There is peace

The places, the sights around him had been the way they always were. Yet, they seemed to speak to him today, convey something. Just him and those sights. No one else for him to pay attention to. Too hollow to speak to himself, too broken to notice people. And so, immersed in what lay around. A strange sense of belonging with lifeless objects. Cream coloured walls on his sides, white marbled flooring underneath, grey escalators, transparent doors of shops.

He walks slower than he usually does today. Walking has always been a means to some end for him, a movie to watch, a stomach to fill or a class to attend. This is not that hurried kind of walk. A touch regal. He sees that his left leg always goes ahead first, always. He never knew it. Absorbs the entire impact of his foot touching the ground, heel to toe, enjoys the rhythm. He hears the firm sounds, he listens to them carefully.

Around him seems to be a world he hasn’t explored. Shops he has passed many times but never known anything about. A minuscule black birthmark on the Tommy Hilfiger model’s right cheek. The freshly cut grass on some other store’s advertisement. A shop selling candy, the uneven distribution between the beige and black of the famous cola bottles. Even here, in a miniature recreation, the bottle remains half empty. Incomplete.

A store sells just socks, is called Happy Socks. He looks down at his feet, black Benetton slippers, successors to green ones. He doesn’t remember the last time he wore socks, or the last time he was happy. He stands there, staring in the direction of the shop. Sockless, happinessless.

He steps on the escalator, skips a step. He sighs in frustration, wants to feel every moment of his time here today, take it slow. He is so upset, he goes back down after reaching the next floor, and takes the ride to the top again. It feels good, peaceful, the soft whirring sound of the escalator just the music he needs right now. The ride to the top. He wonders how that will be, whenever it is, as fulfilling as this or not.

On the next floor, just as he exits the escalator, he sees his reflection. White, ashen. He says something, but the lips remain sealed. The body doesn’t move, his choice of clothing odd. Soft whispers emanate from somewhere, not his mouth because that isn’t open. They’re saying something to him. He tries to listen.

“This isn’t reality, just an elongated nightmare. Look around people love you, miss you. You are not alone, this earth is not a battlefield and your life is not a war. You had a few too many to drink last night. Your mind is playing tricks on you. Any moment now, you’ll wake up, heave a sigh of relief, brush it off and move on with the good, comfortable life you lead. This isn’t reality. This cannot be reality, not what is written for you.”

As he listens to this, a smile begins to spread on his dry lips, like the first drops of water after a prolonged drought. The whispers turn louder, no longer whispers. He had to stretch his ears to listen to them carefully, not anymore. The voice is clear now, and is very dark. It isn’t his, and it’s not talking about reality and unreality. Something else, mundane, not profound.

“Sir, you’re blocking the entrance to our shop, could you please move aside or come in and take a look at the T-shirt you’ve been staring at.”

It wasn’t his reflection he was talking to, there never was any mirror. It was a mannequin, a lifeless body masquerading as a person. No soul, no peace.

He started panting, rushed down. Impatient, in a tearing hurry, skipped multiple steps. No soul left, no peace left. Gone, all gone.

As far as he was concerned, life ended that day. Hope vanished like the sun in the evening.

He didn’t see anything on his way out, shops or walls. Just long, dark shadows.

But one day, some day in the future, he will realize that there is a way out. He doesn’t need a reflection telling him this is an elongated nightmare, just himself.

The smile will form on his lips. The arid land will get irrigated. There will be peace, there will be peace. He just needs to tell himself, even fool himself that it is still there, hidden under the layers that make this life.

There is peace.


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Fading black

Green trees, grass.
Brown tree trunks, sandals on people’s feet.
A guy in blue, a girl too.
Some in orange, a few others in pink.
Red bricks, the colour of a guy’s backpack.
Grey flooring, skies.
Cream walls, the cricket team’s jersey.

It’s strange how much I notice colour these days
How often I write about it.

Strange because I haven’t experienced anything but black for a long, long time.


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My colour of hope

I’ve seen nothing but black for so long now
Heavy thuds ring in my ears
I lack any organs it seems, I am so empty
So broken
I know no smell but that of human poison
Everything around just sucking life.

But today, I saw a bit of red
A faint red from the corner of my eye
And only for a second.
But colour for the first time in an age.

Is the storm about to stop?
Am I being freed?
Will I be alive again?

I don’t know any of it.
Just that I saw a bit of red today.
Just that I saw a bit of hope today.


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Dear privileged child

Cars whiz past,
You, in those cars
And many others.

They sit in some corner
Ragged, dirty
Ugly to your eyes
Only occasionally your eyes meet theirs
Feel sympathy do some
But contribute nothing.

You go to work, school or college
Same routes
And you find them in that same place every day.

You’ve read about the Sun, haven’t you dear privileged child
You do know that it is the greatest source of energy on this Earth
And you also know that it’s always there, in the same place
No matter how many of you die, are reborn and die again
The Sun will be there
Mighty, powerful.

These people on the street,
(Though they too will perish into the wilderness one day)
Are constants in the place they inhabit for ten, twenty, thirty years.

Why, then are they so powerless, so irrelevant?
Poverty, hunger, capitalism, classism could not defeat them
They stand here despite everything,
They surely are not weak.

Have you wondered, dear privileged, emotionally evolved child, why this life is so unfair?

Have you?


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Solitude amongst the masses

Hordes of people
Bright and colourful
Kids, college
All smiles and energy
Selfies and streaks in the hair
Backpacks containing weed and books
Talking, smiling, living.

I am so scared
So scared
Of situations I once embraced
Envious of people like whom I once was
These people, around me.

A weird splattering of shivers overtake me as I just stand
In a corner,
With people everywhere
Yet all fucking alone.
I feel like running away from here
Faster than light, like I did last time
But I’ve promised myself that I’ll at least try once
To be normal again.

Fears like these are impossible to explain to anyone
How I feel I’ll faint if an acquaintance or a stranger says hi to me
How I pretend to talk on the phone so people don’t think I am a fucking loner
How I seem to make everything around me awkward
People, conversations, even the weather.

I breathe heavy
Some invisible force these people seem to hold over me dulls my senses
And with a wicked, vicious laugh eats me up.

I feel like crying so hard
But no one will listen.
I can’t take these smiles around me
They are death.
Symbols of an improbable, failed dream.

Hordes of people
Everyone with someone or the else to talk to, some dozens
Brightness, chatter, just college things.

All alone
The voice inside the only company
Evil smiles of evil people.
Sharp, sweat inducing shivers and heaves.
Tied to an imaginary leash
Unable to move forward
Or even go back.

Held down
Pinned by a giant monster I can’t see or hear or smell, just feel.

Every inch of me.

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A ray of light

Small moments of joy
Brief conversations
The mystic beauty of potentiality.

Could it be magic?
The force that changes life,
Makes it beautiful, worth living.

I would have said no.

With a great sense of surety, a tinge of excitement in my heart,
A smile just on the way, a rare semblance of peace
I say yes.

I say yes.


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