February 25, 2004

Sleep

At night in bed I patiently wait for the arrival of sleep, like a husband awaits his tired and weary housewife. And when she arrives finally, after having taken care of everyone else, we make love in an ordinary and matter-of-factly way. It has of late become an unavoidable necessity. It is more like an agreement or a treaty signed in alcohol's ink, which evaporates in a flash.

It takes more than a while to understand and accept that is more important to know how things are, than how they came to be. Life starts all over again then, sort of an unpleasant, uneventful and dreamless sleep. One that leaves you unchanged from the perspective of freshness, a string of continuous and predictable monotony, running towards and away from death at the same time.

A sharp tamarind-like taste oozes from the corners of my mouth, like muffled words of protest that wants to emerge out of my firmly closed mouth. The room is now illuminated only by the television that paints its own confused pantomime on the walls. It is the customary precursor to the long-awaited arrival as more images flash by. Few more minutes and she would be here. I cross my fingers.

Like a distant oasis, a new resolve emerges. I have already started to feel like a recently moulted snake. Only bits of the old skin remain now. Sans substance, it looks uncomfortably hollow. Dead, translucent tissue. I am not unhappy anymore, but I am not happy either. At the most it can be called relief, relative and temporary. Like the movie name goes, I guess, this is as good as it gets.

It is late now, I must slide into her arms before the alcohol wears off, into the cacophony inside my head. Morning is just a few hours away and it will soon be at my doorstep, with its bag full of recycled purpose, targets, tangents and destinations. High time I made my escape and as if on cue there she comes.