Floating in space

I watch him on the reflection on my screen. On days he goes mad. Those days he breaks up things after a bout of binge drinking.I sit unperturbed, on my side of the bed watching the ISS capture the orb, fleeing. Yet, the blackness of space, largely reflects, the ugliness of his being. 

It has been therapeutic for me watching myself from space. I do it not often, but mostly on such days. Usually nothing happens as I stare into space. The discs rotate, the earth revolves in the same grand old pace. Amazingly, today, an astronaut showed up. I couldn’t believe what I’d just seen. His large gloved fingers right there on my screen. He adjusted his gear, took a while, then he looked down at the lens and adjusted his smile. He believes someone’s watching the live feed, from the blue planet, behind his countenace, below his feet. It’s almost been an hour, I’ve been trying to catch another glance of the him. The man in a spacesuit. Sober and astute. I wait for another chance to screenshoot. 

While all this happens at my corner on the bed, on the otherside of the room, I hear songs of regret. 

You know, it’s good, sometimes, not to throw things just because they’ve been flung at you. Anger may be misplaced, love, however, finds a way through. Remorseful songs play on his playlist. Old songs burn his memories. His reflection now looks so pale and lean against the brightness of my mummified screen. These songs are killing him, he, who is already dead. I hear him gruntle as he retires, on his coveted side of the bed. 

The man in a white suit reappears and I finally chance a second glance. A few screenshots then I turn off my tab. It’s been a long night for all three of us. 

All of us floating, in spaces we make. 

Wondering 

who’s more lonely today? 

Is it the astronaut, is it me or is it him?

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The longest two hours

“The sky is falling!” 

That was the only line that kept resounding on her mind. Nuzongmit lay sprawled on the floor, disoriented. What just happened, she wondered for a split of a second before she panicked. She could barely move a muscle. All she could muster was this one line from a colourful animation she had watched in school. 

“The sky is falling!”

 The music in her head grew more faint in it’s din as she managed to plug out her neon earphones. She looked around the thick black air in her room and felt nauseated. A fire somewhere crackled carrying the whiff of burnt meat and made her choke again. With all the strength that she could rally up, she lifted a broken piece of mirror that lay strewn on the floor next to her. Her pale, sinewy fingers trembled as she brought the mirror close to her face. She looked closely into it and tried to make out her reflection against the golden dying embers of the fire that was still lit somewhere in the hearth. She flinched when a soot stained face with bloody, grave eyes peered back at her from the mirror. Petrified, she dropped the glass and let out a muffled scream. Her tousled gray hair weighed heavy against her frail body. “Amla”, she called out but no one replied. She opened her mouth to speak again, but her parched lips bore no words.

Finally it all came back to her. Like a sudden flash of lightning blinding the night sky, she realised what had happened. 

She panicked. 

It was three in the morning. The old gong at the monastery had echoed listlessly in an empty valley. The moorish grasslands still smelt wet from the night’s downpour. In the dark light of an early, unexpected dawn, people clambered out of their houses, half clad, half asleep. Women latched on to their men, children clung against the warmth of their mother’s belly. The chill of the morning air bore a sinister grin that lashed against every inch of flesh that it found exposed. Bones and teeth clattered. The earth had twitched again. 

Against the backdrop of the rush of hurried footsteps and terrified little moans, you could hear a dull buzz of the cicada among the thick magnolia trees. Nuzongmit pressed hard against the cupboard she was buried in. It was an old, ornate, wooden cupboard her Grandfather had passed on to her. She had never liked it. Her school had colourful little cupboards for children, where they kept their knick knacks. She wanted to colour hers as well but her mother was very stern about it. “This is Grandpa’s last piece of memory I will live with and you will not dare sprinkle a colour on it”, her mother had warned. Now as half of her lay buried under that wooden rubble, she could see that the latch had broken. How upset Amla would be!

