Insomnia and a slice of inspiration that descended on me as I aimlessly watched my ceiling fan rotate, has provoked me to write this down. So I looked for a pen and my mind held thoughts of a rainy evening spent on the uncomfortable seats of a bus stop: The first time you eased into the idea of lighting a cigarette in my presence. You tilted your head back and blew a thin stream of smoke. And I gazed at you and wondered, does it make you happy?
Despite the popular strand of thought, the first thing I think of when I see you pull out your cigarette is not of the day you sit me down and inform me in a grave tone that you have lung cancer. Definitley not the first thing I think of. But I won’t lie to you; it scares me that someday, I might lose you to the grey smoke you exhale.
But that is not the first thought that haunts me as I register the look of satisfaction on your face.
I think, are you truly happy?
If you are, then I am stumped because I do want you to be happy just not in a slowly self-destructive way. And I know you think at times that I will never understand and that I judge too quickly but do believe me when I say I try hard not to. There have been moments in my days, where I try to walk around with my tiny feet in your large shoes. Remaining in your shoes is difficult but I know that it is important. It is important to try and understand why you need the grey embrace of smoke.
I understand that maybe you have found a happy place for yourself amidst your grey smoke particles and I understand that it is difficult to tear yourself away from them. You may have gone to them on one of your bad days, when you were desperate for another’s shoulder to leave your burden on, but there were none around. You probably found a friend in the tiny roll and collapsed into his grey embrace. And he probably showed you the inward path to joy. You probably stumbled upon your friend in white by accident and thought you could flirt a little or have a fling with him. You probably thought you needed to befriend him because it was expected of you from the rest of your brotherhood.
But for whatever probable reason you acquainted with him, he seems to make you happy now or at least serves as your familiar pillar. But you probably have your days of misgivings too; where you question what you do. Your days of having to tell a new person about your friend in white and having to watch the judgement and pity flit right beneath their eyes. Your days of having to justify it to friends like me.
So I want to make things a little better for you. Or I hope I can.
I won’t remind you of your duties to people; you have them to do that for you and also because living for other people and holding back for them is pointless and tiring. But I will take up the stance of a neutral third person and say, if this is how you truly want to lead your life, if this is how you truly want to keep yourself happy, do it. For yourself. Shun all thought of what is expected of you and think of only what you owe to yourself.
And I promise you, love, that I will not be disappointed with any answer of yours. I will always be there to grab you in an embrace when the grey ones fade or grow thicker.
Your friend outside the grey.