This is what it is like being on top.
It’s euphoric. You can smell the caffeinated success of hard workers in the air. He looks exactly like he wants to. He IS the man. With all the connotations of that word and all the stereotypes attached with it, yes. That’s what he had grown to be. Aspirations grow. Speed increases. Thinking is faster. He’s rushing and he knows it. In fact, he asked for speed on his 21st birthday. Guess God gave it to him.
For someone who Luck hated for his first 20 years, he seemed to be doing pretty well with Luck now. Maybe he charmed it into doing his bid like he did everything else. He knew he had charm even at 17. He just didn’t know he could use it till he actually did.
It looks just like it is supposed to. It is as if his vision has been projected onto the screen of reality. It’s all a screen anyway, isn’t it? he thinks. Projections of the truth. Relative truth for everyone. He doesn’t have the time for philosophy. But, who can stop a wandering mind?
Of course, he misses her. He misses her so much. The “so much” makes his otherwise erect posture slump momentarily. She would have noticed if he heaved a sigh. Like she noticed everything about him. She, with her small all- knowing eyes, would look and say Don’t stress it, kid. Life sucks. Plus, where am I going anyway? She’d make it all go away. The rushing. The speed. The need for speed. All of it. She made life seem like a slow motion drug trip. Happy and Blue. Blue. Her favourite colour- blue. The colour she coloured the world in- blue. The way she made all his lack of luck seem like nothing- blue. Every memory of hers seems to be tinted in blue when he views it in his mind.
He does not have time for this. Not for her. No time at all. We’re rushing with him again as he strides down the empty hallway. He then wonders What the heck? Who do I have to prove myself to NOW? He leaves the building and decides to walk those few blocks to his place. His place in the world. He earned it. Literally and otherwise.
His dreams seem to have drawn themselves on to the walls of that large studio apartment. Projections of reality. Again. He walks into the bedroom, switches on the music and falls on to the bed as if to let the fatigue fall away from him as well. It’s all blue in his head. The sound of her laugh. The top he saw her wear. The last time.
Blue. Blew. Blew her off. That’s what she said.
He cannot call her again. He cannot. He will not. Memoria, the tune sings. What he’d give to have it all, says his hopeless romantic side. Maybe not everything, just her. The time he sat laughing with her at his rotten luck and saying, If I ever make it through, we’ll write Fuck You letters to everyone, ok? The time she said, Move on and go kick ass.
Her faith never dwindled.
He walks out of the room, on to the balcony. By this time, the sun is rising. The weekend is kicking in, no one wants to wake up yet. Last night happened to many of them. Some will forget, some will remember, some will drag through another day. He views the city through his heavy eyelids for the umpteenth time. He remembers the dream. The way she looked up at him, proud and happier than him. His dream. Her face. All painted in blue.
What’s the point?
The light moves through the curtains and his lashes. He’d smile if he wasn’t so numb. So, he moves back into bed. Something holds him tight. Her essence just like the last time. Her shadow of a touch, holding on with the firm yet tender grip of a promise. He’ll dream of her again.
Her blue pillows. Her blue blanket. Her voice mocking him again and making him laugh at himself.