August 30, 2004

Backpacker

I for one am not the first, in most cases, to point my fingers at anyone. That is the case not due to any heightened sense of wrong or right, which I don't possess in any case, but more due to the fact that I am wrong in most cases. Wrong to the extent that the person that I find the hardest to believe in is myself, making justifications and rationalisations wonderfully amusing ways to spend time. At the same time, I also spend considerable amount of time trying to convince everyone around me of the same devious schemes. It is not as if I don't believe in one or all of the explanations I come up with. It is just that I do not know which is the one I 'really' believe in.

As far as I could remember, I never really had any fantastic dreams. I did not want to, as a kid, become a pilot or an engine driver or even a soldier. I was probably less than ordinary, with a mind that was a bit twisted and I simply did not want to be anybody in my life. And it has not changed a lot even now. Of course, I would want you to believe that at age 30 I would chuck everything and go backpacking through Europe, write an absolutely self-centred book that I would hate for the rest of my life and change a million lives in such an unseen manner that every third person I would meet would have been affected directly or indirectly by me.

Cutting back to reality or something close to it, I find myself sauntering blindly through oncoming traffic that resemble bees, with tiny red tail lamps on them, around a hive that is buzzing with an extraordinary level of activity. I am a million things, ranging from the unambitious prodigy to the patient other half, at different times in the day. Somewhere between turf wars fought over mindlessly boring, useless meetings and the indisciplined efforts at the household's book keeping, I cannot honestly say if there is anything at all left of me to come back home to. Somehow, I am on this huge thing just on the verge of happening, while I feel that I am on the edge of a precipice - deep, dark and endless.

Fear. It is a feeling that leaves you once you befriend the demons. They are always there, unseen and not understood by anyone else. After all, behind the closed doors, there are no ghosts, only more of the same dark emptiness. On Sunday, I had seen a man mindlessly drunk, sitting on a heap of rubbish, bruised and wet, uttering gibberish. I still do not understand why he affected me in the way he did. I was shaken, not by his state, but by seeing a fair degree of someone familiar in him. Despondency is what made him not get up from where he was. It might have taken the drink to bring it out of him, while for some others even that might not be necessary.

Maybe I am pontificating as a cheap way to give an outlet to my vanity, but I cannot understand the thought behind a lot of my actions, for mostly they have no significant amount of thought behind them. I feel as if I am a lowly paper boat in an ocean of liners with no legitimate right to exist or complain in their shadows. I have none to pacify, none to give heed to, I just take on water ungrudgingly. It is not mine to complain, since I am a lone stranger in these oceans. I will float as long as my fickle make up allows me to withstand the onslaughts. But, where were we? Yes, we were back packing across Europe.

Which is actually the last thing on my mind right now. Tomorrow, at 11 in the morning, I have another of those fancy meetings to attend. I shall twiddle my thumb, mouth a few catch phrases that even I cannot make any sense of, and in general play the dependable and sensible young idiot. In a way, I do not have much to complain about, even my memory has begun to serve me well, blanking out entire spaces covering years. I am tired of explaining and I think the numbness is a welcome change. Not that I don't feel anything at all. It is just a gentle warmth that hurts just a little bit, but it is really nothing that dreams of backpacking in Europe can't obscure.