Short stories

The Outsiders

From the balcony of her window, she could see the sad, thinking man, like her, sitting near his window, looking out into the space and cool of the night, wondering if there were more to this same-same routine he had come to call his “life”. He was not unhappy; he was by all measures what most would call a happy man, who has everything one would hope for in a suburban neighbourhood. A self-made man, he achieved career and success early in his life, with family comfort dropped on his lap a decade ago when it was deemed necessary for a man of his age and status to have a fitting wife and a tidy pack of children. He was well-liked by his colleagues as he gave a measured amount of care and concern about each of their lives, and he was held in high regard by his superiors for being neatly efficient. Alas, it seems to the outside world that the only thing he lacked was a Lassie-type hound to complete the middle class dream of white picket fences and unmessy, uncomplicated contentment.

The woman, who had been watching this man for several nights now, sensed the deep currents of unhappiness in this neat package of an executive. She had seen his eyes furrow when they wandered into a destination somewhere far away from where he now was and although she was too far to see, she imagined that she caught glimpses of tears as whatever he was thinking of was too impossible to attain. Every day at midnight, he would pour himself a glass of Scotch on the rocks, drink a sip of it, lay a coaster neatly for fear of spoiling the wood of his side table, then lay the glass calmly on the coaster, before raising the glass again to drink more of it. Was it just to numb his senses to the daily act he had to perform? Or, was it to intoxicate himself so that he could arrive at that place where he so yearned to be? The woman, who escapes to her window to catch a breath in the starlight, amused herself by thinking that this man knew the secret destination of where they both wanted to be.

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Oh, Happy Pain

Artwork by Miss E,
a good friend

When I awoke at morning,
I felt my skin cracking,
‘n my heart burning,
my head exploding,
my soul bawling,
my legs melting,
my eyes raining,
my lips bleeding,
my face swelling,
my ears splitting,
my cries deafening,
and my hands awanting.

Truckling down to ennui-knees,
mirrors sliced my humanities,
I put up with my indignities,
I grasped at my sanities,
I fought my absurdities,
I resisted my Tofranils,
I licked all my injuries,
I snorted your decries,
I puffed idiosyncrasies,
I tipsy, dallied with deities,
I ran, and sang as remedies,
I lay happy, soaked of Chiantis.

Musings, Short stories

Whispers of A Starry Night

High up above the sky, stars, spread across the expanse of the galaxy, sit down and enjoy a conversation of whispers among themselves. Tonight, they are whispering about a girl, fixed to a window in the southeastern hemisphere of Earth, who has summoned their attention with the deep sorrow flushed down the hollow tunnel of her body and salty tears that stain her gaunt cheeks. The stars meet her wide-eyed gaze as her far-away eyes shoot a thousand questions, requests and sighs at the sparkling dots in the midnight blue. Tell me the antidote for life, her mind’s eye asked, tell me the antidote for emptiness. Tell me the antidote for pain, and sorrow. Tell me the antidote for joy and happiness. Tell me, tell me, tell me how to get through the engulfing loneliness of the night. Tell me, stars, I beg of you.

And the stars, split into two houses, performed a concert for the girl with the inquisitive eyes. One house whispered “tell me, tell me, tell me” and the other threw spurts of whispers, saying, “No answers at all. No answers. The pain, the sorrow, the emptiness, the joy, the happiness, the day, the night, the night, the day, all of life, makes up all of life. Tears, laughter, calm, storm, all of life, makes up all of life. Pain, comes from love. Love, comes from pain.” The girl, marvelled at the spectacular concert for her benefit, heaves a sigh of contentment, and nourished by the whispers of the stars, she prepares to face another day. And at sun down, she will look at the sky again, for the whispering comfort of her all-knowing friends.