The fighter jet decimates each cloud. Smoke cloaks each house with a pall of dust. The smell of burning tires enhances the stench of smoldering rubbish that emanates from the metal containers punctuating our streets and lanes. A car squeals its venom terrorizing the heart of night. The rattle of bullets rends the air like a snake, ensnared. I inhale the odor of discord, of regional and civil wars, and burst in tears at dawn. Some were just writing poems; some were hoarding gold. Some were calculating how much tomorrow’s meals would cost. Some were dreaming of love wrapped up in a box. Some were devouring books to secure a future job. What have we done to deserve this gall?
I have never seen severed heads before! Television screens have turned into licensed horror and gore. I cling to my beads and pray before the invisible Lord.
I bask within the glow of a single candle flame and reminisce over past boons that are no longer ordained since electricity shortage has become a pop song refrain. I cannot plug in my PC to a fitful candle blaze or dry my very long hair with its yellow haze, or heat some water on its lukewarm rays for now tarrying showers are likely to limp for days.
I venture my head out from underneath my quilt and peer through the glass of my wooden door at the room opposite to detect any visible light that heralds the return of electricity. The dim light caught at the end of the corridor emboldens me to leave my linen refuge to resume so many deferred activities. To my surprise, I spot a tiny pool of water on the floor, right beneath my bed, so I wipe it and think nothing of it, only to find more on my return from the kitchenette. I mop it, ponder over the incident then place a nylon shopping bag on the spot and head again to the kitchenette to seek solace in a cup of herbal tea. Water has again accumulated and it is not miraculous spring water because our apartment is on the fifth floor. I check my favorite icon on the wall, the Last Supper with protruding figures in marvelous robes. Its back cover is saturated with water. I view the ceiling with alarm. Dripping roofs remind me of the murder of Alex by the maddened Tess of the D’Urbervilles. My ceiling has been peeling for months but the present leakage has endowed it with a murderous look. What if the water seeps through the electric wires right above my bed. I rush upstairs to the culprit apartment to be confronted by iron bars through which the wind is whistling to ossify my bones. The walls and doors I had seen on a couple of formal occasions are rubble on the floor. This is more than renovating a home. It aims at a resurrection after a demolition that has been resonating in my own room. The timing is extraordinary, my Christmas holiday to which I look forward throughout the year with the New Year only round the corner. I call out but the place is empty of workers. I rush to my apartment only to hear water dripping from the ceiling of our entrance hall, not far from our main supply of electricity whose wires entwine like a nest of worms.
My eyes feel the pull of the tide on their darkening ripples of light. My words retreat to the ravines of my mouth since all utterance is denied. A bird flutters in my head, losing its feathers to a mighty wind, a snowfall of plumage submerging every nerve and sense. On matter, my fingers loosen their grip. My waning water clock begins to drip, drop by drop, its toll of blood. Perhaps my feet can undo the knot that has tightened around my leaking lung, no air to suck, but soles and toes refuse to respond to a series of dots in the wake of a bolt, a blot.