behaviour, it’s weird how a tiny glitch could break even a giant as gigantic as Amazon. A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a memory card on Amazon India and was promised delivery about 12-14 days from the date of purchase. It was a long wait, but I didn’t think much about it then because I was positive the estimate date was just an estimate; most orders arrive much before the delivery date. Besides, the day after I placed my order, I got a message saying my order was shipped. Ha, I thought, Amazon is Amazon for a reason, and I had no reason to worry.

Wrong.

After the prompt first message, I got nothing else. The estimated date whizzed by without me receiving my order. I tried tracking my package only to find out that the shipping details on my Amazon account were false. I dug up some trash on the seller, realising that almost all customers of that seller hadn’t received their orders. I tried contacting the seller (twice) and received no response as response.

I grew annoyed. Deciding to give up on Amazon, I ordered from another website, and got my package within two days.

Now I know Amazon has limited control over the sellers on their website, but I still flare up at Amazon. It’s natural human instinct. As a customer, I don’t care what’s going on with the company and a seller they’re hosting, but if you piss me off, I’m ditching your business.

Maybe I judge Amazon too harsh. But again, customers want what they want, and if a business fails so bad, customers won’t be compassionate. I work for an IT company and I understand that I shouldn’t blame it all on Amazon because of one seller’s mishap. But hereafter even before I type Amazon in my browser, I’ll think twice. My impression of the brand is tarnished forever. And that’s a price Amazon has to pay.