Strange, conflicting, confusing dreams supplemented by the flood of erratic and unexpected emotions they bring leave me exhausted each morning. What do they mean? What is the significance of this bizarre sequence of past reality planted with fictional moments that plague me time and again? If dreams are meant to be a manifestation of ones hidden desire and unfulfilled wishes, then what does this haunting moment that plagues the recesses of my imagination time and again have to do with any sort of wish-fulfillment? It doesn’t make any sense, even though I desire it the most, logic, reasoning and reality dictates otherwise. I want to let it go, but it refuses to abandon me completely. It will be six years this August, a quarter away from a decade if my math is right. Yet it only seems like today, I close my eyes and get transported at another time and another place with much ease.
That ominous afternoon when I saw him last remains alive in my mind. Trivial details like the precise date and time blur into oblivion. I remember it was the monsoons, yet the sky was bright and clear. Perhaps the God’s took some mercy upon the great gloom that was descent into our life or mocked our great misery. I’m not really sure it was which. The dark cloud of impending death which haunted that room was in constant conflict with the bright sunshine that filtered in through every crevice there.
I slowly tip-toed into the room almost silent, except for the whirling thoughts in my head. He lay there perfectly still, the perfect embodiment of serenity that only death could bring, yet his bony chest heaved ever so slightly, showing the last signs of life still present in his frail, wasted body. He once took great pride in his appearance, toiling for hours upon hours at the gym, but no more. It was hard at first to see his once healthy, wholesome physique waste away in such a short span. But now the sight of his bony carcass was a predictable sight. A small smiled curled at the corner of his mouth as he lay so still, finally making peace with his demons, befriending his inevitable end and making death is closest ally. He laid still and silent undisturbed by the ruckus of the outside world. I stood still unwilling to wake him from his slumber, yet he somehow knew that I stood there, gazing at him for the last time. His eyelashes slowly fluttered open, he squinted at the bright rays that assaulted his vision as the merciless invaded the room, but he stood his ground. He gradually sat up; the monumental effort to conduct so simple a task visible was evident on his wrinkled face, the sweat on his brow witness to his endeavor.
I tried to be strong and unafraid; mortality wasn’t something that I had confronted before at such close quarters. My heart was being ripped into innumerable shreds with every passing second, I wanted to run away but I stood paralyzed, obscenely mesmerized at the sight of human decay before me.
I don’t exactly remember when the tears started, but I was vaguely aware of their presence as they stained my lips and cheeks, hot, wet and salty. I threw my arms around his brittle neck and wretched long, hard and loud for what seemed like an eternity.
He cried too slowly, softly, sadly, consoling me with great tenderness and compassion. I admired his strength and courage even in my maddened state of grief. Blessed are those who see the fallibility of human existence so closely and yet find in within themselves to truly see the infinite beauty in it and still love it unconditionally. He pried my arms loose and I let him reluctantly go, for the last time.