I’m satisfied, floating in a dead sea of solitude like a leaf drifting in the breeze. The sky above me is a shade of crimson, and I have no wars to win and nothing to prove anymore. Gone are the days when I roamed sordid street after filthy lane searching futilely for something to grasp. Our lives often resemble noise rock on loop – the chaos and the cacophony on repeat. A loud bang, followed by a jarring screech and then a nightmarish thud, forming an unholy trinity that’s a baggage carousel on which fate places us for what seems like an eternity. But that’s over now. Gone also are the days when some hypomanic fit made me seize my lexicon by the throat and force it to sputter out words that I’d tag together using wordplay or some other poetic device. I have no song to sing anymore. My eyes look at the sky, but they’re reaching into oblivion; knocking at its black door and whispering, “Let us in. We’ve seen it all. The beauty of the mountainside doesn’t mesmerize us anymore, and the waves are no longer menacing. Let us in.” I no longer want to thrash violently like I once did, after pinning my father to the ground and scream, “Why! Tell me! Why!” The sea ushers me on towards no place in particular, and there is no shore in sight. I’ve left the damp earth that sticks to the soles of one’s shoe. I’ve left the stinging rain that hisses as it falls like a serpent. There is no wind here, but that’s not to say the air is stale. I’ve left my friends, my lovers, my loved ones, and the naysayers. They still trample on ants and crush the shells of snails, but I see nothing except the darkening sea that gently caresses me. The sea is the nurse, and I’m the wounded soldier who’ll never be able to fight again. She says nothing. She doesn’t expect anything. She has compassion, but it’s from a distance, and I prefer it that way because that old proverb about proximity and contempt is true.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)
Photo by Sérgio Rola on Unsplash