Monday, May 12, 2008

The Ghost of a Boring Past

I wake up. I go to work. I come back. I sleep.

My life. My sad, little life.

'Twas the night before a day that would be as ordinary and unremarkable as every other day of my life. It came. Clanging and hissing and making all the other noises a ghost is supposed to make. It looked like me. It looked like the me of twenty years ago, in my shorts and with neatly combed hair and a schoolbag and water bottle enveloping me. It looked like the me of yesterday- with frown lines, with the cheap red tie and the mundane black suit, the me that had walked out of my boss's office with a polite smile and with murderous thoughts in my head. It looked like everything I had ever been. It said, "You have led a miserable life. Voluntarily so.You have none but yourself to blame." And I knew it to be true.

"But what can I do? My life till now is done. The milk has been spilt, licked by the cat, dried up and what little traces of it can be found are probably crawling with bacteria!"

"All will become clear", it said. And disappeared. Like a dream. Which it probably was.

I slept. Because the next day, I had to wake up, go to work, come back. And sleep, of course.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Day I Died

I'm dead. I know that much.

Don't ask me how I know. I know. I know it the way you know it's morning, or the way you know that it's going to be a good day for you, and the way you know that finally, after all the red herrings, the girl standing in front of you is the girl you are meant to be with.

But it doesn't feel right. Because nothing feels different. People can't see me, that much I grant. But is that all being dead means? No heaven, hell or vast green fields like they show in the movies? I walk through the same streets I walked through when I was alive and I sit in the same restaurant I used to have dinner at.

And I can see other people. Very few of them, though. Too few of them to comprise the dead population of the world. For an instant, my mind fleets to Harry Potter and the ghosts who chose to stay behind and later regretted it. And for that instant, I'm afraid. But it passes. I didn't choose, did I? So, I'll be sent. Somewhere.

No one talks. Everyone's busy lamenting their deaths. I'm not alone. But I feel lonely. The mundane, done-to-death cliche barely registers when suddenly, like a dry breeze that blows over you and makes you uncomfortably hot and sweaty, the knowledge passes over us and we all know.

Heaven is full. So is hell. They're not taking any more.

So, we're here. When you see something out of the corner of your eye? That's us.
When you have that feeling of something touching your neck and you turn around and there's nothing there? That's also us.

But don't worry. We won't harm you. We're not bored. Yet.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Man who Wished

He was given three wishes. Exactly three. He complained. The genie said, "The stories all say three. All the genies in history have always given three wishes. Hence."

He shouted, "But don't you want to be different? Unique? Don't you want to be not ordinary?"

The genie looked at him. Just looked. There was nothing spectacular about the look. No way to describe it. No comparisons to be made. It wasn't the look that a child gives rain-laden clouds, as he thinks of the fun he'll have. It wasn't the look that a man gives a woman when he sees her for the first time, and he thinks thoughts which, a second later, he realises he shouldn't be thinking, and then he tries to stop thinking them, and he fails, and he finally decides that morality is a constructed notion and goes on thinking. It was just an ordinary look. One not worth any words. But some things are not worth anything, and still end up getting them, don't they?

Then, in a low, rambling voice, it said, "No, I don't want to be anything but ordinary. Ordinary is a stable state to be in. You can't get into trouble being ordinary."

He gave up and tried to come up with wishes. The funny thing about wishes is, until you have the chance to ask for anything you want, you know exactly what you want. Once you are given the chance, all the things you ever wanted, and ever will want, attack you together. Memories and desires. All together. And the only thing you wish for is that you are not asked to choose. But you can't ask for that, can you?

He wished.

First, for wealth. So that he could live well.

He then wished for women. For he wanted to love.

And for the third wish, he wished that he could rise above the ordinary. It was for him, what Holmes was to Doyle, what Romeo was to Shakespeare and everything else any man is remembered by is to the man. He wanted to be remembered for not being ordinary.

This is the story of a man who had more riches and women than a man could want. And he couldn't enjoy them. Because he was no longer ordinary.
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