How to have a long empty day


Get up in the morning with a smile on your face. Wish your partner a good morning with a bear hug and dance your way into the kitchen. Look at your face and pretend to smile at yourself. While you are doing it, try not to spot the grumpy looking skin, the tired eyes and the broken lips. Stare right into your eyes and imagine that your whole face is as pretty as your brown eyes. Then give yourself a half-pitiful smile and look away. Congratulations, you have completed the perfect morning ritual.  

 Put on a song on the radio that reminds you that there is sunshine left in the world. It could be ‘Someday over the Rainbow’ or it could be any Coke Studio song. You could go religious and put Hanuman Chalisa too. It’s just a matter of perspective, like how much sugar you like in your tea. Hear the shower and remember that you need to put the water for his tea. Make the tiffin trying to blissfully get as much energy as your little body can give you. You don’t want his lunch to smell of your broken will, do you? This is an important step. Steep the tea and with it steep all your good wishes in the beverage. Juggle making breakfast, packing his lunch and doing your morning stretching. Decide you can’t do all and chuck your exercising for a later part of the day. Bid him a goodbye, close the door and pounce on your tea to prevent yourself from falling down out of misery and frustration.

 While sipping the tea, glance randomly at the face of your clock. Muter something about hating 10 o clock. Randomly still, look over your emails and your phone. Stare blankly at your colorful to-do list. Try to start doing the first step on your list. But, falter.

 For the next few hours, keep your will-power at its toes. Do some work on a jiggered excel sheet. Try to colour code it, it will look pretty if not intelligent. Pull up some reading material and try to understand as much as you can. Avoid getting on YouTube. Try not to think of the deadlines in front of you. Tell yourself life is good. Make sure the window is open and the apartment smells clean. Go back to your to-do list and scratch whatever you think you have managed to do. Enjoy the process of scratching things out of the list. Its your doing and you did manage to finish some work. Pick out carefully those thoughts that linger at the back of your head that ask you if you did a good job. Sieve them into the dustbin and trash it. Do not think about how well you did something, be glad you finished something. Tell yourself to take it easy. Smile at your accomplishment. No matter, how small.


 Glance at the clock again and tell yourself it is time for a walk. Put on your bright tee shirt, that will cover your faint mind. May be a red? Put on a cap that will make sure you don’t lose the little thoughts you have. After all, grey matter is not found easily. While walking take a deep breath and blow out all your reasoning about being more stable in life. Think about weird people in the world and compare them to yourself. Tell yourself you are better than the rest of the deal. Be scared to admit you are failing. Hold on to the little hope that springs inside you. Stretch a hand to that hope and ask it to come out. Remember all your little achievements, compliments and paste it onto your head. Try to look at your reflection in a puddle, smile at the beauty that is invisible. At this point, pull out your phone and scroll over your contaoocts list. Understand that you cannot call anyone. Gulp at this thought and try to swallow wherever is welling up inside you. Look at the woman with the dog in front of you and smile. Atleast, people are happy. Try to gather whatever positivity you can from her and go back home.

 Back in the room, get back to your desk. Think something about it being too cluttered. Sigh at the thought of having someone near you. You know you cant call anyone right now. Yet, pray for someone’s company as badly as you can. Do it till it feels bad. Once you feel as bad as you can, you will stop feeling anything. There is no step after getting burnt, right? All burnt is the same burnt. Understand that and move on.

 Welcome him with open arms at the end of the day. Try to talk about what you managed to do. Relish in the company of a fellow human. Take each of these minutes in, these are precious.

Talk endlessly, and remember that this is short-lived.

At the running track, put on your favorite music and invite all random thoughts. Hope that you can think of things and filter them out. You do want to flush your system here. But when you run, feel nothing and get into a staring-into-infinity-zone. Hear yourself breathing hard and get tired.

Walk out after a good shower smelling like a bunch of flowers. Relish the fatigue; it will keep your mind-off life. Change into your nightclothes. Get lost in a book and hope you sleep soon to avoid that burning taste of life sting you again in your tongue. Smile a good night, and pretend to sleep. You have had a long empty day. Savor it hot.

Inspired by: ‘How to be an other woman’ by Lorrie Moore




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