Confessions: Lost chances( Short fiction)

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‘ Is it your fault.., or was it mine..? Whom do I blame for this sorrow..?’
– Translated from a tamil song

The basketball court grew translucently vacant after eleven in September… September made you feel different in the city.., as a watcher of people I pick up on a lot, all cities have the same traffic.., the same zone defense of public roads.., the same feisty cops pulling up bikers with helmets…, but God has different layers to each month.., the trees lose more leaves.., there are a lot more winds.., the waves of marina are are more lustful of the shore.., loneliness is much deeper in the underground caves.., and the antisocial appears every now and then when things grow still after the din grows low… A man who knew loneliness sat here often hoping to absorb the energy of sane souls, I knew him as well although he and I don’t really talk much.. I get the sense that the world that he occupies does not allow entry of people who talked.., he was a sad soul.., lost to a world that was indifferent to his plight.., unkind to his homelessness and harsh to his presence.., can’t really blame him.., but I wanted him to pour his soul into mine and feel my warming fire.., I was not exactly normal either.., I was a misfit myself.., a loner who preferred a ball and an empty court to people… Friends in my life were people whom I knew but who never knew me.., I was too deep to be understood, I was too distracted by the world to conform to their demands and expectations which seemed silly and childish in my eyes.., I was a man who knew things before they happened and who saw things before they were perceived.., I was whatever place I absorbed and I was whoever people wished me to be. The Park drew in folks.., the park did not catch your attention immediately, you would pass it by and it would not invoke any sensation.., it was bare, plain and possessed no juicy vibe.., like a plain woman you passed her by.., and then you encounter them and you begin to know them and you get the sense that you were guilty of perhaps discrimination but you’re safe since it happened in the secretive layers of your mind…. but this park was where I in all of Madras city found myself drawn to.. Perhaps this would be my own dream theater of performance.., where I can be the heroic motif that I pick in my day dreams.., where I create a legacy for my own knowledge but unseen and unrealized by those who frequent this same place as me.

There was always a buzz on the basketball court.., the eager to flaunt players held hostage by their domineering coach.., the visitors who sat on the stone galleries to ponder life’s mysteries.., the middle aged uncles who rested their vertebrae after a back breaking walk around the park to burn off calories.., shady cats whose eyes glinted with the spirit of marijuana and who scowled and mocked everybody that their eyes could see.., homeless drunks who argued loudly and later slept soundly in the top stair of the stone gallery.., local flower men who sold threaded jasmine buds to middle class city bred ‘Iyer’ ladies who slept on the hard stone floor.., Fatigued auto-rickshaw men resting after a tiring day…The court was my kingdom.., and I imagined myself to be the king of my court.., and it was my job to realize with the eyes of the heart the souls that walked through the court.. I would attempt stories from what I felt when my heart touched upon their souls.. I would also try to place each person with a song that I would spend hours searching for.., or perhaps crystallize them with a poem..By nature I am distant since I could care less about the formality of mere connectivity.. I could not understand why people had to spend so much time getting acquainted.., I know the bad ones.., they always try to make you love them and they always try to puff you up.., the rest are a mystery that requires patient chopping .., my mind is always afar since I alienate myself from the usual.., but there is a music to each soul that one can listen if one listens closely.., a hidden tale buried within each layer.., and I was determined to discern and navigate through the darkness of being.

He was one of those middle aged men who enjoyed mere banter. He had a charming and disarming way of engaging you.., He and I shared the same lonely space for quite a period of months, I wanted him to find it in himself to dare break the invisible walls that people erected around themselves.., He approached me with praise, a great conversation starter.., he wanted to understand why anybody would choose a public park to practice after 11.30.., a place well known for antisocial scum, insane marauding hooligans on bikes and bloodthirsty wanderers… I responded by saying that I could say the same about him to a certain extent.., A spark glowed in the darkness of that court which was a well-known magnet for unfinished tales.., broken hearts and restless souls… He would generally do his circular walks around the park with a distracted look, he found the practice difficult but he still kept at it.., he was from a small town deep in the south.., his language contained the soul of the town that he was from. The people there probably spoke from their heart.., lacked cunning and were delightful of people.., maybe they lacked the sophistication of deeper understanding.., for a brief while we clicked. Our souls are thirsty for as much of earth that we can find.., for in eternity our souls will suffer uncertain fates depending on our choices. I knew that a soul’s relation to the revelation of Jesus would decide one’s eternity.., but in the here and the now all souls starved and hungered for love and want.. They had a funny way of expressing it since immaterial realities kept pressing against their conscious shores…, but it was there and you had to learn to handle the bitter reality of people and their incapability of knowing their presence and their actions on another soul.

