Alice.

Her hand lay across the red-and-white checked table.

I didn’t move mine, I let it stay near me, comfortably away from hers. Too many people were around us, and I’ve always been shy. Her chocolate brown eyes don’t meet mine either, they are too busy staring away, at someone else’s.

Our position in the hunt of hearts was similar, trying to catch something that cannot be caught, chasing something that isn’t there, couldn’t be found.

I look down to my hands, cold and lost. Could I move them? Do I have the faith in myself, that they won’t shake, maybe fall down halfway across the table, Could I grab her hand, and hold her gaze, just for fleeting moment, and let my actions speak what I can’t?

Or will my touch make her retreat, go back to what she knows, away from me? Shatter the long-spent friendship with her into a thousand fragments of dreams? Or will she move her hand away, back to herself, by the time I reach her? Will she be there?

My hands were sweat-ridden by now. As if they knew what important task they were supposed to do, of the burden they carried.

Our eyes meet for a fleeting moment. The brown eyes, playful yet warm, bear into mine. Her smile dips, as she turns back again, away from me, and I stare on aimlessly, my pounding heart, lost amongst its own fantasies.

Was the dip deliberate? Or not? Did she mean something? Did we communicate? Was I just labelled as a just another? Someone not worthy of her attention anymore, after all the ups and downs we’ve been through? After the times I’ve almost ruined the bond we ‘ve built up, again and again?

She is oblivious to me. I am a long way away from her, hidden amongst the shadows, inconspicuous. I watch her again, speaking with strangers, the graceful movements and the playful bob of her head, her hair cascading lightly down her shoulders. A laugh escapes her lips, breathing a tune impossible to forget.

She doesn’t know it, she doesn’t hear the tune of my cries. She chases on, unsure of herself, testing the waters, again and again. She doesn’t know half the story.  She is lost for someone, the way I am, and she doesn’t know that I know. And in this circumstance, she will only prolong the suffering dwelling in the folds of her heart.

I know, I’m aware of my unwanted presence here. Eyes of faded people follow me, ripping into my thoughts. Could I push them away, ignore the people pulling me down-away from her? Do what I wish to do? Or will I shy away, laugh without meaning to and smile despite not being happy, and only push myself away as I have always done so? Do I have the courage? Could I?

A rosy picture paints itself in my mind. Us two, together. It is possible.

Why not?

I lift my hand up. My stomach is full of butterflies. My body tenses up, its lifting a heavy object, my face torn up in concentration. She is unnaturally away, a hundred miles, even though I remember she was sitting right across. I move my hand, which shakes with nervousness. She moves her hand away, back to the glass and takes a sip, and sees me, the emotions etched on my face, brimming with a thousand questions.

And She solves the puzzle.

Her eyes meet mine, burning with warmth. And this time, they don’t move away. And the smile doesn’t dip, it just becomes wider.

A second passes. Another. And another. And we keep on looking at each other, forgetting the chaotic sea of noise around us, of meaningless people, and fake emotions.

She’s waiting, I realise. She’s waiting for me. She’s waiting for my hand to reach across and slip into hers. Because, as I’d come to know in hindsight, I should’ve taken the chance, because I wasn’t going to get a second one.

I do not move.

And I still do not move as her lips tighten, as she stands up, and leaves.

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________________________________________

I don’t know why she’s leaving,

Or where she’s gonna go,

I guess she’s got her reasons

But I just don’t wanna know

Cause For 24 Years
I’ve been living next door to Alice.

Departure.

I wish to slip away all from my life, all that I have known of it. To hide, in the comfort of darkness and anonymity. It’s an inexplicable notion of solitude calling out to me. I crave it.

To leave and depart, away from friends, family and mindless acquaintances. Live a life alone among strangers. Maybe in the echoing mountains. They aren’t too far from here.

It sometimes gets too much, running the rat race, failing to excel despite pushing myself to, incessantly. We have stopped living for ourselves. Our lives have crumbled away, leaving a simple, meaningless existence.

