Lipstick-stained Cigarette Butts
What would it sound like if the universe ever sighed? I think about this a lot. Imagine the universe heaving a sigh, letting out a long held breath, giving a voice to all the griefs, the suppressed cries, letting go of the burden of all humanity; just for once, even it’s for a split second.
Imagine being that lonely and not having the ability to grieve, to let go of everything. Imagine being enveloped by the brutal oblivion and being forced to remember and document every passing second. Imagine being so mighty that the constraints of time and space become futile in front of you and still not having a voice. Imagine being the keeper of uncountable mysteries and secrets of life and death, yet so powerless, so meek, … so inanimate.
There are days when I feel exactly like this. A mere pawn in the great power politics staged by the Almighty. When I struggle to get the air out of my lungs, when my words cling to my throat and refuse to let go, when my tongue becomes so heavy it can barely move, when my lips get glued together on their own, when being human feels almost like a retribution. Days when I wish I could become invisible or the world would disappear with all the people in it, for a teensy bit, just so I could experience a moment of quiet, some peace but without all the hurt that keeps weighing me down. Invisible. Insignificant. Negligible. In consequential. Meagre. Meaningless. Worthless. Some days that’s all I strive to be; irrelevant.
As a child, I used to carve stories and faces out of the irregular lines and figures on the headboard of our bed. Tracing my finger along the etchings on wood until I fell asleep. Gone are the days of childhood but I couldn’t let go of this particular habit. I keep trying to make a whole person out of silhouettes, to create life from the remains of deformed shapes and uneven figures, to put together stories from the shreds of a broken individual. I keep running after the shadows that linger around my heart ever so quietly. Holding onto the empty shells of people, hoping to fill the gaps with my stories but I never succeed. All my stories end up being a perfect picture of failure and I keep mourning day after day, day after day.
Lying under the dark blue sky, apparently indifferent, but I want to believe that there’s someone hidden in it. I want to believe that while I’m desperately trying to find some meaning in that lone flickering star, somebody is looking down at me, with love and kindness and with a mutual understanding of how lonely both of us are. Sometimes I think how nice it would to be enveloped by this soft loneliness, to disappear in the dark blue night sky. It’s frustrating how miracles don’t happen for the nobodies like you and me, even though we spend all our lives in the hopes of experiencing something remotely similar to it.
The nobodies like us could unravel the mysteries of universe and travel the skies, have a conversation with a lonely star but that doesn’t change anything because miracles don’t happen for the unfortunate. Even though we wait and hope all our lives, reluctantly, patiently, frustratingly but we wait till the very last of our breaths. We wait for something extra-ordinary to happen, waiting for someone to knock at our door and tell us we’ve been living our lives the wrong way , tell us where and how it went wrong, give us some justification, an answer to all our questions that wake us up at night. but instead we wait and watch the miseries grow into grief and hurt, we wait by the door hoping to hear a peep from outside, unable to let out a sigh. I know this because I too, have nothing to show for my claims. All I have at the end of day is a vague reminder of who I was, my empty hands and equally empty heart, and some lipstick-stained cigarette butts.