August 1, 2010 6:00 pm
I was always the pragmatic one. Borderline cynical, some would say. I wouldn't though.
I love life, its joys and adventures, its beauty and variety... i love it. That's why I'm always so practical, cautious even. I would hate to let some frivolous activity or pursuit of some ephemeral pleasure destroy my way of life, my beautiful way of life.
I did make one mistake though... many many years ago, I made a friend... R.
They say a man is known by the company he keeps... and they are right.
June 6, 1985 11:00 am
R: "Come on, get in already!
M: "Shut up! I'm concentrating...
R: "Well concentrate faster.
M: "Its impossible with you disturbing me continuously.
R: "Lemonade concentrate makes juice faster not slower, dumbass.
M: "Was that a joke? Haa haa ha ha haaa... whatta joke yaar... Idiot!
He snickered as I scanned the small fence for jagged edges or hooks. No one seemed to be around. Good for us, since we were going to 'borrow' a huge, juicy pumpkin from this very field right now.
M: "Why are you not going in? I can be a better lookout, I'm taller."
R: "Because my parents know Mr F and if he sees me he'l tell them and I'l be in big trouble. Now stop being a pussy and just do it only, yaar."
He was right about that... I was being a pussy...
He was wrong about pretty much everything else...
- Pumpkins are hard to uproot... definitely not 2 minutes. And they are heavy.
- Mr F. did have a dog, a big dog.
- The street we went running down... it din't lead back to the town.
M: You knew you asshole, you knew. Whatta asshole you are man... why are you laughing? You weren't wrong, you were lying. You bastard! That dog bit me, we din't even get the pumpkin, and I could have died right now. What are you laughing for, asshole?
R: That was so awesome. Dude, you know it was awesome. Stop complaining. Look at that stupid dog barking up there. Ho ho ha haa... that was too awesome.
Look, stop making that face, listen. You know there was no other way you would have done this. Just get past your anger and see na... this is the most awesome thing you have ever done. And you know it. And now we can cut off 3 things from our list -
God promise, that was the most awesome thing ever ever. I can imagine their faces at school when we tell them. I'l let you say it was your plan. Can you imagine telling S about your daredevilry. You would like that, wont you? You even have wounds to show for it... and I'l back you up. She might even give you a kiss. Cheer up, this is the most awesome moment of our lives.
I got a lot more than just a kiss. It WAS the most awesome moment of my life.
How could he know me so well? How could he know exactly what would happen, exactly how I would react, exactly what I would think?
My best friend, he knew me better than I knew myself. He made my secret dreams come true, ones that I would never dare to admit, even to myself.
August 1, 2010 6:01 pm
25 years ago, we made a list... 100 things to do in life before we die.
R and me, me and R... closest of close friends, bestest of buds, we made a pact, and signed it with our blood, that we will complete every single task on that list. Raised our right hand in the air, pinched the skins on our necks and swore God promise, double cross, no return to ensure the vow held even if one of us had our sly fingers crossed.
So naive, so carefree and so full of life and dreams... so free. Childhood is really the most beautiful time of your life. We took the list very seriously. The list had a 100 of the most life changing experiences we could come up with. If we could do the list, our lives would be the most awesome of all the people in the world.
In the next 25 years we crossed off many a tasks...
Or so I thought. Or so I hoped.
February 29, 2004 10:00 pm
M: I can't believe I let you talk me into this.
R: But you did, coz even though you'l never admit it, you know this is going to be awesome.
M: Are you sure this is safe?
R: Its not dumbass... thats why its so awesome. But don't worry, you'l be fine. As long as you don't panic and try to jump out midway. This is going to be so awesome.
It would have been the most awesome moment of our lives...
had I not panicked... and jumped.
March 23 2004, 6:02 pm
I got hurt. Bad. Paralyzed, neck down... No hands, no legs, no spine... Confined to a chair... for ever. Larynx crushed... mute... never to sing again.
They say I shouldn't be depressed, for it could have been worse.
At least I could still see in vivid horror, I could still hear the chirp and life around me, I just couldn't get up and destroy it, just couldn't scream my head off in maniacal laughter and burn it all down.
At least I was still breathing, just not living.
They say many stupid things. S was always stupid.... beautiful, but stupid.
They found him... R. She blamed him, sued him, but the case was dismissed. Then she sued the company, and lost again. Then she sued me.
They say the third time is the charm... and they are right. I had to find out eventually.
He could not come to see me in the hospital... my family would not let him. But he did send me a note "You shouldn't have jumped. It would have been awesome. I hope you can forgive yourself and move on. I'l be back to check up on you... soon. R"
I believe him. He knows. He always knows. He knows exactly how I feel, how I think. My friend, my best friend.
August 1 2010, 6:02 pm
I waited for him. For 6 years.
It didn't feel like an eternity. When you can't turn your head to see the clock... you cant count the seconds. You stare straight ahead, watching the daylight. Then you blink and its already evening.
You marvel how it was just morning a minute ago. The morning of Feb 29. Just a minute ago I was with R, laughing... happy.
And now he has come back. To make my wish come true.
Suicide lake looks beautiful, the valley breathtaking. The music of the wind tearing across my face celebrating my arrival, the inviting smell of the water hurtling up to greet me in its cold embrace, the trees like spectators, cheering me with arms held high in adulation... one last hurrah. My body... arms and legs that used to weigh a million tonnes in that sickly chair... is flailing without a care, weightless as it were.
I am weightless... I am flying.
They say your whole life flashes before your eyes before you die... and they are right.
I saw it all and I was satisfied. Everyone dies, not every truly lives. I have done more things in my life than most people ever dream of. I have experienced pain, joy, triumph, frustration, unbounded ecstasy and utter hopeless devastation.
I have done it all, and its all due to my friend, R. My friend, my best friend.
Using all my heart and willpower, I manage to turn around, so he can see the gratitude in my eyes before I fly away. And the last thing I see is R holding a pen and a yellowing piece of paper, signed in blood by 2 teenaged boys filled with dreams of living the most awesome life ever, ever.
My friend, he knew me better than I did myself. He knew exactly what I feel, exactly how I react.
He knew now, just as he did 6 years ago on the morning of Feb 29.