small talk

by kiran bassi (me!)

Don’t ask me about the weather– I don’t know what to say. Not that you’d understand that, though. It must be easy, living a perpetually sun-soaked life. You don’t have to give a thought to what you answer- you hardly need to skim the window with a cursory gaze to find it perpetually birds-egg blue. You never have to deliberate, it’s always bright out for you.

It’s always a cause for deliberation for me. Here, the weather is erratic. It’s never sunny or rainy entirely. The clouds outside hint at the beginnings of a storm– charcoal grey and swollen with rain. They paint pictures of a drawer full of summer clothes unopened for months, or water streaking the outside of my bedroom window. But they’re messy and uneven. The patches of sky that poke holes in them allude to warmth– a cup of orange juice, half-drunk and then forgotten, sticky around the rim. Pale codfish white and sun darkened skin; the line where my crew socks meet bare leg. It feels like summer when I look at those tiny patches of sky and yet the clouds are undeniably autumnal. So what is the weather today? Sunny with a chance of rain?

You don’t know what to say to that. Of course you don’t.  Our feeble conversation breathes its last at that. It’s my turn now, to extend an olive branch, to drag us along, grease the slowly deteriorating wheels of our doomed relationship. Somehow I know that if I hang up now, everything ends. I’m stomping on the neck of a dying bird, sawing a diseased tree into a stump and letting the trunk rot in the forest. I’m dropping us into a pool and letting us sink to the bottom. 

I don’t want to let go, but what else is there to say? I already know what the weather’s like in Texas. And now you know here. You know, and I know, there’s nothing left to know. You know?

Author’s notes: 

I originally wrote this as a warmup and was sort of surprised at how much I liked some of what I’d written. It does sort of lack in action and is more just thought and internal narration, but I think that probably isn’t too difficult to get through seeing as the piece is super short. I’ve left it mostly unedited, partially out of laziness and partially because I think some of the choppiness adds to the narration.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and places I could improve. Drop me a comment, or email me at

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