She started to thud at the cupboard, gently first, so that her mother would not be disappointed but as time went by, her pounding became harder and vigorous. She had to find a way out. Outside the walls of that little house, nature was savage. Tonight it unleashed it’s barbaric instinct. With every shudder, the leaves danced to the horrendous tune, but unlike the other days, when it carried a faint fragrance of orchids and moist earth, of pine cones and warm cheese, tonight it was an overpowering stench of blood and grime. The caverns and cliffs had split. The boulders, shifted, tumbled, crushed and sat grandly, overlooking the debris it had created. Some yelled, some bled and some stood helpless in the black of the night. Some found their way to the monastery seeking refuge in a spiritual realm, like a dying soul seeking grace in its last gasp of breath. 

Within seconds, just like it had started, not a flicker of wind stirred. An eerie silence enveloped the fringe of dwelling houses in this little hamlet in the North of Sikkim. The night lay dilapidated after a gruesome battle with nature but Nuzongmit’s little hands never grew tired of the constant pounding. For a second she heard someone call out her name in the wilderness and in desperation she called back again, “Amla”. For a flickering second, too petrified to speak, a rush of emotions wrapped up all that a few words could never emote. Death was relentless today, in a fallen debris of lives and she knew it. 

Nuzongmit loved to paint the colours of nature, bright blue and green. The last painting that won her the first prize in school was where the neon sun overlooked the pink hills, the emerald rivers and the orange houses. They nicknamed her Rainbow after that and she was delighted. She had an unusually beautiful sense of colour, her teacher had remarked. Nuzong had once wanted to paint on the bone china cup that her mother treasured. “It is already chipped and old”, she argued but her mother gave no heed to her rants. “Things have more in it than you can see, Nuzong, just like our lives. While others see our patched walls, we see sunlight streaming in. While they see a broken roof, we sleep under a grand canopy of stars, so, where you see chipped china, I still see my mother pouring out the last of her rice pudding for me.” This said, Nuzong was silent. Her neon colours, wet in the palate, stared back at her forlorn face. 

Her watch beeped four and she was transported back to beneath the cupboard again. The early trifle of sunlight peered through the virgin crack on the roof. In the light of the early hours, trapped where she was, all she could now see was a pair of distorted legs beneath a wall that had fallen. Her mother, she recalled, had been gathering driftwood from the river to set on the hearth. She must have returned, she must have laid down the wood and leaned, tired, against the wall, like she did every morning. Now she lay there, beneath the same wall, the place of her resting had become the place of her eternal rest. Nuzong looked at those colourless pair of feet. The nails were painted brightly red with the poster colours that she won in the competition. She looked at it for the last time and turned away. A tear trickled down her cheek leaving a dirty trail in the thick soot that painted her face.   

An hour had passed. The Indian Army had moved in at dawn and young men from the village had volunteered for any help. Nuzong finally heard a humdrum of people. Each calling out different names, but for her, the only lips that bore her name was now sealed. She gathered her courage. “You are a brave girl, Nuzong,” her mother’s voice echoed. “Believe in compassion and don’t ever let go of faith. That will be your only weapon against a rude world”. She pushed with a broken limb and screamed. 

“There’s someone here, quick, I hear a cry,” a military man in a green uniform shouted out to the volunteers. 

“I heard someone beneath the rubble, you need to be careful,” he said. All Nuzong remembered was them sawing open the cupboard to get to her. Her mother could not have been angry now. 

She was airlifted to Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial hospital in Gantok, the capital city. This was her first visit to the capital. One fine day, she had hoped she would paint the capital. One fine day, she had hoped to capture nature in her colours, green and yellow and pink and all the colours of the rainbow.  

Today, after two long days, she looked up from the hospital bed and all she had was a desperate urge to paint. She had found a new colour. Nature was not green. It was for her, all but gray and black. The same colour as that of her Grandpa’s old cupboard.                                                           

Marilyn Brando, Pocahontas and me

​Neil Young’s deep undertone wakes me up from my presumptuous reverie as the train slows down. The  yellow evening sun falls softly on hardened faces in New Coochbehar. Men here look like they were baked in clay. The women look prettier though! Women are always prettier. Their faces are all delicate pieces of art, chiselled at all the right angles. Even if her face has the spotted sag of a life of haunting solitude, no woman can ever be ugly. 

