The rapid flashing of lights seemed to awaken my senses, but not in a negative way. Normally, prolonged exposure to them would trigger my migraine, but somehow today I seemed immune to it. The loud rock music seemed to reverberate on my eardrums, and I was told that's a charm of it. The pub was a decent one, and had now become one of our hangout sites. I looked about and saw people enjoying themselves - either engaging talks of courtship, potential partners or just random stuff.
I popped out of my reverie, and my eyes met with an acquaintance.
"You okay?" I asked.
"Yeah, I'm Dan," he said. "That's my name!"
I smiled. There's something impeccably pure about people when they're tipsy, as if the alcohol strips off layers of masks they're wearing. The more they drink then, until of course they are outright drunk, more layers of their personality strips off until everything succumbs to the sycophancy of drunkenness.
I had never been drunk before, and I planned not to chart that territory. Sure, an occasional drink or two were fine, and tipsiness isn't exactly new for me, but nothing beyond that. I like to think of myself as a relatively sombre guy, and as my masks come off I become more solemn. Beer makes me philosophical, vodka makes me alert, and rum makes me hum quietly.
For long I thought I was living a life not meant for me, and mind you, I am not two beers down right now. I wish I was, and then maybe I could pen some of my internal quagmires more eloquently. I always thought my life was meant to happen elsewhere, and I am just biding time until I eventually reach that spot. Where it was I could never pinpoint, but it was always away from where I was then. Three relocations, and after the biggest one I realised life happens wherever you are, and it is inherently dependent on you; consciously or subconsciously you tread life like an iron on a cloth. If you always do the same patterns, you'll always get the same results on your shirt, or you know, life.
But today was a different day - the music and the lights weren't affecting me, and I felt invincible. It was like I had finally found a key to a lock I hadn't known. I felt like today was the day I changed, and the process of change was not painful like a bruise, but stinging like a putting your hand in a box of pins. It was sinking my gut yet making my chin rise up, as if a set of realisations confirmed my presumptions and while the realisations were hard hitting, the fact that I could see them through were uplifting. But the sinking lasts longer, and no matter how uncomfortable it is, it is there to stay.
It was like seeing the girl you like resting her head on another person's shoulder.
My change seemed to peel off myself there, in the middle of a loud, noisy pub; surrounded by people I barely knew well. Familiarity breeds contempt, I figured then, and unfamiliarity breeds disdain. The balance then I figured, is to keep people at a toe's length, known but not familiar, and mysterious but not unfamiliar. It is that aura, a definitive shield that can only be breached if you let it breach; which defines how stoic in life you can be. Being stoic has pretty negative connotations, but as far as I am concerned, being stoic is about being aware of your circumstances and acknowledging them without throwing about reactions.
I do not know what led to the change, the fact that I had a weak, almost impotent cocktail or the fact that I found myself within the company of someone/something familiar yet unknown. I was there with Celisen, within the noise; and beyond the lights.
She was different, and yet the same, and for the first time I could see her less like an entity and more like the definitive woman she is, like somebody I could once again write letters to.
I placed my hand on her back and gestured out, and she smiled and followed me. We walked back to my place arm in arm, and occasionally exchanging breaths via our lips. It was refreshing to finally have her alongside after a long time, and she had changed drastically. But somewhere within those drastic changes she was still mine, and I realised she had come for me, finally. We reached my place and I settled the room.
The lights were dim, and I could see her silhouette gracefully moving towards me. With every touch of her I could feel myself swaying into ecstasy. I ran my fingers across her face, pausing at her lips; and then continued to feel down across her chest and her torso. She bent forwards and placed a wet kiss on my lips, and as I felt myself inside her, I dreamt of being safe, protected, and comfy, like a joey in it's mother's pouch. Gasping for each other's warm breaths amidst the wispy cold of the room, I wrote words on her bare back and she guessed them precisely, as if every movement of my finger sent a spark down her spine.
"Vish, let's go!" a voice seemed to bring me back from her. I lazily nodded at another acquaintance, and got up. As I wore my jacket my eyes found a sign at the top of the exit, and a delirious laugh exited me.
'When faring on journeys, ward yourself well. Take not harbour near the highway for thereby dwell many ill wights for men's bewilderment.'