PS: I didn't do any proofreading yet, but will soon :)
PS 2: a few touches here and there but still work to do ;)
Sabh Kuch Milega
We were in a mountain town surrounded with woods. There was an unknown hill road stretching from one end of the town. And all we knew about this road was that it was dangerous. The road was just lying there, because roads are always there, unless you take them…
There was no night or day in this town anymore, only dusk… Everybody was now quite used to the uncanny twilight shining through with weird colors now and then. All the people were sitting around in the town square. The only person I wanted by my side was not there, but at least I could pretend he was. Because his absence was perfectly, tangibly there with me. He followed me wherever I went, that shady rascal. But I wasn’t mad at his absence anymore, at least he had left this cute shadow with me. Although he was invisible, everyone around me seemed to believe in him, as long as I did so, or else they pretended they did. By hook or by crook we were a happy couple now, always together.
Almost everyone sitting at the cafe in the town square was a little sleepless I guess. After the night and day had left, no one was able to get a decent sleep anymore. Probably that was the reason behind all that cranky mood. I was in a cranky mood as well, I must admit. I was feeling this sort of anxiety inside. And I suppose it would never go away, as long as the road stayed out there. I was able to bring a shadow lover to existence, yet I couldn’t blot out that road in anyway, my powers were a little limited back in those days. I knew that people who worked on solar power could have such difficulties in sunless environments, my doctor had told me so years ago. Well, that is my affliction, you see…
But like theoretical joys, theoretical illnesses too have a much more powerful effect in practice. Like you always know that one day you’re going to climb the big rock candy mountain, and that you’ll be happy when you do… Although you’ve never seen the candy mountain, you have some idea what it’s like, or maybe you have seen pictures of it. You imagine what a joy it will be when you get to the top. But as someone who has already climbed up and down this mountain, I can say that it’s only after you get to the top of the mountain that you’ll know, what mountain, or what candy is… That will be the day you really learn what sweet means for the first time. Likewise, you already know your cat’s going to die someday. It simply crosses your mind now and then, you think how sorry you’ll feel, how much you’ll suffer. And then one day when she’s gone, you’ll find yourself meowing. What does cat mean, what is pain, all meanings come to change.
Well long story short, I already knew that I would loose power when the sun disappeared and gave way to that uncanny twilight, but still I didn’t expect this much. I could still cast glittering dust here and there, yes. Or still come across baby rainbows surrounded with tiny stars behind a door, but only now then. Sometimes I was just staring at an empty cup for hours and crying, thinking how and why a coffee cup could be really that empty…
As I was staring at the cup and crying, I felt some stare on me, pretty much like my own. I looked at my shadow lover, he was stupidly staring at some invisible corners up in the air when I didn’t attend to him. I looked over at the other tables one by one. They were all full of people who seemed to be stuck in Limbo in this town, dreary but somehow at home and all. When I thought to myself “what the hell are these people doing here”, the answer that came to my mind was so horrible I was scared to death… It was me who brought them here, you see. They all had come from within my mind, my feelings, my memories and they had settled here. And it seemed they weren’t going anywhere until I solved the issue. Alas, I wasn’t even aware of the issue yet.
I tried not to think about all these, to get them off my mind. Whoever is here and why for that matter I don’t care, it’s really none of my business… And if I don’t keep my cool I can neither solve the issue nor blot out the road anyway… But every time I tried to calm down, fear was rushing in again, and as I tried to understand what I feared I noticed it was always the same thing that terrified me. Who are these people and what are they doing in this town? When did the sun go away? Will it never be day again? Well yes, maybe not. But did I really bring all these people here, yes, okay maybe they’re all in my mind and in order to get the hell away from this place I have to solve the issue. But I don’t even know what the issue is… “Oh no, you know it so well, actually everybody knows what the issue is, you’re the issue.”
