It all started with a really bad day at work, bad in a way of its own. There are days when you are aware of things shaping bad around you, and the turn of events don’t fall to your liking. But there are other days as well. In days like these, you lose sense of differentiating between right and wrong, true and false, and in extreme cases their very definition as well. It was one of the latter kind of days. I had to think and rethink and rethink about what was happening around me. The good had turned into bad, even though it appeared good superficially. Or did it? And did I find some really positive signs on what I had labelled bad? It was growing very cloudy inside my head.
Just a day back, my girlfriend had denied the likelihood of something I was entirely sure of being true. I really didn’t like that. But in denying, she left a trace of something I couldn’t discern. The something may have been close to affection, but I wish I could be more clear about it. I bought some time from her and excused myself. I reached my place and smoked till I caught sleep and the next day was my day at work.
I came back early that day, worried about my distorting conscience. I found my roommate to be his usual self, blabbering about his usual coding and other stuff that sounded like coding. I was thankful that he didn’t come up with some obscurity of his own to mess up my day even more. With things being the way they were, I decided on bringing home the greatest monk on earth, the one who didn’t sell his Ferrari; Old Monk that is.
I visited the nearest liquor shop and the guy who otherwise had always been pretty indifferent towards people visiting his shop. The people who’d blame him with the kind of customers he has to face, gave me an almost examining ‘head-to-toe’ look. I ignored the weird expression and waited for him to get me my rum. It took him longer than usual to get it, and I think I remember him giving me a smirk as I left. I bet he could have smiled pleasantly.
Owing to the day’s incidents, I was half sure I was watching things the way they aren’t. What about the other half then? Fuck it! I thought. I was all set to dissolve all the ‘halves’ into my quarter of rum. I slipped it inside my pocket and headed back home.
I came back excited. I wasted no time in bringing a glass and get the munching ready. Finally there was something I could look forward to. However, as I was about to break the seal of the rum quarter, I found the seal broken to my surprise. Who cares, I wondered, certainly not that night. I opened the lid and found the rim of the bottle covered in rust. The rust came off on the inside of lid. Old stuff, I thought, it could only have made the poison more divine – the extended fermentation I mean. Without admiring its antiquity any further, I poured myself a drink. Finally!
What happened next was certainly puzzling. The drink wasn’t normal. It had some very fine, glowing granules inside, which I initially thought were glass particles. But they weren’t. The glow wasn’t normal. They were more like some bioluminescent planktons. In alcohol? Are you kidding me? It couldn’t be. I pinched myself real hard. Was I dreaming? Do I need a psychiatrist? Maybe an asylum.
Hold on, I composed myself, and decided to hit the bed after making an obvious choice of not consuming the drink any further. But I had to dispose off the unearthly alcohol first.
I went out and stood in the porch, admiring the darkness outside. My place was on the outskirts – isolated from the turmoil of the city. Darkness, accompanied by stark silence, had its own ways of pacifying the mind. I was calmed to an extent by the mere fact that at least darkness couldn’t betray me, or appear convoluted.
I threw the bottle down from the balcony. The porch must have been raised at a height of 5-6 meters above the ground level. The bottle made reasonable impact with the ground and tossed the lid away. The alcohol gushed out of it. Though all I could notice there were the same ‘planktons’ that had an almost out-of-the-world brilliance. They were in sharp contrast with the darkness and I was sure now of their auto-luminescent. In fact, for the first time that day I was sure about anything at all.
There was something that kept me glued to them. The particles started rearranging to form a pattern, a shape that resembled a mermaid to an extent. This was divine.
The world had grown still and all the clutter inside my head was disappearing. I felt really good, almost rejuvenated, and wanted to thank this divine creature. But before I could do anything, it decided to take a ride with a gust of wind, as the glimmering particles gradually merged with the wind and faded off.
I still remember the wind passing across me, its impact gentle – almost caressing.
Something whispered in my ears as it surpassed me. The words were – ‘Just Let Go! These Things Happen.’ I don’t recall anything more happening that night. I must have dozed off soon after, because when I woke up the next day, I felt like I had slept for weeks. Everything was fine the next day. Things seemed normal, like I was well versed with them. I never felt that way ever again.
Did the events make way for the intervention to happen? Or was it just an illusion that helped me shrug things off and keep it simple? Maybe my mind was too pissed off with me first, and eventually forgave. No idea. All I know now is that I’ve got many Old Monks for myself since then, but none of it even remotely led to what happened that night.