Friday, April 30, 2010

The Outsider

Here is a story I wrote a long time ago.


The Outsider.

Monday 6th March 2009 3:40 AM

And I am prancing around, happy and delighted, there is a rainbow in the sky and the ever cheerful sunflowers are singing me a catchy little, song. As I walk across the meadow with a straw in my mouth and my best flannel jacket on, in the distance I see a figure. My eyes take a while to adjust to the distance, and then… could it be? Oh I wish it is! Have my dreams come true? Will I finally be granted the wish that I so badly desire?
As I approach nearer I realize that indeed I am correct! It is a unicorn. I skip across anxious to talk to it. As I approach I say “hello unicorn, may I please ask for a wish?”

“Why yes you may, jolly old chap” my fine horned friend replies. He is so cool and benevolent and has a prop’ah British accent, not like those uncouth pixies I just met, they were just mean!

“I wish I could gather the courage to speak my mind” I say and wait expectantly for my magical companion to reply in the affirmative.

Huh? What is this? I have a mane? I think to myself as I slide my paw through it while waiting for him to answer.

My paw?

“Tring tring” he blurts out.

Wait, what?
I open my eyes.

…and I was getting all excited, but who the hell could this be? What time is it?
I groggily sit myself up and answer the phone.

The voice on the other end of the line is that of a woman, a woman!
“Hi, Anuva!” I almost squeal, I wonder if she noticed. I am all excited, maybe she broke up with him and maybe she wants to hook up with me now, I mean… why else would she call me up like this, now?!!!

She tells me that she is sorry for waking me up at the odd hour and asks me if I have any important work in the morning.

“No, it’s alright, I was awake anyway” I lie I must say that I am a bit disappointed “Also, yes I am free in the morning tell me what do you want me to do?” I lie again.

She tells me that she is arriving at Hyderabad in about two hours and wonders if I can pick her up, her boyfriend is not free.

“Sure, I will be right there”

I know that she is using me, she would never have called me unless she wanted a favor, she’s always been like that I guess; being pretty does have its advantages. People will do anything for a good looking girl. Heck I even remember taking the fall for something she did while we were in college; almost had me suspended, luckily my grades sailed me through. I guess I had hoped that she would see that I am a nice guy and fall in love with me out of gratitude. It only goes to show that there aren’t any nice guys. And although I am seemingly helping her as a friend, I really just want to be with her for a while and can’t resist the temptation to have her sit next to me in my car. I am over the whole nice guys phase now, you could say that I’ve grown up, now, I just want to help her and get no thanks in return; you see I get off to being a martyr. It is like a drug to me; some sort of masochistic pleasure. Truth be told, had she been mine, I would probably have lost interest in her by now.

Monday 6th March 2009 5:16 AM

There she is; I can see her even from this distance. I unconsciously smile. Even if things had things gone my way; the scene would have played out pretty much the same: I would have driven out exactly the same way, the same smile on my face would have been there on my face and then I would get out to meet her, but this is where things change; she would have been different, her reaction and state of mind would have been different. I feel happy thinking about this alternate reality; I wish the wish granting unicorn were real then perhaps by magic I could have… but then I remember that things did not turn out my way and that magic is not real, heck even the unicorn in my dream didn’t grant me my wish, hastily I kill the lovesick expression evident on my face and adopt a more business like, more platonic smile. I pull over and realize that she has a lot of luggage, so I get out of the car and haul all of it in. Our pleasantries are strange; for two people who haven’t seen each in other in two years an spoken just once via email, we have surprisingly little to talk about.

She gives me a weak ‘hey’ and I smile coldly; I don’t want her to know now, do I?

“I thought you wouldn’t come” she says, “I got out 15 minutes ago.”

“Oh yeah I am sorry, I had to walk to Jim’s place to pick up my car, I was too drunk the night before to drive home”

She then gets into the car without saying anything more. I realize that I would normally have been pissed off at such inconsiderate behavior, but I am sleepy, and she is pretty.

Anuva doesn’t talk much during the trip; she is in town for the marriage. It is going to be a court marriage; she doesn’t mind, she doesn’t like the vulgar display of happiness that ordinary marriages always tend to bring along: like an unwanted guest, anyway. I know what you are thinking, she told me these exact words, alright!

The ride is great, I like driving her home, maybe she likes sitting next me too, or not. Yeah maybe not because she’s dozed off, I suppose she has had a rough day so I don’t disturb her; even though there is nothing more I want at this moment then to talk to her if only for a little bit.

