Something, everything, then nothing at all

A friend once told me this parable about riding a 2 seater bicycle. Compared to the usual, it is going to be harder to go fast, harder to navigate, harder to coordinate, and sometimes, one person will have to do more work than the other. But when you make a stop and look out on the horizons, the view will be much more breathtaking, because there is this someone special in it.

Beautiful story, isn’t it? Once in a while, I’m always reminded of this story; just how much harder it would be, but it’ll be totally worth it.

I still remember that fateful morning. The one right after I decided what was the right thing to do, my emotions decided otherwise. It bent and tore every strand of being in my body, violated every principle I’ve ever stood for, and contradicted every logic I could throw at it. But it was irresistible. The right thing to do, was not the right thing to do I struggled with that very notion. But to hell with logic, I can do what I want.

It was a beautiful moment in time, when that something blossomed into everything. I still remember the texture of the curtains as the gentle morning sun drizzled through the windows. The particles of air suspended in the tranquility of the early hours. It felt almost surreal, as I absorbed the surroundings into myself. It was a space I invaded, and I took in all of it, the passion, the good, and the guilt of it all.

But I was happy.

Descent is a curious thing. There is usually no one thing that leads down the slippery slope, but altogether, it adds up to a weight that slowly pushes into the quick sands of normalcy. Riding the 2 seater bike was not quite what it sounded like. It started on a good footing, where the ignorant bliss and harmony took us far. We moved along quickly, across beautiful vistas. We stopped, and looked, and laughed, and cried. It was indeed as promised, breathtaking.

The ugly truth about relationships is that as the journey goes on, sometimes one starts descending into 2 states of being. One, that wants to keep pushing forward, and the other slowly growing resentful, secretly wishing that a stop was made on a different hillside, or that the bike could have moved on faster, or that the path at the fork was not the right one, and remains ever so curious about the thing that lies behind the other. If not kept in check, the duality will eventually tear the beams of balance apart.

If I learned anything from the parable, there was one thing that I missed. To move forward, there needs to be constant, open communication. Sometimes I chose silence over the tiny flutter of tension it could cause; and by that, I failed.

The truth is ugly sometimes, but they are hardly irrational. While behaviors might seem irrational sometimes, they do fall into predictable patterns and routines. We are after all - we breathe, we seek, we sing, we dance, and we gaze at the moon wondering what’s next for us - human.

One thing that I did not anticipate, was how much pain it would lead to. Unlike physical pain, which is hopefully often concentrated in a single area, where one can take measures such as using painkillers or ice packs, emotional pain is an ephemeral being that envelopes. That wraith courses through my veins, penetrating every fibre of my body, rises to the surface of the skin, and sinks back in. Throbbing almost. Like the heart that it comes from keeps beating, it just keeps on coming.

I found one thing that could numb it; now I know why some people lie in graveyards of bottles.

Maybe after the pain, the healing begins.

I sat on the couch, staring at the empty room. The ghosts of pasts flew in circles around the ceiling. They were mostly happy memories, lots of smiles and happiness, and seemingly clumsy gestures feeling oh so comedic, grandiose and meaningful at the same time. Once in a while, a shade of gray would come by, mixing in with the reds and blues and greens and yellows and browns, but it would stay for a while, and leave. The stories were good, and the emotions were genuine. I smiled.

And then I opened my eyes. There is emptiness; I have nothing, nothing at all.