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Eyes widened not with delight

but curiosity as she saw

the number of wine glasses

on the table.

‘6?’ she asked him.

‘Visitors,’ he responded.

She broke all but two

by throwing them against

the dining room wall.

‘Not today,’ she said,

‘No mood for company.’

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I have ranted about this before but I don’t think I am ready to shut up entirely yet.

I am terrified to read the comments in most articles. Some tweet threads can be scary, too. There is just so much spite, hatred and malaise there; it makes me uneasy. Uneasy that we are willing to dismiss each other’s opinions so easily. Uneasy cause we have not been taught how to dissent well enough. Uneasy that all this anger is being shielded under free speech.

The responses, often, aren’t articulate counter replies (which I have no problem with). But, instead allegations and abuses are hurled at each other. What defines one’s identity is marred. It forces many to retreat and feel ashamed. We seem to not be able to establish any dialogue with each other. With language like this, I cannot imagine civil discussions. Forget intellectually eye opening ones. We have become so frigid and rigid in our beliefs that reason, logic or even merely another’s opinion don’t matter. It is disturbing for me to imagine a world where everyone speaks but no one is really talking.

I am developing a blanket policy not to read comments on articles online. My poor heart is incapable of handling the brutal blows humans are dishing out to humans in these “free” spaces.

Maybe my civil refusal to engage in dialogue is as bad as the other side that yells obscenities. I don’t know.

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At dusk he wandered out of his cabin in the woods and let out a piercing growl. As his skin peeled off, it revealed an inner layer of the skin. The process was painful and he growled till the transformation finished. It wasn’t his whole body; just his face. The first layer came off leaving him bruised and deep red. His entire face burned till a new layer of skin came back. Every time he got bitter, the first layer peeled off turning him into a beast. This started happening ever since that summer he came to the cabin with his wife, now ex-wife. He was a manic man in those times. She barely tolerated him; he didn’t like her too much either. Coped up in the cabin all summer drove him crazy. He held on to his last sane nerve till he just snapped. He yelled, screamed and growled at her. She did not take it well. On that fateful day, she muttered under her breath before storming out and never returning. He never knew the secret of what she did. But each time he felt an anger and bitterness seething through his blood, his skin peeled off. It took weeks before it healed again and he was sore for the time frame in between.

He remembered when he headed back to his office after the break in the cabin to find divorce papers on his table. He signed them and never saw his wife again. Ever since, when he felt turbulent, the skin peeled. When it happened once in an office meeting, he promptly got fired. They couldn’t handle a volatile person with some skin disorder, they claimed. He returned to the cabin; he felt unsafe and exposed, literally, everywhere else.

Over time, he was able to control his mind from reaching those thoughts and thus avoiding the reaction. But every once in a while, the thoughts got the best of him.

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My depths seek some silence,

from your anger,

and bitterness.

My soul deserves better,

than harsh words,

meagre actions

and cruel thoughts.

Your behaviour

incredulous

and insolent

to my aching concerns.

‘Nothing good

comes from revisiting

mistakes,’ he said,

‘Let it go’

‘Let it all go’

‘Wake up from

your nightmare’.

Reality beckoned.

Reality is different

was an illusion,

he created.

The devil,

sung his

devious songs to me,

In my dreams

every night.

My depths scream

for silence from him.