It is winter and the sun won’t be up for a while, sigh! It looks like it’s still going to be dark when we reach. I take a turn at Ikea to drop her at beltsville, because that is where ‘he’ lives. She gets out and asks me to carry her bags to the front porch. He comes out, and they hug. It is bad enough that I have to leave; the darkness decides to fuck with me and further amplifies my grief.

I want to compose a poem; I feel wounded and betrayed- A profound state of mind as far as I am concerned. I resist the urge to pretend to be a poet because my poems are crappy and they never do justice to the job of accurately describing how I feel. I turn around and walk away, I don’t belong, not here at least, I am no one; an outsider. Like always.

It is protocol you know. Or so I tell myself.

Sigh! It’s going to be a long drive home it is.

Monday 6th March 2009 8:34 PM

“You’re a jackass you know?” he tells me.
“Tell me something I don’t know, man” I reply.
“Hmmm… for one; that was a rhetorical statement” he quips back.
“Funny! So was mine” ha-ha, touchĂ© I think to myself in my head before realizing that I don’t like being on the winning side. It always makes me feel guilty, so I usually say “sorry man”, I was just kidding and saying that makes me feel a whole lot better, but I am not going to apologize today, I let it slide, and let the guilt remain. I need a smoke.
You know what I mean man, don’t play dumb alright, he continues, he is right, I am kidding myself. I don’t listen to anyone. Not even myself.
“So why do you keep doing this?” Jim pipes in.
“Yeah man, she is an ungrateful bitch, but she is freaking hot I have to give you that” says Jeremy.
I don’t know why, if I knew, I would have tried to change…
Maybe… okay, that’s not true, I am lying to myself again; but no one can stop me from saying so.

“let me get this straight; you woke up at 3… in the morning… to go pick her up from the airport 20 miles away, on the night before your interview even though she could have easily caught a cab, even though her boyfriend lives in town, even though you know that she will never know?” he adds.
“Hey man! She is afraid of traveling alone in cabs and her boyfriend is sick” I reply, while muttering “with the cold” under my breath. I don’t want my best friends to kick my scrawny little butt now do I?

I pause my thinking while I take a swig of my cheap beer-beer that they have served in a pitcher, watered down beer that tastes more like nail filings in acetone, or something like that, it is at this precise moment; when this horrendous simile comes to my mind that I feel relieved about the fact that they haven’t asked me about my interview, maybe my stupidity has stolen the spotlight.
I heave a sigh of relief.

“Okay, enough about her and your stupidity pray tell us how your interview went” says Jeremy.
Fucking Jeremy!
Bastard is as sharp as a needle. Lodged in your eye and I am not talking about one of those on your face.
“Oh that! Forget it; I didn’t get the job man”
“Why? You were perfect for it, and you have the qualifications”
“Er…I don’t know, they were looking for someone else, does anyone want a shot? Jim?”
“We’ll all get a round of shots later but tell me, you didn’t go did you?”
“No I didn’t, I… er… slept through my appointment.” I admit. Surprisingly no one says anything; they know that it is now time to stop pushing me around.

As my high school teachers used to say, there was ‘pin drop’ silence at our table... No one’s saying anything at all.

‘You know that you are to blame for all of this right?” says Jeremy finally, he is right; as usual. I don’t argue with him. It is clear that he is right. Jim and Jeremy both know the story well. They have been my friends since as long as I can remember.

I am pretty drunk by now. Someone orders shots of snakebite. No, it was me who ordered the shots. Nghh what the hell! I might as well drink to dull my senses. This is going to be a long night.

Monday 6th March 2009 10:23 PM

Drunk as a skunk, I am now set, to prove to everyone around me, that I am indeed under the influence by reciting aloud a poem I have chosen to compose extempore. I am not a loud boisterous drunk like many others but today is different. I somehow forget who I am and stand up, remove my glasses and clink my third shot of the night using my glasses as I cannot find any metal object nearby and call everyone’s attention to our table.

“What can we do?
We are but human;
bound to our fates.
Our lives a series of mistakes;
we learn from them and prepare
for a second chance;
that will never come”

Oh no, what have I done, what have I done, I have made a fool of myself. I can hear chuckles and disapproving sighs. At least they are all strangers; I don’t know any of them. It’s cool. I will be the topic of water hole conversations at different offices across the city tomorrow, but I will be nameless.

“Whoa there Shakespeare!” says a voice and I suddenly feel like I am in that dream archetype where you are naked in a room full of giggling strangers pointing at your wiener.

