3 months ago
Staged in the South
A few minutes before heading out to the concert by the Axe band-one of the legendary Nepali bands, I, along with the other lads from MS, was waiting for the MoMo’s to be delivered. Smoke and booze; they never fail to palliate one’s heart from the loquacious, bumptious world which we call home- sweet home. As Harry Haller, in Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse, I understand what it feels like for the person of the 20th century to be born in today’s world. I am at the corner stealing a glance at every face- the stories hidden behind them. The faces, trying their best not to let their hearts write lines and prose of their unexpressed sorrows. Writing about their wounds that need an immediate healing drug.
Puff, puff, puff - and like a mayfly the smoke disappeared with the hot humid air on the balcony of the hotel. I presumed I was not the only Steppenwolf anymore. Amazed, one of my friends asked if I smoked. “Sometimes,”I replied. Well, there you go dear friend: Life is not about whether I smoke or drink. It is rather about how I feel when I smoke or drink. Moreover, I feel good, I try to escape people. As Bukowski says, “I don’t hate people, I just love to escape from them”, from their ephemeral talks; as decorative as the flowers in the vase. Meanwhile, our food had been delivered. We ate voraciously- the food was all we could see with the eyes as small as my friend’s Mongolian girlfriend.
Time waits for none- neither did it wait for us. It was already nine. Next thing I remember, I was in the Uber with my other friends heading to the concert.
While I keep heading east on the back seat of the well-fashioned interior of an Audi A4, I still can’t put together all the stuff that I ended up thinking the other night. But I do remember the embellishing people, their expensive, well-fashioned clothes while I lay stranded alone in the floor of the Toyota Music Factory. I was in a pair of round spectacles, tangled and chaotic hair, and my old worn out T-shirt with the shorts which I don’t remember when I last put on. I had always known how hard it is for one to find the other soul to share the thoughts that ponder when you have nothing but to stare. When I say so, I talk solitude induced by the lack of people though there are hundreds but few who interests you, who understands you.
I see this wonderful lady, her dresses as exposed as one could wear, her long black hair; knotted, her kohl-painted eyes - shimmering with the beacon of lights, her red lips deciphering the lyrics which I barely understood in the clamoring concert. Not long had I missed her, I see her eyes glazed, with a beer in one of her hands. Her painted fingers enough to seduce the beasts of the man around her had seduced the tip of a cigar. How wonderful to see this beautiful lady, trying to escape the moment - to experience the betrayal of sedatives the following bright morning? I wonder if she thinks the same as I do- of people, about life. However, she does not. How did I know? I knew it when I saw the way she walked. As free as the bird not knowing where she is going to spend the night. Surrounded with other lads around, she was living the life of Riley. Well, for someone to be her,it needs guts and I lack it profusely. I still remember her eyes, however, I am sure I will never know her name.
Cruising through Arkansas at around 90-100mph, there is not much left on the clock before I lay on my bed thinking about the endless trips yet to come in the chapter of life. The staged trip which I believe has been recorded somewhere and will one day be as lucid as the picturesque rising sun down memory lane. Meanwhile, let’s keep cruising to Mississippi, for Monday’s been waiting - the sun’s going down and life is expecting some more sorrows, smokes, boozes and some more empty pages.
Poudel is an Undergraduate student at The University of Mississippi.