Shadow Dance ~

By: Enakshi Biswas

The bed was missing in her room. Everything was makeshift. The mattress on the floor; the lack of almost any furniture; the lack of a full-length curtain that covered the bedroom completely; the lack of steady hammered pegs on the wall. The paintings lying on the floor, as were the wooden shelves which never found their way onto the walls; the unlit candles. Everything in the room screamed temporary, except for the feelings she had for the man sitting across her on the temporariness that her mattress was.


They tried to have a conversation with lights switched off. Adult games. Not pertaining to the flesh. Mind games instead. She feared his mind. Convoluted in its serpentine folds. She wished the games would end.


His mind and her heart. Tore each other apart. His heart and her mind, did not exist.


So there they were, lovers of the Past. One with no heart. The other with no mind. But they were trying. Trying to grow a heart and a mind each. She hoped for them to fuse together to grow a sunflower of a heart & a mind, conjoined- turning towards the sun, towards whatever was Light.


Too much of mind in him, too many mental calculations that jumbled him up which made him lose her. Too much of a heart in her, too clear from the beginning, he was what made sense.


Pieces of her heart and his mind with its cruel jagged ends. Their bodies could have been the glue. But they sat apart. Theirs had always been an unfinished business. She had never feared death but now she did. She was not going to die on them without consummating what was meant to be. And it went beyond the flesh.


Her poetry stained hair created beautiful art every night, falling in waves. But he sat there blind. His mind which kept his heart numb.


And while she wondered if she was invisible to him. Someone else told her, she was so rare that not everyone could see her. Her new paramour. Maybe this new entrant’s eyesight was sharper because Life did not give him the power to hear. Nature’s way of balancing it out. His, the new suitor’s hearing aid let him down every time. His brain refused to translate what she told him. He, unlike the previous lover looked earnestly at her lips instead and always tried to comprehend her. A lot of times, what she asked, was misheard and she got a wrong answer.


The conversations during the day went round & round in circles, with both her lovers. One could hear but not understand her. The other could not hear and far less, unravel her. One she loved for sure. The other loved her instead.


She imagined sitting across her new lover on the temporariness that was her mattress, with the lights switched off. Bereft of the chance to lip-read he wouldn’t have much to go by. Yet she could imagine his gratitude, to be invited at her place. He’d spent all his life inviting friends to his home but none arrived. Waiting to be invited instead.


While she gave all of her to him, to get some of him. Not to the one who could hear not. But to the one who was blind. He, the first lover- complained of claustrophobia and asked for the lights to be switched on. He missed the point altogether, stars look beautiful in the darkness.


And there they were, all three. Surrounded by their own darkness as shadows danced madly telling its own triangle of love unrequited.