Friday, April 11, 2014

Vignette

The haze of brown that I was not really looking at thus far, slid all of a sudden into focus. Before my eyes, a tacky frame, crammed with fake croton plants. My entire being ached to remain in the bittersweetness of the reverie playing in my head.
I let my eyelids fall.



Yellow rain.
Tens of thousands of tiny yellow leaves. Dried out... yet soft when they fall on your face.
A long stretch of street, dotted with houses the kind that are not occupied for most parts of the year but look tremendously inviting.
Sparing a mason in the distance, the street is dead.

Muffled sounds of barely intelligible words. Two voices; arbitrary excited cries. In progress, a game of 'catch me, won't you?'. 
Much running, dodging and the sweaty foreheads of lovers, far too much in love.
Alas, their last day together.

Two young, absolutely clueless kids. Scruffy.
With leaflets in their hair like yellow snowflakes.
He was always too quick for her. 
So, with the winner of the contest now declared, they sit down. 
He takes her hand and puts it to his burning forehead. 
She puts on a great show of courage and pats his arm. 
Wordlessly, they mourn their togetherness.

A brief passage of time before they are up and facing each other.
Walking away without looking back even once was agreed upon after much rational "talk".
Seemed doable at the time. 

The parting shot: sign language for "All systems go" and a couple of brave smiles.

When, after a bit, he couldn't hear her footfalls anymore - he ran his hands desperately over his mismatched clothes for something she may have forgotten or left behind on his person... 
Zilch.
And there she was, walking cheerlessly, like a child who had let the heartless wind snatch her favourite coloured balloon away.
She bawled as she sat in a tuk-tuk. She covered her entire face in her scarf and bawled loudly. The unbearable noise of the vehicle was drowning out every last one of her cries of protest.
For reasons he couldn't understand he felt angry. It wasn't the ground that was shaking beneath his running shoes. He knew it was him. 
She wouldn't hear him now even if he bellowed.
She never once could.

It was over for these two.
Because life is cruel and fate is...well... such.

***

I open my eyes I and I see the constituents of the fake garden - the pride of my workplace - are all but a blur. I look down at my notepad and with an uncontrolled immediacy, two large teardrops crash onto the graffiti and splash against my elbows that extend all the way to my forehead - my moist fingertips quivering against my rapidly pulsing temples.
Tear-free, my eyes see clearly once more.

Autumn, again.
How many years has it been?

I need coffee.

Bad, pantry coffee. The sugar content, its only plus.
16 floors above the ground, I meditate on an idea. A powerful one that, at best, has you wishing for a time machine; and at its worst, chips away at you from the inside, out.
The weak paper cup I had been sipping coffee out of, had left a stain beneath.
With the blunt end of the pencil I compulsively carry everywhere, I tortured that bulging ringlet of coffee at the base of my cup into spelling out a word

NOSTALGIA

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