By Abha Iyengar
The humerus bone has ‘humor’ of a malignant kind, that which shows no restraint.
It went jerking in another direction, that is, the direction of a no-no, towards the man with the blond hair. And then it tousled the hair up a bit even as I pulled myself away.
I wended my way out of the train, squeezing past all others and thought about it.
It was good I was a few inches taller than him so it was an easy reach, his blond hair I mean, but it could not at all pass for unintended behaviour, or a ‘excuse-me-as-I-pass- you-by- in-this-squeezed-like-hell-space.
There was enough room for me to maneuver without touching him at all. My arm and hand followed the impulse even as my mind said, “No, don’t do it”. But it happened.
And while it happened I tried to stop myself from reddening and then my face also lit up like a lantern that suddenly catches fire and I blinked my blue eyes to shake the sweat droplets that were forming on the gaps between my drop-dead dreadlocks and front fringe and he must have been wondering what a peculiar looking man.
I knew that his blond hair was calling out to be tousled.
I am out of the train but he is behind me, I can smell him because I have more than my sixth sense, I have my seventh sense as well which I got when I visited my Seventh Heaven of Delight (yes, I have completed that part of my life) and its been there with me since that time and stands me in good stead in moments like this.
Sometimes it works against me as well, as when I don’t want to smell something, like in something-fishy-going-on, but have to do so because of the existence of this sense.
And I think of how I wanted to scrape my hands down his face and taste the blood thereafter to see how he tasted but that was for later and would not happen now.
He is close behind me and then he steps right there, in front of me and I have no choice but to dead-stop in my tracks.
He is looking at me and suddenly I find the gashes forming on his face just where I would have clawed him in my desire to taste him. He touches his face and licks his fingers as he looks at me and then I want to run before I see any more and all around us the crowd mills as he continues to do what he is doing. I want to join him in that.
He put his hand on my arm, my formerly deceptive arm, and my arm again deceives me and snakes across his body to feel his waist and then we are walking step to step and it is as if he can read my thoughts because he snuggles his face into my chest and says, “ I missed you,” and I look at this face and the red gashes are bleeding holes now, waiting to be closed and consumed by me and I cannot not believe my eyes and then I feel I should tell him to go away but my body clings to his like a peach, sorry, leech, and I just want to be his blood and that he be mine and then we will be one once more.
The world whizzes past us and does not see his droplets fall on the ground or that I begin to run with him home so that I can save him before he dies.
I had not wanted to recognize him, my own flesh and blood, but my body betrayed me.
I did not want him to become a part of me, but I could not let him die. I mean, he had been a part of me, I had removed him from me because he was getting too heavy to carry, his wants, his demands, his desires an extra load that took so much from me.
He sucked and sucked till I felt faint because of his need. He would not grow away. He just continued to be a part of me, this tousled haired blond boy that refused to grow up, refused to leave my side long after Hera had left me.
Hera had decided to separate from the two of us a long time ago, and I remember how dismembered I had felt, because I depended on her for sustenance. I would milk her dry and then she would point at her breasts and say, have you not had enough? Have you not grown enough?
I would look at her with eyes that beseeched her and she said no, I will grow old like this just feeding you and taking care of you. Its about time you fended for yourself and look at the boy who clings to you like a limpet sucking all the energy from you, my energy she said, and she just sat up one night and cut me away from her nipples, and they remained with her but I had separated.
And I was no longer in her, a part of her, she just went away to survive on her own and she would because she was filled with the milk of humanity and when the gods have given you that and there is no one taking it from you anymore, you can do a lot for yourself.
I did not have her, but my tousled boy still put out all his suckers and clung to all parts of me and sucked. And I knew that now I would have to remove him.
It had not been easy, the removal.
He had screamed and shouted and resisted and I had removed each suction point one by one and held it off to make sure that none remained with me for he could grow back onto me again then, from that one contact.
And when the last one was removed I had seen him shrivel and crumple up into some kind of jelly fish but I had moved away because I had to fend for myself.
It is not easy to do that when all your life you only survive because you have lived off your mother who went away and then your wife who went away and then you look for someone else but after a time you have to find your own means of survival.
So I had. I had attached myself to another man and it was a give and take relationship, and though I felt quite starved, it was alright.
He did not become a part of me and I did not become apart of him, our blood was not allowed to mix because we did not want each other enough. If we had allowed that to happen we would have become a part of each other and sucked on each other for survival and then it would have been whoever was stronger would be the person in charge of the body.
