I am accustomed to the despair that ensues in the aftermath of losing the people I love; a covert awareness and dread of an eventual end always runs parallel to the initial rushes of love. Yet the melancholy of knowing all the while that this too won’t last doesn’t offer any consolation. Each loss leaves its own mark; fresh invisible wounds quietly await time, the good old physician, to work its amnesic magic on them.
The first time it happened, I roamed around apathetic, gloomy and dazed for a couple of years; torturing myself with worthless hopes and analysis. The second time it was just a quick spell of anger followed by the relief of escape. The third time I was over it sooner than I would like to admit, and the ensuing guilt about this self-assumed fickleness led me to repeat to myself that of course I was still in love for an acceptable period of time (which in my mind is a minimum of two years). It bothered me how soon I had forgotten the face, the voice, the laughter and how I had felt for him, that I erected my own (and completely unrelated) idea of him, cherishing this imaginary love just because I was scared of admitting that it was a mere infatuation and never had been love. I continued to fool myself because its negligible longevity ashamed me.
Then there is this fourth or rather the real first or an intermittent second or maybe intermittent third or the only persistent and subdued and very complex yearning over the years, something that had never dared to leave the shadows and move into the blinding light of realization until now, something intermingled with hope and the lack of it, something vulnerable yet resilient to the passage of time, something that defies closure, something that doesn’t seek acknowledgement or reciprocation and is sustained by its own intensity, something that is beyond fear and shame, something that is unknown and elusive yet eerily familiar, something that wants to be declared unabashedly yet lingers in a sacred veil of secrecy, something that is as pleasurable as it is agonizing. I don’t know what it is, but it is like a splinter that had gradually burrowed its way deep into my heart; and owing to its tenacity and sense of belonging, the pain is just a minor deterrent to my existence. I had made a choice and I have to live its consequences.
We all seek to love and be loved. We crave the intimacy of being the only witness to the other’s life and vice versa. We want a common bank of memories, adventures, conversations, joys and sorrows. We want to love someone more or as completely as we love ourselves. There are no guarantees, there is no definite destination and there are no definite routes. It can’t be engineered or chosen, it just comes to you. Some get to journey along the scenic route, the rest gets the messy and tiresome route fraught with obstacles and insecurities. I belong to the latter category and often find myself dragging my weary legs back to the starting line after encountering dead ends. I enjoy walking on my own, and prefer solitude to the cacophony of dissimilar wavelengths of thought; yet have a never-ending reservoir of hope that there is someone meant to walk alongside me in a journey that reverberates with love, laughter, the good unrest, binding similarities, alluring differences, pleasant companionship, mingled experiences and memories, new adventures, long conversations, continuous individual growth, shared intimacy, and looking out for each other.
But the fourth or real first or an intermittent second or maybe intermittent third or the only persistent and subdued and very complex yearning of many years has to find closure before I can start anew. I don’t feel any anger, apathy or agonizing hurt this time. It’s just a somewhat uncomfortable and heightened restlessness that is not much dissimilar to what I had felt all these years. Even this will end someday, but I don’t plan to wait helplessly till time erases him from my mind. I need adequate distractions till then; new stimuli and work.
Here are my list of immediate distractions till I attain the relative calm of a selectively spotless mind, and curb any further impulsiveness and hurt:
1. Indulge in the only agreeable distraction: books. Read more non-fiction, and some contemporary fiction.
2. Join that Zumba class.
3. Write more (if that is possible!).
4. Take up whatever shifts that comes my way.
5. Continue the ban of all information overload from my life, except for maybe occasional tweets.
6. Overcome my laziness and ennui and re-connect with old friends.
7. Go back to the pool.
8. Overcome my dread of the kitchen. Make a ritual of cooking (I use the term loosely) dinner at least once a week.
9. Delete a certain phone number, mails and messages. Already done!
10. Use that language learning software and dictionaries to learn elementary German. Ask my sister to be my tutor.
11. Enough of the slow life. Get out of home more. Explore.
12. Maintain an essential detachment from all the problems that crop up in my life or the ones of those dear to me, to avoid drowning in panic and sorrow.
13. Not curb the thoughts of the one I am trying to forget, because I would end up fuelling reverse psychology. Let it be.
14. Revive the fervour of watching more world cinema.
15. Nights are dangerous and insomnia encourages irrelevant hopes; try to sleep early.