The Day He Couldn’t Stop Running

A catharsis of the soul..

He woke up and admired her naked body. Defined, flawless and engrossing. Words he would use to describe her. Words he would use, hoping they would use it for them. Boring, mismatched and fiendish. Words they would use for them. The union of them, not him or her but the bond they shared. He quivered when she moved. She must not wake.. She must not wake.

He got up, that ill fitted beat strung together by that deluded band the previous night playing on a loop in his head. The vocalist stricken by an acute sense of insecurity of anything musical around him. The crowd cheering with fake abandon of a musical pursuit that was falling flatter than the keys strum by the pianist. A dull display of both imagination and music. He felt it, right that moment. Right there while the spotlight gleamed large on the musicians on stage he could feel the heat within searing, mellowing and then calling for him to just let it go.

He got out of her house and climbed down the stairs. A step at a time, a moment engraved from that point on in eternity. The old man who watered his petunias saw him first. Nose wrinkled, jaw dropped, consequences unknown.. The old man was a picture of disbelief. The sight that beheld him had only his innocence intact.

Why bother if life is going to make its own choices?

Thoughts, distinct memories racing in his mind as he raced across the street. It wasn’t early in the morning and it wasn’t too late for him. The rickshaw stand left their daily quibbling and stood and watched, not in awe, not in disbelief, just in amusement. They passed it off as a high society tradition that maybe just passed them by. He ran past morning walkers, well groomed dogs and polished cars. He ran up the flyover, he ran from cops. With every lunge forward the exhilaration peaked, he could feel his bones.. The women gawked, some in admiration, some with derision. He looked at them fleetingly, he cared not to kill the moment. He was free, away from all the judging souls who had reduced his life to an examination, an examination of what he could be and never an understanding of what he was. He was tired from the running, he was tired from the trials. The sweat dripped down his face falling on his wildly flailing hands and toes. He was thankful for the watchman’s chappals, he was aware of the stares. He felt free and then somebody joined him, not in all the splendour he was displaying but just in heart and in protest like him. He ran past the pretentious bars and the expensive restaurants. He spat out his fatigue at the gleaming cars and the largesse around. He was caught on cameras and trending online with the hits increasing with every mile he ran. They couldn’t identify him, he wouldn’t be surprised because he cared a damn.

As the afternoon wore on and the crowds thickened, he slowed and the exhaustion kicked in but the spirit was still alive. He had forgotten the misery, he had forgotten the denial, he had erased the lows and he was on an inexplicable high. He was losing energy and there were no water cans being thrown at him. It was inevitable and he stopped. Hands on his knees, he stared around and then he collapsed. Face looking back at the sky and the sun staring back at him, he knew he was done. He scratched the road and pushed himself up and he could hear footsteps racing towards him, he saw the khaki and then he heard a few cheer. Loud cheers, was his mind playing with him? They whisked him away and they cheered. A small number of them but they cheered all right. He was pushed into the truck and taken away. He knew that life as it was never going to be the same again but then that’s what the run was all about. About freedom and letting lose. The naked run was over.. For now!

The Day He Couldn’t Stop Running