I am a chamber full of secrets.., many souls speak what besets their soul into my depths.., they share their hurts which are often painful realities that still torment their inmost minds..,I seem to inspire their openness.., and I seem to inspire them to enter into my inner stillness to phrase in fleeting lucidity their inmost torments which always found a way to confound their lingual capabilities.., for the moment they could find the perfect, most honest, most soulful and most heartfelt way of narrating their lives in his presence.., it would finally lift off and decrease in its intensity.

He remembered the first time he saw her.., he had known since he was 8…, it was not her eyes, her appearance or her behavior that he noticed…, he noticed instead how his heart fluttered when she walked past him oblivious to the nuclear damage that she was wreaking on his simple soul. Over a period of time the feelings became mutual…, he was 14 by then.., and she 13.., they held hands on the long mud paths surrounded by rice fields and sugar cane fields that led to their homes when nobody was watching.., he climbed trees to pluck mangoes for her and.., wrote her I love you hundred times… their love blossomed over the years.., he came from a conservative system.., multiple social walls stood in his way.., she was from another caste.., he belonged to another.., religion spoke about how he belonged higher.., but his heart could see no such reality.., his heart wanted her more intensely as the years progressed.., they promised each other multiple times that they would find each other no matter how far they got.., that the other would wait if something were to happen.., but as fate would have it education brought him to the chaotic city of Madras.., he would call her many times.., but there were no mobile phones back then.., the timing had to be perfect.., her Father owned a goods store and he would be out by 7 in the morning.., her mother was always at home.., but went at 2 pm to the temple for half an hour.., that would be their time.., even if her mother returned.., she would act as though the phone call was between her friends.., but one time her mother stayed back and long story short got wind of what was happening.., they beat her so bad that she swore to never contact him again.., but she was lying.., how can emotions such as love end in the face of adversity.., it is the very soil that it blooms and flourishes in.., he promised her that he would come back for her the moment he got a job.., but her parents got her married before he could make good on his promise.., marrying her off to some businessman…, heartbroken he wept, cried and wandered in sorrow and despair.., the years passed, he tried to forget her but to no avail.., how could someone forget someone who had inhabited his inmost being..? Who had loved him with a love all her own..? How could he overcome that which only made him linger.., stay and wander in a world of inner hurt..? He grieved like a man who knew not how to survive in a world devoid of his sweetheart.., he could not bear the thought of her in the arms of another man.., he could not bear another possessing her…, love was never meant to be shared by a third party.., Never.., His parents sensing his woe married him off to a proper Madras girl.., he hid his sorrow and began to live for his future.., family.., responsibility.., he had become so possessed by this intense hurt in his heart that he struggled to love his wife fully.., even though he had gotten over the deadly blow.., he could never forget his first love.., he shared this to me over a period of time and I listened as I always did like my life depended on it.., funny how strangers heal wounds that one’s own efforts seldom seem to. I know that the good Lord placed me on this planet to heal people, He did the healing.., I just had to reach out to the souls.., and I always could find them no matter how they hid their wounds.

I did my best to console him.., I spoke nothing .. there was nothing that I could say that would reach the inmost depths of him and pull him away from what he felt, I only listened and allowed my silence to do the healing.., I allowed my warmth to speak what I couldn’t.., what could I say..? I only felt myself grow sad.., there was a certain amount of sadness that this court seemed to attract…, I was a lost soul myself.., but I knew that Jesus healed.., you just had a sense for these things that was more than reason oriented.., I understood his moral reality.., He was married.., had kids in school and was a normal functioning member of society now.., but he would forever remember the lost chance.., and what could you do about it in this wild jungle..? Love more deeply..? Take more chances..? Marry for love..? I didn’t have a clue.., all I knew was that life moved on.., I had more souls to meet and more stories to glean. But what I encounter and see will always bleed within me.

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Attraction – Short Story

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” I just find myself wildly attracted to you…, I just keep thinking about you all the time.., like all day all day.. Kanyeezy style.” I typed even as I felt the familiar rush … She was quite potent.

“What…? C’mon man… are you serious…? I knew that this would happen.” She typed like she was standing right before me but was not listening to me even as I poured out my soul.

” I don’t even know you man.., How can you say something like that to a complete stranger…?” She wrote like she was writing a Toni Morrison novel filled with symbolic, cultural drama.

