One day, I was at my happiest.
But, the ones who were supposed to be happy about my gleeful state, did not like it so much.
For a long time, I lived with the idea that I was meant to be sad, because a child heavily depends on that shitty sense of approval she gets from others, and others like it when you are hurting.
Keeping aside the various nefarious designs covert manipulators use to terrify you, is the subtle art of guilt-tripping and shaming.
I’ve had it in plentiful, so much so, that shame became my second skin.
I would stay under a cold shower, and cleanse myself with lavender soap, in the hope that the stench of past would leave me, and I’d be redeemed for once.
Now, without cigarettes in my mouth, and without an Enfield under my ass, and without any woman to seek in friendliness and without a man to hold by the waist, and without any other zinger – I can give them a run for their money.
It does not need me reiteration of belief.
If there is one thing I have loved more than anything else in this darn world – is a shoe, a shoe that defines and comes close to my character – it needs to be wild, but it also needs to be silent like a copper building, which has people kissing in the restrooms, but which chooses to be unshaken by their disgusting moans.
I know when acts are put, I can identify when fakes shake my hands, and I know when they derive sadism out of my suffering.
I can see hypocrisy eye to eye and sleep by its side, as quiet as the quietest baby sleeping, while its parents are in the other room fucking.
I will be shocked by nothing, and nothing will please me.
I also don’t know what love is, because expecting someone to keep their word, is like expecting an unpeeled potato to not go brown when you leave it vulnerable.
I have been naive, I have been gullible, and overtly trusting.
But trust is a derivative of fear, a rusting element of human conditioning, when in truth, a thing as labile and malleable as life can never be trusted.
How can someone who has practically spent their entire life, overwhelmed by its drastic measure, still smile so bright?
I can tell you how.
Abuse could be external – but absolute terror, and mind-numbing pain, are created in one’s own body.
Pain can never be inflicted, as much as they say it can be.
It is as spontaneous as fluids being secreted.
It’s so beautifully automated and coordinated and synchronized.
You never have to check your bladder, you just know when you must urinate.
You never have to wait for your period to occur, it just happens.
Our brains have primitive responses to seeming threats.
Like a veil of mustard gas, pain hangs, and protects me from covert aggression.
Pain is my most faithful teacher, and the deeper the pain is, the brighter the happiness becomes, because we live in a world of contrasting chaos.
I have been cohabiting with that pain in one room, and I do not plan to make it an orphan. It has taught me everything I need to know about this world, and so, I keep it like a souvenir from the other side of the city where I used to be before.
That side of the city was vindictive and it was unfairly intimidating – you had to chase people to feed you and love you, and you had to seek their company to feel a little less lonely.
The truth is, you get lonely only when you’re in the midst of people, when you’re that lone wolf making its climb to the topside, there is no loneliness, only hunger, rumbling loud, shocking you into an awakening in the middle of slumber, and nothing else matters.
I will never go to the other side of the city, because I have been there and I have sucked out all knowledge of it, I know all the inhabitants, I know their shops by name, I know the brothels and the demons locked in jars, their vilifying curses – they hold no power over me, because I have absorbed what I need to know and I made my way to the other side.
It is possible for you to sharpen your gut instinct to such extent that you can hear people even when their mouths are shut.
There are tools you will need, and you will grow and learn out of darkness, and sharpen all the tools.
One day, you will step somewhere, and it would stop affecting if you were succeeding or failing, if you had been appreciated or not, because thenceforth, all that would matter is the journey and your merciful presence to save yourself, yourself.
You’ll cross the border, and you will make your way on the other side.
On this side of the city, where you need nobody to define you or call out to you, you come back to emptiness, and you do not shiver in disappointment, because you’ve made peace with the ultimate truth.
When you know what you want, you go after it, and tenaciously so, unaffected by rejection, unaffected by hatred, unaffected by weather.
You will become snake and shed old skin.
Pay allegiance to yourself, and the rest of the noise will cease.
They say, when you make it to the other side, you must never look back.
But you’ll laugh at the humor their warnings carry – because a woman who has been everywhere, and who packs in her bag all that experience, can birth her essence, that needs no characterization and no definition, in her unbridled glory, but restrained polish, she will look where she wants, and walk with quiet poise.