Revisiting the past can be a terrible thing. And yet, sitting with a mug of Old Monk and coke, a burning cigarette dangling through the lips, I do exactly that. Foolish? Or, poetic? Depends on the way you look at it. Sitting in my dark room, with the dim yellow light making crisscross patterns on my face, I see the happiness I once left behind. I reach out to it in my drunken haze; hopelessly and foolishly trying to hold on to something that’s long gone.
Being drunk alone has its advantages. The world cannot see your vulnerability. You know you’ll crinkle your eyes open in the morning, push away the heavy elephant sitting squarely on the chest, paint a smile on your face with the dark red Ruby Woo, and go out to fool the world. Each day. Every day.
As Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova sings Falling Slowly, each word pierces through the chest like a Valyrian steel dagger.
“Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can’t go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I’m painted black”
You wish you knew what you want. You try to find it at the bottom of the mug, scrape through it with the tip of your tongue searching for answers. The alcohol tingles your tongue, the warm liquid burning down the throat… yet another unsuccessful attempt of seeking the unknown. Memories are a terrible thing. You cannot visit it in parts. Once you open the bag, you have to unpack it entirely, let it lie scattered all over the floor, like blood oozing out from an unhealed wound. They will pour out, steadily and slowly, making you feel loopy in the head, a little unsteady, as you try to focus. And then, it’s a long, long night…
You stagger along from the edge of your bed till the kitchen to make yourself another drink. The ice cubes swirl inside like tiny pieces of your heart. Like horcruxes of your torn, messed up soul. You wanna tear it all apart and then melt in his arms. If only… It’s hard to live with pain. But it’s harder to live with regrets. Time heals everything, they say. But no one teaches you how to cope with the pain of wondering about the road not taken. You cannot delete history. It’s just a part of who you are. You cannot delete a person. It’s just a part of who you used to be. You cannot go back and change things. You just try not blame yourself and live with it.
There’s a storm outside the window. The pouring Bombay rain makes the yellow light inside the room flicker a little. Or… was it his crooked smile? When did everything go so terribly wrong? You think about what could’ve been as you take one last drag of the cigarette. Your lips curl into a wry smile.
Revisiting the past can be a terrible thing. And yet, I do exactly that.