The station looks deserted. There is still, almost another 15 minutes of daylight left. It is that golden hour any photographer would crave for. That hour of time when long shadows of short people give them a feeling of grandeur. The pride of a tall rose in a pedestrian vase.

The train jerks forward lazily with no intention of holding the mantle to its name, Dwarka Express. My earphones hold no defence against the constant clink of metal against metal. These metallic lines discern the truth of parallel lives, one inside the coach and the other on encroach. For hours I look upon closely into each shacks that pass by. The curtains of shame hang around, unsheltered, to provide some form of privacy from eyes like mine.  I watch for a while longer, hoping to be as close to feeling their despodency. I watch and then like a pigeon who closes its eyes hoping that the cat can’t see it, I close mine. Cat because, poverty has a feline quality. It never lets the world see its shit. That instinct gives me a feeling that cats are more evolved than dogs. 

Half clad kids, clad more in the stench of wastedness, wave out aimlessly at intervals. They know the drill. Everyday they follow the same routine. They know the timings of all trains that trespasses their personal space front and back. Reverse and forward. Forward is just as bleak as a face on a moving train is to them now, in reverse. Just one glimpse and then gone. No trace of memory retained.

I close down the windows half way. The glares on the horizon have stopped bothering me. Evening has settled. I am wondering why they say that the evening settles when it unsettles everything. Chaos  takes precedence over calm. Everytime the joints at the coaches rattle, jumping from one track to next like my playlist, my mind is unrattled, my mind needs rest. I close my eyes again and adjust my earplugs. Neil Young is still singing.

Wading way into a different world

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She was very scared of rejections. She was very afraid of being shoved in the face until the day she realized that she was more afraid of an insignificant life in a bright, big cosmos. It was hard to feel small, hard to feel miniscule in a strange big, bad world that glorified the gigantic and the resilient, being oblivious in a world that ignored the weak. She was petrified of being forgotten, not to ever be remembered by any in whichever little fragments of her life. The pangs of rejection brand into her troubled soul. A loser’s wrath was what she felt. Flushed in her own anger she grew irate of the domain that surrounded her. She shut her window fearing it would take over her, take charge of her being, and make her one with her surroundings. She wanted to run away from living an insignificant life in an insignificant place, obscured by the magnificently huge life she read about in her books.

Her books had magnified the size of her world but the moment she closed them, she was shut off in the littleness of her room with a feeling of claustrophobia. She might get lucky…that was all that could happen to her and she waited. In the dark silent hours all she did was wait for luck to clamber down her window. She saw dark stealth in her desires. The manuscripts that piled up in her room year after year gathering dirt from the impending dust storm taking charge within her had blatantly  opened up another Pandora’s box. Shakespeare brought to her arenas and mansions and castles that were otherwise never there. Keats took her hand and pulled her across beautiful gardens and brooks and clear waters wherein she watched her own reflection, so pristine and so pure. It rippled into happy memories. She wrote of all that she saw in her mind’s eye. Within that same mind, she had composed her own Kubla Khan…her incomplete dream fragment, from which she rose, not knowing how to end it. Broken words out of her shattered system caressed the virginity of the blank white sheet. Words never fell in place yet they stayed right where they were with a pride that shamed the loveliest of compositions of man. Rumi, she could connect to, Gibran tore open her heart as she lamented over someone else’s lost love. Milton made sure she fell in love with Satan and she did. The lover of Lucifer she was and the desperation of falling out of love with God terrified her again. Shackled by norms of a culture that she bore no connection with, she tried to break away.  