I hate to put on different masks for different situations, places-school, home, road, friends. Every day. Every moment. Mentally taxing, emotionally draining events being repeated in a monotonous note.

We photograph not to capture memories, but to make our lives seem better than they are. We are making our lives shallow, selling our souls simply for acceptance. It’s a vicious circle.

The concrete boxes we live in, are emotionless, faceless. The world isn’t beautiful anymore, it’s dull and drab. We’ve destroyed the true natural beauty and paid the price. All for small, shiny things and paper, momentary comforts.

Nothing we build, we create, is beautiful. Love is fickle, the charm of its true melody is lost amongst the dense sea of chaos, the mindless chatter of the world.

There is this notion within me. To, once again, live my own life. To leave, Breathe freely again, rediscover the joy of innocence.

I wish to find purity, the lost joys of innocence. Call it nostalgia if you wish.

Those days are long gone. I have become birdled now, accepting the frailities of society, unable to change it.

My best moments have been when I smile, not laugh. When there is warmth and love flowing amidst the air. It’s all impure now. We live for others, not ourselves.

I dream to perchance upon solitude and not let go. To forget about a thousand worries biting me everyday, and leave it all behind. To be able to say that I left for a better future. A wholesome, complete life.

I wish for a departure.

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The Pursuit of Happiness.

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
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Part – I

“The ideal tenant,” Rao muses, watching Mukesh disappear up the stairs.

The landlord for 20 years, Dharam Rao has lived comfortably off the monthly rental income. With the ever-increasing house prices, there isn’t any sign of the business slowing down, either. A pretty good deal, I must say.

Mukesh has been living alone on the second floor for three years now. A dark, handsome youth, always keeping to himself, never causing any trouble.

One may wonder why he lives alone, away from his family?
Mukesh doesn’t seem to be much older than 25. A well spoken, educated chap like him, surely, in the land of family values, living alone isn’t normal?

Let me answer that: No, it isn’t.

However, Rao finds no cause for complaint. He can sit at the verandah all day, smoke a packet, take his kids to school, watch cricket on the tiny TV set mounted on the lobby, debate about leaving his current lifestyle for a healthier one. Maybe lose his belly.

20 years of being hassled for water leaks, electric problems, rent payment, finding new residents when the old ones leave has dulled Rao’s interest in the going on’s in the three floors. He’s happy as long as he’s paid.

Yet he finds his curiosity chasing Mukesh’s secret.

Mukesh has never complained about his rent. He’s never created a hassle. He never would’ve had tea with Rao, either, until Rao asked him for the umpteenth time.

One awkward meeting over two cups of masala chai in three years. Or rather, one and a half cup – Mukesh excused himself after just half a cup. Tied up in work, indeed.

Rao regularly goes up with a rolled copy of the Mumbai Mirror , knocks on Mukesh’s door, just to catch him doing what he does. Everytime the door has opened-Rao’s well-oiled mouth, practiced in the art of speaking without substance-an immaculate three-room apartment been visible.

The table with neatly stacked folders, the vase at the center as empty as it has been for the last 3 years. The walls bare, no pictures lined upon them.

Rao has always been disappointed. He’d rather see some money being hastily stuffed away. Some acquaintances coming to meet him. Maybe a few empty bottles of alcohol. He could share some Kingfisher, or atleast borrow some from Mukesh.

Maybe a woman visiting Mukesh from time to time. Maybe any sign that Mukesh inhabits the place. Add a human touch to room number 202.

Mukesh is an enigma. What makes him so self absorbed? What makes him happy?

________________________________________
Part – II

Mukesh always shuts the door politely, hiding irritation under his visage.

He glances across the paper, the headline exaggerating a small issue, curses the goverment and folds it. Makes chai. Curses the government again over the rise in gas prices. He leaves the tea on the boil, heads back to finish his work, there are still a few minutes for the chai-sutta* break.

