1. I dream of being an advice columnist who prescribes books in response; as it would involve reading like a motherfucker (like Dear Sugar) late into the night, embarking on one literary odyssey after another, sourcing out the perfect sequence of words in poem or prose, the attempt of understanding which will be the answer that is sought. I am aware of the annoyance of imposing one’s literary preferences on another, but when I have just finished reading a book that stirs up a delightful chaotic inner storm, I expect the world to stop spinning for a while to acknowledge what the book has done to me. I get the urge to stop random strangers and tell them to rush home, get into their favourite pajamas, put their feet up, and start reading the book now. Not because I want to flaunt some obscure literary gem that I have dug out, but for basking together in the aftermath of reading a good book and knowing that it has evoked similar emotions, a wordless joy, with just the reader in me beaming at the reader in you, connected.
Yesterday I was witness to a dilemma that a close friend is facing that involved risks, ennui, second chances, unspoken obligations and a love of five long years, and it pained me to see her suffering but I couldn’t say anything that would miraculously solve her indecision without seeming like an unappetizing and uncalled for discourse on the myriad complexities of love. And as I heard her speak, smudgy distant prints of words formed in my memory, from a time where I had experienced a similar indecision in a book. I nodded in understanding and empathy to everything she said, but the book that had answers for her continue to remain blurred. It came to me a few hours ago, when I was watching the rain through the grilled window, and felt an urge to just run and run, destination be damned, and I remembered that the protagonist in that novel once took off too, just ran and ran, which was later attributed to a combination of female hysteria and alcohol by her fiancee, and that it happened in Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Edible Woman‘. I want to tell my friend to read the book, maybe she would find some answers, maybe she won’t, or maybe it’s quite insensitive of me to slip a book every time I hear about troubles. Hmm.
2. The inexplicable urge to tell you things, the rushed and voluble conversations; the desire to know you, the whole of you, to unravel the unsaid; the delight of knowing random anecdotes about you, the (now defunct) overwhelming belief that you were different, that you understood, that you knew what I knew; the comfort of you lingering behind every waking thought and some sleeping ones too; and the fervent anticipation, of I know not what; the journeying down secret lanes of nostalgia, ones that you were never aware of, and remembering you, observing parallel lives; the unspeakable things I wanted to do to you, have you do to me, that came in sudden rushes and alarmed me, causing conflicting inner dialogues and a heightened colouring of my face; the realization that I wanted nothing more than a subtle connection, that even a mere exchange of words was enough to cause a disproportionate joy that saw me through long days, and that even in my loneliest moments I was afraid to desire anything more, lest you slip away; the entirely new surges of tenderness that swept over me every time I thought of you; and the hesitant and quiet yet stubborn hopes that I developed despite knowing fully well your perspective of me in which I could only be ordinary at the very best. #imiss #idonotmiss #imiss
3. Sometimes I feel scared. Like being stuck in the perpetual loop of horror of waking up late and missing the most important exam of my life in a world with no second chances.
4. Sometimes I fall in love with absolutely nothing.