Something is different today
The music is louder. The train is gliding, instead of running. And, the people around you are more sleepy than usual. You get out of the train and you climb the stairs. It’s really dull outside. Something is different today. Today, it’s raining. But, there is something more.
The road is all muddy. And, there is a strange bokeh in the air, which can be felt and not seen. There are fewer cars than most days and you can almost imagine a train arrive in the middle of the road. Something is different today. Today, you’re in a dream. But, there’s something more.
Everything is falling apart: everything is melting. Everything is melting into darkness and whatever light there was is slowly fading into oblivion. And, someone is walking towards you, through the darkness and through the melting buildings and cars to save you. But, today there is something more. Today, you know that she is walking too slow. Today, you’ve embraced it, you’ve imagined yourself as the hero of a story and you know that heroes fall. Today, you’ve escaped.
Among the subtleties of human predicaments, I often like to imagine, is a lie that they had us believe. A lie- or a truth gone rogue- that was fed to us to keep the darkness away, which now ironically forms the very basis of it.
The fundamental error of our lives has been to let that lie settle into our souls, to place our bets on the belief that- purposeful things cannot end into nothingness.
I hope our distances are forever measured in miles, and not in years.
I often imagine death as waking up in a train.
You wake up in a white, silverish train with silver metal seats carefully arranged in the sides like an array so that they face each other.
The floor is greyish and after each coach is a small plastic tube of the same colour connecting the coaches.
You wake up and find yourselves sitting at the foremost seat of the foremost coach. The train is moving very fast and everything is shaking. There is no sound at all, except a pleasant song from your childhood. It’s like you are wearing earphones. You glance out of the window and see familiar places passing you by, in a beautiful sunny background which is reminiscent of a pleasant weather.
You stand up and look around. The seats are almost full. Each and every person you had ever met in your life is occupyng a seat. You take a stroll towards the last coach, passing through the junction tubes, holding silver poles to compensate the shaking.
You see your mother, your father, your lover, everyone. But, they don’t recognise you. They just look at you, stare at you suspiciously, as if you are a stranger who stole something valuable from them.
And, for some reason, you cannot talk to them. You cannot open your mouth, you cannot think of speaking. The only thought that is running through your mind is that you know these people and that at some point of time, they must have known you too. And, that is all you can think of.
You continue to walk and soon reach the last coach. The shaking starts to get milder, and milder, till it stops altogether. There are no familiar places outside the window anymore, and nothing is moving either. You just see a white platform. Slowly and sluggishly, the doors slide open and just, as they do, you notice that there is no music playing anymore. There is no sound at all, in fact.
You look inside the train, everywhere. Everyone is still just sitting. No one lifts his head, no one bats her eye. No one steps to get off, except of course yourself. It’s time.
You slowly walk outside. The train doors close behind, dramatically. The platform is like any other platform, only cleaner and whiter. There are a few people around. There is a weather around, but nothing other than the whiteness of the platform is noticeable. It is like a dream.
As you look behind, you see the train going away, carrying everyone you had ever known. But, you are not sad. Both they and you have let go.
You turn back around to face the platform, and just as you do, the music starts again. You take a step forward, slowly and gently picking up your right leg and putting it down a little in front of the left one. And, just as your sole (soul) touches the ground, everything except the music fades into white nothingness- oblivion.
Imagine the worst that can happen and know that it’s life and that it would still be fine.
We can never be part of a revolution. We live in crowds. We shout in whispers. We see through masks. The only ones we kiss are our deaths. The only deaths we face are our lives. Our existence, our presence revolves around the same axis as our absence.
We exist in boxes, we sleep in one, we walk in one, we are sick of one. But, we aren’t gonna break one, the box, for we are scared of living without it: alone, outside.
We are desperate, sad, needy people. We are begging for a revolution. But, we aren’t gonna get one. Not that we lack ideas. No. Only none of us, no one from us has the guts to start one. We can never be part of a revolution.
When it truly shatters, which it will
There won’t be a sound.
Memories are worse than bullets
This is one of my favourite quotes. I wish I had written it or at least, something as magnificent as this. It is fascinating to see how it captures so many emotions in a single line.
You are going in a local train and it stops at a particular station, you had once got off at with someone. You get off at it again, though it is not your station. You get off because you are suddenly overwhelmed by nostalgia and you just cannot, not go there again.
You sit at the same spots where you used to sit together before. You eat at the same cafe, you buy things from the same store. You climb the same stairs where she had almost fallen down on once before. And, you just look the other way, smiling a little.
Now, you look at the gate where you had left her. You imagine her looking back at you before leaving. She turns around slowly, like she had once when you had called her name for the first time; the first time you had met her. She turns around and she comes back to you running and hugs you. You ask her to stay, but she just has to go.
And, she goes. And, you? Years later, you just stand there, imagining her coming back.
Memories are worse than bullets.
Most powerful words
In response to, the optional prompt for NaPWriMo:
And today’s prompt – optional, as always — comes to us from Vince Gotera. It’s the hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words.
First, it was the escalator.
I thought it to be a dream, but it was not.
First, it was the escalator. Then, everything else. The automatic doors to the platform, the elevator, the train doors. Everything was slower today, more effortless, more tranquil, than usual.
Everything. Not everyone.
The people weren’t slow. They were sitting there. But, they were not immobile, not slow.
They were running, fast, faster than everything around. All of them. The ones on the platform and the ones inside the train with me. Running, yet not going anywhere.
No one was going anywhere. No.
No one, not nothing.
The train. The train was. Slowly, sluggishly.
From the inside, it almost seemed fixed, immobile, as if it was not. But, it was.
It was taking me home.
Slowly, gently, gliding through the tunnel, it was taking me home.