They can’t even let an honest citizen make tea without worry.

Sometimes, he smokes from the balcony. The relaxing second storey is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. He sees the Bombaywallah’s, rushing about their daily chores, they never have time to sit and enjoy life. These fools don’t live.

He feels like a King sitting on his perch, the Arabian Sea lapping away at the shore of his kingdom.

The doorbell rings. Mukesh hears it. Mukesh ignores it. Must be Dharam Rao. He can never leave me alone, can he?

The doorbell rings again. Maybe a want of moving, anxiety over a task left incomplete, someone being made to wait itch him, make him leave his work. Leaving the laptop, he wears his  chappals*, wondering not for the first time what makes Rao come up the stairs every now and then. He doesn’t do it for others, does he?

The wooden door, with the faded yellow fire escape plan stuck on its back opens to Dharam Rao. Mukesh has a too-wide smile plastered across his handsome face. Rao hands over the post, probably the bills, and some politeness, asks him to have some masala chai in the evening, gets a yes from Mukesh like he has been getting for years, reminds him that he’ll have to pay the advance, and leaves.

Mukesh shuts the door, doing his best not to slam it. A frown appears on his placid face.

A softly spoken curse fills the room. Shutting the laptop lid, Mukesh lights a Marlboro and heads to the balcony, watching the sun dip into the horizon.

________________________________________
Part – III

Thus, ends the short story.
Now, you may be wondering where the climax concerning the two characters is.

But, there aren’t two characters.
You, my reader, were the character.

Dharam Rao has money and time. He has economic stability, his family is well cared for. Yet, he isn’t satisfied. He doesn’t experience euphoria in his life. So he’s bent on discovering the hidden joy of others.

Living a sedentary, dull lifestyle, he makes it more interesting with his envious study of Mukesh, finding him to be a better, fitter version of him.

Mukesh shows himself to be an ideal 20 something- independent, smart, having a good job.

Yet he’s dissatisfied with himself. He lacks peace of mind, despite having worked hard to achieve education, a 9-5 job, a healthy body-everything his landlord lacks.

Mukesh and Rao are contrasts complimenting each other. Yin and Yang. But neither are happy.
________________________________________
I’d like to make several points now –

We sometimes leave hold of ourselves, idealising us to become who we don’t really want to be.

When we look at someone else- richer, smarter, better looking, we envy them.

But it’s what they show to us that we see. Everything has a pro and con. No matter how it appears from the outside, everyone has got problems pressing them down.

Nobody has the better end of the stick but the grass perpetually appears greener on the other side.

________________________________________

Man has a thousand temptations luring him. Too many times, they’re just simple things, stretched way beyond their utility in the fantasy of our minds.

No, the Girl you like will not fall for you. Perhaps she will. But even then, it won’t guarantee you your happiness.

Relationships aren’t meant to be about finding someone and holding onto them, or the opposite way around. A healthy, happy relationship will be one where you accept the other, and subconsciously stop waiting for someone better to pop into your life.

We chase the wrong people. The right one doesn’t walk in through the door, She’s already sitting there.

You blow away a few months worth of your salary on a shiny new car, and keep up with the Joneses.

Your shiny new car will remain a shiny new car until a scratch appears, until it scrapes the wall, until it’s internal components depreciate. None of your neighbours will envy it then.

You don’t need a bigger car, this one’s already good enough. Yet you keep forgetting that the new car’s not worth the hours you put each day. Multiplied by a few months.

As soon as we get something, we strive for an upgrade. But it’s not sufficient. As soon as we get that too, we’ll be dissatisfied again. It’s Human nature.

While it’s good to be working towards something, it’s also good to kick back and enjoy what we already have worked for. Stop chasing something even better than what you have, it’s a never ending cycle.
_______________________________________

Our aim in life is to be happy. It requires a healthy balance between work, responsibilities and pleasure.