You know what I mean, if his name is Richard, then if Richard sucked more out of me so that he became the greater part of us, then the body would be called Richard. Otherwise it would be called Llelewyn, which is my name.
As for the blond boy, my son, Neville, who had returned to me, I had no choice but to accept him now as a part of me. I needed him as much as he needed me, for I had not felt so wanted for a long time.
Hera was not there for me, Richard was just there, a kind of a ‘will do’ arrangement where neither of us was satisfied, but my son, he was there with me now.
Though I know that he would make me die in the end for he would suck up all of me and make the body his, Neville’s body, but I could not resist it any more.
So I was rushing him home so that I could plug all the leaking holes with myself and then he could be happy and I could be happy. I could not help myself now that he had reappeared in my life.
Hera would laugh at me if I told her, she would say that I would never learn, that I always needed someone, either to support me or be dependent on me, that I could never exist by myself, as myself.
Well, she can laugh, and she may be right, but as my son sucks onto me, I feel at peace.
The world will carry on as it wants. This is my bliss. My mind may say no, this will destroy you, this stupid wanting of yours to be devoured and that too by your own son, it is not good, this mixing of the same blood, but my body has never felt happier.
All I can see now is the blondness of my boy and how beautiful he is as he grows stronger with me. I need this dependency. I only wish Hera was here for then we would be complete. Her independent spirit is difficult to hold on to. I dream of her breasts as Neville sticks onto me and I feel the milk filling up within me.
I do keep in touch with Hera through my deep connection with her but she blocks me out of her system most times. Tonight she may have realized that I had a special need so she allowed me to access her and then when she found out what I had done, and that I would also be trying to access her from a distance for sustenance once again, she ws furious with me.
I felt her milk drying up as I dreamt, she was blocking me out completely, and I cried out in anguish, there is no other word for it.
I asked her if she had forgotten our times together in the Seventh Heaven of Delight which we had visited and the promises we had made each other and she said that these promises are not binding on anyone and are often made in moments of happiness and passion but the real world is different and I should realize that.
And now I had Neville once again in my life, and she thought that was the stupidest thing to have done when I was carrying on fine with Richard.
Richard had not appeared after I came home with Neville. He knew his time with me was over. He would find someone else, since he was used to surface living and that is not so difficult a thing if that is all you want.
For me, passion was everything and that is why I suffered the way I did. I felt incomplete most times if I was not attached to someone enough.
The Government advocated ‘surface- living’ and ‘free-floating’, and ‘non-attachment’ — this was the new mantra and society followed it.
The Government held that in this way people could be individuals in their own right and function separately and become attached only to the greater issues and not get involved into personal entanglements. People were surviving on this basis.
Hera was doing very well for herself, the only thing was of course she was bloating a bit with all the milk filling up within her and no takers for it.
When I asked her about it she said that the Government was making arrangements to release it from her and bottle it up for marketing because people needed this milk of humanity for survival at times.
I told her that I needed it and she could do me a favour by allowing me to get at it but she had laughed and said there is no profit in you. This way I sell to the government. Her laugh had made me cringe.
Yet I wanted her so badly that I would have done anything to have her back in my life and I said so and she disconnected her thoughts from mine. She did not want to deal with me all over again.
Neville is fast asleep, over and around me. I try not to think of fate and all those kind of things because if my arm had not gone out to tousle my blond son’s hair in the train then perhaps I could have continued to survive.
I knew that he had been searching for me and wanted me to become his again and that is why he had shone his blondness like a beacon in the train.
He knew that I am unable to resist this part of him, and that I would succumb if he was near enough again.
I allow myself to drift off since there is no point in thinking too much about things. I have to accept that I will grow no more since I have no sustenance and have stopped looking for it now, there is no one else who will fill me up the way Hera did.
Neville will take from me all that I am and soon I will be no more, it will be Neville and then he will be on the prowl for someone else. I will just be a small part of him and maybe I can guide him in his quest, but that is about it.
I stroke Neville’s hair and my eyes close.
Abha Iyengar has her work published internationally in print and on the net — poems, articles, essays, fiction, non-fiction. She has a poem film, “Parwaaz” (flight) to her credit. She loves to write “literature of the fantastic.” She lives in New Delhi, India, from where her thoughts travel everywhere.
© ABHA IYENGAR 2007