Oh, well, sometimes “it’s not you, it’s me” is the best thing we can say. Some people are born with a larger perspective so much so that they genuinely care for things that are bigger than them. Others like me get stuck in a place where you can’t look beyond reflections of oneself. This is a part of the confession series .
The two people I always Have a love hate relationship is with art and architecture. Architecture is like a stable marriage, you don’t hate it neither do you love it after the initial throes of passion. But art is seductive and in return it makes you constantly miserable. My choices of life always oscillate between both of these men in my life. Sigh!
“The living don’t wait to die alphabetically, nor do the dead want to be arranged in an order”, I penned down, half amused by this discovery of mine. I sat beside a small obscure grave marker , hidden behind the grand gravestone of another famous person. My headache didn’t show any signs of leaving me , nor did the weather look like it was going to let the bright sunshine seep into the grey Parisian sky.
“What are you searching for? ” He asked while finding himself a place beside me. Wearing a brown bowler hat and carrying a cane , he looked like he had walked out of a Rene Magritte painting albeit with a face and not an apple.
” I don’t know” I replied to the vague question with the most evasive phrase coined in English language.
” Nonsense! you obviously know what you are looking for, else your eyes wouldn’t be darting around like that of a madman seeking his sanity” he declared.
I laughed, a nervous laugh afraid as ever to say things out loud lest they become real and heavy with words that I possibly cannot take back. ” I guess I was looking for some alternative life altering mechanism over here” I said. “I guess I was searching for a person who died the same day as I was born” I continued. “I guess I was searching for an everlasting connection with the obscure in a way that I can never find otherwise”
“Hmmm” he grunted. “A bit lonely aren’t you?” he asked a few minutes later. ” No, not really, but sometimes I wish I had a legacy to carry or perhaps a cross to bear, so to speak. There is an innate satisfaction in knowing a piece about a stranger that could be polar opposite to who you are , but it also sets the roots for an identity that you have been running away from” I said.
“And what maybe that you are running away from?” he asked “These findings about myself.These words to be precise” I said without thinking.
“Clever one , you are, aren’t you” he patted my head in a avuncular manner and walked away into the labyrinth of gravestones, cane not making a sound, bowler hat not blowing away despite the storm brewing and wind hissing a warning.
“Insane might be a better word” I mumbled to myself and went back to searching and not finding anything significant or at-least deluding myself about it.
I’ve been meaning to learn to dance for about a year now, and I somehow never get to it( largely because of my two left feet and klutzy-ness) So while I was working on some illustrations with a Nat Cole song playing in the background I stumbled across this in my old sketchbook. Maybe I did learn to dance around and with words.
take two steps towards honesty
sway my hips abandoning all,
Slip and slide and eventually lie.
take the lead,
moving and gathering me in your arms,
breaking away from the buzz,
needing a pause.
when the beats played fast.
took the floor by a storm.
Stopped only when,
both of us faltered and fell down.
Whistled and hooted when we started,
gave us space while showing us off,
mocked our eagerness behind our backs.
were eventually wrongly right,
about our lasts.
The stranded sea shells,
About answers missed,
Forgetting statements said.
Posing with memories,
masked by unfinished lines,
Delusions of blurred visions.
Like a street of crowded scenes,
That engulf before learning to breath.
Staring at the voice,
Speaking but unable to see.
Drenched with inabilities,
Restlessly and painfully aware,
Of an absence,
Existing in you and perhaps me,
Unnoticed by one too many.
The room was quite with the bulbs flickering. The humidity in the room demanded every ounce of fresh air from the unopened window. Only two voices reverberated through the room, they seemed indistinct at first but when people do not have much to do, they sit down and listen. They begin to listen to the nuances that they probably forgot to hear before. They see the texture of the grainy voice that spoke something to them, about them, about the times they forgot they even had. They breathe the air laden with faint hints of happiness and disappointments. They echo their feelings with words like these….
“Why is it that he is remotely important to me? Does it matter that his existence in my life is only through a fragment of my imagination? Knowing that the reality will be a parallel life to that of my daydreams. There is a part of me that’s a fool for this romanticism for somebody who never deserved to be a part of it. Agreed that life is never fair, and what you get is never what you want but in a moment of complete honesty I haven’t ever got what I wanted. Knowing that it has all been in my head, this attachment towards him for over year seems so much more than a disgrace. I feel like my mind has been screwed up beyond repair. And the worst part is there is nobody to blame. I often wonder if I could play the blame game, to get to hate him such that this agony would be solved. He puts me at the risk of sounding like an immature 13 year old, even though the reality is far placed from it. It has been a year today; will every September that goes without him put me into this agony? I sure hope not. This is something I never want to deal with again. That fact that he doesn’t see me in the same light makes me want to end his existence, but alas! Last year I wrote a very prim and proper letter to myself to get over this benign addiction of him, then why do I still feel this void? He isn’t important to me, not now, not ever. I don’t want him to be. It’s my choice right? These attachments were unwanted anyways. Then why does it sadden me to know that, there isn’t an attachment. Why am I put into this tangent where I never wanted to be?”