I felt stung…, hurt…, has it ever occurred to you that my pain is better expressed as quotes, letters and stories…? ( Monologue to myself)

‘ Look, I am just being real.. I don’t know how to say what I am about to say without making it sound like one tremendous cliche’. I know that what I feel is totally normal and quite common, but my heart feels something whenever it rebelliously escapes my struggling restraint and self control and just wanders into you… And believe me there is no greater heartbreak dealer than myself, i’m quite the expert at bearing the intense broken pieces of my heart just longing for you with torturous attempts even as it struggles to confront the larger reality…, I am not expecting anything from you.., as a matter of fact I want to kill this within myself…, because I know that your heart is elsewhere.., and believe me I don’t want to be caught up in one of those awkward one sided infatuations that will just keep killing you day by day.., I know that you are way over my league…and I know that I am not what you dreamt about when you were dreaming for your prince charming… I am the complete opposite of what you actually want… I am a dreamer.., I am shy.. awkward…alienating and a lover of solitude… I am a loner.., I am not exactly relationship material…, I know that you won’t care to know about all of my personal feelings…, I probably sound like a creep.. But I am just being real… You’re just a chance that I take to keep on dreaming baby…It aint’ you.. it’s all me..so keep doing your thing.. living your life.. being that irresistible ray of bouncing sunshine that I desperately want but can’t ever have…’I wrote to her.

‘ Look man…, I hate to state the obvious but i’m just not comfortable with what you’re saying.’ She replied back as though I had not just bared my soul and removed all of my defenses and was now standing naked and vulnerable before her awaiting her stern, indifferent voice.

‘ Mhmm, I get it…, ha ha ha … Listen, like you don’t need to cut me off or anything okay…I get it.., you have to act rude and dispose me off like I am someone who has become an obstruction.. I am probably taking on the form of people who have incited irritation and reckless annoyance in you in the past.. Some lousy desk job clerk who made you feel like you were once again back in school against the more popular kids who seemed worlds apart and never for once acknowledged you or even made you feel special about yourself…, or it might have been some local perv who kept staring at you when you were on the metro train… Making you feel weird, fearful and horrible inside… In all honesty you will probably be more angry with me than with all these other varieties of scum…, because you know that I am not what you want.., and you will feel nothing while I will feel everything that you don’t feel. I will view your inability to feel nothing towards me with the greatest regret, it will keep killing me because I won’t be able to handle the fact that I am not able to give you what you need…, a year from now.. I would still be consumed by the fact that you were nothing apart from an infatuation…, you won’t see things about me that I would definitely want you to see…, I have this tendency to fall hard for things, for people that I can never have…, So I guess this is not even about you.. but all about me…, just longing eternally for dreams that in reality are wasting the best parts of me… But I am a bird.., I see too much to believe in.., You can’t fault me.., I am a dreamer, I will only reach for the stars and for what I see can fill me.’

‘ Listen Joe.., don’t do this…, you are making me feel all bad now…, first of , we are miles apart…, I prefer him okay.., I love him completely…, He completes me…, I can’t stay a day without thinking about him…, He is constantly on my mind… He wants to introduce me to his parents the next time they are here , The thing that I love the most about him is his heart…, He texts me throughout the day and we talk about everything and anything.., I can see my future with him.. my life makes more sense with him..,

‘ Mhmm.. I can understand… whatever I feel for you.. You feel for him..except in your case it’s mutual…, and don’t for a minute think that I can’t sense how organized and calculated you were when you bagged him. I mean for real…? Is that love …? A series of calculations..? Requirements…? Are your feelings just turning up a little bit too much…? What’s God to a non-believer… who don’t believe in anything..? That’s you right there honey bun..!

‘ Now there you go quoting Kanye again…, and I am not calculated by the way…, just because I don’t feel something for you does not in any way make what I feel fake.., stop calling me babe and honey.., stop it please…, it’s a little too much.’

