ON THE ROAD

At night everything makes sense, sometimes. I had struggled to sleep, off late. Different thoughts kept me awake. A sense of lack of time was killing me inside out. Lack of time to do what? That was something I needed to figure out. They say, as you get older you ‘actually’ sleep less.

Yesterday was somewhat like one of those nights. The phone next to your head is yet to set off. I reached out and got hold of the phone, shivering in the coldness of Air Conditioning. I felt like warming it up.

3:00

The seconds blinking just like my cursor now, when I am not typing. I felt it’s trying to tell me something. Get up? Alarm was set for 6:00. I have three more hours of ‘scheduled ‘ sleep

I sat up. I sat there for almost an hour, picked up the phone again.

3:04

This is the time , tricky in your life. I have read most people die in early hours of morning. That I am sure is a made up survey led by a dramatic person. But I was sure, sleep was not on cards from then.

I looked for my glasses and for my slippers. I needed to see the world with a warm feet, not with a cold one, duh! Glasses, always were a worry, first to reach out every morning. Now, phone is in the league too.

I tiptoed out of the bedroom. Without switching on the lights, making sure I don’t wake anyone up. I have felt this is the time your mind is very clear. I WAS AWAKE. When I try to recollect those moments now, they don’t come easy, but I FELT awake, then. The feel of that morning is fresh in my mind even now.

As the water was boiling, my mind wandered. The unwritten emails, left over tasks, incomplete proposals started rushing in to my mind. I didn’t want to think about them and exactly they were the ones which managed to squeeze through. These thoughts were unfinished business when I hit the bed. No one had taken up and solved them for me, no one would. You need to clear your own shit, you can’t complain about that.

The things that you procrastinate, the things that you wanted to say but left unsaid, the things that you wished you did and didn’t do, the life you didn’t live, the love you didn’t give- they visit you too, at this hour. The way the time has slipped through your hands, how life has tricked you in this trap, the way you have taken things for granted, how you have let them down! They say lot many times, I am too hard on myself, but where is the bar? How hard is really hard?

I was not walking like a zombie, but with purpose, that morning, having no idea of who woke me up. As I circled the dining table with my tea, I saw this book I picked up the night before from my pile of unread books. It looked like that book was kept there by someone for me to see, at the center of the table below the dining lamp.

What I noticed was the smiling Kirsten Stewart on the cover when I bought it. It said, ‘NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE’ , ON THE ROAD. I saw the movie afterwards but I had forgotten about this book that I bought. Loved the movie, and yes, Kirsten!

Dawn was yet to crack. Light was yet to come in. I could feel the deep blue sky outside without looking out. I could feel how cold it was outside and how silent it was. I could hear my heart beat, slow and relaxed. I was at peace at that moment as I sat on the table. On one side I had my iPad and on the other, Kirsten. There was a kind of mind game for a few seconds before I made the obvious choice. Before knowing, I was typing JACK KEROUAC on my Pinterest search bar. It opened up a whole new world of information. His books, quotes, pics and what not!

I was reading with purpose now. I get distracted fast if the words are not arranged well in an exciting way. But this one was a keeper and had all the energy of a young stallion. I read some initial interesting pages and got distracted again on the digital screen

Those were inspirational. I was no where near that description. But how the idea was put and the formation of that sentence were amazing. It made me think about my life, how I live, what work I do. Madness that was contagious was totally absent and was filled with a kind of escapism. So bland that you slept to kill time as if you are doing time, to fill in a form.

No, I should not get carried away, the rationale mind advised.

I was upset. Visibly upset. What I have done with my life and what I have become. Not leading a life that I would wish to relive. I saw my reflection on the black screen of my idle phone, lit by the lamp above. I took off my glasses and reflection became blurred. Wore them again, touched the screen and the bright light of the screen hid my reflection, I decided to escape again, one more time.

But this hit me hard. A sudden urge to run got into my head. This time an escape for a good reason. An escape from the unattended baggage of yesterday, responsibilities, the things weighing you down so much that you find it hard to move. To know how it feels to be free. To see the possibilities. An attempt, at least once?

LEAVE.

Do you have the balls?

I guess this is what happens when you sit alone at this time of the day. I have been a loner who enjoyed solitude. But the fact that no one would ever think of me to have a ‘good time with’ has often left me depressed. You can’t have both, I suppose!

I was clear at that point that I should leave. So clear that it scares me now. I too should hit the road, meet strangers who don’t judge you or expect you to be ‘someone’.

As I struggled with my reflection on the phone, it lit up again, it was the alarm this time around.

6:00

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