Love dies slowly. Like an ember. More strands of hair have turned grey – the right temple looks like a blooming cotton field. There is dust on bookshelves. Pens look pensive. Empty notebooks lie moth-eaten.
You called up the other day. You sounded tired. Perhaps if we were together, I could have made you some tea. Or I could have made you laugh over some silly joke. Or I could have just curled up next to you, holding your breast in my hand, kneading it softly till all thoughts ebbed away from you.
But I am away. You are away, and you must invent your own remedies. Or just learn to live with pain as I have. In the quiet afternoon, when the sunlight blinds one, I sit with my back resting haphazardly against a crumbling bean bag, facing a window dazzled with light. And I let Susheela Raman’s voice play games with me.
In times like these, earlier, I have run away from everything, taking refuge in hills or hemlock of whisky. Or both. But how many times will I run away? The hills don’t turn me back. But they make my pain so faint, I can no longer recognise myself in the mirror. Your pain gives me identity which the face never gave. So, as long as the pain is there, I can be anything. Like the rebel with a beard, which I sport these days, dreaming of such chaos which throws everything behind us. You and me.
In that chaos we will find each other. Then it will be only a matter of a cup of tea. Or of your breast in my hand.