Monday, September 28, 2009

Almost Lovers- catastrophe

As he starred out of the window into the many abysmally small windings of the road he wondered what life would have been in a city. In the depths of boredom that he inhabited an echo caught his ear.
“We are here.”
“The lighthouse”
“This is where you wanted to come right.”
“Oh yes of course.”
“How much will it be?”
“Seventeen dollars. Looking at how you are dressed I have to ask do you belong here?”
“No I actually live here.”
“In the lighthouse?”
“Why should I not?”
“I don’t know. Um…maybe because it’s weird.”
“I don’t like large crowds and ever since I was a boy I have been here so I don’t see the point in moving.”
“Have you never been to the real world?”
“I have in fact for a daftly long period of time I just didn’t see what was real about it.”
Aah…he said as if he understood, yet clearly he was missing the point. “I should be going now.”
He took his earning and kept a handsome amount more on his insistence and left.
As the colours spread with a swish of his brush he knew he had created a masterpiece again yet like all the rest here too was a mite, the bug being a mere spot devoid of colour.
He took a step back and watched with utmost focus trying to find out what was missing. There was a woman in red stockings, a black coat and black boots scratching her head walking on the pavement. The traffic was intense and there were a lot of cars. A very self proclaimed smart mouse of a man was driving his two wheeler on the pavement too. In another black car was the head a child who was holding something up so as to make out what it was. Yet even he had no idea as to what was that article of intrigue. In yet another long car was a bald man with a beard laughing at his own hairless fate say. He was accompanied by two women, one too old to be with him and the other too young. They seemed to be lost in their chit chat while the driver was an empty crevasse of grey. He shook his head, defeated. The picture was perfect just a little too blank on the upper right side. And he had no idea what to draw. He looked at his other pieces and chuckled at his own failure, the empty spaces. Some were perfectly alright like the one he had drawn for that lady who had come from afar and needed a little rest. After looking at the painting she had been bewildered and she had run saying she had kids and she shouldn’t have left them. He looked at the painting of the sunset with its blues and yellows appearing dull even pathetic in the light of the one bulb that was still in working order. Then there was one with the hills, the hills where he had fought a battle with his own beside his own killing his own. Whatever he had felt there he had not felt while drawing, that was definitive. These were green hills, green with mush green grass and not red with his own sins blending profusely with the exceedingly many of his brethren. He remembered every moment of his survival, with the amazing clarity of water. He sat down onto his grandfather chair and started rocking to and fro. Elvis sat n a corner near the window to the ocean enjoying his late night nap. He summoned to him and tail wagging he settled onto the carper right in front of him ready for his massage. As he tingled and tickled his only friend the retriever Labrador yawned lazily his black velvet soothing him evermore.
Hours passed as they lay motionless both lost in their won world, Elvis counting sheep and he merely just existing.
Later in the night he put out the light and lay down on his bed wondering what deadly sin his god had in store for him and his precious paintings. Fitful he fell asleep and dreamt about the day he had been rescued from the jungles of Vietnam. Unlike the many people who put out everything in their mind he drew for passion and not as a vent for expressing pain or loss or ache. It was just merely his imagery that he drew with and without thought.