“She wormed her way into a conversation. And I couldn’t stop talking to her. I decided long ago that I wouldn’t be the same guy again, wearing my heart on sleeve and being out there. But there she was, without even being physically present, making me crave to talk to her without even thinking. I didn’t know where this was headed; it only seemed fair that she shouldn’t either. Time and again, I would try to pull away from her. Trying to give myself some breathing space from her overwhelming and all-consuming presence. I still can’t seem to breathe, with or without her. I guess I am a person who strives for melancholy while my circumstances keep spinning me in tangents, never getting to the real person. I hate that she is aloof and cold even. Like my presence in her life doesn’t alter her day, whereas even a message from her would spin me off my game. She forces me to be the person she would chose to talk to, while a group of men would be fawning over her giving her the attention she knows she deserves. I need to ignore her, only to be with her, to save myself, to be alive. It has been over a year now, her self-depreciating humor, her sarcasm is something I know I will never get from other women. Her eyes haunt me and so I run, knowing it is pointless, that I would give in sooner than later.”
“He makes me want to buy into a life of romantic illusions, when all I wanted to be was live without a complication is more than fucked up.”
“She makes me want to mess her up, break her down, until the point where she seeks me out. It is fucked up I know! But I have no idea how to deal with such a volatile novelty.”
“I hate playing these games with him, this hide and seek of real and fake emotions we put out there for each other. One minute he is all I want, and then there is another side of him which I don’t understand. I don’t expect a lot out of him, I just expect him to solve this puzzle for me. I don’t want this two-step dance of being there and yet unavailable, as per his convenience. I like him far too much, so much it could transform into a hate. But then again my liking towards him is biased as hell. We probably met for 10 times and had mere 500 conversations. How did it end up to this stage, where I’m fucking dependent on him emotionally? I know I could never fit into a normal relationship, but this is not normal, this is messed up beyond repair. To the most of my knowledge, I think we are circling around the same but in different tangents all together. We want to use each other, where he uses me as a temporary fix for sex and I use him for the delusion of a relationship. I’d like to go on believe such a notion, but then he’d say something strange so out of the blue, that I’m tempted to question my belief system. This is what isn’t fair. These game rules that he keep changing on me.”
“She keeps me on an emotionally oscillation, so much so that I want to believe her sarcastic remarks to be true. I want her to say things that are normal, and thus begins the challenge. She would always rise up to the occasion and destroy me. I don’t know how to tell her that I can’t keep this poker face long, that she has to eventually accept the insecure person I am bound to be. I started this charade and now I hate to keep up with them. I know if my timing was right, I was bound to fall in love with her. I am only glad that my timing is wrong, how can I be in love with her, when she is so in love with herself? What can I offer her, which she wouldn’t get from another person? I can’t count the times when I have awaited to meet her or to talk with her, she keeps me on my toes. The sex is beyond anything I have known before and I keep waiting for her to draw some strings, to make things solid. But I know she wouldn’t. She wouldn’t block her escape routes and who am I to ask her to? Her confidence and narcissism belittles me but she must know by now that more than anything it’s her potential to be vulnerable that shatters me.”
“I wish I could just get up one day and forget this attraction I have for him. Where I could not know why talks with him just entertain me, even though I could have a hundred of these talks with a million interesting people out there. Sometimes I wish I never knew him even, but then again I don’t. And that’s what this all boils down to, this unreasonable curiosity that I have for him. To want to see through him, to peel away all those masks that he parades so well. He interests me and that’s daunting, and I’m too much of myself with him, which is even more so terrifying. I was happy in my own ignorant cocoon and now he makes it hard to go back there and pretend like nothing has happened.”
“She’s ordinary and that’s why it’s so difficult to let go. On the days that I am overwhelmed with my life I like to reach out to her. Live life through her adventures and then go back to mine. Every time I meet her my whole real life is at standstill and I am in a limbo. She doesn’t understand the effect she has on me; that I can’t afford to be enamored by her. I am so happy that half the time I am terrified of the times when I won’t get to be with her. I can’t ask her to be with me because the moment I do she will never look back at me. I need to keep her with me, at a distance but close at the same time. I have bad days, weeks and months when she is content with another guy. How can she be in such a setting when I can’t stop imagining the misery of having to be with another nameless woman?”
