I sit in a blocked in room
For eight hours, five days
Stare at a screen whose brightness pinches the corneas of my eyes
Write mindless words, numb sentences

I nod,
Always say ‘yes’

I stutter as I falter about
And I struggle to get up from my desk
For a cup of barely steamed flavoured water in the garb of tea
Must be my only salvage
As if to stretch my eyes apart through wooden sticks

Don’t blink for too long,
Or look down
Always have energy

Be energetic about new rules
Being imposed without reason, cause or effect
Don’t talk to him, or look at her

Don’t look outside

The windows offer a mere mirage of an escape
Into the outside world which is seemingly always bustling with noise
A truck rumbles by on the highway with bollywood music
And a man yells when a car horns at him three times…
To move

But stay still

Stay still or too much movement will mean you’re reckless
Don’t smile, don’t laugh and don’t cry
Emotions are not to be brought in with the lunch
Pick them back up at the staircase that heads down when the day ends

And the world outside doesn’t seem that inviting anymore

I look for the shortest route home
Walk fast, don’t look at anyone
Pull up my shirt collar and pull down the sleeve
And lower my hemline

I stare at a smaller screen now
Going through others’ exciting lives
As I pull up close to home
And shut myself in my room
Till the next day

Get up, do it all over again.


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