[One and a half year ago]
You sit on the dusky couch, tugging at your tie every now and then, trying to empty your mind despite the nagging heartbeat. You are waiting for an interview. You have no money. The only person you ever opened up to had completely trashed your soul and left for a cheating simplicity, and you are lost. You are desperate. If you can’t score this, all your future hopes will remain where they belong, along with your shattered soul.
The secretary calls your name. You fumble up and go.
[Four years ago]
You sit on the cheap folding chair, extremely pissed off. This fucking asshat of a village boy is making a scene again and nobody in this fucking class is any wiser to call it off. So you do. You start a fight. Just as he approaches you, your deft brain is already racking up with the consequences. You will get summoned into the authority’s office. This fucking asshat will sue you for assault. They will call your parents. But you’ll win. You’ll win, even if you had to lose everything.
The bell rings. You smirk and calmly walk to the meeting point.
[Eleven months ago]
You are standing small below a thousand skyscrapers, haplessly following their lead, the rich jerk-offs to whom you leech. It is the way you have always been living. And you are getting close enough to this girl. All that needs to be taken care of is her possessive boyfriend. Which is also, sadly, the way you have always been living.
So is her next move as she walks away and proceeds to erase your existence from her precious life.
[A few times, half-remembered, half-lived]
You are almost in a trance. Almost. The lights are way too bright. Your guitar amp is way too harsh. Their fucking tempo is way too high. Your throat, man, your throat could really use some water right now. What are you even after? The faint applause from pity and courtesy? The relieved sighs of the MCs? The long way home with nothing to fucking bring? The trance that never seems to grace your act? Almost? Fuck you.
[A few months ago]
You fix your eyes at the disappointment on his face. He’s not even trying to hide it anymore—and you are not in your fucking manner anyway. He has taken you in, trusted you. You can’t even trust yourself. Not after losing so many friends and dreams and fights. So you just stare back at him, wishing that he’s at least man enough to do something that you have deserved for so long and yet never got, never got because everyone else is such a fucking moral-bound pussy. Well, except for her.
You stare back at him, wishing that he would destroy your life.
You are in love with a married woman. A religious, rich, married woman. Though she still loves all those worldly things like everybody does. Well, except you, maybe, but you’ve never been rich, never been normal—so how could you know? Everybody tells you to fuck off—she told you too, you think, though with great effort not to hurt your feelings—but you are, of course, an idiot. It’s engraved into the very fabric of your being. Only this time there is no way you can spin it into a win.
You are beginning to think that you love this. Being utterly, embarrassingly lost and broken. The suspicion gnaws on you—
[Seventeen years ago]
You are a little boy, eyes wide open, smiling, dangling his legs on the backseat of a cab. You haven’t taken a bath. You haven’t changed your clothes. Your grandpa suddenly had the whims to go shopping and so off you go. Your curious mind overanalyzes every towering building along the precision of the highway, while multitasking with the plan to buy toys and English books once you arrive at the megamall.
You wonder if you would have an amazing adventure there, like you read in the detective comics.
You open your eyes.
It takes some moments to remember why you are here. With an empty bottle of gin in your hand. A bargain paperback lies next to your pillow. You check your phone. Nobody had liked your post in the last twenty hours after it went up. No other notifications, nothing. Only a text from your mother. They ran out of gas. And electricity. And your siblings’ allowance. You have nothing.
Except your soul.
See, the problem is, you never took up the Devil’s offer. And your whole existence is suffering because of it.
But you win.
Even if you had to lose everything.
31 December 2016