I went up to her and stayed near her for sometime. She didn’t seem to know where she was; her form had distorted. She had become someone else, I thought. I looked into her eyes from time to time. She gave no sign of any recognition. There was an air of arrogance and violence about her. She would talk to anyone. Physically, she had lost close to half her weight. The color of skin had turned to the color of certain decaying substance. She at once looked horrible, frightening and, at closer inspection, dying. She invited no pity though. I was surprised at the sight. I did not know how I could help her but to try and get her memory back; to talk to her into normality. But it was an impossibility. She had completely become someone else. She was examined for long periods of time; all sorts of medication was inserted into her. She just refused to react to any of it. She kept decaying.

“She has caught it from some place real wicked”,her father said, thoughtfully.
“I haven’t seen anything like this before.”
“I don’t know how much time is left”.
“This would end. I think she’ll survive it. She would come out of it," I said, without any conviction. I had no hope of she coming out of anywhere. She, the woman I admired so much, was dying. She wasn’t dying as herself, which was really upsetting. I hadn't seen something like this ever before. I had heard of it. I did not know the details. I could not connect with the circumstance. It was upsetting, to be an inconsequential spectator, and having to play out a bitter part. Aware of the pain around me, I tried to offer some respite by doing certain physical tasks. She was constantly surrounded by people, some just performing the social ritual. Some didn't want to be there. Looking at them, it seemed we were waiting for her to die, and relieve us of the trouble.

She would randomly talk. The illness had been for a few weeks, which had sucked her energies; so physically she had got a little quieter. The violence in her had subsided, replaced by paranoia. She would stare at a single object for hours; and of course, she refused to eat. When I saw her, she felt someone else. I knew she existed in memory alone.

The news of her passing away came when I was reading something one day. It evoked no reaction in me. If anything, it could have been relieving. I thought of her. How animatedly and fearlessly she would climb the stage for attention and start speaking into the mike. Her charm, her wit, her intelligence were now gone with her. They were all gone before she had died. Sadness engulfed me a few days later, and I stayed alone for a long time that day. Life, it is, then.

Lust and Fall

When I saw her with her hair loosened, I thought she had undone them  for me. It was not true, of course. But she looked beautiful. It made her look fresh, a little younger, and livelier. We exchanged glances. Once she looked away, I looked at her for a longer time, and much more confidently. Once I knew her eyes were on me, I would get nervous. I would get extremely consciousness of my ugliness. If I could, I would hide myself. She had a beautiful walk. It had a touch of laziness to it; she walked slowly. She moved a lot in that slow walk; her hips oscillated. I observed her. She was talking to someone. She was smiling, listening to what the other guy had to say. It looked from a distance, where I was, that the guy had cracked a joke. It also looked that he hadn't cracked a great one. Her smile was artificial. She had smiled at the guy's attempt, I thought. He had tried to make her laugh. I had wanted to talk to her. I had wanted to be the one trying my hand at jokes. But I got nervous. I had the opportunities. I missed them comfortably. I gave myself unbelievably idiotic excuses. I wanted her. I wanted to possess her. I wanted to call her mine. And it was wrong. She couldn't be mine. Did I just want to establish a physical relationship with her? Not "just" that, but yes, I wanted to make love to her. I wanted to burn her skin with my heat; and I wanted more. I don't know what it was. What else did I want? Maybe I wanted her to desire me. Yes, that's what I wanted. I wanted her to desire me. I wanted her to desire me the way I desired her all the time. I wanted her to feel everything for me, that I felt for her. I longed for it. Then, while still thinking about her, I realised she had been married. It was alright. After that I realised I was married. I felt that was alright too. Everything was permitted in the face of that burning, unknown desire.

“Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”
― Milan Kundera

Why are we terrified because of the gravitation, pulling us down, seeming like a disgrace? It's not the fear of falling. It's the desire of falling. That desire, against which all our defenses are just lies, against which there are actually no defenses at all. We need that pull, that going down, that sense of doing wrong, that sense of getting tainted. She was serene. The way she looked about herself. She might not be everyone's idea of beauty. Some people might pass her off, and would look at me curiously if they were told of my obsession of her. The more I thought of her, on a daily basis, the more I saw her, the more she started to feel like a fetish; Why couldn't I just walk to her, and begin a conversation. It's not as if I hadn't done it before. I had; many a times. But it wasn't possible with her. I felt I would get tongue tied, and appear dumb. I felt I would do all the things, that I probably had never done. In her presence, I felt I was my worst. My fetish, the inanimate goddess, had made me a worshipper, and I had associated my desire with guilt, and buried it somewhere deep within; then again when I saw her, which was everyday, it came out of the grave, and pulled me down in the bottomless pit of desire; desire that did not have its own life.

Aren't we all supposed to be dirty, unfaithful and remarkably cleaver at hiding the truth? I wished the worst in her, just like I justified the worst in me. It had to be the worst in both of us, for us to be what I desired. Could I attract her if I told her of my worship of her? She might like listening of it but if she found it comic, I would look like an asshole. What is the relationship between possession and beauty. Why did I want to own her. Would she be like one of the objects, say a toy car, that I had, as a child, obsessively wanted to have; and could go to any extent to get it; and then, after a point, when I was done, throw it away, brutally?

She walked up the steps, and I was standing in front of her; we exchanged a glance. She looked at me as she would look at anyone else. I looked at her the way I could look at only her. Mad with lust, I stared at her until she disappeared. I wanted to fall; I wanted to fall so deep into that pulling force; I wanted her to fall too. I wanted us to fall right at this moment.