I need to calm down, there’s nothing to be scared of. They’re all familiar people, people I know. Even if they keep staring at me secretly, even if they all know that I’m the whole issue here, even if it’s all what I’ve made up in my mind they’re still acquaintances. As I try to calm down I realize that I’m actually cold; it’s because the sun doesn’t rise, because of the twilight. As I was going on like this, so it’s cold, and fear, so who are they, solve the issue, but what was the issue, and then I saw the coffee cup once again, still lying there on the table. Oh okay I said, I was looking at the cup and someone was looking at me at the same time but who was it? I started looking over at the other tables and I saw him. And he was looking at me from a distance, in such a way … It’s been so many years now but apparently he was still blaming me; his eyes were fixed on me, like the way you stare at a coffee cup in front of you, without focus; “how and why someone could be really that…” Well I couldn’t dwell on this for long, I’m sorry but I had some issues to solve, what to do?
When I looked back at the shadow I felt as if he was giving me an evil eye as well. I’d better keep looking at my cup, I thought, and the empty cup was still there, where it was. It was when the dark, long road at the bottom of the cup got deeper and deeper that I remembered the forest road. Yes it was time to get off this table now… For a while I just sat there quietly, trying to get used to the idea; forget about the issue, hit the road, forget about the issue, hit the road… Maybe that’s the whole issue or it can be solved by hitting the road. I mean if there’s a road here we should take it, right? And all we knew about this road was that it was dangerous. The road was just lying there, because roads are always there, unless you take them… But since the day and night had disappeared, and because I work on solar energy, somehow I couldn’t get my strength together and stand up. But I was getting more and more scared sitting at this table. Finally I took a step and there I was standing up, just like that, and not just standing, I was even walking and all. I was the happiest person in that twilight now, when I looked back everyone was sitting at the tables, still chatting. I walked away in silence but I was bursting with a feeling of victory, I could do, anything. Everything is possible. “Sabh kuch Milega...”
I walked from the town square towards the forest road, singing. The forest looked very beautiful in the twilight actually. When I got closer to the trees I saw colorful and very thin ribbons flying around in the dense darkness between them. When I reached my hand they were scattering away in giggles, casting a fine, glittery dust around them. I walked further through the trees, following the ribbons. They were all too beautiful oh yes, but all of a sudden they disappeared; the giggles stopped in an instant. It was cooler deeper inside the forest it seemed, I was shivering. When I turned to look back I realized I was quite far from the road now. But I had just taken a few steps, how I’d got this far I couldn’t tell. Although I was standing right where I was, I felt like some sort of whirling corridor was forming from within the forest to the road ahead, and yet the road kept getting further and further away from me. It was then I heard a growling from behind. Now as the road was clearly drifting away from me at a fast pace on the other side of the round corridor stretching among the trees, the growling behind me seemed to get closer and closer as well. Just then I saw two bright yellow eyes within the trees and started running away towards the road instantly. I have seen those eyes before, but where? I didn’t have time to think all these, I just needed to run now. I kept running and running until I lost my breath… Luckily that terrible growling and the warm breathing I felt on the back of my neck was going away as well. Finally I reached the road, held on to the shadow of a tree by the road and pushing away from the tree I threw myself to the road.
When I came to I was lying on the ground. My father was holding my hand. I gathered myself slowly and sat up. The thermos in my father’s bag was full of warm tea. He wrapped a soft shawl around my back. For a while we just sat there side by side… Contrary to my expectation he wasn’t really in a talking mood really. I had got him worried, he thought I was lost in the woods but here I was, everything was fine. We talked sweet about this and that. I brushed the dried mud off my trousers leg. He had brought my sneakers as well so I wore them and then we started walking together. “Actually it is a pretty nice town” my father said.
-The trees and the forest and all… I sat there in the town square for quite a while, I had something to drink while I was waiting for you. And I saw all your friends were there, they’ve all come to see you.
-That’s really sweet, I said. So they had a little bit of a change as well, that’s swell eh?
-Probably I wouldn’t be able to make it if it wasn’t weekend, but I’m glad I did.