“So what are you guys talking about?” she asks while pulling up a chair for herself.
“We were speaking about this girl he knows… I mean likes” said Jeremy.
I am going to kill the cocksucker one of these days.
“Really? I thought that you were asexual”

“No, don’t listen to him, he is like a monkey, he likes to pull stuff out his ass and fling it at people” I say, desperately hoping to brush it off as a joke.

“Haha he is just upset because he doesn’t have the balls to tell her this” says Jeremy; the Scorpio in him won’t rest until he exacts his revenge.

“You are such a fucking pussy” says Anuva, as she drinks a shot lying around on the table. To top it off, he’s tagged along. What the fuck is he doing here? We don’t even know the douchebag.

“Yeah man, you gotta grow a pair you know, Oh by the way, still jobless huh?” He says.

I want to kick him. I really do. I want to tell him to mind his own business.
I want to tell him to lay his hands off her. I want to whisk her away to some place far away, and protect her from the monsters that roam in this world. I will say none of that, because that is not the way I am wired, I wish I wasn’t, I really do want to give in to my reckless dark desires, but maybe I am afraid of the consequences. Yep, that is me alright, a big fucking square.

So, Instead I smile at him and nod. I catch a glimpse of Jeremy looking at me with a raised eyebrow and his lips pursed.

“When’s the marriage happening?” asks Jim.

“Oh we were thinking this Thursday; we don’t really care about the right date or anything, I would have invited you guys but it’s a court marriage and we were thinking of just calling the witnesses but if we do go in for a small ceremony at the temple, I will make it a point to call you guys” he replies.

Monday 6th March 2009 11:53 PM

The ridicule is getting to me, I want to lash out- lash out at all of them; for not understanding me- Jim and Jeremy for not understanding how much it hurts, and Anuva for not understanding me at all, and her fiancé for being a total douche. And all I wanted to do was have a quite evening drinking with my friends.

It’s taken me a while to accept the fact that I no longer have a chance, why did they have to remind me again? I want them to shut up. SHUT UP!!!

“So tell me more about this girl, do I know her?” Anuva prods for the tenth time in half as many minutes. No one is giving me a break. I feel like a lamb dining amongst wolves.

“No, seriously there is no one”

“Ha-ha, man, we all know that you don’t know how to lie, you suicidal imbecile!” says Jeremy and I am beginning to think that I should stop hanging out with him.

“Okay, at least tell me what your problem is? Why don’t you just go tell her” She tells me.

“Because that would just not be me” I state emphatically, while Jeremy and Jim start laughing their heads off and say that I am making excuses and that I ought to be kicked.

“Is she friendly with you? In the sense do you know her personally?” she asks me.

“You could say yes”

“Okay, so imagine that you go up to her, now tell me what you want to say to her” she asks.

“You really want to know?” I ask, I then hold her hand and say “let’s assume that you are the girl, then this is what I would want to say to her”

And then I launch into this:

how can I explain to you
how much you mean to me?
if the whole world were to turn against you
and claim that you were evil,
I would stand up proud and secure
and proclaim
while the hair on my back and hands and neck stood on its ends
that you are the only thing
in the world that keeps me going
and that I would gladly take any punishment and sadness that the entire world might wish upon you
and hope that it is inflicted instead
upon me
I mean it
and even if
it kills me
and I am at the throes of death
and I feel remorse at the fact that I am
going to die and never feel an emotion again,
I will still feel no hate toward you, because
I love you and only you
and I shall forever be indebted to you
for the way you make me feel” I drunkenly blurt out.

“Yikes, that is a bit morbid and disturbing isn’t it? That would scare away almost every kind of woman there is. Dude you are obsessed, it’s not healthy, I was thinking more along the lines of ‘would you come out for a cup of coffee’ or something to that effect”

The mood on the table has soured, they don’t know what to think of my rant and the whole situation, and the funny part is that I agreed to be one of the witnesses for her marriage, I wonder if they will want to reconsider that one. I am pissed off at all of them now, I did not want that to come out, but I did, if only to shut them up. This should show them.

“I know, and that is why I don’t want to say anything to her, it’s hopeless, there is no point in trying” I say getting angrier and angrier every second “and this was precisely why I did not want you guys to pursue that subject so are you happy now?”

The bar is closing for the night, they want us out. Anuva gets up with him to go, she tells me that I need not come; he has found someone else to come as the witness. They walk off.

“Surreal!” says Jim.

“That was you yankin ‘em right?” says Jeremy.

Right! This is why I hang out with this fucker. He gets me. We order and receive a last round of shots, Jack the bartender knows us. We are like family, he sees us everyday. Maybe I should quit drinking.


No comments: