I come back to a dark house. It’s so dark every time I open the door that I rush to switch on a light. Any light, big, small, doesn’t matter. And in seconds- as I see the outline of furniture and other things kept- the house transforms into a home. (Look at me, investing life into the lifeless. Look at us.) I, who loves the dark, needs a flash of light for a few seconds to make peace with the empty by knowing that it is not so empty after all.
I make my way into the space once again, finding the floor in the semi lit and semi dark room and light up the candle lamp. The fragrance of the oil mixed with the water reminds me what life smells like. Oil and water can never be mixed but it’s surprising how in that moment- the memory of a home 1500 kms away, merges with the present- and once again, every effort, every struggle becomes worth; regains its meaning, rekindles purpose.
I wonder, often, if humans construct walls or walls make up humans. Because every time a family leaves, they seem to take away the music along with them. All that the walls are left with, is the dead echo of a time when it felt alive. They leave me with a playlist that they like and I’ll enjoy. But music? Not so sure about that.
They leave me with a task of making my own music. So I fill up the void, after the shutting door with a heavy heart and warm eyes after they leave; with a spin, a hum, a tear, a conversation and rewinding the tape of the moments we shared, I make music. Moments and not hours because I forget to check my watch when I am at a task of learning the contours of their face, their habits and the colour of their eyes. Time passes by so quickly. Sometimes, the sand clock seems like a better representation of the time than round clock that starts and begins with no effort whatsoever. The strength to jump from one moment to the other of fullness and emptiness is the exact same as the strength used to put the sand clock upside down to make it work again. And you see how time passes in the seconds you lose while doing it. Time treads, and we lose what we have to.
music and I dance to it. And for the lack of proper instruments, I sit on the bed or on the cold floor and picture them alive. Pick up the note of their voice; the rhythm of their body; how their embrace felt; how they stole a glance; the pace their heart chose and how well they spelt home. I compose a new piece and I call it ‘me’.
When you don’t have to worry about someone else’s sleep in the room, you discover the beauty of 3 a.m. conversations. The heavy naked voices mumbling things that the daylight would shy away from. Stealing music from the effort of- staying alive, dialing a number because the name is synonymous to comfort- makes my piece better. When you don’t have to worry about being what you are, you can sit at 12 and bleed ink or get out of shower half done, and scribble as the towel wrapped around your body soaks dripping water and cool air calms down your boiling head. You frame those seconds because it won’t stay and this won’t come back.
Solitude is fancy and the ones blessed with it should be envied. But solitude makes a kleptomaniac of me (us).