Wednesday, October 12, 2011

a moment of perfect clarity

I was driving - struggling - with the return traffic, an infinite vista of reddened brakelights stretching away on the highway, some RJ yammering away about potholes on the radio...
it faded.
I was... still there, in the car, but inside my head, looking out through my eyes... something apart, disengaged from the warm body actually at the wheel. I was looking around at the experiences stacked up around me, the shelves full of memories, and they all looked the same.
Day after day of the beach run, the mindless comedies, the commute and the work
Week after week of the movies, the malls, the grocery shopping
Month after month of the salary, the EMIs, credit card bills
Year after year of birthdays, appraisals

It's all the same. Nothing is changing anymore. All the files are the same size, sorted, categorized, tagged and labelled. Sometimes there are DVD folders with a neat index pasted to the spine.
As I walk down the passage, into the dimness and the dust, this changes. Now they're random, different colors, different sizes, stained, worn, crammed into piles.
And they're all stuffed to bursting. They're filled with photos, tickets, leaves, pebbles and sand, bottlecaps, napkins, handwritten notes, locks of hair, maps, lists, manuals... between the files there are books, comics, scratched CDs, ancient floppies, pizza boxes and balled-up t-shirts, wires trail between them and there are boxes filled with random, rusting junk. There are trophies, too; not the plaques and the framed certificates, but the scabs and the scars, bands and letters.

I turn around, and the road is exactly as I left it.
The newer shelves are silent, brightly lit and clean. The older ones crackle and buzz, drip and creak.

I want to stay here, but I can't see the road from here.
I can see my hands on the wheel. They're driving.
I pick up one, turn it to me. Fingers flex.

There is a decision hiding around the corner of reality, and the corner is close. I can hear it breathing.