We can’t be happy without the balance being struck. Work to make our lives meaningful, Family to make our work meaningful. Nor can we allow ourselves to be stuck living the same lifestyle waiting for the torpidity to creep in and stay the next 30, 40 years.
______

Sometimes, we just have to learn to accept that our Idea  of Happiness is different from how we actually manage to find it. And that’s the way of life. It’s not about a few awesome experiences punctuating your life, it’s about many small, warm and memorable experiences. Like small cubes of chocolate to savour, with each tiny bite.

Yes, keep the bucket list, it may highlight it, but it won’t define your life.

It’s important for YOU to make yourself happy. Don’t chase happiness believing it to be hidden in something you’ll grab once – love, wealth, fame, money, and be happy with forever, but seek it in what YOU have.

Happiness does not come from gaining something You don’t have, it comes from recognising something You do have.
And, Yes, You do, Reader.

Thank You for reading.
________________________________________

Who can say where the Road goes?
Where the day flows?
Only Time.

And who can say if your love grows
As your heart chose?
Only Time.

Who Knows?
Only Time.
______________________________________
Note:
Well, if you’re reading this, it means you’ve read the entire post (except if you skipped some bits, that’s cheating).
To prove so, Write “Pizza” in the comments section below.
I’ll appreciate that, a lot!

Sonder.

I breathe in the view around me-
I stand on the mountaintop, watching the lights twinkle under the darkening sky.

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I feel the pulse of life-

The city buzzes with energy, those who slogged through the day to live for the night. The yellow beams of cars dance, luminous advertisements, brightness emanating through windows, all these pretty lights percolate through treetops, shadows between brightly lit streets.

Its a vibrant, electric atmosphere making you feel a part of their nonchalant, incessant hustle and bustle. Millions of tiny lives unfold before me.

I am alive-

Enough to feel the soft wind that blows across the Earth caressing each of our faces, touching our lives as it passes us by in its never ending ardour.

I close my eyes and feel it make its way about me.

I hear the wind carrying their whispers- they are speaking of soft gasps of joy and bewonderment, laughter, memories and excitement. Magic.

I smile.

I breathe in once again; only fuller. It is exhilarating to be filled up to the brim with life. I stand a little bit taller, a little more complete.

I open my eyes.
I am more.
I am content.

________________________________________
And I miss you when you’re not around,
I’m getting ready to leave the ground,

Oh you look so beautiful tonight,
In the city of blinding lights.
________________________________________
I do not own the rights to the image.

Stock Markets

Ashok sat at the computer, mesmerized by the red candle elongating, minute by minute. 

He had made a short bet on cumin seeds, and watching the price fall filled him with ecstasy. 

He was lucky the rains had played their part. A good harvest, a fall in price, and all the money deepening his pocket. 

It was 2.00 am. Beside him lay his wife, Sheela, awake. She couldn’t sleep with Ashok being up. Ashok’s focus was on the price ticking every second, oblivious of everything but the price on the screen.

The trade had helped him with his targets and the company had been quite happy with his performance. He could almost feel the BMW he wanted to buy in his driveway, instead of the old Suzuki.  
Oh, how happy my manager would be, he thought, proud.
 Was I wrong with my decision, thought the wife. 

She hadn’t expected Ashok to be so engrossed with his love for the stock market. It was unlike his behaviour in college. Ashok, the charming boy with the long hair and the guitar. Ashok, who went to the ends of the Earth to woo her. Oh, was I wrong, she thought, sadly.  

Ashok’s grin became wider and wider as the price continued to fall, his trade becoming more and more profitable. He finally exited the trade, making a killing out of it. 

The foreign markets are mine, he thought. 

He is no more the same, Sheela thought. 

Oh thank god for the rains, the cumin farmer thought.
– Vineet Narang

One where I discover my hidden superpower.

