Beautiful Light

He sees a beautiful light as he stares straight into space.

It was almost pitch black that engulfed his being as he sat perched before the world, allowing himself to be enthralled by the eternity of night sky that was a sea of shadow save for a handful of lambent stars and a golden moon. It emanated an ambiguous but strangely powerful force, the boundless expanse of darkness immersing his mind in curiosity and wonder.

If only he could be up there, he wished, instead of craning his neck out the window, arms planted firmly on the frosty sill to prevent him from falling forward and to his death, gazing dreamily at the void of the night. He had been at his desk, under the bright white lights, but he never wanted to be there. The blank walls encapsulated him within, and the lights blanched his face into cold stone. He wanted out; he wanted to push apart the walls and their austere exteriors, freeing him from their claustrophobic clutches, and leave the world behind.

He would float upwards, as if gravity were just a figment of our imagination, soaring past the rows of buildings and the homes of his friends, waving goodbye to them as he glided up to the abyss that hung above and he would be gone. Once in the weightlessness of space he would put on his space helmet and breathe in fresh air. Pausing after a slower but deeper breath, he would marvel at the planet Earth below him which sparkled in a conglomerate of green and blue. He would soon miss home, but that didn’t matter then as he searched for meaning in adventure.

But what he visioned wasn’t retained in reality. Miserable as a shredded photograph, what he pictured lay decimated in fragments on the ground before him. He would pick them up, piece by piece, but there just wasn’t an urgency in him to do so right there and then.

*

He sees the beautiful light, and she sees it too. She’s wrapped in a spacesuit lying back on the moon, throwing rocks at the faraway stars and watching them float further and further away. One day they may even collide, and burst into a larger conflagration, blemishing the deep space with a flurry of flames. But all that would eventually diffuse and everything would return to the plain ordinary.

She doesn’t remember where her spaceship is, but that doesn’t worry her. One day her dreams would last forever, and till that day, she’d be happy floating around in the vastness of space, flicking moon rocks at whatever she pleases.

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Chasing November

I look down at my watch and its hands are chasing November in my mind.

The year begins and all the months are gathered and seated in the room. They are waiting for their turn. January looks over at all the other months and drums her fingers on the edge of her seat nervously. She knows it will be over pretty soon, but the nerves still get to her somehow. The warm sun seeps through the glass windows and the room heats like an oven. I unbutton the top button around my neck, and I see that October has already taken off his tie and has placed it next to August’s, who was always ready to get more comfortable in the sweltering heat. When I look up, January’s already gone. And the room has gotten chattier. I see relatives enter and leave with their goodbyes, along with February, and when March begins to speak, the room obediently drops into a wealth of silence. With the help of September, the teacher walks down the aisle to hand out test papers, and April soon enlightens us after that December has failed them all, but still sits back with his unpacked suitcase by his side and air tickets tucked in his pocket. May seems to be as disciplined with a lashing tongue, but shortly hands a break to June, who is beautifully relaxed, her earphones channeling tunes that calm her soul. She is beautiful but it is November who has an undisputed elegance. I remember the times it were her turn. At the mention of her name a sigh would escape the mouth of whoever it was speaking, and one’s eyes would close just to listen to the wind brushing against the leaves out the window, and recline on the floor just to feel the layer of cold that blanketed the frosty ground. Sometimes the gale howled, but we were safe within the walls of the room and so we rested as the hours seemed to drag on and on. But no one complained; no one made a sound as they seized the liberty to catch back on their sleep and catch back on their dreams, all in a weightless atmosphere without a care in the world.

A long zephyr catches a tuft of my hair in July.

I look down at my watch and its hands are chasing November in my mind.