Slippage

I wasn’t sure where I was. It was almost as if I woke up from a dream. I remember leaving the house for a walk, and then it was blank. The disorientation was mildly alarming. I was standing on one among numerous bridges of the city, looking out onto a canal; but I wasn’t sure where exactly I was. I refrained from pulling my phone out to look at my location; I wanted to be lost.

I could feel the excess taste of cigarettes in my mouth; It wasn’t a pleasant sensation. I felt the cold on my legs where the denims were touching my skin. I saw a goose swimming leisurely on the canal, unfazed by the loud train that went over the canal every few minutes. I looked at the darkness of the sky; The sky is never truly dark in the city. There’s always light.

I was getting anxious about my state of mind, fearful of what might become of me in this cold dark winter of the pandemic; It’s never pleasant being alone in the dark. I was afraid my mind would become a mopey mush of misguided thoughts, like unhinged mustangs breaking out of a stable. I asked for help once; J said she was busy. The complete lack of control over my situation was making me angry. I was hurt, sad and helpless. I needed someone to catch me, but there was no one. I was spinning away, like a hatchback with summer tires on a winter night.

I noticed the Shocking Blue song, “Before loneliness will break my heart send me a postcard, darling”. It was playing at a bar at  the far end of the bridge, somebody had opened the bar door and the sound spilled over onto the bridge. I looked at the dark canal and wondered if I would drown painlessly in the cold water of the canal. “I suppose my friends would miss me, but it would be fun to haze the cheeky goose for a moment!”, I almost laughed out loud.

I heard a girl sobbing on the other side of the bridge. Curious, I crossed the road. “Is everything alright?”, I asked. “Not really!”, she said almost sarcastically.

“Okay... Do you need anything?”

”Do you have a tissue?”

”Yeah, I do. But what’s wrong?”, I asked her while handing her a tissue paper.

”My boyfriend left me, and I am pregnant!”

“What an asshole!”, I said.

“Yeah!”, she replied.

“You know what, keep the whole pack”, I handed her the whole pack of tissues. “Thanks”, she said while wiping her tears. I stood there, and then realised it was getting awkward & impolite, so I pulled out my phone. The heavenly blue light of the phone dazzled my eyes for a moment. Squinting, I figured out where I was. Then I nodded at her and started walking home. After a few moments, I pulled out my phone again and wrote a note, “Buy more tissues”.

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