March brought endings. True endings are resolutions. They’re often messy and painful because they involve dredging up things that you were too weak or too hurt or too down to address in the past.
I met someone I had liked very, very much last year. I had told him that. We went out several times. And then he vanished. When I ran into him in a public place, he pretty much looked through me. It hurt. Much. I don’t know what I did or said. But midway through the month, I happened to see Deepika Padukone on TV, in conversation with Barkha Dutt on her depression. It reminded me of this man telling me once that he had gone through depression too. It reminded me of a friend telling me in that way she has, of gentle empathy and firm practicality both at once,
“Don’t expect the same work or personal comittments from people with depression. A lot of the times, I think they barely know what they’re doing. It’s heartbreaking and it’s best to not have those expectations of them, if you know they’re going through it.”
I don’t know if that is true of this man but I have no way of knowing the truth. So I pick the explanation, the story that is least negative, that is most peaceful and doesn’t disrupt my sense of self-worth or my opinion of him. If this be true, I hope he finds peace somewhere, if not in my company.
Then I met someone who had liked me very, very much once. It was our first conversation since we parted ways at the start of the year. What he said really hurt me. It shook my sense of balance from within and I could barely sleep that night. It took me a few days to realise that it was probably his first conversation with me, where he felt like he had some power. All our earlier conversations had been fraught with his nervous, trembling fear that I would judge him, that I would hurt him, that I would not respect him. None of those things happened but I think his fear ruined anything that could have happened between us. You can only be friends with an equal, not someone who looks up to you with fear and adoration constantly.
I don’t know if we will ever be friends; right now, I don’t think so. But there has been some righting of the balance. Much as I love admiration, I did not enjoy being on a pedestal. I hate feeling pity for the people I want to respect but he left me with no other choice. Maybe the only way he found himself able to correct that, was to hurt me. But this hurt, I’m capable of taking and letting it pass without it denting my soul. I’m just glad the balance has been restored. And if we will never speak again, in time, I know I’ll be able to look back at this as a crazy, interesting story with an ending.
Early in the month, I returned to an old friend (“kissed and made up, though there was no kissing” he called it). Something was definitely off about 2014. There was so much unaccounted craziness. 2015 feels like everyone is sitting up and saying,
“What? I don’t know what came over me.”
I am not going to contest that. I really don’t know what happened to the people around me. Well, I’m really just glad it’s over (I hope it is). He came back, literally like a guardian angel. I was up all night agonising over a presentation I had to make, that just wouldn’t materialise on my screen. Something about his being there on that chat window acted like grease to my mind’s wheels. The presentation went off well and he and I are friends again. I don’t know how that happened and you know, I don’t think I want to know.
I knew Performance Poetry would take me down emotional alleys that I had been avoiding for a long time and the trauma descended in March. The drive-by sighting of the ex on a dating site, the unaccountable public tears while listening to YouTube, the bizarre fights with strangers on social media — all of the mess burst on my senses and my world through March. I don’t know whether I’m tired or truly at peace with it all. But the storm has passed. I can feel it in my stomach.
2014 was a year of the crazies and 2015 is our return to normal. March has been about cleaning up the messes it left behind. I have fallen sick every single week of this month, each time with minor, silly things like a head cold, a crippling (but temporary) period cramp and food poisoning. That’s just my body’s way of throwing out the crazy it accumulated in 2014, I think.
Thank God it’ll be April soon.