Fiction Park

Let the world spin madly on

  • She scanned the room and wondered how many people had loved and lost. And how many people would still risk it all to go through it all over again
- Abha Dhital

May 7, 2017-It was only after he pointed out couple of years ago that she had noticed she really is compulsive in her own unapparent ways. There were certain (little) things that really bothered her. 

This morning, it was all coming back to her, as if the universe was trying too hard to prove a point. There he was: trying to right all the wrongs, trying to speak his heart out, trying to be more communicative. But she just couldn’t focus. She just couldn’t listen to him.

He was seated exactly two and a half feet across a table from her—a safe distance for ex-lovers to talk things through and sort things out. A good distance to comprehend what the other person is meaning to say. 

But, there was too much going on in between. Everything was a mess. The scream of the clutter that demanded to be taken care of easily outdid his voice. 

Her cup was sticky with chiya that the waiter had spilled on his way. There were cheap paper towels at disposal but they had been unskillfully halved to ‘save resources’. His cigarette had soggy discolouration from last night’s rain. The branded green ashtray boasted the wrong spelling—Toburg. To make it all worse, his leg wouldn’t stop shaking under the table, and the fingers on his left-hand  wouldn’t stop scratching the unattended wound on his right-hand knuckle.

“How do you expect me to talk to you when you don’t even try to listen? Why are you always so distracted?” 

“Always?”

If she was compulsive, she also had her own ways of dealing with the compulsiveness. She would fix what could be fixed, and shove aside that what couldn’t—out of sight, out of mind.

It was not going to happen this morning. 

“I might always have been a bad talker, but you haven’t been a good listener either.” 

In her attempt to do him justice, she looked right into his eyes. Ideally, it should have helped her focus. But not today. It only further distracted her. It only made her realise that he had now become somebody that bothered her too. Unfortunately, she could neither fix him nor shove him away.

She loathed herself for comparing him to other things on the table, but she couldn’t help it.

The conversation came to an end with whatever was left of them: “This is it. We can’t be fixed. Let’s try to move on.” 

If only his eyes were as sincere as his words. 

For the past six months, they had taken turns in trying to mend and break and then mend the relationship again. And had failed together at doing either.

...

If there was one thing that did justice to her current state of mind, it was Kathmandu’s current sky. While everyone around her complained about how the weather was horribly unpredictable—with sun in the morning and drizzles during the day which turned into thunderstorms by nightfall—she just looked up and said, “I feel you.” 

“Sometimes I fear you have bipolar disorder—you are utterly sad one moment and euphoric the other.”

He had once jokingly said, or so she thought, to make her laugh on a horrible day. If she didn’t have the disorder back then, she worried she might have developed it now. 

Calling him the inattentive one in the relationship wouldn’t have been entirely right. He did pay attention to her—sometimes a little too much. 

So often he would point out things—weaknesses—about her that she didn’t even know existed. “Self-absorbed, unhappy, chea…” She tried to list out his weaknesses as she crawled through the jam and stench on the Bagmati Bridge, and then just gave up. 

It’s funny how the happy memories always outweigh the sad ones. She had already decided to let go of him, and move on from the place they were stuck in. Yet, somewhere deep down she wanted to go back in time and cling on to what they once had and what they once were. In that moment, as she tried to hate a man she once loved so much, she realised it wasn’t important anymore. The initially torrid heartache now felt so trivial.

...

She had enough work to keep herself busy that day. If only she chose to stay busy. She pushed back her swivel chair with her feet against the wall and spun endlessly on it. “The world spins madly on”—she sang inside her head. 

Songs, even the saddest ones, always made her happy. And even if she sang them only inside her head—they made her feel alive. Songs were her secret weapon, her coping mechanism. There was too much to cope with.

Something in the 19° Celsius cool air of the conditioned room had awoken  a hibernating rebel in her. “Rebel” being the little girl who just wanted to spin madly on in an office where she was surrounded with people who lived to work.

She scanned the room—most of which was filled with men—and wondered how many people had loved and lost. And how many people would still risk it all and go through it all over again. And she laughed—also quietly inside her head. There’s only so much one could know of a person they have loved for half a decade, strangers were a different story altogether.

Woke up and wished that I was dead With an aching in my head I lay motionless in bed I thought of you and where you’d gone and let the world spin madly on

Published: 07-05-2017 09:29

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