She had been across the world and back. The romantic immenseness of the alps, the vastness of the Yukon valley that echoed for company, the ruins of Egypt, the greener pastures that rolled like carpets in Ireland, the surreal Germany, the silent winds that pierced the hearts of lovers in Norway, the angry ocean that never calmed in the Antarctic, the rocky mountains, the fullness of the moon that she watched lying across on the roof of the Eiffel Tower, the suburbia’s fostering vandalism and violence ripping emotions apart…all this and more. She lived in her books. She could never be contained in a vessel that was headed home. The tides rose in rejection and the waves threw her back where she belonged but she was not afraid. She waded through rough waters. Now that she had found her crisis angel- her books.

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The wooden rosary…

Sometimes when all around me seems flustered and empty words fail to pacify my lame soul, I miss the wooden beads around my neck- a rosary that I’d cherished for years, the same rosary that strengthened my conviction towards the uncertainties of life, and when I miss it, I am somehow reminded of an incident that burns in me a feverish desire to rattle the gates of Heaven seeking for answers.
I look up heavenwards as I did that day and question God about his queer verdicts. I question him that when three of his believers stood there petrified and emotionally drained and tired and exhausted, how could he possibly not change all that had happened into a nightmare that would pass away, how could he deny a second chance to a kid whose face now seemed so serene and so beautiful as he lay there beside us. Life changed tracks so fast; it was difficult for one to catch his breath.
I do not understand any of God’s weird plans but I still believe he deserved a second trial out of life to overcome his failings.
There are days when I sit back on the couch, the same old worn out couch that lies deserted outside the porch. These are the days that I find myself caught in a web of my own ruffled fate. Today, as I look at him again, a deluge of memoirs washes me off my feet.
Someone had truly remarked, “Life’s a tough teacher for it gives you the test first and teaches you the lesson later”. He failed in the first test itself. He must have desperately tried all night long to win this grimy battle with bloody cold death for when we found him lying unconscious in the morning, gasping for air, I can tell you that he had tried with all of the little strength left in his listless body. His half shut, dilated eyes still held a glimpse of many young dreams that are now abandoned…one small folly, a short-lived moment of ecstasy, an irrevocable mistake, a spark that ignited an unexpected flame turning all of his aspirations and all of his desires into ash. He had not lived half his age, had not witnessed the miracles in life and we had to huddle his body into a small wooden casket. It was so wrong of him to leave, so wrong of us to not have noticed the changes and so very wrong of God to not have given him a chance to amend his ways. The funeral pyre not only engulfed that lifeless body, with it what I saw burning was a mothers only hope and a sisters only pride.
My heart did not believe what my ears heard…the doctors could have been wrong. His friend carried him all along the way with a hope that he’d wake up and tell us this was just a bad dream…he never did.
It was a deluge of tears, tears that could have purged any soul but I had to fight back mine fearing being washed away.
This was when I took the rosary out of my neck and HANDED IT DOWN to comfort a friend’s regret and his helplessness. It was not just a string of beads that I’d passed , I’d infact passed over all of my beliefs, all of my strength and all my prayers to someone who seemed to need it more than I did.
They say there’s no distance on earth as far away as yesterday… The stifling pain was just so hard to bear then but when I look back now I see the pain is gradually being buried with the grains of time. The wound has been smothered with a balm of a new hope, a hope to see others trapped in the same dead habit claw their way out of the inviting abysmal pit of hell.
From the ashes I had waited for a phoenix to rise and show us the way but the phoenix never rose only to make me realize today that he stands among us not as a phoenix but as a crucifix around our empty necks reminding us to change our ways, telling us that even one person can make a difference, nudging us away from mere delight of our senses towards a life that is more gratifying.
He climbs up the stairway to heaven holding God’s guiding hands and as he climbs he’s watching out on us…guiding us too…

