I was seeing him after years together. He sat on a chair, a cloth wrapped around him. Hair which had grown long enough to touch his shoulders. A long beard. Eyes still looked familiar- unapologetic but compassionate. The barber had just made a few strokes of the blade as his facial skin responded to it’s long forgotten touch. As he gave me an autistic look, I smiled and he struggled.
I got up and looked out of the window. Soon, lost in a reverie, some memories came rushing. Our mutual discomfort with the nobility of the world. Questions on charity and virtues of life.An everyday struggle to know that we were living, what we were not. That, Was there something missing – that we did not know, or were we just whiling away time. He had taken to the pot, in anticipation of rousing his inner self and I to the Himalayas!
Just before the barber had come, he had elucidated a stoner’s journey – how every sniff he took, made him feel like levitating in an invisible sky. The body seemed to have lost it’s weight and contours. And the consciousness expanded but hallucinating about random people and situations.Moving mouths with no utterance of a word or sound. An unconditioned happiness enveloping him all over as his limbs chilled and perspired.
Waking up to morbid feelings and longing for the experience again.
I had my share of stories too. Mornings drunk on a concoction of low chants at the break of a dawn, a little tiredness, unbroken silence and no purpose or intention. Silence where you could sense your organs going on in a rhythm but slowing down. I wasn’t sure about where the journey was leading me to, or had I lost my way. For the first time I felt what it was to be lost! Fear.. and more of it.. And I had chickened out.
Working for a few months at the grocery store close by has not been ‘Life’ but has been safe.. Perhaps for the reason – that it’s accepted..
He knows it so well. Our paths have been parallel, if not the same. He’s been a partner in the crime of compassion – for oneself and humanity in general..Has served his sentence well in the rehab. I’m happy that it’s his last day today.
I turn. He looks groomed. I plant a kiss on his forehead and he smiles..
Inspired by Crime of Compassion