Being up before dawn is quite something.
Not sleeping at all, and waiting for a semblance of a new day, quite another.
I’m sitting on the steps that lead into my backyard, lighting a cigarette for the morning, fingers still stained here and there with old blood. My hair’s still wet from the shower, and matches fizzle out, catching stray droplets. Couple of tries and I get it though. Wish I could say the same about falling asleep. Dunno if the insomnia fuels the stress or the stress perpetuates the insomnia. Probably both, and the vicious cycle has my mind turning verbal somersaults.
Not proverbial. There is no wisdom here.
The yard is damp, there’s a promise of rain. The sky’s beginning to show the faintest of gleams shooting into the sky on my right. It’s beautiful enough, I suppose. Not nearly as the tiny ember I hold in my hand. It’s closer to earth. It holds more meaning. I realize that a cigarette can bring you more calm than the promise of a new day. It’s all about perspective.
Or maybe that’s what I lack. My vision’s gotten blurry. It’s an odd sort of focus where the world kind of weaves in and out, the green of the patch of trees blending with the incongruously placed electricity poles. They’re there, and not there. My mind buzzes with a sort of frantic awakening that my lethargic body wishes it could replicate. Even the noxious tin can promising energy sitting next to me cant give me that. Nor can the rancid tasting excuse for yogurt next to it. Tastes like cow spit.
Dawn comes rather suddenly. One minute it’s all blue and violet, and the next minute the mysteries of the darkest night are nowhere to be seen. The sky is white. It’s a blank space, a canvas crisscrossed by telephone lines- is this why it’s a new beginning? Could I do what the man said, and paint my will across in clouds? Probably not.
Would be nice to, though.
I can barely see, and yet, I see too much. I know nothing, like that idiot Jon Snow. And I know too much. I don’t want to. I don’t want to feel this vacant buzzing in my ears, of words that form rhymes in couplets and drop off stray into the unknown. I want to gather them, pour them out so that I can refill myself properly, but there’s always some more, always some more. There was an ode to a crack in the floor just now, a series of observations about the movements of ants stealing from the bin, remnants of a three hour long conversation from last night, weighing responsibilities, pressing chores, imminent deadlines. There is no possible space for silence here.
Silence. What a word.
I never did learn the ‘meaning’ of extremes. After days like yesterday, I always realize that I still don’t know how someone with so little value for their own life can revere the keeping of others’. Where did I learn these lessons? My blood on my hands is art. Even the sight of someone else’s blood, is immediately recognized as pain. My pain is fulfilment, to be felt, to be revelled in. Someone else in pain, incites the urge to heal, to help.
Odd sort of double standards, really. Most people take it the other way round, as far as I know.
So young. So full of ideals. So old. So bitter, so inured. And love. The great equalizer, binding the two, bizarrely united halves together. I have very strange dreams to live for.
At least I can see much better now, even with the ashen aftertaste in my mouth. Morning is here properly. There’s one shrub in the far corner quivering away on its own. A collective of jackdaws chockchocking away next door. Maybe I won’t have to go very far to refill my mind. There are stories here, even in this stretch of land I know as well as the map of veins in my hand. And I haven’t even begun to hear them.
But I have begun to see. Morning is here.