In the afternoon, I walked to a different part of the city, where the large hospitals and superstores were located. I bought some things I needed and walked back home. I took by lanes and streets and I saw a little more into the lives of the populace. Bitterness was an aftertaste in my mouth, a biting numbness in my tongue which ensured that everything I ate was turned to ashes. The colleague had told me a few things, and i couldn’t see things eye to eye anymore, afraid of what was probably hidden. Love stories, I am told, often go sour, but we are optimistic, like crack addicts who roam the streets in the halogen glow of streetlights.
Drugs aren’t very common here, but they can be acquired. Tobacco is very cheap, so is booze of every sort. Mom and pop stores sell good liqour, and you can be assured of fine quality if you walk in shops at every street corner.My colleague’s voice came back to me as I walked out of a housing area into a main road and turned to the direction of my flat.
“She is a drug addict, I’m an alcoholic. She’s suicidal, and I am self-destructive. We are collapsing into each other”.
Apparently it is someone I know. She is someone I know. I meet her everyday, and I wish I hadn’t. I wish I didn’t remember her name but I do. Marija is a lost girl, thin, frail, long black hair and lips to die for. I have often seen her in class and she’s not all there. The drugs are embedded in her system. The light from her eyes are gone. There is just a curtain where that spark probably was.
“And what do you expect me to do?” I am smoking a Dunhill’s. I couldn’t resist and after hearing about Marija as my colleague saw her, I needed some nicotine. Or rather, I needed the strong menthol that is infused in a Dunhill Switch cigarette.
“Be an Ear”.
And how would that help? I am a recovering alcoholic who went down a self destructive path so dangerous that I am lucky right now to be alive and breathing. What platitudes, or impotent words could I offer her as I saw through my own facade? The reflections that I see everyday are nothing more than a physical manifestations of my weaknesses. The weight and disgust of my disillusionment seeps out of my pores like an aura that is like a stench. There is a stench of frustration about me. I tell my colleague that.
“That’s wrong, Ativ. You don’t know how much she worships you”.
Does she? I am skeptical. Hero worship is dangerous. To a fragile person, hero worship is fatal. To a fragile, suicidal, possibly anorexic girl, hero worship is another drug. She will call this obsession, this hero worship, a form of love. She will try to fool herself that she is in love, and when she realizes that she has been wrong all along, she will take refuge in drugs. But the drugs will be so used to her body and her body so dependent on the drugs, that she will increase her dosage. I told my colleague so. I told him as the two of us stood in our balcony, the night deep and dark, the streets empty, but our lungs full of menthol laced cigarettes.