At the midnight hour, when the clock strikes twelve,  when the whole world sleeps, a petrolhead turns eighteen, and only one thought crosses his mind.

Driving License. Freedom.

(…and driving lessons).

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______________________________

Ravi smiles at me, ‘Come, take the keys, son.’

His kindly eyes are not able to hide the not so subtly hidden ‘Oh-god-another-kid-who-I’ll-have-to-help-add-to-the-already-overflowing-road’ smile on his face.

In under a minute, I’m belted in, the mirrors are adjusted, and the car is rolling gently along the main road, the traffic flowing as gently as the waters of a particularly gentle river in the Northern plains of India.

Just as in life, the general state of affairs don’t remain smooth.

A few metres in front of the gently rolling car, a women clad in a bright red sari decides to escort herself and her two school-children across the road.

BAM! I brake the car, jerking to a near-halt as the woman, quite oblivious of increasing the heart rate of an eighteen-year old sitting in a car which stopped with no gentleness whatsoever a few feet away, reaches the middle of the road, the two children happily jingling along.

“You just dont have to save your car, but others as well. You never know who decides to walk on the road. You can’t predict their actions. When you see a pedestrian, blare the horn, and keep a foot on the brake, and just in case.”

“Sir, there are pedestrians everywhere.”

His kind eyes turn to me, and the ‘Oh-god-another-kid-who-I’ll-have-to-help-add-to-the-already-overflowing-road’ look becomes more pronounced.

Wincing, I engage the clutch, and set the car rolling again.

“Your left foot is for the clutch, the right one for the brake. Never, ever, in any curcumstance, touch the accelerator. Delhi’s roads aren’t meant for it, son. Your last name isn’t Schumacher. You need to be a superhuman to survive the road.”

“But-”

“Eyes. On the road.”

My eyes are fixated on the road.

“Your hands should remain at Ten and Two o’Clock.”

My hands remain at ten and two ‘oclock.

“Gandhi mat bano, dekha tumne vo kaha gaya? Jab gaadi ghusa sako, ghusa lo. Chalo ab! ” (Don’t emulate Gandhi, did you see where it landed him? Go for whichever gap you find in the traffic. Come on!)

I decide to stop being a gentleman on the road.

One of the biggest challenges you face while driving is the proliferation of two-wheelers- from teenagers riding scooties to working class riding their shiny 125cc bikes to old men limping along in their Bajaj scooters, advertisements on the spare wheel.

This group is rebellious. They don’t obey the laws of physics. The moment you stop your car at a red light, they will somehow find space to sift through jammed traffic to its head.

Legend has it that the brains of India- from CV Raman and Amartya Sen to Chanakya and Birbal have tried unsuccesfully to figure out how the laws of physics are bent by these men.

They not only overtake from the wrong side of the road, but also have horns loud enough for you to mistake them for a truck.

With a sinking feeling, the reality of Indian roads started to hit home. The ten-minute drive from my place to India Gate isn’t free of danger. Nor something you can relish with a coffee in the cupholder and Alex Turner in the ambience.

I park the car outside the training centre, a mix of emotions running through me as I return the keys.

There’s a wave of satisfaction at succesfully completing my first driving lesson. There’s a wave of disappointment as well, freedom doesn’t mean what I thought it meant.

Or perhaps no one does, 1947 is long gone, the potholed road, posters defaming the rival parties and loose electric wiring looming large in the picture, and the larger picture being missed altogether.

_______________________________

For the lights of this city
They only look good when I’m speeding
Gonna leave ’em all behind me
Cause this time, I’m gone.

Bildungsroman

It doesn’t matter if your pursuit is trivial, undesirable or unconquerable.

The ends should be high, so very high, that the tribulations you meet along the journey should be satisfaction within themselves.

The ends aren’t meant to be attained. Life isn’t supposed to be easy, silver spoons don’t exist outside the realm of fantasy.

Only the means matter. The journey either breaks you, or shapes you for the next thousand and one battles to come.

