It's the same here. Questions burn and scrape your skin. They hurt behind your eyes. They disguise themselves as headache. They disguise themselves as good vision. They disguise themselves as curiosity, disgust, wonderment, dissociation. The questions that lead to more questions lead to an apathy of questions. How can you ask so many questions and who can you ask them of?
I got in the seat of car and started driving. The questions were hot on the plastic. The questions sent waves off the dashboard. The questions created wavy lines under the windshield. The questions were a kind of torture that drove the car and drove the driver. The questions forced themselves into quietude, under a thickly baked crust of finished dough. The questions became impossible. Questioning became impossible. Questions pulled the air out of conversation. Questions had to be quietened. Questions punished from the inside. Do you see why, even though I had plenty of questions for you, I couldn't ask them?
One day I gained perspective on the questions and the questioning. Questions had become a an enormous brick stupa on a rock like Kudimbigala, overlooking jungle and the Indian Ocean. They became an outcrop. Inappropriate in the landscape. They became an impossibility, something to be scaled or climbed up. Bricks deposited upon. Bricks of devotion. Bricks carried up in your tired arms by your hot feet step by step on that hit rock in the hot sun. The people I could have asked the questions, people like you, people with good or excellent English, were so busy thinking about other things. They were thinking about: cars and boats and school and crows and crocodiles and leaves and clothing and television shows and money and children and child raising and tourism and health problems and pressed bricks and markets and traffic and fruit from the stalls in Kattankudy. There were no memories or the memories were kept under a crust like the questions. The occasional bit of steam rising or churning but temporary, contemporary. Not, never, no-how all-consuming the way my questions were.
The people I could have questioned were thinking about fish and singing fish and bridges and fans and water and gardens and discipline and music. The people I could have asked questions of were thinking about the future. Even more, they were thinking about the present. The present, the present, the everlasting present. The present that stretches and warps and wraps itself around the sky and the waterways. The present that declares itself each and every morning and each and every morning when the sun gets hot and each and every impossible afternoon. And each and every late afternoon as shadows clarify and the air goes from thick to breathable, and every evening as stars begin to start and breezes die or quicken and sounds of music sound from the shed. The present, always present, roars "I am present!" This presence provokes a drunken lassitude of and inside of the present. It prevails. It paints its own pretty picture or pungent picture or partial picture. It coats the consciousness, your consciousness and the "collective consciousness" with its own bright paint, oily, smelling of turpentine or linseed. The present. It presents a facies of days, of activities, of wheels, of sand, of tracks in the sand, of crows in the casuarina trees, of casuarina needles thick on the sand, of dried basidiocarps scrawny and smelling of mushroom. Of sand dunes and sand deposits. Of kovil music. Of church music. Of Tamil music. Of movie music. Of the cursed ponsala chant rant quip quelch quench stench. The present claims all ground and covers all surface. The present pushes out the past, dims the future, narrows the playing field. And so. No questions. No time for questions. Only time for what you say, what you tell me, what you joke, what you laugh about, what you declare, what you ponder, what you ask me because my asking you is not on the menu not in the scrip not in the flow not in the breeze or on the breeze or in the reflection or in the growing glare of shine that comes here so close to the equator on photons abundant pouring filling the spaces of darkness and creating new eddies of darkness where they chase away the non-photon-enriched crannies behind walls or gates or village fences or under the repand bodies of dogs panting lightly in the partial shade under a wall under a shrub under a tree under the sky.
How could I have asked you the questions that formulated themselves, that insinuated themselves, that bubbled up through the troubled surface into the splash of photons that rambled and rustled and rampaged through the present? How could any one question to survive in this hyper oxygenated troubled trembling tremendous terrifying tipsy environment? This environment hot. Acidic. Burning. Burning with the present. With its presence. This is not an environment for questions. Not mine. Not for you, on your way to Dacca. Not for you on your way to Colombo. Not for you on your way to your next meal. Not for you on your way through the today's present into tomorrow's present. Not questions of hydraulics or irrigation anyway. Not questions of politics or culture anyway. Not questions of curiosity or wonderment or troubled anticipation of doubt and more doubt. Of tremendous doubt. Of deep doubt. Of doubt and of doubts so deeply etched and so thoroughly scraped out of reality like a coconut is scraped and grated and sounded and hollowed that it became so that there was no uttering these questions. Not just an issue of "polite company." A question, if you will, of vocabulary. Of diction. Of echo. Of willpower and of will. No words for these questions! They sprung too deep in the deepest crevasses of lightless highly pressurized water. As they bubbled to the surface, molecules of their origin, their original matrix clinging to them, they depressurized and burst. They decompressed. They atomized. They became formless, senseless, dematerialized, vaporized, invisible in a landscape of discourse. They popped. Not the way you pop a question. The way a soap bubble pops. Pop. Pop. No more. No more bubble no more question no more trouble no more intention. No more wondering no more wonderment no more covering no more coverlet no more manners no more nicely folded hands no more tea time no more gentle smiles because no more questions.