” Oh yeah, and just how did you fall for this guy…? I asked bitterly, ‘ I was the one who saw you first, I just didn’t say it out loud because I knew that you were way too good for me, I knew that you were way over my league and I also knew that I wouldn’t even be acknowledged and experienced by you…!, and then some punk who you just felt for a second becomes your Mister forever and the perfect Christian hunkalicious beau just perfect for the Post Wedding album just because he asked you out…? Is this for the fulfillment of your day dreams…? And for a great start in life….? Just what is this love…? Huh…? Falling for perfect, unbroken people with no darkness and scars…? Are you even sure that he even needs love..? This romantic love seems selfish doesn’t it..? Designed too much for one’s own self esteem and not for someone who truly desperately needs and wants it right…? I don’t know if he needs you in the same way that I do.., He seems way too perfect…, Too good to sound true.., I want you for more than your looks okay..? I love your heart… your soul… I will always make you feel loved…, I may not have much and believe me that will definitely turn you away from me…, but I am more than my circumstances.., and just when is love supposed to be about material prosperity and success…? Isn’t it supposed to transcend and overcome all such impermanent things..?”

‘ You know how I know that I really really feel something for you… ?’ I typed to her.

” Please enlighten me Mister Philosopher” she quipped with a caustic text just ripe with indignance. She was probably fuming by now, She was cute when she became indignant.., My sweet perfect muse, my sweet addiction… my paramore.., my light, my hold and hand that lifts me up from the dark. My dream that gives life to my heart and my soul… the day dream that will fizzle, the infatuation whose existence is taking it’s final few breaths…, the last dream before the maiden from realityville

” This pain.., This intense pain in which is the essence of my human misery… this pain of being stupidly, impulsively wrong… of wasting my love on the wrong person…, or rather expressing it’s intensity, it’s purity and it’s innocence to someone uncapable feeling it’s beauty and not open to feel …. you know the last person who told me that she loved me left me with blood stains on the floor.., even as I lay bleeding…, all that she wanted to do was do what was right for her… Funny how the rules keep changing when we want something eh…? We are more than willing to ease up if we can get a package deal right..? Like great family background.., great looks.., Oh you love him for his faith…? Right…, I’m sure that your attraction has little do with his faith right..? I’m sure He will automatically become the angel that fell from heaven.., or the only one in a billion who just saw you when the rest didn’t right..? Baby I ball so hard that I ain’t even supposed to be here..tick tock”

” What’s with the tick tock dude…?” She asked in what seemed like the crunching of cereals even as the radio demonstrated a never fading voice of static and ill electric snickers.

” You are now watching the throne, Don’t let me get into my zone,
The stars are in the building.., their hands are into the ceiling, I know that I am going to kill it,
Don’t let me into my zone…?” …..Kanye West feat Jay- Z’s Ni** in Paris…?” I asked her in mock horror.” Plus my time with you is limited right…?” I typed

” Tell me, Tell me… Is it his youthful exuberance..? Shall I induct him into the hall of fame as the only star that stirred up all your feminine flames…? He must be an asteroid about to impact your galaxy’s blueprint..? I don’t care what metaphoric role that you have created for this krypton of my soul.., I don’t care.., I really really don’t… But like I said.., I am an invisible man … My honesty is really brutal…, I am a doodler of unresolved, unsymmetrical poems.., an artist of epic emotional short stories…, What do I gotta do to get through to you..? I am an elevator between your soul and mine. Please understand your discrimination.., You are discriminating against me by not making your mind about me.., I know that you all spend enough time thinking and analyzing every tiny little detail. But uh oh.., have I forgotten my place and become an assassin and an indecent, hulking piece of rock..? He is probably in your dreams.. in the songs that you listen to or pick… or in the movies that remind you of yourself. Pardon me I am really just being ironic.” I typed without thought.

” Joe…, I really like you .. okay…? I do.., I just owe it to myself to see where this leads.., I am not one to give up on something that I started alright..? And it’s not like we are perfect.., we are still trying to figure stuff out…” She typed even as her carefully guarded secrets spilled out into the open.

” I am not afraid…, I am not alone…, I can get through whatever ruin you bring with your rejection…, I don’t give a damn about what you think.. I am doing this for me.., I am tearing down all your denials and creating a road past you.., staring today.., I am breaking out of my cage and facing my demons.. I am so fed up of just being addicted to you when you don’t even care about what happens to me.., but I get it.., it’s rude to ask all of this from someone who feels nothing for me.. Nothing… get it.. NOTHING.. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING…! I am with myself for better or worse, You deserve a chance at happiness I guess…, Everybody has got a price…, I am leaving you because you know only to treat me with indifference and a lack of emotion, when all I want from you are kisses, endless conversations and endless hours. So Goodbye dear soul whom I loved as my own. Until our paths collide.” I typed as I prepared my heart for the plunge into the nightmarish world of pain and insomnia.

” Don’t do this…, I need you too.., Why can’t we be friends…? ” She typed to a dead space of online paper.