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/hand-me-downs/

The invisible woman

That morning she woke up with a heaviness in her head. She could not exactly have had a peaceful slumber while he groaned next to her. She watched him drift in and out of his violent spams, his body making it’s awkward twists and turns like a clip from the exorcist movie she had watched as a kid. The same fear enveloped her as she watched his face, crumpled with untimely wrinkles. His eyes blanked out into endless space, hollowed out in it’s frame. Sometimes it sparkled, for a flick of a second. It was his rare moment of recognition, a moment she longed for. The only time she would see a hint of the man she knew in him.
In the bissfulness of silence, while she lay next to him and held him close, her mind transformed into a kaleidoscope of colorful memories of the two. She watched it like an old movie, a series of happy clippings reeling in her mind. In the dim shade of the nightlamp, the sides of her face glistened smooth. It complemented the soft lustre of her brown eyes but the wrinkles right between her eyes were a perfect start to a sad story. It was a reflection of a grim reality only telling the rest that she had frowned more than she had ever smiled. It was a witness to the pages of her life where happiness was shortlived and memories were her only blessing and her only curse.

The window, me and the cobwebs…

  On a sweltering, hot afternoon, I sit  next to the window-sill. My face is a dance floor of shadows that fall off an old rusted iron grill. Half spun cobwebs still attached to its iron strips, those that my broom must have carelessly swept through. The wind gently blows in, they try to reach out to me. I look at it or rather through it, round my lips and let out a weak breath of air to push them aside like a discarded thought. How oft have I done it?

Beads of sweat cling to my greasy face, a reason why I chose to sit in this shady corner. The evening sun comes in with different shades reflecting on my face just as a calm surface of a pool reflects me as I am.  

I drop my broom and hold the guitar half dazed and then I start off a song. Bob Dylan on  my mind but my mother’s feeble voice echoes in my head. She sings reminding me of the days to come, of how swift time travels, of how short this life and how much still undone. So close to Dylan but so disconnected from him. I fumble with the cords, the tune melts with the fading lyrics just like her face is fading away. My lips cease, but somewhere, caught up in an endless loop of a broken record,  her voice still sings.

“You…. You’ve got a pair of teasing eyes” a friend had remarked me once; it’s now but cold. Listlessly like two graves laid side by side they just stare but fail to see. My senses are introverted into this bloody prison and all I do is explore within. No one else had before nor do I hope ever will. This treacherous me within knits a story, a wordless epic unlike Homer.  Time has changed me. Some say I’ve put on weight, some see the  lost in me and yet some say this isn’t me. Well! definitely my thoughts seem to have become weighty. I feel heavy sometimes but the ‘changed me’?? I guess I haven’t had time for a closer look at the mirror but then that’s me. I wonder how fast people notice, how easily they judge when I myself haven’t found the answers, the reasons, the realities.

Each new day brings me closer to myself, each afternoon leaves me hungry. The deeper I dwell , I risk getting lost in the sea of confusion. Did I ever tell you that I’m afraid of the underworld; I mean depths. I find it very suffocating. Exactly the way I’m feeling right now…. suffocated. My eyes burn and without a warning they burst out like a dark gray cloud over the purple hills.

My fingers, still plucking at an old tune on the strings, wasn’t prepared for this untimely rant, but then, who is. In the midst of a daze, I plunge out of me and what strikes me is the closed window. Of course I’d come to open it to let the smoke out since I haven’t saved enough for an exhaust fan, but the fresh gust of air from my window does help,  at least for the time being. There certainly has to be a connection between the window and me and the cobwebs. Every time I sit next to the sill I forget all else. Next Sunday…. Next Sunday my broom won’t spare them, not even the new ones that the black, nasty spider seems busy with right now. Half a year gone, I still wait for the next sunday…

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/190-days-later/

Somewhere over the rainbow…

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“Don’t you like what I write?” I finally punch in the words on my keyboard and press enter, waiting to be crucified.

Typing…

The three never ending dots keep blinking while a faint-hearted me, wait for the answer. “Yes, I do. Very much,” he replies back. I resurrect. “But don’t you have anything to write about us…or me?” His question startles me. I have never written about us. It is not the stuff that comes to my ‘ever-weary but trying to be creative’ mind.