We walked for a while but then we saw that the road had been destroyed at some point. It had merged into the hill slope as if it was cut by a bulldozer, forming a slippery wall of earth. There was no place left to step on except a few pieces of blocks of heavy soil…
We were standing there at the edge of the hill. For a while we kept looking at the road and each other quietly. Then I took a deep breath, looked at my father and said: “Daddy I need to keep going.” I said so, because that was exactly how I was feeling and he needed to know that.
-Baby where will you go, the road’s been destroyed you see. C’mon lets go have a cup of coffee at the town square and we’ll figure out the rest later.
Actually I was pretty tired myself, for once it crossed my mind that maybe I could stay in town for the night to take a good rest.
-And all your friends are there too you know, they’ve all come.
I should have realized when he mentioned the cup anyway, but when he started talking about my friends I remembered everything at once. I mean the issue. Somewhere deep inside I knew that as soon as I got back to the square and sat at that table it would all start all over again. First I’d be scared to death, but it was just an awkward occasion, there was nothing to fear, they were all acquaintances. I would drink the coffee, feel warm. Yes the sun wouldn’t be rising, maybe it never would. When it was empty I was going to look inside the cup. There would be a road getting deeper and deeper at the bottom of it. And suddenly it struck me: The accelerating corridor I saw when I walked into the woods must have been connected to the coffee cup somehow! God knows for long, how many times, for how many goddamn years this life had been spitting me off from the cup to the forest and from the forest to the cup. They had been going on and on about the issue, oh yes the issue, “Oh no, you know it so well, actually everybody knows what the issue is, you’re the issue.” Oh really? Then I realized, there was no issue or anything at all!.. Hahaha! I hugged my father’s neck straightaway: “Daddy, honey! There was no such thing as the issue dad!”
- Oh baby, you really worried about that? Of course there is no issue or anything, you mind your own business honey, don’t dwell on issues or any such thing. It’s only health that matters.
- Wo hoo, oh they had been driving me crazy with that issue thing for so long dad.
- Never mind love, what’s done is done, don’t upset yourself. Whatever will be, will be. It’s not the issue that matters, the issue is health for that matter. First you sort out your insurance and then we’ll have coffee.
My dad was talking weird stuff,going on about insurance and health and this and that, but when he said coffee I smelled the rat, something was wrong. Thinking about this I realized I had been walking further without knowing in the meantime. Since there was no road anymore I was now leaning back on the sloping wall of earth, stepping on two blocks of soil… And my dad was holding on to one of the trees where the road ended with one arm, and gripping my wrist tight with the other. There was nothing else to do, I stepped further to another pile of earth. It was moist and soft but still it carried me.
-Baby where are you going, there is no road, nowhere to go, you’re gonna fall. Come on let’s go have some coffee, we’ll figure out your insurance later.
My wrist began to hurt in my father’s grip, and the wet soil beneath my feet was slowly sliding downwards. I couldn’t tell how I’d got so far below but at least my father was there with me, I wasn’t alone in this forest. But I didn’t want to go back at all, there was no way I was going back to that town again. I sure would rather die. Apparently the road had vanished when I was wasting my time dealing with the issue and this and that. Roads are always there unless you take them, I thought, they would only disappear when you go, I was so sure, but I was so damn wrong.
There wasn’t any road around anymore, but I didn’t care. My dad didn’t want me to go either, he was standing there, holding my wrist. He didn’t want me to fall, but obviously he was barely able to carry me… I had to continue on my own after this. I didn’t care about the issue, the road or anything else any more. Everything, I had to forget them all, the town, my friends, the twilight, the forest, the growling animal.. all of it. There was only one thing I needed to remember, only one sentence that I should never forget. “Sabh kuch Milega...” Everything is possible. I should only remember this and forget all else and take a step into the void: Because everything is possible. There is no such thing as the issue and everything is possible…
Sona ©, 11 July 2008