FLOATING 10 FEET UNDER WATER
If any one of you has ever had one of those dreams in which you find yourself drowning, you’ll know that in this fragile reality as you use every ounce of your strength to reach the surface, your own weight keeps dragging you down… and when you open your mouth to let out that one last loud scream,
Your voice fades away before it can reach your own ears and the water enters your soul to create an ocean of emptiness.
You see, when I first started my journey on this dream,
Strangely, drowning almost felt like waiting.
Silently and calmly.
Drowning was a familiar feeling.
It was a trip down the memory lane, to the times when my brother used to come home sporting bruises as badges of pride and on days when my father forced that useless pride out of him, he would walk out of that padded room with a smile that reached his ears but not his eyes
The salty sea-water whispered tales in my ears of those days when my brother didn’t dare utter a word and the only time we heard him whispering he’s not okay, was seven years later, through a letter he left behind as the sole witness to his life and screams….screams that the padded walls had preserved in silence.
They found his body at 10:17 pm and his silence weeping behind the bookshelf at 12.
Drowning felt like the cursed walks in graveyards when I would kneel in front of his headstone, and think to myself,
‘You have gone and locked yourself up in darkness once again.’
You see, when on a particularly rainy Sunday three weeks ago, a tree was cut down to be made into a coffin,
A life was taken ……to preserve another.
Death enwrapped in death and just like that, my brother’s eulogy had been carved into a path of doom way before he could learn to raise his voice against it,
And if you look at me and tell me that he died a year ago, I’ll point you to his casket and tell you that he had accepted his destiny way sooner.
Silently and calmly waiting for it.
You see if there’s one thing that my love affairs with graveyards have taught me, it’s that, when a man reeks of silence is when a man truly accepts death as his fate and my brother started carrying the stench of rotting water, way before the year he finally died.
Drowning felt like a familiar vacuum.
Like those rusty memories of the times when he used to play those weird antigram games in the magazine. So, he would take the V-I-O-L-E-N-C and E from my father’s fading footsteps and create a completely different symphony out of it.
Opera to our ears, and heavy metal to his.
So, when he heard VIOLENCE, we caught him singing NICE LOVE.
REAL FUN became FUNERAL.
And, LISTEN always remained SILENT
And only when my brother’s silence had found a home in our household, did we realise, the language of opposites started from that wretched game all along and…and he had always hated opera when we never considered heavy metal ‘music’ anyway.
You see, drowning almost felt like spotting familiar faces in a sea of people who are so terrified of their own feelings.
They know how to shut someone up. They know how to throw a punch. They know how to cut themselves up each night and stare at their insides in odd fascination.
Hell, they even know how to travel to the moon and back,
But every time I ask them if they are okay, they will seal their lips tight and beat their hearts in Morse code,
Don’t go! Don’t go! Don’t go!
expecting me to read every loud thump as a cry for help and save them from the incoming doom, when they are the ones desperately clinging on to the centrepiece of their missing puzzle.
What are you so afraid of?
Your feelings do not make you weak. The strongest I’ve ever felt is when I rid myself of my blood and spilled out words with every drop…creating a revolution.
SO SPEAK, and hear every word that makes way through your lips. Let it remind you that you are alive. That we are alive. That we don’t live so that we can die,
And maybe my dreams will turn into nightmares every now and then,
But I will always wake up screaming and this time,
the world will hear my voice.