Don’t give up on them.

You are not human. You are a fighter. You are the billion seconds of existence, of thought and action, you are the blood that throbs in your veins and the sweat that pours down your face when you reach the peak of the mountain.

Greatness cannot be achieved without obsession, and obsession breeds progress, and progress breeds motivation.

They say when you chase after the truest desires of your heart, the whole world itself forges the path for you towards its achievement.

Chase them.

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_______________________________

Hear me say I’ll rise up ’til the end
Hear me say I’ll stand up for my friends
And I crash to the ground
And it’s just my own sound
I drop in the blink of an eye
I’m colorblind

Dark Thoughts. (Part I of II)

I have an attraction to darkness. Not just the colour black, but the absence of light. Its calming, somehow. Where no one can see me, no one can pull me down.

At nights, if I have trouble sleeping, I leave my room and head out. It may be 1 am or later, but at those moments I feel alive, full to the brim with a sense of awaiting fulfillment. No streetlighting, few stars, instead it’s the glinting moonlight which adds a silvery touch to the shrubs and the leaves of trees. And I find that strangely beautiful. An exotic, galactic rush of silver.

The Sky is always a lovely velvet, with a star or two twinkling in the distance, themselves lost in the ever encompassing sky. They are my sole companions, winking at me from far away.

I find tranquility when I am the only soul who moves, playing a game of shadows with myself. The night is so beautiful and lovely, full of infinite possibilities waiting to be tapped into.

Yet I wish for it to be darker still. Dark enough for me to hide from my demons.

_____________________________

Paint me a wish on a velvet sky
You demand the answers but I don’t know why in my mind
There is no time.

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(Image copyright – Noupe.com)

How to write when you run out of ideas.

So I decide to write.

Here I am. Sitting on my clichéd writing desk, rough drafts gathering dust in a rather unkempt pile on the left corner, a forgotten cup of coffee lies steaming on my right.

I look out of the window, the monsoon rain has washed the dust away, and the bright green leaves of the Ashoka are dazzling. I hope some inspiration will drizzle down me, and I will pen it down, and I will publish it, and I will await your response.

I fail to find the said inspiration.

But I will fulfill my promise of writing.

____________

So I start with a beautiful quote here.

It does not reveal much about the content, but it’s bound to pique your interest. – Confucius.

I now must also write a bit to explain WHY I chose to compose this piece.

Of course, I’ll narrate a small but memorable incident of my childhood to establish an emotional connect, some promise which failed to materialise, a paragraph to enthrall you, mesmerise you, make you see things from my perpective and slowly sink into this post.

Now that I have you bearing with me, I must also progress the plot. For this, I’ll have to find continuity from the first paragraph.

I’ll make you think along the lines.
I’ll make you read between the lines.
I’ll make you move from this line to the
next
with anticipation.

I have to write without ridiculing myself. I’ll make myself look cleverer than I am. Like I know things. Like I can get things done. Like I can make this post great again.

I face the same challenge as every writer- to not to insult your intelligence by making the answers to the questions probing your mind obvious, nor make it so difficult that you swipe to the next post.

As they say, prose is at its most beautiful when it’s invisible.

Now I have you at mid-essay. I must begin to answer the questions asked above, to complete the circle. The plot reveals itself, thread by thread. (Does it?).

And you read on, captivated at the picture unfolding in front of your eyes.

Or perhaps, simply finishing what you started, good or bad.

And now I have to enter a BANG. The climax. An impact which leaves you with a pleasant taste, perhaps like a bar of Cadbury’s finest milk chocolate.

To compliment it –
A quote taken out of context, which tries so hard not to be clichéd. – Albert Einstein, accompanied by his black-and-white photograph.

And now you’ve reached the end of the rather redundant post.
Goodbye.

Shorts – II

Doses of wit and wisdom discarded in the rubbish bin.

