All the sounds in this tiny cubicle-like “deluxe” hospital room seem exaggerated. Mom is snoring softly, drifting in and out of sleep, tubes attached to her incision dripping blood into a plastic container. I can hear other patients outside going about their days, discussing their symptoms and bemoaning their bad luck. The jarring optimism of the visiting relatives, pierces through the closed door and floats over the air-conditioned air. I wonder if they can hear me too, my pen scratching furiously against this page.
I want to write something, anything. But like always I can feel my own mind watching over my shoulders and I feel the words dissolving before they reach my fingers. Maybe later. Later, I will catch the thought before it evaporates into the ether and manage to trap it on paper, in black and white. Later, I will write.
Maybe I am afraid of the things that come out when I am writing. I am afraid of my own thoughts staring back at me from the screen. Because the moment I write them, they become real and all the defences I keep up in my mind to make them sound ‘okay’ seem juvenile. These are my thoughts and they are not always pretty.
Maybe I am scared of writing inconsequential, substandard material that will prove my every fear of not really being a real writer.
I feel like an imposter. I am. I’m. Imposter.
This life I have made for myself, building it with my choices or the lack of them, feel surreal. This can’t be it. This can’t really be THE story of my life. I keep waiting for something to happen, what I am not really sure. But something big. Something that will tie all the undone pieces of my life into a neat little bow and I will add a sparkly rhinestone maybe and then it will begin to really look like MY life. Until then I am biding time. The imposter. My thoughts always someplace else. My mind manically producing thoughts that form layers. Something else on the surface, something uglier underneath it, something turning rancid inside.
What I want changes ever so often. One day I wish for something with every atom of my being and the next day I can’t stand it. I feel the need to shove my fingers into its core and gouge out every shred of its existence from my mind. I am a cheat.
Late last night as I commuted to the hospital, my eyes seemed to find and settle on the unused spaces in public places. The nook under the railway bridge with puddles of water covered in a startlingly green coloured moss, the abandoned ticket counter where hawkers now go to relieve themselves between customers, corners of narrow passageways gradually filling up with garbage. I wonder how people go about their lives ignoring this grotesqueness. Do they not see it? Are they too busy to be bothered by yet another pile of garbage squatting in their city? Or have they, unlike me, managed to master the art of seeing only what they wish to? Doesn’t the reeking smell of urine and rotting waste not grab them by their throats as the make their way through the little spaces available?
But I looked at people as they passed by, scrounged their faces from some reaction like a toddler in midst of a tantrum, expectantly looking for some response, the more dramatic the better. But there was nothing. Maybe it is because they know where they are going and aren’t drifting about like I am, looking for signs in everything, hidden meanings that aren’t there. Creating cryptic. Looking for beauty, a reason to not fling myself from the top of a bridge. Or a building. Or a running train. Maybe it is just me. Making much ado about nothing. This is how the city is, there is no need to get all sentimental about it. Get a hold over yourself. Is it that time of the month again? Are you sure baby? You know things will get better right? Just wait until… Trust me. Just wait till. Just wait. Wait. Hate.
I step into an elevator with some strangers. By the end of the ride, I feel like I know them. This man with the cheap liquor in his breath and overused clothes staring at his phone screen as it rings and rings and he does not answer. That girl with red lipstick nervously fondling her necklace, looking at her watch each time she runs her fingers through her silky hair. This man with his shirt plastered across his back, bathed in sweat, pretending to not look at my breasts. I feel like I know some part of them, and I add their bits and pieces to my ever-increasing baggage. I feel like I know them all, except myself. That is why I am an imposter. Or not.
I am the real deal. Until someone notices something amiss anyway.
Till then, have a nice day.