Who am I? -II

The idea of reducing people to their names, their degrees or accomplishments doesn’t fit in my head. It never did. If somebody asked you who you were, what will your answer be? You can ask me to talk about anything under the sun and over the moon but if someone asked me simple question of who I was? I wouldn’t know and the sinking feeling that perhaps nobody else does either.

If I took off the layers of masks that I wear, will you be able to stand what you see? The fake smile that is permanently fixed on the face like the old grandfather’s clock hanging in the lounge which my parents refuse to get rid of reminds me of how I don’t know what a genuine smile looks like anymore. The words that leave me my mouth and make way to your ears are what you want to hear and not what I want to say. What is that I want to say? I’m not sure, inside the depths of the mind all I see is cold bleak layers of snow after snow. Trying to remove the snow from the corners and alleys causes me to wince in pain as the snow is cemented, the real self buried underneath and barely showing any signs of life anymore.

As I stumble and fall across the crisscross paths looking for answers, calling out my name, I hear nothing back except the void and hollow blackness that surrounds me. A sense of panic crawls up my spine and my hands tremble, I will never stop searching if I didn’t find myself. Madness, sits calmly on a settee watching this in utter delight with eyes never leaving its prey. All it needs is a chance to take over and rein the distorted and cracked building; it’s only a matter of time now.

Maybe the answer lies underneath the skin, I will stop at nothing. I’m willing to peel off the skin to my very bones if that is what will give me the answers I want. I can hear drumming in my ears, someone is calling me frantically, asking me to stop but I shut out the voice. In deep well of the mind, madness claps in glee and jumps up and down in delight, it’s finally happening. I grimace in pain and I see the floor color changing, from as white as the hospital sheets to as red as a carnivore’s party.

I look up confused as the world begins to shake; fuzzy clouds and sharp lights are all around calling me. I hear someone begging, pleading “What!! What are you doing? What is this? What have you done” The voice holds so much pain that my own heart crushes under it. I narrow my eyes to focus at the face and mumble incoherent words as I fall into his arms, home. Even when the pale chapped walls start falling to the floor, I know I’m home.

“Who am I? Do you know who am I?” the words she spoke before she lost consciousness and in that one moment something shattered within him and the glasses of shard cut through his veins. As he picked her up and rushed outside the only thought running through his desperate mind was, “I know who you’re; I’ve always known who you’re. why wouldn’t you ask me

Perpetual Struggle

I feel it knocking somewhere at the back of my head, as always I can never pin point the exact location. Today is no different than any other day in my life, a defeated sigh escapes my lips as I try to concentrate on the pile of paper work in front of me. Maybe if I ignored it, the endless noise would leave me alone but it doesn’t. Like it never does and each day we play this game till I acknowledge the voice, the invisible part which I can’t get rid off. I’m not sure if I can ever be free of it now, for so long have we been together that I can’t tell myself apart from it.

I grimace involuntarily as the knocks turn to blows, and it travels from the back of my head to the crown. Within half an hour today, it’s almost unbearable now, I bite my lower lip hard enough to make it bleed and realizing that I’m surrounded by people I quickly grab a tissue paper to soothe my crimson lip. All I’ve been trying to do is distract myself and not give in to the one thing that will take away the noise. Slightly shaken I go back to my paper work and with a resolve start sorting things out. Barely an hour has gone by that my hands start to tremble and the words on the paper look like insects crawling, its grown and spread like a plague all the way to my forehead.

I stop doing everything and look up around me, everyone is busy with their work, taking this opportunity I close my eyes and inhale and exhale. I tell myself to keep breathing and keep my hands at the corner of the table to steady them while also praying that nobody notices my condition. God listens and doesn’t. I manage to keep my face devoid of expressions that may gave away what I’m going through but by now I feel like someone just jabbed a hot iron rod right through my skull and is pulling it out slowly to scar me forever, like it’s engraving its territory.

I make an effort to stand and clear my head as one last attempt but everything is a blur. I quickly sit back down and with trembling hands pull open the drawer, I know what I need and I blindly reach for my pills and gulp them down with water. It feels that time is endless as I wait for the impact, for the escape but I know the fight has just begun.


Note: Just a glimpse into the head of someone who struggles with vicious headaches daily and simultaneously has to justify the use of pills to people around her.

Welcome to Hell

Imagine being locked up in a cellar. Imagine screaming for help till your throat is hoarse, till you’re out of breath, till your tongue is dry and your inside feels like it’s on fire, a fire that will consume you forever. Imagine the cold dread settling inside your stomach, like making a home there, spreading its roots within you, wrapping it’s branches around your throat, tightening the knot with each passing second. Imagine scars on your skin, red, ugly marks burning holes, imprinting on your skin the mistakes you have made. Each mark a deeper shade of red taunting you, mocking you. Imagine your body withering away, the horror of watching yourself fall apart.

Imagine trying to reach out for sanity but crashing into walls fumbling in the dark. Imagine missing a step and falling in a basement, a hundred feet down not having the light to come back up. Imagine trying to find semblance but realizing you have gone too far deep to come out. Imagine living each moment burdened with uncertainty and failures. Imagine losing your ability to vocalize what you feel, succumbing to the cold around as you close our eyes as it is oh so much easier than to fight. Imagine knowing that the only way to survive is to stop running from the real you and letting it settle in your veins, in your blood, in your bones, in every inch and in every breadth of your life even when you know you will destroy yourself.

