Here and There
by Aziza Afzal
Look at you!
I am looking at you.
You look different.
What are you?
H: Where are you from?
T: Right over there. You’ve seen me.
H: No no, I haven’t, no, where are you FROM.
T: Really, right over there. Never been very far.
H: (Thinks this over) You look like them.
H: Them. Way over across over a ways.
T: Not me.
H: Who let you in here?
T: No one. I was born right over there with fresh blood. Like I said.
H: You came from somewhere, though, right. So just think back and back think about your history… You have other blood people like you they are yours and from elsewhere.
T: I’ve got blood around most places. Even you I bet you have some over there across there over that way.
H: Not me!
T: Yes, you.
H: I’m from right here right now looking like here and here I am.
T: But if I came from somewhere, you did, too.
H: No no, how silly, your blood comes from the ground and mine is here and yours is there obviously.
T: My blood has been here long enough to sink into the earth and dry into crusty dust.
H: Flaking and flying red wherever you please. Your blood paints over ground that isn’t yours.
T: All of the ground over there and over here and way way across there has been soaked through and dried and soaked! Theres nothing untouched.
H: So don’t smear it around.
T: So don’t slash me and I won’t bleed.
H: Out of my way, then! Back over there. across here over to way over there.
T: I wasn’t in your way here or there but you spotted me and my blood as a hideous prize.
H: I didn’t win you, ok? It’s just my damn luck you’re mine in my in my—
T: But you own me, yeah?
H: Just right there it is mine but yeah I decided after I went way-way over there and—
T: Left a trail of my blood all the way back.
H: Stupid drips.
T: You made a mess.
H: I won’t clean it up you’re different you’re dirty your blood is fresh.
T: Not so stagnant and curdled congealed like you. You can’t seep into the ground. Can’t evaporate.
H: Stop looking at me! Stop it go-go away far far across far away.
T: I’ll squeeze you and drip drop you back wherever you came from fresh and bloody new.
H: No! No!
T: You look like them!
H: My blood is all over. They look at me and cheer wherever I am.
T: All the chanting and cheering distracted you from here.
H: I’m here! I’m here! It's mine!
T: You can cheer anywhere, get out of right here and go to them they are there waiting.
H: The whole world is waiting for me.
T: The whole world is waiting on you.
H: I have good circulation.
T: Maybe you’ll bleed out quickly then.
H: You wouldn’t do that, you’d look like a monster with blood like tar. You’d take that risk? The way you stand out?
T: I don’t answer to you. And I’m standing still in the same place, remember?
H: You don’t belong here.
T: I can’t hear you. All that chanting and cheering you did make me block out your white noise.
H: So I see you won’t talk. I see you’re not from here. Neighbors talk and answer, you know.
T: You’re inflated. You’re filled with pus. You look different and ugly like you might
burst. You have no blood left! Your needs are infectious thick and skin deep. Your
place is dying for population control. Save yourself! Slash your thick bubble and come
out, the new blood will wash over you. Your place will be new.
H: I’m not I’m not I’m not I’m not—
T: You look... you look…
HERE tries to move and explodes. Blackout.
This work appears in Khabar Keslan Issue 0. MEDIUM.