20. The less predictable you are, the more memorable you become.

19. If any task on your to-do list takes less than a minute to be complete, do it NOW. Avoids cluttering up your schedule and mind over simple tasks.

18. Ravana, the Hindu mythological figure, has 10 faces. That’s five times as many as an average human.

17. It isn’t that no one helps you when you feel down and low. You feel down and low because no one is there.

16. You can’t excel everytime you try.

15. You can’t solve your problems today. Or tomorrow. Or an year from now. They’ll come, and you’ll have to meet them, one by one. And then new problems will come to replace the old ones.

14. Love is hypocritical when you feel your worth is measured by your date.

13. In order to reconnect with someone, we first need to disconnect.
And disconnect, we must do.

12. People come and people go, but true friends stay forever. Take care of them.

11. The Illusion of love is powerful, and it takes a long and deliberate effort to break it.

10. There are two kinds of people in the world.
One, who fill silences by meaningless banter.
Two, who accept the silences, and let it speak what words can’t.

9. I use waste paper, labels, old magazine covers, anything which can be discarded away to write honestly what I feel about anyone, before I discard the manuscript. And the person.

8. You are ready to be a parent when you’re willing to spend your time, money and knowledge for someone without expecting anything in return.

7. When faced with an obstacle in our lives, we retreat to seek our family’s help and support, no one else’s. However, other times we disregard them. At the end of the day, it’s family that will always be there for us, and no one else.

6. Indians can talk about studies, careers and results all day long, but cannot commit to small talk about much else. Sad state of affairs, this pursuit of success.

5. Save a piece of your opinion, thoughts and ideas safely. Open it after an year, and be surprised at the change in your opinion.

4. We judge people on their actions, it’s a natural human tendency to do so. But only when we ourselves are in the same spot, do we actually see what led a person to do what they did, and respect them. It’s imporant to step into someone’s shoes.

3. Music is subjective, don’t judge someone else’s taste, they see some meaning in songs they like which you can in yours.

2. When you lose touch with a person, what hurts the most is that you can’t share a part of your life, anything you’d like to tell them, anymore.

1. They miss you if they can’t find someone to replace you.

The Complete Circle.

On the outisde, you show no signs of affliction. You pass smiles, laugh, and speak like you always do. People meet you. People leave you. Life moves on. You move on. Everything is plain and ordinary, life remains as banal as ever.

Underneath the serenity, however, and somewhere amidst the ocean your heart is, a storm brews. Wave after wave of pulsating emotions drench you, crushing you in. They rise, higher and higher, flooding you with their tide.

Anxiety is not to be trifled with.

It’s a dark monster rising from deep inside you, clawing and clutching at your internal organs. Its eyes are as red as the devil’s, meeting them shakes your conciousness to the core.

It’s terrible to have your own worst enemy living inside yourself. It can read you open like a book, it can feel your emotions as you feel them. You cannot hide away, you cannot run away. It’s a snowball, the worse you feel, the more powerful it becomes.

You can’t deal with it. There is no medicine, a magic pill of the modern marvels to drive it away. It lurks inside you, waiting, watching, thriving at your failures and your loneliness. It isolates you, preying on all your fears and insecurities.

You search for an escape. You look around in all directions, you turn here, there, everywhere. You learn to repress it, to forget about the disease dancing in the shadows you make.

Family, the old dependable friend, the video game you played years back, the battered novel you’ve read a hundred times, the upbeat playlist, a walk in the park.

These are all temperory breaks, bits and pieces spread sporadically throughout your day. As soon as your time is up, you fall down on your knees again, the cavity in your chest constricting you, leaving you breathless and powerless, unable to rise back up.

But if you survive all this, persevere. The road doesn’t stop here, it goes on, and the journey is all yours to make. Time heals all. This too shall pass.

_____________________________
  These friends of mine will come and go
I’m the first to leave, the last to know
I’ll be swimming in a face of flames
For these friends of mine don’t know my pain.