Carnival of Rust

As I stand in this little balcony attached to my room, breathing in the mysteries of the night, I feel something tugging at my heart endlessly. I feign ignorance. It doesn’t stop. I try to shrug it off. It sneaks up quietly behind me and taps me on my shoulder. After further struggle, I finally give in with a sigh. And standing uncloaked and unrobed, shameless in its audacious bareness, is Memory. That damned little creature that does not allow me a moment of respite. I look beyond the boundary walls, at the dark fields where uncut crops stand like silent sentinels in the night, forced into gentle motion by the coy breeze. I look at the distant lights, flickering yet unmoving, imagining the lives that lie beyond. I look above, from where the stars shine down. I look above at the stars where it has all been written. They seem to look down, and not just metaphorically, at my insignificant little existence.

I do this every night. Usually for brief moments, at times at length, oblivious to everything else. And at these moments, as I feel the chill on my skin, and breathe in those inexplicable scents of the night, when my guard is down and vulnerability is high, those Memories strike.

Sometimes it’s all vague and formless. Shapes pass by. But usually, the agony is more profound. There are places and colours and scents, and always that Face. I cannot block it out. I don’t even try. As I inhale and gaze at the stars and the fields and those distant lights, time comes to a standstill. I go back in past to far away places where at this particular moment, I was living in another world. Riding a back. Standing atop the ruins of an ancient fort. Traveling in a bus. Gazing at the moon. And always that one Face. It’s endless.

I think of what was, what could have been…but what IS. And then the connection breaks. It’s like waking up from a fantasy.

The construction- a sign of life, the bright street lamps, the cool breeze, the laughter emanating from a room, the green sentinels- none of them can provide relief. I stand, and suddenly, quietly, I start laughing. It’s low, it’s bitter. I burn in the agony. It’s painfully beautiful. And I just laugh, as I look at this moment. At my Carnival of Rust.

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