“It is so difficult being an adult.. don’t you think so?”, she said, as I sat there, contemplating the question in my head. Utter chaos. It wasn’t a sudden realization of the hardships of adulthood. I am not naive or demented enough to believe it is easy. The problems with being in charge of your own life are so inherent to the act that you overlook them. Imagine if a child were born with a mild headache. He would grow up to realize that the feeling is indeed unpleasant, but would be incapable of disassociating the pain with his existence. And she sat there, asking the kid if he felt wretched because of the pain in his head.
We stopped checking for monsters under our bed when we realized they were inside us.
As a kid I used to be scared of the night watchman. Every night, during his patrol, as he passed by my house, creating a ruckus with his baton and whistle, I used to curl up into a bundle of pure fear. I could never dare to look out my window to invalidate my baseless imaginations but my young mind painted the image of a red-eyed hairy daemon, walking through the streets in search of kids to devour. The quiet of the night and the solitude used to make the moments all the more ghastly. I knew he was employed as a guard and it was his duty to keep thieves and burglars off our houses, but the knowledge never helped me feel otherwise.
As a kid, what frightened me most were imaginary things that I believed were real. As an adult, I realize how easy I had it back then. What keeps me awake at night now is the fear that what I believe is real might just be my imagination.
Give me a glorious death,
make it as good as my life.
Don’t ask the reason why,
Let me burn myself alive.
When I hit the wall at last,
Let my blood pour, let it fly.
Hold me while I savour my end,
Let it be your arms where I die.
I saw a little yellow flame flutter and flicker in the storm,
and quickly reached out to guard her fragile naked form.
And while I held my hands around her and felt like god,
took my time staring and musing at her dishevelled bod.
She looked washed up and shaken and bitterly shocked,
like a thief who fell down some stairs and also got caught.
But there’s method in the madness, the flame too spoke,
I understand the concern Sir, but your perception’s broke.
Ever seen someone return sauve and kempt from a war?
It’s not shock or fear, what you misread is, pride, furore.
Unwilling to let go, I stood between her and death’s blows.
She was more than was apparent, burnt fingers later told.
Your breath is warm; your skin is warmer. This cuddle is freaking me out. Let’s get up and have something. It’s still dark, yet I can see your form as you stagger. You don’t look as gorgeous as you did last night. Neither as sober. Oh! you like my taste of music. Well, these CDs belong to my roomy. You should appreciate my taste of roommates instead. What was your name again? Doesn’t really matter though. It is not going to get tattooed on my back.
These walls just witnessed a revelry of instincts. Our bodies, high on the spirit, cruised through a routine of passion. Together, we created pleasure that will last, but only as long as we are up here. And when we get down and the hangover kicks in, we can forget each other and forgive ourselves. Want a smoke?
That too was a night of intoxication. A night of violence, a crusade of morals and will. I was high on my ideals. She was high on her freedom. She pushed the door close and flicked the lights off. Her arm twirled around mine in an impatient, desperate search. Her movements, graceful yet urgent, a projection of the confusion and struggle of her thoughts. In a smooth transition, as our arms unwounded, our bodies entangled in affectionate and hurtful clasp. Shielding and attacking each other at the same time. Man and woman, indistinguishable, in matter, in mind.
This is how we were sold on the altars of emotions. Two more whores sacrificed for Love, mistaking the carnage for the ultimate union. What was her name? Doesn’t really matter now. It is tattooed on my back.
Can you stop drinking? I need you sober and attentive for the rest of your stay. Let’s get back to work, we still have a lot to create. When you’ll walk out of that door, it will be closed on you forever. But, I want you to know, the moment we share is special. It’s so insignificant, cheap, promiscuous and small. Yet, it doesn’t get broken, doesn’t get thrown.