9.20 PM
(This is probably an excerpt from a novel I’ll never write) 

I have never seen a better view before; a pair of brown eyes exposing pages after pages of fiction. Getting lost in the complexity of words and metaphors. Building trust between newly found names and old flames. Leaning on a glass wall, preoccupied, eminent, tranquil, and serene in between that chaotic Sunday evening.

It was also a pure coincidence that my favourite nineties song was playing in that little crowd. The way the singer crooned verses of longing represented the sudden explosion of my chest: “I want my life to always be in your embrace” and another line of devotion, another line of adoration, and another line, and another line, and another line. I thought the singer was out of his mind. Trying to convince someone that they matter is almost as useless as blowing the burning April sun to recover from heatstroke. In this city of thieves and liars, love songs are the equivalent of false alarm.

But my pulse started to beat faster as the reality sets in. The reality that you were in one room with me. I could feel the heat flowing from your palms to my legs. Ruining my stance, melting my bones. I started looking for a place to hide, wishing that we were in a rainy forest so that I could jump to nearest cave and never comes to surface again. But we were in a public place and the only thing that resembles a cave was a pile of young adult novels with hopeless romantic titles and muted tones. I buried my head deep in paragraphs full of nonsense, silently laughing because at that moment I was experiencing a scene in a typical chapter written by an infatuated author.

I took a deep breath and moved closer to the opposite glass wall, trying to observe another pile of self-help books with titles that seem to patronise me into thinking that everything happens for a reason and there is no such thing as coincidence. I glanced across the glass wall and you were there, now in a meditative crouching state and still facing the pages as if you were hypnotised by your own imagination. The view of you across the crystal-clear wall was so picturesque that I believe it would make millions in modern art museums across the world. I went back to my diverted standpoint, trying to digest the words of a deceased poet in my hands. I glanced at you again and for a mili-second, our eyes locked. My stomach suddenly turned upside down. I was out of breath, and decided to pay for my purchase immediately. Maybe I could forget that moment once I understand the poems that were extended before my eyes.

In a city of thieves and liars, you can never trust anybody, any fictions, any poems, or any coincidences. You stress on your memories, cry yourself to sleep, and lie to the world the next day by telling everyone that you had a great weekend. At least that’s what people have been telling me. Lie, so that you’ll gain respect. Fake it, so that you’ll receive that love you were wishing for as a child. Steal, so that you’ll look like you’re enjoying your life. Those are some of the things that have been taught to me by the people of this city of thieves and liars.

Frankly, I’m waiting for you.
Frankly, I’m longing for you.
Frankly, I’m missing you.
Because you are not a part of them.


(Photo: Weaving Memories, Garut 2016)


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