“I love him but I’m waiting for it to pass. There is so much I want to say, so much that I have felt for the first time. I can’t bring myself to put him through the same pain I am going through. I hate to say it out loud, but I had to. The reasons are all wrong for me to feel this for him, but they are reasons nonetheless. He might not be worthy, but it’s me who puts him on a pedestal of worth for me. I wish I could let him read my mind, but I’d rather choose to jump into a pool of sharks. If love is this unbearable heaviness that I keep dragging around, trying hard to unshackle the weight; then it’s there for him as a constant. I have become a train wreck of clichés and it is painful to look at a passing reflection of myself. Well, thank you and goodbye and may we never cross paths again. This discomfort is something I can’t bear to repeat again. I hope we never say good bye but I hope we never see each other again. Unfinished lines are our Memorandum operandi and that’s where we part and go.
“I loathe her. I loathe the fact that she can be a different person with merits, It annoys me immensely that she has secrets that I am not privy to. I don’t want to tell her this, not when I can see the cracks and the lies she keeps hidden behind that smile. I keep my distance from her, only because I realize that this attraction that I have for her will one day fade away. When she breaks years from now, she would perhaps see the reflections of what I admired her for-her tarnished images. I meet new people every day only to confirm that she’s a basket case. That nothing could or would alter her and I only want to hate her, while failing miserably to do so. I do not know when I bid her goodbye, but somewhere between meeting her and kissing her the last time, it was already unsaid.”
I gave it time to let all the grimness wash away from the transitions to wash away. I said it out loud to you and then moped for days. It made me irate and distraught that you fancied others. Every instance that occurred between us up until now all boiled down to this one solid belief, that if I lose you now-if by some instance you are wiped out from existence I could live. For reasons unknown I am thankful to you for this feeling. I learnt to love you, at least the idea of you so much in my mind that your physical presence doesn’t matter. I could have conversations with you, or with silence that seems so enriching and crazy. And I like it this way.
“Sigh! She loves me and I feel numb. The greatest dream built up without a climax.”
We both know that this non-relationship of a relationship is doomed and it sort of makes it easier to bear everything else. It also makes me much more clear headed that I want you in a more sexual way than I ever imagined, even though you are an atrocious kisser but I am assuming that this is also a passing phase for me. I never have associated anything permanent with you and that will never change. I know I am the restless kind who couldn’t stand the conventionality of a relationship, but with you I wanted to try it anyways. I wanted to test the waters with you because I thought that you were the kind who wouldn’t bore me to tears in the process, but I guess what we want never happens. So I let whatever we have, be. I have conversations in silence and I bottle up all the unsaid for another lifetime where we both will look at each other in a different light. Or perhaps not, but it doesn’t matter. If this idiocy comes to an end, snapping all the strings of connection in a single stroke I know I would crumble , but it is this slow alienation that you do to me is an unintentional gift ,probably the only one that you give me.
“I can’t seem to remember her face. She reminds me of nothing, just makes me feel hollow. Are goodbyes this easy always?”
It took time, two years to be exact but slowly I replaced the shattered bulbs that couldn’t withstand the fluctuating electricity. I put the light in the room back in order. The storm swept everything underneath the rug and now I do not even have to clean a mess. Sometimes when I open this room, it’s so eerily clean that it seems like we haven’t been there, but then again, he was never here and everything happened without him anyways.
The death of him brought a great joy to the eyes of the people. There was a greyness about the exhibitionism of such joy. One couldn’t comprehend a way to take up such enormous contradiction of characteristics. The way they saw others with glazed expressions in their eyes; not happy , not morbid ,just indifferent. Like they were just happy with the fog that clouded them and would growl if you took a step to ‘clear up the air’.
Just sitting at the cafe at the edge of the cliff , I behaved like them too. Like a indifferent observer. I jotted down my observations for the tenth time , while the waitress ambled towards me , almost gliding with the coffee pot. I’ve been sitting in this exact place for a while now and haven’t found to need to get up yet. ” It’s the Air” I mumble to myself over and over again. Making excuses that I know nobody would believe. I distract myself while putting together the coffee mug, the teaspoon ,the paper napkin in a straight line but refraining from cleaning up the muffin crumbs on the table.
‘Stranger of Strangeness’ doesn’t mean a thing. It was nonsense, just like most things and maybe that’s the only reason I even let myself like it. It was actually a wisp of thought imparted to me by the homeless guy at the end of the road at the old bungalow I lived in before. Somehow the immaterial things wormed their way back into my thoughts. These questions resonate in the head , until you can’t differentiate one answer from the other. The one question that I wouldn’t battle with was ” where is my home?” . But once it was asked there was no snatching it back. Somebody across the street with the glazed eyes and a gliding motion clad in a pungent acrid green suit smiled at me. That was all I remember because everything else before that moment and that inconsequential question was forgotten.