There is a strange thrill in having a chilled beer on a winter night. Descending your throat,
the way it navigates through your body, making its way down, piercing through your chest,
almost, dissecting it… one may think, that thrill is enough to justify the act, let alone any kind
of intoxication. As I embrace another pint, with my somewhat moist palms- tiny droplets of
passion, that appear with every passing rendezvous between me and that little green pint- I get
zoned out for a moment. The thumping music in the background, and the orange hue in the light
all around… I look around for a source of distraction, in fear, that I may already be inebriated…
a state I prefer myself to be in, but not so early.
It doesn’t take long before the so far quasi-deserted pub starts getting a few visitors. I
romanticize my being there, by considering all of it, as an exciting adventure; as this is the first
time, and probably the last, that I’m so early for any such party, that too, since I was already
very close to the venue for dinner, and didn’t want to take all the pain of taking a trip back home
before coming here. The only other guests apart from me so far, are a group of cross-dressers. I
look at that large mirror on the wall next to the dance floor… and notice one of them looking at
it… applying lipstick on those already cherry-red lips… for a moment our eyes meet… we unite
in the image, so distanced by the reality… s/he turns back… I lower my eyes, and start fiddling
with my phone.
I don’t know why I call him… maybe because once he had mentioned this party to me, and
somewhere I expected him there that night. We had only met once, but it was quite a meeting
nevertheless… he was full of things to talk about… I was all ears. He doesn’t pick up the phone,
I light another cigarette. Now there are some more strangers around me. The leather of the couch
is shrinking a little more… the bodies are brushing against it… its acquiring different aromas,
and I can sense light pats on my shoulders, fingers brushing my hair, and palms caressing my
cheeks every once in a while… I know that the party is swelling now. I stand up, and walk
towards the bar, waving another note at the bartender, who’s well acquainted with my order by
now. As I walk back, I see familiar faces. ‘All of internet comes alive on such nights’, I say to
myself, and then get back to my couch… bored… with the same people, both in the virtual and
real spaces. However, I notice that my place has already been colonized by two enthusiastic
lovers, or shall I just say, practitioners of passion?, who leave no room, not even on the brim of
the couch, to rest my biggest ‘asset’ tonight.
So, as it’s destined to be, I stand near the bar… waiting for another pint, when I get another pat
on my shoulder, harder than the usual; and as I turn back to register my disapproval on the same,
I realize that its ‘him’. Tipsy as I am already, I complain against his not picking up my call…
and things that we both don’t remember, to which his only way of compensation is an embrace.
As he holds me close to his chest… so tight that a little more push would’ve killed me of
suffocation probably… I wonder if alcohol is more of an aphrodisiac than any other. However,
as I struggle with this thought, along with struggling to catch my breath again… he turns me
breathless again as he introduces me to a guy standing next to him.
Those two penetrating eyes, as they look at me, with unprecedented attention… I just keep
looking at the stranger… even though he tries to introduce me to him, my body channelizes
all its energies to just one sense of mine- vision… my friend’s voice, like an echo in a long
hollow tunnel, gets undecipherable… as the stranger transforms into the object of my complete
attention, and all other senses give up for a while, until, he resurrects my sense of touch, as his
hand engulfs my waist, and my sense of hearing, as he whispers in my ears- ‘let’s dance’.
I notice once again, the loudness of music, the madness of the crowd, the rolling crystal ball
above my head radiating light of all colors… and him in front of me. Song after song, as the
music changes its course; I realize that the songs here are probably the first common thing that
we share… I hum along with it… ‘Mamma mia’… he smiles, I get conscious and stop… ‘what
is it? Why did you stop?’ he asks, ‘coz you are not singing… ‘I pause, ‘I never sing alone.‘ His
eyes… still on me… Only Me… as he smiles and says- ‘you are very attractive’ and before
I know it… I feel his fingers slipping over my shirt, his arms supporting my falling head, his
aroma… filling my breath… and his flavor, satiating all my senses… a touch on my lips, before
they open up to what words can never explain… my hands caressing his cheeks… our breath,
tied with each other, pulling us together, again and again… as if that’s the only way we can stay
alive. My ears grow warm and red; I can feel his heart pounding. We smile at each other, when
I certainly remember, hurriedly I utter, ‘did I tell you my name is…’ ‘I know’, he releases me
slowly from his arms ‘and you know my name is…’
‘I can’t hear it, the music is too loud’ I almost yell… out of his arms, the distance already seems
too much to me.
He pulls me towards himself again, rests my head on the previously cherished place… gets
closer to me, approaching my left year… nibbles on it softly, the loud music playing in the
background… he joins in, and starts singing… ‘Hey Jude… ‘, his eyes, sparkling, ‘Lucy in the
sky with diamonds’.
The next day I discover, at around the same time that I was in his arms… a number was dialed
from my phone… amused, I make a call, and as I wait for the phone to be picked up…
Well, I know the song already….