The lights fluttered. He kept looking into the infinite darkness spreading before his eyes growing gradually, with a demonic consistency, engulfing any traces of his sane self. A lone candle kept shimmering alone; while others kept dying in rapid succession. A small flickering in a huge room, like a small trace of hope, too small and useless but nevertheless still alive with life.
He kept rocking the chair. Back and forth. In slow and deliberate thought. Musing. A poison stick between his fingers. Smoking himself with thoughts. Thoughts to himself. Thoughts about himself. Thought for himself. Thoughts.
He rocked. More slowly and with increasing deliberation. He kept rocking. A lot of the cake was still left. He turned 25 today. Feigning sick he had skipped eating it. He accepted though with much better ease, the champagne his friends brought him for his latest success in his venture. He quickly emptied glasses of russian water with the troubled ease of a habitual drunkard. It was the only method through which he could accept his pain and the succeeding readiness to showcase his vulnerability for his green-eyed 'friends' helped him stay connected. It made them contended. Happy and deeply respectful of their own insignificant lives.
He was a teetotaller. He loved being a teetotaller. Like a connoiseur the glass clinkled with the clear liquid that flowed into them; he accepted every glass raised in his toast; he drank in the acid, burning his innards contended to know that he was still capable of pain; he was still human. With the ease of a habitual smoker, he put the stick to his lips, taking in deep huge breaths of smoke, deep into the lungs, fully accepting the choking smoke, with each and every poison pill stuck to his grieving lungs, blackening them a little more. He observed himself smoke. He loved watching himself. Like he had done all his life. Observing how he behaved when he was in public, when he was alone, when he was with her.
Life had changed a lot in the years that had followed. He had grown successful. With each passing moment he grew more lonely, he kept himself busy. He had to keep himself busy. The effort showed. In the form of promotions coming up every alternate semester. Gossip mills working overtime to find a convincing reason for his incredible success. Reasons kind enough to convince the mind-crippled of their non-existing adequacies trampled by a power-sucking egoist. Speculations grew rife, about his lonely life, his sucking up to his bosses, male and female. The bosses loved him. He was one who believed he owned the company. He was one who lived for the company, his only existent conversations, while meetings, and whose gossip at the water machine consisting of a quick analysis of the quarterly results.
But night changed many things. It gave him time to think. About himself. Days of physical strain, left him tired and happy at the knowledge of his incapability to think anymore; to question, to answer himself, to face the truth. But days as this, the weekends, the mornings spent on friends, brought him dread. The nights made his sane. He feared, the power of sanity; the insanity; the ruthless cruelty that followed; he feared them. And tonight he rocked the chair.
Alone he rocked. The eyes followed the silhouette hoisted on the wall. Aeons ago, he had siddled up to the silhouette, full of life, out of the frame, breathing life and love. His eyes following from the frame, as his eyes remained transfixed to the frame, bobbing up and down the room. Small elegant frame, bright and full of life with a single lonely flower brightened by a face lit with a twinkle in eye and mischief in the smile. A frame that had not existed before. A frame he wished did not exist now.
Every passing moment was a punishement in itself. Every passing moment brought thoughts, futile questions. Ifs, buts and what ifs. An exercise in thought. An exercise in pain. Life had never been the same for him. Every person was something to him. Everyone brought a part of him. He took from each of them but never borrowed. He changed for every one of them.
A regular shave. A weird smelling cologne to go with that daily shave. His favorite movies he didnt like watching now, she never liked them anyways. Or a regular bath. Uncomfortable formal wear at home. Or a pc that was now just a tool only, she had resented it. He resented himself now. For he wasnt exactly to her specifications. He feared himself now. He resented his brains now. He resented his existence. Profainities he had stopped uttering long ago. Every word he spoke, he measured; unsure if it hurt.
Every action reminded a person. The person changed him. A small word in his vocabulary he heard from her for the first time. A small mannerism he made his own. Every place they had visited reminded him of his lone self now. Nothing remained the same. They had ceased long ago. He stopped going to meet friends, it required effort. Every action. Every smile. Every laugh. Every memoir required an effort. They left him emacipated.
He sat through the night looking at the white stick in his fingers. The stick grew thick luscious tresses of smoke, bouncing effortlessly away from the stick, rising lovingly towards him, but the wind kept pushing them away. They fought for his affection, to kiss him sleepily between his lips, grow inside him, filling him with themselves. They grew, they flew up to him, they tried reaching him, but couldnt stop rising, they grew till they were thin. Thin remnants of smoke, white, like a silky shroud tried hard to stick together; but couldnt. They had to split. They were never destined to be together. They were never meant to be one. Formless, without boundaries, dissolving into each other, dissolving away from one another. They flowed out of the stick like a foaming gushing river till the invisible rocks in the little breeze broke the odyssey. Small boulders around which they came around, embracing again. Huge invisible boulders broke their flow, their form. They persisted. Finally they reached the top, the helm. But by that time, they had already vanished. They had already lost one another. They had lost themselves.
He was not much different.
*Any persons living or dead is purely non-intentional*