The next morning he headed out towards the beach. Elvis found his friends and went off on his own leaving him to his thoughts. As he sat on the sand, and watched the waves breaking up and caressing his feet he pictured a butterfly. It was the typical orange black that you see everywhere. He woke up to a cold leg and a wet face. Apparently Elvis had decided to leave. At heel the dog followed. It was mid afternoon and the sun was blaring down from the overhead canvas. Normally at this time of the day, he wouldn’t have had the beach to himself but the winter seemed to have befriended him and had appeared a little too early. As he walked up to his dear old lighthouse, he saw a bike parked in front. The owner was nowhere to be seen. It was a ruddy black assassin of a vehicle he thought. It had a fat petrol tank and comparatively long handles, definitely belonging to a big fat bearded guy with a sleeveless leather jacket and a tattoo on his back. He heard a whistle somewhere nearby and turned to find the owner. And behold there she was grinning like a bureaucrat who had just been awarded presidential ship.
“You the guy who my brother drove around yesterday?”
“If your brother had long golden hair, a very irritating cologne and freckles then yes.”
“Yeah that sounds just like him.”
“He told me you live here.”
“Yes I do.”
“What smooth?”
She arched her eyebrows and feasted on his innocence.
“How long since you have been here.”
“Does it matter?”
She looked to one side and exclaimed “No.”
“Can I help you in any way?”
“I wanted to see this place.”
“Go ahead. I won’t be bothering you.”
She smirked in response and for some reason was amused.
He turned to leave and almost did.
“You don’t wanna show me around?”
“Should I”?
“You could.”
“There is nothing much here of your interest I am afraid.”
“It’s just doves, sea and sand.”
“And this red and white lighthouse”
“Yes and this red and white lighthouse.”
“I am Emily.”
There was a slight pause in which he considered his options.
“Um…I am Jake.”
“You haven’t been around people for a long time have you?”
He smiled abashedly.
“Guess so.”
“You shouldn’t be so rude you know.”
“I was rude? I had no idea I am sorry.”
“So Jake, what do you do here all day.”
“I don’t know. I walk, I massage my dog, I eat.”
“That’s a lot to do.”
“I know.”
“You didn’t get the joke.”
“What joke?”
“No nothing”
“No tell me, what joke?”
She burst out laughing.
“Damn you are cute.”
“Am I?”
“And dumb”
“When you go around that tree be careful, I saw a snake there once.”
“A long time ago”
“I should leave.”
“Go ahead.”
As he opened the lock and then the door, he heard running behind him.
“Could you show me around?”
“Show me around.”
They walked around the tower and then to the beach and settled there.
She waited for nothing and ran into the water. Alone once again he sat down.
Seeing him like this something scarred her. She shouted “Jake”.
“Come here into the water.”
“No I am fine here.”
“You have been fine all your life. Now be great come on.”
“I think I will just watch from here.”
“God you are such a jerk.”
She ran up to him and all wet started pulling dragging him leg in hand.
“Stop it! What are you doing?”
“What needs to be done.”
He tried to resist and ended up getting sand in his eyes.
She pulled him into the water and left him there.
He came out coughing and groaning.
“What are you?”
“I am your enchantress.”
“I am all wet now.”
“So am I. and I don’t have a spare set of clothes either. But do I care?”
“You chose this. I didn’t.”
“I don’t care what you choose. You better stay here and try to be happy.”
“I was happy till now.”
“Tell me, close your eyes and tell me how you feel.”
“No way”
“If you don’t I will hurt you.”
“You already did.”
She sighed.
“Do it.”
“If you don’t do it I will do this to you every day.”
“Just close your eyes.”
He did. For a while the dragging and the drowning replayed in his mind and then as he felt the cold water against his skin he kind off felt good.
Now tell me how you feel.
“How good?”
“Cold and wet good”
She laughed.
“Now open your eyes.”
He stood there transfixed on the spot dumbfounded.
“Something is wrong.”
“What is?”
“Really? You think so?”
“Without a word he started walking out of the water.”
She ran to him and held his elbow.
“Wait. Don’t leave just yet.”
Let’s sit here for a while.
They sat down in the sand, water up to their stomachs.
“You are so lost.”
“I don’t get what you mean. You will, soon.”
They looked out into the sea sharing the same thoughts, how cold they were.
“Jake. Let’s go now.”
He got up instantly and offered his hand.
“Now you are being a gentleman.”
They walked towards the lighthouse shoes in hand Emily joking and Jake enjoying the company. They were like water and fire. One was a zestful extrovert and the other a mislaid shy introvert. They went in clinging to their wet clothes holding the soft fabric against their cold skin.
As they climbed the steps to his room she slipped. Luckily he was behind her and caught her.
“Jake my legs are kind off numb, could you help me.”
He picked her up and led her to his room like a groom would take his bride just in a very innocently unearthly fashion.
Without her asking, he offered her a clean and dry set of clothes and a towel. Then he went into the balcony and changed himself.
“Jake, I hate to interrupt you but, have you thought about dinner?”
“There are cans in the kitchen. But I am not hungry now, you take what you want.”
“You eat canned food every day?”
“Yes, but sometimes Jenny gets me home made food. I love it.”
“Why don’t you live with her?”
“I don’t wanna be a pain in the ass. She is married.”
“Was that foul language? God Jake you got lots to tell me.”
“How do you know her?”
“We went to the same school.”
“And she kissed me once.”
“Did anyone kiss you after that?”
“Yes but I don’t remember who it was.”
“I should be going Jake.”
“It is late. You sleep on the bed I will sleep on the chair.”
“It’s a double bed.”
“I can’t tell Elvis to stay of it.”
“Who is Elvis? Your roommate?”
“No him.”
He pointed at the dog wagging his tail.
“Jake. He is a dog.”
“So one day not sleeping on the bed will not be a big deal for him.”
“It’s all right. You sleep. I have to paint today.”
“You paint?”
“Yes I paint in the other room on the right.”
I am gonna have to see it someday, just not today. Now I am hungry. She found teabags in the cupboard along with a loaf of bread and opened a couple of cans marked potatoes and peas.
She laid it on the table and sat down to eat.
“Jake you should come here and eat with me.”
“I am not hungry.”
“Well I am. So do.”
He obliged like an old servant and joined her.
They ate peacefully while she did most of the talking.
In between she moved her close to his.
He listened to every word intent on being not useless for some reason he couldn’t quite place.
She stopped talking after a while.
“Say something. I like your voice.”
“Jake that’s a complement?”
“She smiled. Damn you seem to be getting better every minute.”
He smiled and for a moment of indiscreetness brought his lips close to hers and made contact.
“He broke up almost immediately and apologized. I am sorry I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“I do.”
Saying this she kissed him again and this time it was longer and much much better now that their hearts were into it.