Now imagine waking up day after day and smiling for the world.

Infinitely inadequate

She stared in the mirror and hated what she saw, she traced her thin long fingers over her heart shaped face; the perfect cheekbones, those sweeping eye lashes just rightly curved over her ocean like eyes. Her lips bruised and torn, reminded her of the many who had walked in and out of her life and she exhaled a quick shaky breath and shook her head.

“Inadequate” the word seem to have found the perfect permanent spot in her head. She forced herself to stare at the stranger in the mirror and feel something for the person staring back, anything but all she felt was emptiness and a dull ache of the beating heart. A dead beating heart. How long, she wondered, how long had it been since she last saw daylight. She wondered what the sun looked like now, did it look brighter today? Did it look shinier now that she wasn’t out stealing its thunder? Was it warmer now that she was inside?

Everything felt cold and dark and just right. Today seemed like a good day to die, she thought and then shook her head in disdain. Every day felt like a good day to die but she was a coward, an insult to everything she believed, she knew how the world looked at her, how men looked at her.

She was all that was pretty and all that was hated. Her whole life was a series of lies, weaved to perfection, one after another. Her lips spoke words men wanted to hear, her fingers traced their bodies inciting them, like places to be explored and cherished. She read them like she read books, she looked at them like she looked at the sky, she was all the dirty little things you couldn’t have.

A hopeless hysterical laugh escaped her throat and her glistening golden locks seemed to dance over her shoulders as her body convulsed. “Inadequate” She snorted. She was what nightmares were made of; She was the ugly hundred years old tree with no leaves yet which refused to fall, the chilling cold winter breeze which tore people apart, the fire that destroyed homes, the last few pages of a diary which nobody wanted to use, the painting which was never bought, the disposable to be thrown off once used.

The shrill voice of the doorbell brought her back to her senses; she looked in the mirror and decided today she would be Cara, yes. What a pretty little name, she mused as she reached for the door knob.

Freedom

She slumps in to the chair, cursing her luck. “Fuck! The lights are out”, opens her bag and takes out her cigarette pack. Her hands are shaking, she looks down at them and wonders how it is getting worse and lets out a shaky laugh. With fumbling hands she lights a cigarette and takes a long puff to calm down herself.

There is absolute silence around her, like stillness in the air. She closes her eyes; they hurt even though its pitch black in her apartment, the electricity has been cut off. She reminds herself to go pay the bills tomorrow. A long sigh escapes her lips as she continues to smoke with trembling hands.

She tries to recollect the events that have led to this but can’t seem to put the pieces together, it’s like too many scenes are playing in her head at once, driving her crazy. Insane. She knows she needs to calm down to function but she can’t. As the cigarette runs out she blindly reaches for the pack to take another one.

She exhales slowly, trying to relax her body but another attack of violent cough hits her and the cigarette falls to the ground from her fingers. She was 35, alone and dying. Never had she imagined her life would collapse like this around her. Words in her head are so loud today, drowning her, reaching out and pulling her inside in an absolute abyss of darkness, she wants to fight but she is tired. Oh so tired, she wants to let go and sleep now. Sleep peacefully but life wouldn’t even allow her the freedom of death.

She curls up in to ball on the carpet which has thickened with layers of dust, from the corner of her eyes she can see the burnt corners of carpet and closes her eyes, a fresh wave of memories have hit her again. With her eyes closed, she can see it all with absolute clarity that day, he is back in her head and he is screaming and she is screaming back at him, there are tears and anger and hatred. So much hatred, she sees him walking out and a silent plea escapes her lips “Don’t” but he was gone. He was gone and it was all her fucking fault. She was so angry that day, so angry that she had tried to burn down the carpet because it was the first thing they had bought together. She remembered, oh the agony. The anger, followed by fear, heartbreak and tears and her attempt to quickly save whatever was left of their memory together.

It was an ugly carpet, deformed, dusted, burnt from edges but she kept it. Despite how many times she had been told to get rid of it, she didn’t. People didn’t get it, it reminded her of them together, him but most of all, and it reminded her of her. The tattered piece, ugly, incomplete, rough around the edges and never to be loved.

Another cough and her body convulsed, bringing her back to present. She opens her eyes and tries to stand up but she has no energy left in her body and she can already feel another memory taking over her back, this time it’s her mom. A wretched sob escapes her lips mixed with laughter, she knows she is dying, oh how she would love to die with a happy memory but is there any? She desperately waits but nothing.

She feels her lungs filling up with smoke and her eyes stinging, she couldn’t care less though. She knows it the cigarette she dropped; she can see the carpet dissolving into the flames, her mind tells her to move. To save herself but her heart tells her otherwise. The fire will burn the memory forever, that’s what she needs. It’s getting difficult to breathe and she can hear someone screaming and knocking at the door, her eyes are closed and a smile spreads over her face. Her torment is over, it’s time. She knows she will be okay as she feels the heat envelope her.