Sunday, 24 August 2014

It was Dark

It was dark, they were sitting in a circle, on the floor. Someone took out a stack of paper cups and kept a cup in front of each of them, they held the cups with their hands so that the cool night breeze won’t lift the cups away. Some looked above to see the stars in all their clarity and grace before they started drinking. A bottle was opened, the glasses became laden with whiskey. They drank, one sip at a time, in silence.

It was dark, he couldn’t count, neither the number of people around him, the number of drinks he had, the number of smokes he took.

He ran his fingers over his cheeks, he felt only numbness.
He looked at the stars and they were stars no more. 
He heard someone vomit off the edge of the terrace
someone singing, drunk, in the distance,
and there was silence and there was sound;
of wind dragging empty paper cups along the cemented floor  

He tried to get up, but he couldn't keep himself straight, but he walked on in stumbles into the dark.

It was dark, he heard sobbing. He moved one fall at a time towards the sobs. It was a face he had seen in the dark, one of the circle, a face that he had seen in passing during times of light, a face he knew but did not know.

‘Hey’ he sat down beside the face, putting his hand over his shoulder   ‘What’s wrong? Drank too much?’               
‘No, no’ the face said, wiping his tears and trying in vain to control the sobs.
‘What’s the problem then?’ he asked again, softer now, in a whisper barely audible above the slow whistle of the wind.

‘It’s the loneliness. I’m alone and it is maddening’ said the face.
‘It is the worst, loneliness’ he said.
‘Nobody likes me. They talk to me, but it is just hollow words.  Every day I look at the walls of my room and they reverberate my solitude, I see it bouncing off the walls. Then the room gets hotter and hotter and all I want to do is… is to end it. To melt away in that furnace” said the face and he let out a wail, he got up and stumbled towards the edge and puked, and he cried.

He walked with the face to the edge, and when the face cried he said ‘No. Don’t end it brother. It is too precious to end’

‘What is left? What is left?   
 Other than the solitude                                                                     
this oneness in a multitude
What makes it worthwhile?’ the face asked

‘Don’t you like a good laugh? A good song?                                              
The bright laziness of Saturday mornings?                                
The blackish green of woods in the dark?’ he asked                                  
‘Don’t you like the stars?’

They looked up, the stars were there, millions of glowworms drowning in a bluish black sea. They sighed in tandem.

‘You can live for that’ he said.
‘I guess you can’ said the face.

They didn't take their eyes off the sky, they looked at the stars with reverence and awe and they lost track of time. At some point they were carried away to sleep by the cool breeze.

The face woke him in the morning. They sat up and watched the sun rise and felt its warmth on their dew kissed skins.
‘Thank you’ the face whispered, and walked away.

He said nothing as he sat there watching the sun go up.
Then he went down to his room. He sat on his bed and looked at the walls. He saw himself reflected as a silhouette of his solitude in them. He felt the room getting hotter and hotter.

He got up, and tied a noose,                                                          
pulled a chair under it                                                      
He stood up on the chair                                                         
noose around his neck,
and he shook hands with death,
and it was dark.


No comments:

Post a Comment