“My first post was about you,” I lie, trying to gather what my first post was all about.  My instincts fail me when I realise he must have read it. It was some article about glitterati in literarty. Since literature sounded boring, I had coined in a new word to rhyme. But there it was, my lie, wound up in mesh of words, a futile attempt to save myself the embarrassment of being wrapped up in my own affairs, as always.

He is absolutely right. Seven years gone but I am still hung up on being more me, than us.

Seven years back, in 2007, Priyajit and I met on a social networking site. At that point of time, it was Orkut, the new found land where strangers met, friendships blossomed into love, hearts were broken and some broken hearts healed. I fell in the fourth category, a girl with a broken heart. No, I wasn’t looking out for love or a miraculous healing. I was happily enjoying my flights of freedom after a scary free fall into desertion of a relationship that had turned sour. He, on the other hand, was a non- existing bachelor from Mars, one I had never thought about.  

From the little tête-à-tête shared over a pathetic internet speed, we went on to share our phone numbers. Thousands of disrupted calls, a few exchange of mails, and a wedding ring later, I am on Facebook today, asking him that one question that had been on my mind for years, “Do you like what I write?”

“I am your 6000 pages of frustration,” his words sting me and I wince. Seconds later an “lol” pops out of nowhere, lifting me out of my doom. He has a way with words, sometimes it hits me like a tight slap across the face and sometimes it lulls me to a beautiful reverie. Many a times, it just stands there, floating in the middle of a blank page, like objects from space, too beautiful to look at, too distant to touch and too hard to gather. But that is all we have, words. We hang on to every little alphabet. Our relationship is a series of alphabets typed over countless number of sleepless nights. It is a grand epic in its own standing and I admire it for the way it has turned out to be. Bridging miles and years together, this story still brings out the little wide-eyed girl in me, listening with enchantment, hoping for a fairy-tale ending.

Peter, Paul and Mary’s 500 Miles was a heart breaking song but you could still hear the whistle blow a hundred miles. Canada and India, that’s 6883.56 miles away. (For those of you who doubt, I just googled it out.) No whistles blowing that far. People blame distance for the countless relations that have gone astray. In the past seven years, we have but been together for eight months, if I may be allowed to merge in all the days we spent with each other. And they haven’t always been filled with love and awe of looking into each other’s eyes. Of the eight months that we got, we must have argued for four months, again piling up all the days together. Our arguments are never subtle, both being hard- headed, ruthless egotists. Neither is our love. The only time we both meet extremes in life are in love and in war. We fight blindly and love ruthlessly over the miles stretched between us. But we love. That’s my solace and I know it is his as well.

My screen beeps again with his message. “I love you,” it says, an earnest voice in his words. In these many years, that’s the power I have evolved. I can hear his voice in the words he types. He tags me in a song that he wants me to listen to. “One line from you is more than a thousand songs put together,” I say. He smirks at my romantic endeavour. We have never been the romantic type.  I laugh with him. Our laughter resounds. They cover the endless miles between us.

