Living in a hotel room in an alien city – check.
Isolated from meaningful human connection – check.
Aged 27 – soon.
Artistic genius – ???

Guess it’s not for me after all.

P.S. I have decided that social media updates are a cry for help.

We’re terribly sorry, but the last line of defence is all filled up. We’ve got a few places free on the front lines, though. Would you perhaps be interested in that?

– You, trying (and failing) to be clever.

They come in two variants: one is the passive, everyday nothingness that you can’t see, hear or feel, and the other is the active kind that gets all into your lungs and will not let you breathe.

– You, taxonomizing.

P.S. The twelvemonth and a day being up, the dead began to speak: oh, who sits weeping at my grave and will not let me sleep?

I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII

Excerpt from the Ravings of a Madman:

“I write these words for I cannot bring myself to speak them. Is this what you truly wanted, old friend? We could have been so much more. Together, we could have soared higher than any of their feeble minds could conceive of. And yet you chose to turn your face from the sky, digging instead for the leavings of lesser men and women.

I will not, however, condemn you for a traitor. A fool you are, and a stubborn one at that, but that is perhaps its own punishment for the things you have done.”

Late in the afternoon today a bird sat singing in the tamarind tree outside my balcony. Coo-oo-oo, it went. Coo-oo-oo, coo-oo-ooo, coo-oo-ooo, continuously like a heart beating faster and higher in some unknown exaltation. After some frantic research, I understood it was called the koel, or the Asian cuckoo. (Asian cuckoos, like their human counterparts, seem to be overachievers as well. Ordinary cuckoos go ku-ku? Asian cuckoos decide to one up their cousins and go coo-oo-oo in pitch perfect sets of three notes each.)

It reminded me of a poem in A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, called The Fever Bird:

The fever bird sang out last night.
I could not sleep, try as I might.

My brain was split, my spirit raw.
I looked into the garden, saw

The shadow of the amaltas
Shake slightly on the moonlit grass.

Unseen, the bird cried out its grief,
Its lunacy, without relief.

Three notes repeated, closer, higher,
Soaring, then sinking down like fire.

Only to breathe the night and soar,
As crazed, as desperate, as before.

I shivered in the midnight heat
And smelt the sweat that soaked my sheet.

And now tonight I hear again,
The call that skewers through my brain,

The call, the brain-sick triple note–
A bone of pain stuck in its throat.

I am so tired I could weep.
Mad bird, for God’s sake let me sleep.

Why do you cry like one possessed?
When will you rest? When will you rest?

Why wait each night till all but I
Lie sleeping in the house, then cry?

Why do you scream into my ear
What no one else but I can hear?

In the book, a young poet pens this down one night during a mad Indian summer just like this one. And the protagonist of the story falls in love with him on reading his words, but refuses to marry him, for he would not make a suitable boy. Not for her, and not right then.

Sometimes I think you are like that poet, right down to your name. Beautiful, but not mine to keep. Raw, but not mine to heal. Perfect, but not meant for me.

P.S. Whaaa? That doesn’t sound like you at all. What on earth were you thinking?
P.P.S. I wasn’t thinking, that’s the trouble with this one.