It's strange how one feels alien even among what is one's own. As I opened the creeking door and left my worn off slippers on a pall of dust, I felt like a complete stranger caught in a place where one's not only new but also unwelcome. I looked around at the stains on the walls, at the cobwebs that have been filling my absence, at strands of hair that have stayed longer on the floors than on my head searching for a familiar sign, a witness to my existence in the days I have lived here. There were none.
It has always been like this - consciously. I have been stripping from my life and everything that belongs to me, even the slightest trace of nostalgia. No family photos, no letters carrying joy or pain, no postcards, no messages in my inbox - neither in my computer nor in my mobile, no caricatures on the walls, no scribbled sheets, no stained sheets, no scented kerchiefs or withered flowers. Never invited anyone home for the fear that stray ends of lost conversations, those last few words will hide themselves in some corner and ring out loud with manic vengeance on lonely nights when there is no one around. Entering my house is like getting into a time warp - a lifeless, closed cabin that is beyond the calibration of time. The windows are always closed; the rooms are always empty (but for a few chairs and a bed); There are no calendars or posters; the clock is puny, physically harassed, neglected, illegible and negligible - A warp where you can experience unbridled silence punctuated only by your breath.
The same vacuum invited me today as I instinctively picked up the same stranded threads of routine that I have been tied to since day 1 in this house. I left my mobile in the far corner of the room, pushed a random CD into the music system and as the music came to life, slowly undressed myself and stared into wardrobe searching for appropriate clothes I wanted to slip into.
Loud music is an amazing pain killer - it numbs your senses to your point where your entire being surrenders to a torrent of noise. It kills your being - doesn't slash or stab - but in subtle ways you never realize till it's too late. And there in that state of numbness, you move with the beat, the scream and the words - with a soul that cries from beneath all the noise with a pain in its voice that you relate to and sway with. For a long time, it was as much an evil for me as was alcohol or porn. Vulgar excesses, smooth killers that destroy the subtleties of your senses, mask numbness as a solution to pain, as an addiction that you always crave for, all the while realizing that you are destroying yourself in the process. I stayed away from it for a long time, a long time till it didn't make a difference anymore; till nothing made a difference anymore.
I slumped into a chair semi-naked, still swaying with the noise that surrounded me, in a darkness that was marred only by the dim display of my music system, and the street lamp - an uninvited voyeur who managed to slip through the translucent glass pane in my windows. I didn't know when and how long I was asleep. I didn't remember what my last thoughts were as I went to sleep. But when I woke up, the first thing that stuck me was the pungent stench emanating from everything and everywhere. Everything in my house was stinking - out of use, overuse, misuse or disuse - unwashed clothes, old pairs of socks, a mattress soaked in rain water that once made its way to give me company, rotten fruits that I had saved for hungry nights, all of them played together in the nasal cacophony. It was then I realized - this will always be a house, a room, a flat but never a home.
I went back to the days I saw it for the first time, the time and effort it took to me to settle the deal, the zeal with which I bought it the first "gifts", how I never touched the walls without reason, how I was choosy about everything and everyone I allowed, the rush of blood while walking back at the end of the day at the thought of spending a whole evening in the house. I thought about all the long days at work, all the days I had to travel but still claimed to everyone that there's nothing like home. And the haze of space and time between that day and tonight, while I was away and busy with work all the while assuming I was doing enough and more, when everything changed and walked all the way beyond the irremediable point of redemption - Just like every other thing that I loved a lot in my life.
It will never be a home - I will end up cleaning up the whole place the next day morning; I will leave the windows open, invite people, have parties and hang paper flowers that never wither. But the flowers will blossom but never bloom, the lips will curve but never smile, it will be a house but never a home.
It will always be an Illusion never a reality. And you know what, it doesn't hurt. The heavy metal is ringing aloud and numbness is becoming an existential reality.