Someone once told me that the only way to get over my problems was to run right through them, like they were nothing more than the morning mist that disappeared when the sun came out.
And it sounded so drastically different than the other answers I was used to so I took off in a matter of seconds. And it worked! I ran through them all. Well, head-butted them in the gut is more like it. And it felt exhilarating to battle with the burden that was pressed upon my shoulders by fingers that were too insignificant to even matter.
But after my problems fell apart, one segment after the other, I faced a bigger one. I could not hit the brakes. My energy levels did not drop and neither did my heartbeat. I kept running and running even when my feet blistered and bled. I continued to push aside other problems that arose but I could never bring myself to halt after. I could not slow down and stroll through my problemless life.
And that is how I began to crumble. I tackled them all to the ground but everytime I got to my feet, I was worse off than before.
And I am still running. Running and breathing through the Asthma. Because I think somewhere along the path that I sprinted through, I realized that maybe my life would be easier if I could outrun my problems. But as irony would have it, I only managed to bring myself to them; breathless, quicker than I was expected and catching them by surprise.
And even after I was proved wrong, I couldn’t stop. And that’s the silly thing about people, I guess. We cannot give up even on the silliest of hopes, can we?
All the dictionaries in the world cannot compete with you, seeking out words and beading them together. A worded garland that you gently place around my Heart with a gut wrenching smile playing across your lips. And you keep it up as the garland coils itself around my Heart; minute by minute inhaling becoming harder. Until I cannot breathe at all for my Heart is choking. I can hear Her scream for help but the ambulance sirens never announce their arrival. Even my hands can’t rescue Her for they trace your smiling face as you tug on the garland and twist it at a dangerous angle. I swear I could hear something crack within me. But I still remain frozen, unable to help myself. Your eyes are brown and they hold the right amount of magic and the promise of more and I cannot look away. I am crying as my Heart heaves Her dying wishes.
But something happens in the moment right before she flutters to a stop. There is a new garland. New beads. New words. New dictionaries to compete with. These words don’t make me cry. They don’t lie to me. They make me want to feel the wind on my face. And when I close my eyes and re-open them, I see that you are gone. I wish I could feel loss but all I feel is relief.
Because the words you minced were dipped in poison and dark magic. They were designed to chop the life out of souls. My Heart was their prisoner and your rivals held the key.
I am happy that you are gone. That I shall never have to look upon your face or your horrifying smile. I am happy That my Heart is safe from yours. And miles away from your cruel words.
But it is sad, is it not?
That of all the shades of a Dictionary, we pick the worst.
Do you remember the last time you walked barefoot? Not at the beach or across the concrete choking this city. But the last time you let your feet trod across wet soil and felt a sleeping life form pulse beneath them? Do you remember the last time you tilted your head back to enjoy the rain, guffawing out loud, without someone having a camera poised to capture your fake joy. When you climbed a tree and just sat there, nestled in those large arms that span this earth?
Or do you at least remember the last time you jumped into a lake with all your clothes and laughed when you surfaced for oxygen only to cough out water through your nose? The last time you took a stroll down a nature park and lazily ruffled your hand through the bushes, paying heed to the “Do Not Pluck” Signs? When was the last time you silently ignored spiders or worms instead of drenching them in bug-spray?
When was the last time where you just smiled. One tiny, simple smile when you did all that? Because those moments are worth that tiny tilt of your lips which can fight anything the world throws at you.
But they aren’t what we live for. We are Urban Creatures, glued to the dim glow of LCD lights, denying ourselves those moments of connection with a different kind of Tranquility.
We will never walk barefoot and if we do, we would romanticize it in our stories or the better word would be Snapchat stories. We won’t ever go on long walks or climb trees and be satisfied with just the magnitude of pure bliss it brings.
We have forgotten to find these moments.
And when we do, we cannot contain their secretive bliss with ourselves. And that is why we shall never find joy. Because when Nature sheds her clothes and leads us down a Pleasure Path that we have never experienced within our concrete jails, we don’t keep quiet. Instead we go tattling her little secrets in town.
And that is why I bid farewell. I am about to find a tiny crook for myself in the arms that will always take me in. And if you change your mind; if you manage to walk barefoot across wet soil and connect with the pulsing life beneath, I am certain that we can find a niche for you too.
She would have blonde curls with pink streaks and would sit in the middle of the busy pavement, next to the lone guitarist with an amateur voice, reading a book on the 12 most beneficial postures in Yoga.
She would wear bright yellow skirts and pigtails and bounce down to the supermarket, optimism hitting everyone she passed like the aroma of her bold perfume that smelled like nachos.
She would waltz in the rain with an imaginary partner and climb trees to tickle squirrels.
She would press down on the accelerator and get herself a speeding ticket and come home to check the box next to “Speed drive and get caught before you are thirty.”
That girl would take seven different trains across the city and never feel lost.
She would giddily trot her way to the bottom of several wine glasses and never mope or puke.
That girl could make your lungs crave for oxygen.
She could make you feel breathless and yet, she could make you like it.
And when you met my eyes, nine years later,
I felt loss.
And I know you did too when you scrutinized all of me, right from the crutches under my armpits to the core of my defeated Soul.
I’m sorry, I said.
Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, speed drove herself to Death and left her Shadow in me instead.