On a sultry Sunday evening I finally summoned up the courage to sleep on the bed in the other room. It went off well, at least initially it did, leaving me to wonder what the fuss was all about. After all, it was just a room. There were no demons or ghosts in there. What was it that I had to fear in there? It could not be memories. The mind, when forced, is quite adept at tearing down the layers of sentimentality that adorns walls, objects and beings. It could not even be my own shadow; I had lost my fear of that a long time back. When the realisation dawned, it sent the proverbial chill down my spine. I have been waiting, albeit subconsciously, like how a child waits at the stairs for his mother, for a return that was not to be.
In its very worn out catalogue, the mind has been busy arranging all the interesting things that had happened. It was meticulously done, with detailed notes, reminders and addendums, which would then have to be read out and presented in its full glory. Like always, the return should be an emphatic moment. All would be forgiven, the bitterness forgotten and most of the pain would be gone. By the approaching winter's side new plans would be made and life would be beautiful all over again. Even in its persistent imperfection and fleetingness, the return always added a sense of meaning, value and context to an aimless wandering. Only that this time it won't be, for the return is not to be.
Most importantly, from the depths of this emotional squalor, the expectation is not so much for a person, but for the feeling. The feeling of gladly giving up your own tiresome burden, the feeling of being able to hold on to a permeating sense of warmth that makes everything right in a world in which everything is wrong; the feeling of relief from knowing that the coming morning there won't have to be anymore explanations and that you could be whatever that you are. In its essence, the return is more of a concept; a panacea for all that has gone wrong. It is the hypothetical and unrealistic culmination of years of searching for a perfect conclusion. Only that it won't be, for hope is lost on me and the return is not to be, ever.