Archive for December, 2011

P

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Fiction
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The noiseless memories rattled my mind with a pain I cannot narrate. I was walking back home after a movie. The story of a dancer. A tribute. The pain pierced through my heart to my spine. He was a wonderful dancer, my P. They called him the future. Until the day of his death, he danced like there was no tomorrow or even today. People lived a life or perhaps many lifetimes in his one performance. He was a legend; a modern master, even.

How could he fall in love with me? It was simple: I was an abstract painting that made no sense to him and he always fancied things he never understood. He liked puzzles and the slow unraveling of the mystery. In simple words, he was a man fond of foreplay than the act of sex itself. We were a couple made to tear the bedspreads.
I walked into my studio apartment on the fourth floor and switched on the lights. As always the first thing I saw was the pictures of P all along the wall. Being a professional photographer, I was always proud of my skills. But looking at these pictures, I felt that I couldn’t really capture that elemental thing about P. I don’t know how to put it. What do you call it? Essence? I don’t know.

The darkness emanated a sorrow which voiced my thoughts. I swiftly had a bath and went to bed. Hunger left me the day he left. I usually had a filling lunch and nothing else; no breakfast and no supper. P used to say that I cooked the same way an artist produced a work of art. Licking the food off my finger, he’d tell me that he liked the taste of my hand better than the taste of any food. Now you know what Riyan meant when he said we were made for the jungles.

Initially, I thought he was making fun of me when he said he’d die on the eve of his 29th birthday. I spent the entire month preparing for his birthday. A week before D-day, he fainted whilst rehearsals. I was dead worried and we rushed him into the hospital to face the hard truth: P was suffering from brain tumor, final stage. Even at that point, the only thing he was worried about was his show the next day. And you know what, he did it. And not just that, he danced till his last breath. He died onstage, before his fans; his wish was fulfilled.

It was two weeks after his death, that I started receiving those letters. Somebody sent me letters that told me about P’s life. Things I never knew. At first, me being the eternal romantic, I thought that it was something like P.S. I love you. But no, it wasn’t P. It wasn’t his handwriting, and those weren’t his words. P had a magic language; he’d woo you with his charming speech. The Writer had plain language, like me.

The first letter told me about the first day he saw her: Annabel. Naked. Jealousy shook me like the wind which twirls those dry leaves in the boulevard. It told me about how P by hearted the rhythm of her heartbeats and how he’d dance to it even in the darkness of his bedroom. How come I never had that effect on him?

And I thought I had never felt this jealous of any woman until I got the subsequent letters about Riza, Moira, Ameana, Nimi, Sira, Hiruki and the entire list. Suddenly, I felt so insignificant. But the fourth letter told me about the only girl with whom P wanted to have a baby. That was me. I felt like a volcano, which was confused whether to erupt or not. First of all, I couldn’t believe that P could ever nurture such “typical” thoughts and then again, I couldn’t believe I never thought of this myself.

By the eighth letter, I knew most things about P’s life. But I didn’t have as much interest in knowing P’s life as I had in knowing the Writer. Who could be this jobless to write letters to me? And moreover, who knew so much about P? It couldn’t be his parents, I was sure of that. P’s mom died 4 years ago while his dad was with his sister, in a comatose condition. His sister has a job, 3 crazy kids and a loving husband and P told me that they were never close as kids. P had one best friend, Noah. But he’s in Australia, with his wife and children and probably doesn’t even know that P died. The funniest thing about those letters was the fact that it never had an address. It just had my name. It didn’t even carry any stamps. I asked the postman, but he said that he had no idea, which, I know, is untrue.

Eight months after the death, one day, I tried to follow the postman to find out if someone passes this letter personally to the man instead of posting it. But no, I was wrong; it was indeed posted. This was getting creepier. I lost my sleep and appetite. But one day the letters stopped. I waited, but they never came. And as they never came to my doorsteps, the adventure ceased and P’s memories rushed back to the original spot. I started spending days with those memories of him that I had accumulated over the years. I organized a photo exhibition which showcased pictures of him that I had taken. It was much appreciated by many people, especially P’s fans. Some people tried to boo me my saying things which they thought would hurt me. One of them said that I photographed P during our intimate moments because I knew he was suffering and I’d earn from it some day. I don’t care, I tell you. I knew why I took those pictures. P asked me to. He did. He told me that he’d want to live in those pictures for a long time. He would not break the tie with this earth and Life, as long as he could. Why didn’t I conceive? I kept asking myself. If only I did. His tie with this world would not have broken, in a sense.

All these insanely melodramatic thoughts kept me going. Until the day I received the last letter. Finally, I got to know the Writer. He was another fan of P who got to convince P to help him write a detailed biography, which would be semi-autobiographical as it included stuff written by P too. Things he wrote to Syame, the fan, in the form of letters and which he didn’t want to be edited at all. I got to read a copy of it all. And I almost swooned in mad ecstasy when I read about a day when we had the craziest of adventures. We went on a road trip, on P’s Harley Davidson and we didn’t stop till night. And where did we stop? In a jungle, of course. We slept on the ground and made love like animals. And woke up the next day to find out that we had got so far into the jungle at night, that we were actually lost. So what did we do? No points for guessing. Made love till we embarrassed the skies, and it in return turned red. And we somehow managed to find some sense out of our nonsensical minds and we rode around for 20 minutes before hitting the main roads. When we were with each other, nothing mattered. There was the energy that flowed from me to him and vice versa and nothing other than that.

And tonight, I miss him more than ever. He would have been 30 today. On his 28th birthday, I came back to his life after staying away for a year and a half. We’ve been together since college times. He left photography for dancing. Dance was his passion and he was my Muse. I suffer from lack of inspiration at work, each and every day now. You must sleep, I told myself.

Did I know that I’d never wake up again? Yes, the doze of Seconal that I had before getting into bed was way over the limit. But you know what? P would have loved these sorts of things.

“To your memory, do I write a sonnet?
Or an epic? You say.
I will write a lyric with my love,
Dipped in the ink of my heart.
I bleed with love; and
You stained me with yours.
And now let me stain your death with mine.
Can you see me yet?
I am almost there.
Almost there.
There. “

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