Published in N-zine, July 2010 Issue
Aimless footsteps trod the worn asphalt, dusty tar beaten to an unrecognizable countenance! The vestiges of a mundane day were slowly fading into the darkness that imposed itself with alacrity on a world oblivious to all simple things…simple things, such as the relief of walking all alone, discovering every street corner, every nook and every cranny in a new way.
The last few people drained away into the water holes of their homes; like water muddied from its frivolous travel through variegated terrain flows away into the storm drains. A verisimilitude of silence descended on the world that moment...as if a vacuum had pervaded a sanctimonious place that had been marked off bounds. This was the time of the day I loved, for it gave me the immensely alluring sense of freedom to observe the world at leisure; as it cooled down from being over-worked through the day. It allowed me to get my bearings right...helped me contemplate on my role in the grander scheme of things or the bigger picture as they call it. And helped me dream...with my eyes wide open!
But, there was something different about this night. Sultry as ever, it was loaded with an intense kind of anticipation, as if it harboured a secret; a surprise that was to be revealed. And as if providing me with an affirmative answer, the heavens echoed the first menacing rumble of an approaching shower. The breeze picked up with that familiar wet scent of rain, acting like pheromones luring my soul into the realm of dreamy ecstasy....acting like a catalyst that made my heart beat faster than normal....and made my mind conjure dreams of the most arcane kind! Keeping pace with the beat of my heart, the dark clouds omnipresent but indiscernible against the deep black of the night; tore open their souls.....and drops of rain sprinted down towards the ground....leaving a wet mark on anything that came in their way...an ephemeral memento of their visit to earth. The whole eclectic mix of the cool water on my brazen face and the euphoric freedom of being alone to experience this mesmerizing vista that mother nature had created; tipped me over into a trance...the kind which generates psychedelic illusions...coupled with the state of being semi-awake to the real world and still acting as if in a séance...the mind playing tricks in all its grandeur!
And there she was...the most beautiful illusion my mind could every muster. She slowly emerged from the dark shadows...into the pale glow of the street lights. Arms raised, face upturned trying to garner every drop of that mystical shower into her embrace. Motionless I stood, gazing at her as if the whole universe was centered on her, in her.....within her beautiful soul! She performed a slow pirouette…an amazing little mesmerizing act that wound my heart into uttering a soft sigh. Watching her there, in the rain, without a care in the world was one dream I would never want to wake up from. And then she turned and smiled at me...tip-toed over to take my hand and lead me below the fading glow of the lamp. We moved to the rhythm created by the incessant patter of drops on the tarmac...a soulful melody whose notes were only understood by us.
The intense black of the night was split by forks of lightning. I could sense the shiver that ran down her spine every time thunder rumbled; a metaphor for the tumultuous sea of emotions that heaved in my heart, straining against its walls! All around me, my dreams encaged in the prison of raindrops, found a release from their captivity as they struck the earth.....found salvation! I saw us surrounded by the mute spectres of my dreams…all incandescent with hope...hope that stemmed from her...made me want to live...and dream...and never leave her! If only I could convince her to stay...if I could only say:
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
En wrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams!
The last few drops of rain took their final plunge to fulfill their destiny...and I opened my eyes to see her evanesce from my embrace...shiny wet shimmers that gleamed in the night for a moment before disappearing into nothingness. She was my dream...that I lived more than I ever did in the real world. Every second of this dream that I lived with my open eyes...seemed etched in my memory...seemed equal to eons. My mind ended its frivolity, and I woke up from my stupor...the mirage had vanished, but every intimate detail was still vivid in my mind...as if branded in, leaving a seared mark. And to convince myself, I cupped my hands to collate the last few beads of those dreamdrops...sole souvenirs of the rain of my dreams!
PS: The Poem is by W.B.Yeats (He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven) from the collection of poems titled The Wind Among the Reeds, 1899.