Punctuations in Life

Posted: April 28, 2010 in Fictional stories

 FICTION

 

I dragged the creaking drawer out, protesting, refusing to expose its contents. I gave it a couple of more tugs before it tore away and landed on the floor, scattering whatever it held in there. A small, dog-eared diary caught my attention and I scooped it up as if it held the answers to all my questions.

My  life filled with inexplicable and  drone-like existentialism was about to come to a further standstill. Life was like  quicksand, constant shifting of particles of time, lit up by the evening sunlight, occasionally gleaming and inviting, then grey like the evening after a storm.

Perfunctory mirth, guarded and wasted lines that often dissipated with the vapors of the morning, every time I spoke. I felt transient both in mind and heart, forever it seemed a long winding journey not knowing its destination,  often taking recourse to fantasies; filling in the void that I had sunk into.

I had sat at my desk and put my quill to the papyrus going on with my parody of existential angst with resonances of anguish; as if I was the complete authority on  disquiet. My every page was filled with fairy tales which at best would describe my life; if I placed it between a period and punctuation.

Had it not been for the blighted life when my wife  eloped on the morning of September 12th disregarding my existence and making null my sacred wedlock that I had treasured until then, I would have been in a different frame of mind when I wrote my guts out. But now the empty pages stared at me.

 

It wasn’t for carnal fulfillment that led to her deciding to run away that night; she wrote in the diary I discovered in the drawer. She said it was  my refusal to climb out of the embalmed fortress I had built for myself over the years, that cocooned me from other people’s half-baked lies and conceits that I couldn’t digest anymore. Leaving in abject misery with me only added to her hastened decision to save herself from the world she was sinking into, living in my shade.

As insulting and enfeebling as it made me I didn’t reprimand her or yield to chastising her, for I sought the truth about my own life. I had ignored the lusterless pools of sadness that her eyes had become over time. Was I a fool that I couldn’t see the pain she was going through? Her needless sacrifice was uncalled for and her forced amiable nature with me had not come to my notice either. The cryptic conversations I had with her were taken by me as companionable silences. If only I knew I could have saved us from deteriorating into a sham.

It was late, too late and my philosophical ripening and awareness was not going to salvage the situation or make it better for me. So I took the diary, replaced it in the drawer and shut it back again. A tug and a pull didn’t let it free anymore and I relegated it to history even though the air was redolent with her perfume and memories.

I let out a slow, guttural groan and thrust my face between my palms and breathed deeply. I walked over to the coat rack and threw the warm overcoat around me hastily and walked out into the cold night air, breathing it in as if my life depended on it.

I would survive.

I always did.

—————— 

(Imaginary story, narrated in first person…)

 

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Comments
  1. Meera San says:

    Suja,

    Wow ! I loved this. “I would survive, I always did” – :-)

    And the realizations of sorts… you have brought… enjoyed reading these paragraphs very much…

    It wasn’t for carnal fulfillment that led to her deciding to run away that night; she wrote in the diary I discovered in the drawer. She said it was my refusal to climb out of the embalmed fortress I had built for myself over the years, that cocooned me from other people’s half-baked lies and nebulous conceits that I couldn’t digest anymore. Leaving in abject misery with me only added to her hastened decision to save herself from the world she was sinking into, living in my shade.

    As insulting and enfeebling as it made me I didn’t reprimand her or yield to chastising her, for I sought the truth about my own life. I had ignored the lusterless pools of sadness that her eyes had become over time. Was I a fool that I couldn’t see the pain she was going through? Her needless sacrifice was uncalled for and her forced amiable nature with me had not come to my notice either. The cryptic conversations I had with her were taken by me as companionable silences. If only I knew I could have saved ‘us’ from deteriorating into a sham.

  2. The feeling of betrayal so sad, you convey it so well in this piece. I was surprised he didn’t burn it or toss it out.

    I thought you have something else this diary needs to accomplish. Maybe stuck between its pages is…

    Great writing! Had me wanting more and wondering why!

    Great line:
    “My life filled with inexplicable and un-ambitious drone-like existentialism was about to come to a further standstill.”

    Gerardine

  3. Thanks Meera for stopping by…just practising different writing styles..happy you liked the way it was written…Feel free to be critical too.
    Thanks
    Suja

  4. Gerardine…happy to see you here and get your feedback too.

    The protagonist is very much in love with his wife though she left him for another..he realizes some of it might have been his own contribution and he has no say over her choices…and his wife probably still loves him too but she had to move on for her own reasons…

    Cheers & regards
    Suja