Life is strange right now. I’m busy but idling about. Active but inactive. I’m almost always thinking of doing things but sitting on my hands; in constant contradiction with the tumult in my head that’s pressing through the sides of my skull on the inside, trying to force its way out, giving me sleepless nights and daydreams that leach hours from my day.
Thoughts, plans, desires all churn in a cauldron that I stir every now and then and bring up the ladle to taste… no, not right yet. Then I wait, pretending to be the chef who knows the worth of his cooking is as much in the time, effort and patience it takes to make something, as the quality of ingredients he uses.
This ‘waiting for my time’ has turned me into a vampire on a no-blood diet – a shriveled thing of immense power, prey to its desire to fit in. A bird in a cage with an open door who never learnt how to fly. There’s a deep anguish simmering inside, throbbing like a pinched nerve. Unfortunately, the skin is cast in stone.
If you could only see inside my head, I’m carrying worlds inside it – nations that don’t exist on the maps of the world. People who I’ve never known except in my imagination. I am so at peace with them, I can be my worst or best without fear of remonstrance. There’s no one in those worlds who pushes me into action, who taunts me over my ineptitude. They let me be. And then there are people like me who don’t sit on their hands but do what they think they want. Versions of me who are patient yet smart enough to take chances and risks at the right time. They fling themselves off a precipice, only to land on the balls of their feet…
… while I sit on the edge, dangling my legs over the vast space between me and the ground far beneath, a part of me, frothing with adrenaline, feeling the surge of blood in my limbs; another part that whispers insidiously in my head – pity, you don’t have wings.
© Pradita Kapahi, 2021