The Pure

She found no way to be pure and unaware in this world. So she took her life saying: “Better dead than a cynic. Better dead than a sinner.”

 

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Sia and Sadness.

 

I am sad. And I am listening to Sia. I am listening to Sia’s ‘My Love’. Yes, it is a love song but the haunting notes seem to reflect whatever it is I feel now.

Someone might tell me her music isn’t what I should be listening to now.. Heck, R once described her as “a depressed lady with a sore throat”.. But this lady, depressed or no, is giving voice to the inner workings of my heart right now. Not in lyrics, but in sound, in high notes and in lilting song.

“There is no grief like the grief that does not speak”- Henry Wadsworth

Clean Feet

Her feet were clean.

I could see her through the open door of the bus. We were waiting for the bus to fill up so it could leave. I had just settled in my seat and stuck my earphones in my ears when she shuffled to the door and stretched out her hands; pleading for alms. I couldn’t hear a word she said because I refused to pause the song. Her kaftan was made for a woman three sizes bigger than her; or perhaps it was made for her when she was three sizes bigger. But her feet were clean.

And her hands reminded me of the twig I used to scare the chickens away; long and bony and about ready to snap in two. She waved her hand, then returned it to the begging position- slightly cupped, like she expected weighty coins. Wave, then beg- like she was scooping air into her palm then releasing it immediately- maybe it was too heavy for her skinny hand. Her eyes were in tiny slits and her lips parted then reunited, releasing words I couldn’t hear.

I have heard that they aren’t really sick- just lazy. That they just go away then come right back. Saving the little that those who have little give them. I decided I wouldn’t give out of my little. Because if she were really sick, she wouldn’t have clean feet. If she were really that poor, her white and blue slippers wouldn’t shine as if they’d been cleaned recently. My own black shoes with the broken buckle were splattered and bruised from walking the streets and dipping into deceptive puddles. How was it that she had clean feet? Maybe she had a home close by where she went to wash her feet in celebration of the funds trickling in from unsuspecting strangers.

I looked away to meet the entreating gaze of the lady selling “Cold waaater! Cold Spriite!” I didn’t want any so I pulled out a book and forgot them both. I told my sister about the beggar with clean feet later and she asked, “What if she was just a beggar who liked clean feet?”