Wednesday, August 03, 2011

nicotine and caffeine

"this coffee isn't that good", she said.

he heard what she said and returned to shaking his sugar sachet between his fingers.

"i don't know", he shrugged with doubt expressed casually.

even after a decade of acquaintance, formality had crept in between them. his certainty had faded with time..just as her grace had..once a goddess, now an idol..

they always had a hot-and-cold chemistry which turned into an on-and-off one often. it was always a fusion, it was an explosion. now, it was something that lived/existed on 2 different planes. the madness, the rush, and the violence was dead. they weren't friends. they could never be friends. he could never be a friend. they weren't lovers. neither of them could do that.

she sat in a white cap sleeve T-shirt and jeans while he wore a dark gray shirt and dark trousers. her hair was short and so was his. he loved her long hair and she loved his. that was in the past. nobody cared anymore. everything was for the sake of it.

her skin had wrinkled a bit and it was then that it occurred to him that she had changed with age and so had he. things did not remain the same. they were different...and 'they' were different. she looked old. she looked older than him. she always did. he never noticed, but his friends did. he never told her and he didn't know why. he was known to be sensitive but also blunt. she was known to be nice and pretty. she was known to be whatever he thought she was.

he didn't know whether she was married or not. one couldn't say whether he cared at all or not, but he might have asked if he felt like it. why he would feel like that was something he didn't want to be certain about. it wasn't as if he didn't care at all.

he tore open the sugar sachet and poured it in the coffee. he took the spoon and stirred his coffee. the conversation wasn't going anywhere. there was no conversation.

she sipped. he stirred.
she held the cup. he sipped his coffee.

moments passed by. both of them relived a bit of their past between sips, stirs, and empty sugar sachets.

she decided to break the silence and started talking. he heard and nodded, smiled and manifested facial contortions. he didn't know what she was talking about, but he had become an expert in all such situations. he was always perfect at such things. he could talk about almost anything in the world. earlier, it was a genuine craving, and now it was pure pretension. he smiled occasionally, appeared casually, laughed a bit periodically, and didn't analyse it hysterically. in short, he made the meeting more casual, acceptable, tolerable and amenable.

he took out his cigarette and offered her a smoke. he had never done that while they were together. he never gave it a thought. she didn't either. he never wanted her to smoke. she never wanted him to smoke. he offered, she declined.. he persisted and she accepted. simple relationship. no complication. no hangups.

"you remember that time when you were upset and i left a gig and came all the way to your neighborhood just to catch a glimpse of you .while you stayed in your balcony, i walked on the road. we never looked at each other, but spoke on the phone. you remember that?", he said slowly appearing to recollect whatever he could and staring at his cigarette.

he didn't have to recollect.
it was there in his head - Printed.
it was there on his heart - Etched.

"ummn...ya..vaguely", she said shaking her head. "i seem to have forgotten a lot of things. i can't believe i did all those things", she added still shaking her head in a disbelief that could have easily been taken for indifference.


"yeah, it was sweet. i mean both of us", he replied sipping his coffee..

she smiled.
after all of it, she could still smile.

he lit his cigarette, took a deep puff and exhaled. she struggled to light hers. he helped her with it.

some jokes were exchanged about her clumsiness and affinity to get into trouble. it was light, all game and actually fun for the first time.

it was time to leave.

he signaled for the bill.

"so, you didn't tell me", she asked.

"i'm sorry. i didn't tell you what?", he replied taking his wallet out and acting a little listless.

his wallet was heavy and accidentally flipped open and displayed a collection of cards in different colors- all plastic. he flipped it back. he had come a long way..

the bill arrived. he insisted that he paid. he could have let her do it too, but he insisted politely. she knew that it was time to leave for both of them. she smiled. he smiled. it was customary. everyone had to smile. he put the card in the bill folder and gave it to the waiter.

smiles again. he puffed and exhaled. she did the same.the waiter returned. he signed the merchant copy, took his card and put it in his wallet and back into his pocket.
they sat for another minute or two, cracked a few jokes and decided that they left.

"hey, it was nice meeting you", she said.

he didn't care if it were genuine or not. his reaction was going to be genuine even if practiced to be.

"oh! the pleasure is all mine, miss *****", he beamed.

"you've changed a lot", she said again with a smile. it was genuine. it was of sheer happiness. she was happy for some reason.

"i changed the day i decided not to love you", he said.

he smiled and it was genuine.


human kind can not gain anything without first giving something in return. in order to obtain, something of equal value must be lost. that is alchemy's first law of equivalent exchange.

6 comments:

Mehwisky said...

Sometimes, it easier to not give it a label. Sometimes, uncertainty is what you need to keep going on.

An interesting read.

blood on the ground.. said...

thank you for that comment (comes like a mandatory thing to do) :).
i was in a dilemma. i am in denial now. i am in denial of the dilemma. i always loved bottling, packaging and labeling.
and now i am an estranged yet strangely happy victim of uncertainty. :)

Ally said...

How do you know I am in love? *surprised*

blood on the ground.. said...

it seems obvious, doesn't it? i just read the entry.
i could be wrong though, but it seems i am not. :)

Ally said...

yes you weren't wrong. It just surprised me. Youre very perceptive. Its impressive! haha

blood on the ground.. said...

:)