The boy who lives in my house. I had sketched this a year or so back. He’s bigger now.
I’ve been trying to make the kid who lives in my house, laugh all day. At the Dutts’, it’s inconceivable not ta laugh frequently. Dutts laugh wantonly, libidinously, rampantly, scurrilously, opprobriously. You get the hang.
The Dutts laugh when they come (as in sex). And they laugh when they go (as in kicking the bucket). They laugh when they burp and they laugh when they pass wind. And when things get really funny, they are beside themselves with laughter. I’ve sat next to me numerous times and watched me guffaw. Just as, at any given second anywhere in the world, a jet takes off and lands with Pratt and Whitney engines, so does a Dutt laugh. The sun never sets on a laughing Dutt.
Someone is doing it all the time. Well, not like in the dead of the night or something, but nearly all the time.
Dead of the night. Did you know that the term came from England in the early dark ages? Folk those days, likened sleep to dying and were therefore terrified of falling asleep. Maybe because it lay them open, vulnerable to attack. No matter how well you were guarded, someone could still stick a shiv into ya or poison yore chalice, just so he could have your obelisk or shield or woman.
Bet you didn’t know that. See? You feel enlightened already. And it is all for free. Read on and soon you won’t need a bedside lamp ta read, you’ll be so enlightened.
About sleep, this is what Big Willie had to say-
….Methought I heard a voice cry
“Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep”,
The innocent sleep, that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,
….blah blah blah…
Jeeze if ever I was stuck in a bar with Willie, I’d strangle the old geezer with my bare hands, I would. All that Macbeth had to say was, “Can’t get sleep, can’t get it up, the three witches are bustin’ my ass, all I see is Burnum Woods marchin’ up ta Dunsinane. Think I’ll go get laid. Where the f–k is Lady Macbeth? What? She kilt husself? Guess I’ll have ta settle for Graymalkin, though Paddock does have a cute way of sayin’ ‘anon’. No, maybe I’ll do the other weird sister, the one who makes yummy newts’ tail soup”. Macbeth sure was one big cribfest.
By the by, what was Lady Macbee’s name? Does anyone know? Couldn’t find it on any act/scene. And trust me, I know the bloody play by heart. It was beaten into me with a cane. Though the caning was for the reason mentioned a couple of paragraphs later. You don’t know what the heck the above Shakespeare quote has to do with anything, especially this piece, right? Hell, neither do I. Who says I have got to make sense?
All I remember about English Lit class at school were Mrs. Henderson’s baobabs. We didn’t call her Mrs. Shakes-pair for nothing. They jiggled as she reached up and started to write on the blackboard and sometimes came away with tiny circular smudges of chalk dust where the two tips of her baobabs had grazed the blackboard.
Mrs Henderson’s baobabs had once prompted Shailesh Chandra, sitting in the back benches, to start humming,”Chunari samhal gori, uri chali jai re” and Mrs. Henderson thought it was me. I got a rap on the knuckles with the ruler and later in the day, a few swipes from Mr. Henderson’s cane. Mr. Henderson took PT while Mrs. took Lit. Together, they were senior members of the Schutz Staffel. I passed the punishments on to Shailesh in the dorm at night.
I was telling you about the boy’s refusal to laugh and his pout. It’s a cute pout that makes him resemble a Bengali 5 (banglar panch), which looks like this- ‘৫’. But do be careful, don’t try to squeeze, cuddle, hug or playfully poke him when he’s pouting. It’ll make him frown furiously, shake himself vehemently out of your grasp, stomp around loudly, pick up stuff and set them down with a bang, storm back into his room and slam the door shut. That sort of thing. And me when I pout, I look like a goddamn saxophone, with my lower lip hanging out. A ghastly sight. Forget it, I won’t pout even if you hold a snub-nosed Walther PPK to my head.
But the boy who lives in my house, he knows when to stop. When my patience is near the edge. He knows when the joke I just cracked is the last one before I start wupping.
“Did I tell you about the oral exams we used ta have when I was yore age?” He shook his head. He still had his frown on, though he had called off the stomping and the door slamming.
I continued, “Miss Dixit asked me, ‘Can you tell me who built the Ark?’ and I replied without a moment’s hesitation, ‘No’. Miss Dixit sprang to her feet in joy, ‘That’s right, Noah it certainly was. Well done!’ I got ten on ten in that one”. I waited for the joke to sink in.
The boy fidgeted around, twisting his fingers between each other, shuffling his feet, blowing out his cheeks and then sucking them back in. He found the little wisecrack funny, but to LOL or not to LOL, that was the question. Shakespeare again. What’s the matter with me? Must be the weird sisters.
“Well?” My voice was menacing. I’d had enough of his sulking. “Did you find that funny or not?” I rose to my feet and started toward him.
He gave a hurried nod, knowing that his father’s ETA was just a few seconds away.
“Then why aren’t you in splits?”
That’s when he said something that sent me ROFLing so hard that a Siberian black bear in the Kamchatka must have felt the rumble.
“I was laughin’. On the inside,” he stammered.