Pic Credit: New York Times
I reached the beach an hour early. Few thoughts have been hindering my routine today. Reading newspaper is something that I don’t miss, unusually today, I’ve landed directly on to the weather forecast page to see if the odds favour me. Luckily they do, it is a sunny day with clear sky, it read, clearing my pessimism fogged mind. Then I’ve drifted to the horoscope column where it read “Your planetary energy tends to promote feelings of detachment. You need to overcome it by talking. It will be worth it.” We’re meeting for the first time out of college and this guy asks me to overcome it by talking. I don’t get it, after all what’s going to work apart from talking.
In a parallel world where scepticism ruled the day, I was bound to adhere to the rule of law. “She might be revisiting her decision to meet me, she might as well have forgotten about our meeting” I thought, a million times. I allowed these pessimistic thoughts to pester my appetite too.
I couldn’t stop the soliloquy that’s hurting my head since I woke up. I reminisced all the moments that have had me either disappointed or heartbroken since my childhood. I can distinctly remember an incident when I cried for 2 days straight. My mom promised that she’d take me to the magic show one weekend. Deeply indulged in her house chores without compromising on our upbringing, she forgot about the show. And that’s when I cried a river and proved her that a human can cry for 2 days on a stretch without a recognisable interruption.
I sat by the beach waiting for her. There were few kids who were building houses with sand, one sculpture was especially noticeable. This kid built a set of row houses in sand, when asked about the reason, he said that he built the extra ones for his children and his grandchildren. One might view it is as a foresight of the kid, but not me, I thought he was conspired by the social anxieties of the adults to have a secure future, not just for them, but their whole family line. This way of thinking may never give him closure on the intrinsic satisfaction. My thoughts might not represent best of intentions, but I feel we’re moulding them into greedy machines who never acknowledge their pulsating surroundings but always aspires for a vibrant future. In his case, he is living this moment by spending his rare beach time on fortifying his future rather than enjoying the reflection of sun on people’s faces or comically on their butts. I think the best thing that can ever happen to anyone is their childhood.
Meanwhile I was staring aimlessly at the horizon, in search of a tangible border to demarcate the vast stretches of water and sky. But I couldn’t find any, the border is ever expanding, blurry and reminding of the screwed intention of humans to define everything.
A stroke of sea breeze woke me from my half-sleep and I found her sitting beside me with eyes projecting immense life. She seamlessly sat beside me without making any noise. I smiled and wished her a happy birthday.
“So how long has it been?” I volunteered.
“Ten minutes and you were busy appreciating the horizon” she said smiling.
“Sorry I didn’t notice your presence”.
All these days I was dying to get her attention and when the moment came, I couldn’t notice her. So, this is how people define self-absorption. After all, defining is not as bad as I thought.
“Yes, I’m un-noticeable. I don’t have a peculiar aura. I’m a bystander in a metro.”
“No, I didn’t mean it that way. I was busy with my thoughts. You have one of the most lively faces I’ve ever come across and you’re the polar opposite of what a bystander means to me.”
I loved the way her skin reflected the sun rays, carelessly yet gracefully.
“Thanks for caring. I wanted to ask you something regarding us.”
That’s it. All of a sudden I was stammering and my lips quivered with anxiety.
“I’m not going to beat around the bush and delay ‘us’. I don’t want to fade out of your life as if we never knew each other, I want us to happen, I want us to be a reality. I’m not ashamed to tell you how much I want to be with you. I never showed it owing to the reservations we both had in our lives. I’m holding an enormous amount of love for you, of which I don’t want to lose even an ounce of it in the name of confusion or indecision. In this moment, this very second, I want to kiss you. This immensity of love is making me go crazy, I’ve turned into a huge fragile cloud which is on the verge of bursting. If tomorrow is my last on this Earth, I want to spend today with you. I want to be yours tonight. That radiance you dissipate when you talk, I want to own it. I want to learn how to appreciate simple pleasures from you. I want to laugh with you, share with you, cry with you, make love to you and live with you. Knowing almost nothing about you doesn’t make me reanalyse my decision. In fact, it is driving me to look forward for a relationship where I can learn about you every other day of our courtship. How exciting would that be? Growing together without growing apart as Theodore Twombly said. But the idea of growing apart haunts me. Can we really rely on our infatuated minds to call the shots for arguably the most important decision of our lives? Even if we allow them to make the decision, do you think we’ll last?”
I was astonished. I couldn’t think of anyone who could put their thoughts so subtly. A sense of envy prevailed in me. I wondered if I’m lucky enough to have someone this articulate in my life. I couldn’t find any befitting words left to show my euphoria.
I took a handful of coarse beach sand and handed her half of it.
“How long do you think it will take these grains to escape your hand ?” I asked.
“An eternity or maybe a second”
“It depends on me, if I won’t leave, they’ll stay with me forever” she cast her dice.
“Same is the case with the sand in my hand too. It’ll be with me until I let it loose” I said looking deep down into her eyes.
“Yes, obviously” she concurred.
“Then the answer for your question is right in front of you” I said.