Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One day at a time

There was no clock in the room. So there was no time. Just an abandoned sense of passage of time. As world took baby steps toward the unwanted future, I lay still on my bed, white bedsheet with dark patches of midnight drool of last night. A polaroid. A snapshot.

I kept gazing at the upturned steel glass on the table. Its curved surface gave a distorted reflection of the world outside my window. My fenced window. My barbed window. My false window. The trees were upturned and strangely elongated. The ground blue as sky. Skies green and brown. And the inverted people, with their inverted logic and inverted sense of well being on the streets. i dare not see outside the window, just in case, the reflection may turn out to be true indeed. So I stare at the glass. The steel glass.

He was silent for long time. I turned my gaze to see if he was even there or not. But there he was reclining on the lime white washed wall, lost in his own thoughts. I repeatedly told him to stay away from the walls else the lime dust will ruin his clothes. He can be stubborn sometimes you know. I always wondered how he can stay so well dressed and clean shaved all the times. He says its but natural to him.

He chuckled, as he caught me staring.

"Maybe next time I will get you some of my clothes. Would you like that?"

"Maybe next time you stop meeting me forever. I would love that”, I said.

"Will you. Others outside who does not want us to stay together will love that. But I guess you won’t. You know i will get away from your life if you truly mean it."

"Ohh don’t you patronize yourself. I can survive without you. You need me as much I need you."

But inside we both knew how false it was. He did not need me a bit. But chances of my survival without him were bleak.

He looked quite a bit like me. Means if I get rid of my overgrown beard and maybe get a bit in shape, I am sure you can confuse between two of us. Maybe that’s why I trusted him from the beginning. It may sound odd but if someday you meet yourself on street and he asks you for help, would you just walk away. You may sure feel odd, but I bet you will end up helping him.

Our first meeting was equally strange. To tell the truth I don’t exactly remember how we met. All I remember was me sitting on the stone steps of Babughat, the river water few feet away spreading a humid and strangely comforting stench. Stench of human sweat that has over the years replaced the sweet water of the river i suppose.

And there he was, sitting two steps above me, even then smiling, as if he knew every thought that crossed my mind.

"You can try, but I doubt in such a crowded time they will let you drown. Someone will rescue you", he had said.

"I don’t want to die", I said. I was always bad with sarcastic comebacks.

"Neither do I. But isn’t it a discomfort knowing that, even if I wanted to, these strangers won’t even let me die."

I knew I would like him then and there.

The sky was suddenly darkening. Maybe a monsoon storm approached. Or maybe simply sun got tired of humanity and decided to abandon. But I will have to wait till tomorrow to know for sure.

I turned on my bed, now facing him, no actually, now confronting him.

"They think I am insane" I said, period.

"Are you?"

"Am I?"

"Insane, a person who is no more sane, that is funny", he said.

"How come that’s even funny"

"No the funny part is sane is also defined as a person who is not insane. No one cared enough to identify the differences. Maybe there are no differences. You may as well be sane and they be insane if you like that."

I felt a bit better. Maybe even they did. Maybe that’s why they mark me as insane, because it appeased their sanity, their make believe sanity.
Sanity is relative. Einstein missed it. I did not.

Somewhere a bell rang. Its high pitched gong absorbed by the thick walls and metamorphed into a soft clank. He gave me the goodbye smile. You know the smile where the happiness is just a veil to cover the pity in their eyes. A false assurance. A fake sense of understanding. A good riddance.

I looked again at the steel glass, the reflection of the distorted world. A world that promised not to judge my sanity, because everyone there is just as distorted as I am. A world free of you all, but filled with your ugly reflections.

The door unlocked from outside and the nurse walked in with my blue green pills. One pill for hypocrisy, one for a mock smile and the third one, a little big to make me differentiate between real and fake.

Nowadays I sometime do wonder if the door stays locked, how can he come inside to talk to me, but never stay to meet others. Maybe he just has the key. The key to my room. The key to me.

"I’m on the outside
I’m looking in ,

I can see through you
See your true colors,

Cause inside you’re ugly
You’re ugly like me"

-Outside, Staind