Poet On a Motorbike...

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The diary of a protagonist - Page II

Early days after being diagnosed

I had finished a bottle of Jack Daniels, the cigarette bud lay on the carpet still burning, my hands were covered with sweat and I had a .357 Magnum in my mouth. The whole world was spinning and I was panting like a wild hound dog.  My white semiformal shirt was soaked in perspiration, my hands trembled. A part of me yearned for me to pull the trigger, but my mind wouldn’t let me. Though intoxicated with many a lethal drugs I was still afraid to let me kill myself. I took the revolver out of my mouth and I fell to the ground in agony. I felt cold, alone. I threw the gun away, covered my face with my hand and cried. This wasn’t the first time I had tried to kill myself; jumping from a building was too intimidating, waiting for a car to hit me proved excruciating. I knew there were many other ways to kill myself, but that night I decided I wasn’t going to try again.  I lay on the carpet and gazed at the far away stars through the skylight. I felt peaceful, and suddenly my life flashed before me, I twitched, the pain struck me like a lightning bolt and then I closed my eyes.
I woke up the next day covered in blood and puke, fortunate to subsist one more day. I was too weak to get up; it was one of the many strokes that would continue to afflict me during the lingering days of my short tenure.  I used all my energy to reach the capsules that lay a few feet away. I swallowed a couple and went back into deep sleep, thinking about the past which for the first time seemed so lucid.
James Mackay, was the only son that Margaret Mackay gave birth to. Ted Mackay was a tall and handsome southern Californian.  He was just 30 when he got married the second time, to Margaret, Maggie as she was sweetly called by everyone.  I was a result of a hard day of partying young Maggie did.  Ted had left his first wife and soon fell in love with the vulnerable solitary mother.  My mom got married when I was almost two years old. It was a marriage that was not perfect by any means, they despised each other, the love that they first thought  they had was slowly fading away, but still they had to cling on to each other. Each fearing that they’d be left alone in this world.  Ted used to be a petty thief in California, but was now a reformed man in Detroit. He was good with cars and often worked shifts on construction sites. However sleazy the man was, he would never let his family starve, and nevertheless he needed money for the booze and the girls.  Ted dint have anymore kids; in fact he showed a particular liking towards me. The same cannot be said for the fast ageing Maggie.  Day by day the relationship grew worse, the strain was now unbearable for the both of them, but still they coexisted. There were times when they wouldn’t talk to each other for months.
The last straw for Maggie was when Ted brought his novel aficionado Lucy home. She was just 19, she was the prettiest girl I had ever seen, a damsel in distress and Ted was her knight in shining armour.  Even at 40 Ted was a handsome man, and he could woo pretty much any girl he wanted.  Lucy was the one who’d pave the path for my musical flair. She was a runaway model who had the voice of a nightingale. Her pale blue eyes and tanned skin reminded you of waterfalls. I could now say that she was very naive to fall in love with someone like Ted who was anything but reckless.  I never had a father figure, but he was the closest thing I had to that.  One hot summer day, Maggie’s legs gave away. She was paralysed, it was only a few months before she bid adieu. Might, have been all the stress; Ted’s unceasing beating; and her reckless alcohol abuse. The only comforting factor was that she died peacefully in her sleep. Those last few days, Ted really took care of the woman, and so did Lucy. I left the house when I was 16. I was staying with a couple of my mates. I was one of the few lucky ones to go college; I had notched up a seat in the Carolina University with my sports scholarship. I was the quarterback at school.

Dreams can often be harsh realities, they bestow you with hope and promise but in the end it just fades away. You wake up trying to find the missing pieces of the puzzle staring at your face; try to recollect the sweet memories. One of those recurring dreams has always been seeing Clara for the first time.  The dry autumn leaves that floated down from the heavens harmonized her auburn hair, her smile made it look like she was the happiest person in the world. She was frolicking down my way, without a care in the world. I caught her eyes as she neared me, her smile stuck onto me.  Just for a moment, the world.... it seemed perfect. 
For days to come I would see her around in college, and each time we came across I wished as a child would, for something magical to happen.  A few weeks later, I saw Clara at a party, she had dyed her hair red and with those green eyes she just stood out in the crowd. Beneath all the alcohol and the drugs I saw a tear in her eye, the tear that she was trying to hide from the rest of the world. It showed me humility, showed me that she too was human. I don’t know whether it was the pain or her splendour that captivated me, but I was stumped. ..............
I stood at her doorway, ages after; she looked nothing like the girl I knew, she appeared frail, her clothes tattered, and her beautiful face covered with scars of suffering. The sorrow that magnified on her face was inconceivable.  She led me into the house without saying a word. She sat on a red broken down chair, slowly she reached in her pocket for her cigarettes, she had difficulty lighting the cigarette. Seeing how hard she was finding it to do the mundane things made me quiver.  I offered my light, that’s when she gazed at me; her green pale eyes just stared at me. She jumped from her chair to hug me, tears trickled down her cheeks.  She eased back into her chair, not saying a word, exemplifying the lost soul that she was.  “Hello, who’s out there??” her voice startled me; it was a young girl, probably in her teens. She looked vibrant; she kissed Clara on her head and looked at me with her bemused eyes. My introduction brought a startling expression on young Rachel’s face.  She ran into her room, shouting that she’d be back right away. She hurried back with a photograph in her hand, she handed it over to me. It was me and Clara; it portrayed the mysterious romance we had. I was hugging her, she looked happy, I looked happy. A smile blossomed on my face, after a long time. I looked back at Rachel, who looked resentful. And then she cried, and hugged Clara. I knew that she saw me, as somehow being responsible for her aunt’s fate. Or maybe she felt that I was the only who could have saved her.  Clara looked confused and terrified with all the sudden show of emotion that surrounded her. I comforted Rachel, patting her back. All I could say was that I knew what had happened, and how I could have changed it.
After settling down, Rachel made me coffee, we sat in the lawn talking, about the life me and Clara had, about the life I had and what had happened to my first true love. But I never told her why I had come to visit her after so long, and she never asked me. Maybe she felt that I would someday return, like a knight, to save her ailing aunt, to take her away, from a world of suffering. Rachel told me about the moments of silences, and the painful cries that Clara experienced. Somehow the moments of silences were more excruciating than the painful tears.  Rachel took a sudden liking towards me, and I shared the same feelings. It was the first time she had seen Clara smile in years. She looked at the butterflies floating around the serene flowers; her smile was a moment to cherish.  The two days that I stayed there saw a lot of changes in Clara, she was slowly beginning to wheel her way back into life. She dint smoke a single cig, and was learning to come to terms with some of the routine things.  The last night before I left, Clara came into my room; she lay beside me and put her arm around me. It was one of the first times she’d slept properly. She looked so peaceful, no violent cries, no terrifying nightmares. I woke up the next morning in complete disarray, I felt like someone was stabbing a blade through my head. I puked blood in the basin, and then I blacked out, twitching and trembling.........

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