This is what makes us human…our capacity to love…

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/back-to-life/

When the roads are bad…all you need is a middle seat…

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“It leaves at two”, said the man at the counter, as he handed me my tickets. The clock above his head showed ten minutes past two already. I wondered what time he referred to but chose to keep mum. “Never argue with the man behind the counter “, my friend pulled me aside and warned me. “They have little patience, sharp tongues and no wit”. I adhered to the warning and went looking for the vehicle marked on my ticket. I checked my tickets again and grimaced at the seats we had got.  We parked our bags in its rightful place and waited for the vehicle to fill up.
“How long is it going to take?” I asked the person in the driver’s seat.  Funnily he looked up at me and said, “Do I look like the driver?”
I didn’t know how to answer this, totally failing to understand the offence made in mistaking someone as the driver. “Sorry,” my friend apologised before I could retaliate. She had an uncanny habit of pulling me out of awkward situations. She looked at me and passed a knowing grin. I was already fidgety, I had to reach Gangtok by five and I was losing time. Hawkers filled up the empty spaces left in the humdrum of people arriving and leaving. After years of experience they would know who to bug and who not to. The look on my face clearly kept them away from me.
Five more minutes had gone in the endless wait for the engine to rev up. A large man with an even larger luggage stopped by us and inquired whether we were going to Gangtok. His stature commanded authority but none was available at this point of time. Suddenly, the absconding driver rushed in from somewhere, helping the man with his bags. “How have you been Sahab? You seem to be going to Gangtok after so long and that too, all alone.  How is Madam?” The driver’s enquiry enlightened me about the unequivocal truth of him being a government official. In Sikkim, you know a man best by judging the way he commands authority in a shared cab. We had wasted precious minutes for Sahab, I realised and fumed.    
At two thirty the engine finally roared. The lady who had a ticket adjoining my seat was blatantly surprised when I offered her my coveted window seat and sat sandwiched in the middle. Both, me and my friend, covered up with scarf and sun glasses on a hot, sweltering afternoon. Even Sahab seemed a bit taken aback by this gesture. “Nobody ever exchanges the window seat Madam,” he turned back and laughed heartily. It sure has been a long time since he has travelled, I thought. I didn’t share his enthusiasm to laugh but managed a weak smile.
The driver returned my smile from the rear view mirror and shut his window close. We were finally on the Melli- Jorethang road

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/middle-seat/

The curse

 A speck of dust floating away in the sun kissed room in an indolent, winter afternoon, softly settled on my brows. I woke up with a sneeze and realized I had drooled all over my keyboard. As I looked up, the monitor weakly flickered and died.

The half empty bottle still stood balanced on the ledge, staring back at me, mocking me. I had tried for the umpteenth time, yet I would wake up to a gloomy reality every time, wondering sometimes if I belonged among the immortals. The drone of a mundane life was my reality and anytime I tried to escape it, I would be jolted back by it.
Today, like all other days, I dragged myself out of bed and went out to look for him. On his bed, spread like a sheet of white linen over an old furniture, he slept sound, snoring softly, a reminder that he still breathed.

“Up”, I said, shaking him furiously, “You are already late”.
 He looked back at me, one eye closed, muttering something in frustration. The morning bore nothing extraordinary. He dressed and left. I sat on my chair, with a book in my hand, and watched him leave. This was every day; this was my life, in all its truth. There was no pot of gold at the end of my rainbow, no cauldron of love that overflowed.

He had come in staggering, yesterday. Our conversation had no logical sequence, but now, as I thought about it, I could see an outline. It was vague, indistinct, but definitely an outline. The day was blurred by these thoughts. I was myself not clear in the head after yesterday’s episode.

As I turned the pages on the book, I paused to organize my thoughts. Freud had always intrigued me with his layers of understanding of the subconscious.
“Women oppose change, receive passively, and add nothing of their own”, a colleague of mine had once quoted Freud in an argument of the sexes he was bent to win.
“But Freud was always a controversial theorist,” I argued.  “Of all the things he said about women, I only dote on one question he asked, 'What does a women want?'. If a man does not know what she wants, he should have no opinion about them as well. ” My colleague flinched at the comment. He would have more to say if only I had waited for him to recoil from the argument.

The phone broke the silence of the room, suddenly bringing me back from my world of splintered memories. Some panic stricken voice from the other end stuttered that he had collapsed. They were carrying him back home.

“Is he still breathing?” that was all I asked and relaxed when they told me that he was. He had collapsed a few times earlier. Every time he did, I kept staring at his face knowing he would come back, praying he would not.  He was too young to die, too old to change and too stubborn to try.
“How was your day?”
“Just like any other day”, he spat back with a quizzical look on his face.  
We hardly spoke about routines. It was lame. He would not remember what had happened, he never did. This was the curse I carried.