The Shell



Returns on emotional investment are ever diminishing, but what stays the same these days anyway? If exam schedules change on a whim and buses are hardly regular, who are we to complain when girlfriends find better ‘things’ to hold? We clamp down firmly on our tongues and wait till the urge to scream slowly passes, like a rivulet of cold sweat sourced from fear trickles down a naked back. Like real men. But in our minds, in our minds we’re throwing tantrums and smashing all that’s remotely breakable. In our minds, we’re childish avenging angels taking back a dozen pounds of flesh for the one we say was taken from us… the one we say. Everything is in a manner of speaking these days. Even that thing called feminism. Sorry, I wasn’t trying to pick a fight with the other side of maleness.

So should I be feeling ‘not good enough’ because I’m not getting as much love as I used to from her? Should I be pissed that ‘us’ time is looking less and less like what it used to be, like a sofa in the process of conversion into a full-time mattress gradually acquires a new, undesirable look? Funny that that word ‘undesirable’ came up. It probably represents the sum of all the things I fear: that someday I will look at my life with her and walk off the end of a short pier emotionally (only emotionally, I love myself far too much to contemplate suicide)… because being in love has become undesirable.

Maybe I’m just ungrateful. I mean, she’s still here, suffering through my attempts at making conversation with the aptly timed hmm and the brilliantly injected ah. Not words exactly, just faint signs of life, controvertible proofs of existence. The relationship is a dying planet, but what’s left will not cease to pass itself off as verdure. Talk about going out with a bang.