You’re probably in some debased, grimy decrepit dope hole now, shooting yourself with cheap heroin. I can hear you sing Candlebox’s Cover Me or Far Behind, the words meaning everything to you, the tears in your eyes a bittersweet embodiment of both unemployment by choice and the depths of freedom that the conformists will never plumb, and the raw, exposed, piss soaked reality that comes with it. But you did things your way, and I admire you for it. I look at the wife and the kid and want to walk away from it all: my frivolous, monotonous desk job, coming home to the same walls with the same beige paint and the same faces contorted with the same fucking angst. My old bastard, the farmer, spoke aloud what I don’t have the guts to say. He’d visit coffee shops from time to time when he wasn’t beating the old woman and listen in on people’s conversations and get some cheap voyeuristic thrill out of it. He fantasized about leading their stories when he drank his cheap rum. You remember when we beat the shit out of the old man, don’t you? Left hand, right hand, low blow. Fuck! He stopped touching the old lady after that. He was scared when I’d show up with you, and remember when we’d smoke that old pipe, that relic you’d gotten somewhere? You’d always get things somewhere, and I remember cooking that shit with you, allowing it to simmer and dry, and then placing it in the pipe-bowl and vaporizing it with that other relic, the lamp before taking a hit. Weed didn’t do it for us, eh? Damn, that shit was something else. You were with that girl Samantha then and just drifting in the breeze, and I guess I was too.
There was an epicurean thrill to it all, and now all I know is a former hedonist’s lament. I’m listening to Sea Dragon by Covet now. They’re a post/progressive instrumental band like Scale the Summit, and I don’t know if you know anything about the genre. I secretly listen to them on my iPhone when the wife’s not around. She’s a bore; eternally seeking for something she isn’t even sure of. Yeah, they’re tons of folks like that in this neatly painted façade we call society. I guess I’ve become one too. Fucking settling down with a fucking ‘life’ as they’d call it. Fuck them, man. I’d rather shoot shit with you even though I haven’t seen you in like a decade. You asked me to come with you on that spiritual journey to help find ourselves – just disappear and find a new crowd – but I was tired of the dope and the women then. I thought it was you just rambling. But time has this way of ticking backward just when you think you’ve reached the chimera they call equilibrium. I’m sick of the kid and his needs, and I guess he senses it somewhere deep. He knows deep down that I resent everything and cannot reciprocate even a child’s love. I can see it in his enigmatic expression. He’s a weird kid though. I just hope he doesn’t take after his mother. God! That woman’s thirst for some Seraphic gift or celestial love or whatever is insatiable. She has no idea what she wants, or maybe she does, but I’m too immersed in thinking about what I want that I pay her no heed. I know marriages die this way, but I’m tired man. I’d rather do peyote and spend time with Native Americans and find another tribe and just let time blot me out of the memories of my family, friends and colleagues.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)
In response to The Literati Mafia’s Music Monday’s prompt