Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
A Troubled Soul
by Ankur Agarwal
The road merges into blue, I don't know where. It's already a bluish road, I don't know why. No idea whether this is the road that I was directed to, when I asked that man, just a while ago. I don't know what's begun happening to my memory-- I distinctly remember him as a pock-marked man, with a sly leer on his face, I especially hated his mannerism of wiping his wet lips with his shirt cuff, a cuff bedraggled, open and soiled at the edges, a button loosely dangling. A gold button, that I hated the instant my gaze fell on it--the whole time that man gave me directions so civilly, I felt that I was talking to the button, as if that piece of pretentious gold was ordering me what to do with my life, with my roads, with myself, how to dispose of myself. What right had that button to govern me-- after all, wasn't it a lifeless thing? How can I even ask that? It was a lifeless thing, yes, it was--yes, but then, why was it that all the time it was that button, that cuff button, who was talking to me, instead of that man.
Oh, I hate this road going on. Why does it go on? Why does it not end; it doesn't seem to go anywhere--who constructed it? Why, I cannot imagine. There's not even a pothole that they have left somewhere--it's always the same. In fact, it has always been the same.
Sometimes, I have dreams. Yes, I do dream sometimes. Though, I don't always like to. They are always of people like me, who also are on the roads. But they always seem to enjoy it, laugh, and they even stop and urinate and cool their radiators. I don't seem to remember doing this even in a dream--I don't think I have ever stopped. And they are never lonely--but then, they are only dreams. I know very well that it is only I here--there's no one else. I can see to the horizon, and I know that I have covered all the ground to the other pole--there was no one that I met. No, there's no chance that I did miss anyone. So, it's only me. There is, after all, no one else.
But, you see, I am now weary. Though there is no one, it doesn't matter to me as much. Once upon a time, it used to--I loved to speed up, I used to love the open space, I used to love no forbiddings. But now, I don't want to be myself-I now want to be my dream. I don't want to have this real existence--I would want to become someone's dream, if I could, then stop and look at the sunrise, I could look at the metallic shine on the hood, I could urinate and look at the sunshine piercing through the curved bow.
Ankur Agarwal, 26 years old, currently lives at Bangalore, India. He completed his master’s degree in microprocessors in 2005, since which time he has been working as a copyeditor for STM and humanities books. He also reviews movies for
and has his own web log at dropofether.blogspot.com
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