If you want me to get really down and dirty then here goes: I was in a sado-masochistic, somewhat violent, abusive, ugly relationship with a guy who I loved with all my heart during my college days. And the impact it had on me is kind of long-lasting.

I’m not sure who the real “me” is anymore though. Is it this fierce person who goes into a frenzy over futile things? Or is it this brutally honest, abnormally fearless person that I am right now?

Meanwhile, there’s a lovely rap song playing on the radio.

Ever wondered what it’s like
To have a switchblade stuck
In your chest, but you’re high
So you don’t even give a fuck?
I may know it a little too well
After all I fucked with a demon
And now I’m living in hell.

Okay. This one hits home.

I’m driving right now. This is the time when my stream of “consciousness” (is it just me or does that word sound strangely sexual? Probably because of that Osho shit) is at its most extreme. It’s like I’m tearing through an ocean of merciless memories, words, faces, smoke...I can envision smeared eyeliner. I can envision mascara running down my face.

My eyes, bloodshot; my throat, choked up and thirsty, my mouth, a bright flaming red with lipstick, but gasping for breath.

My head, bobbing in anger and disbelief. My mind clouded over with the harshness of all the curse words. A sense of betrayal running through my very veins. It’s throbbing in my goddamn capillaries.

Capillaries. Learnt that shit in fifth grade.

Pull me the fuck back to reality! Tie my wrists with shoestrings And yank me here if you have to.

I’m jolted back to reality with the sounds of cars honking. The signal seems to have turned green. And I haven’t budged. A guy on a bike lifts his helmet off his head. He scowls as he mouths the words “asshole” to me.

I quickly pump the pedal and dart on. It’s time to move forward. For I am not a victim. Never was, never will be. To god be the glory. I smile as I remember the time I would protest at home because I wanted to tattoo the words “Fear God” on my left arm bicep. It’s no longer a bicep now though. I’m more of a gummy bear I’d say. And that’s probably because of eating one too many gummy bears while watching murder mysteries at night. Or gummy worms.

The rain is pitter-pattering against my windshield. Well, more like a dud-dud-dud-thud sound. But I suddenly feel pleasant. I feel lighter. Enough with the bitterness for now. The road ahead of me is pretty clear. There is not much traffic. Thank god. But that’s a little annoying too because then I’ll reach my destination a little too soon and I wouldn’t have listened to enough music to set me up for the rest of the day. I calculate distance with songs. Like, work is ten songs away from home.

Home. Ugh, hurts to just say the word.

I say it like it’s a fucking curse word, like it’s a part of some demonic scripture. Home never felt like home growing up. And when I did grow up, I moved out and now my house or precisely the shithole I reside in is NOT home. There is no home in my life. So why did I just say that word? I don’t deserve to use that word. Oh, man. This is making my heart race and I can feel the sockets of my eyes suddenly become hotter as tears start to spring to my eyes. NO. I CANNOT CRY RIGHT NOW. I DON’T WANT TO. Quick, let’s think about something else.

Okay, good things good things good things. What are some good things? Flowers. Butterflies. Pizza. What else shall we think about? Keeping the ugliness of the past aside, the three things that essentially make me tick (and not sick unlike every other fucking thing, heh) are art, literature and music. By art, I mean I love to paint (I’m actually an artist. Or at least, I aspire to be one). Somehow the watery colours flowing and dripping and gently seeping into the paper makes me feel good. It’s exhilarating, actually.

Literature – there’s a reason it’s abbreviated as “lit”, man. Robin Cook’s medical thrillers peppered with a curiosity-inducing sex scene. Enticing accounts of betrayals and affairs in some stories related to drug peddling. And ah, the degenerate sexual pleasures of the contemporary fiction characters! And music – music sets me free. It’s my best friend. There’s so much to music – poetry, expression, rhythm.

Not even the creepy, abusive, heartbreaking nuisance of a musician that I dated (or was in love with, maybe still am, god fucking knows) could ruin music for me. And sometimes movies, when I’m in a mood to binge-watch (and binge eat, by the by, butter-dripping popcorn).

Ah, I feel like me right now. And this is the me I like.

The wise (Wise? Who the fuck am I kidding), artistic, passionate-about-things me. The me who wants to have a record label someday. The me who absolutely worships music. The me who thrives on poetry. Don’t give me food, I can survive on books (I do love food though, but we’ll come to that later). The me who is involved in activism.

The me who wants to go vegan. The me who loves and adores animals. The me who has been through some really dark days and has survived nevertheless. The me who can sometimes see a faint light at the end of the tunnel. The me who isn’t defined by frustrations and resentments alone. Now that’s the me I was meant to be. That’s the me I strive to be. That’s the me I want to be, could be, should be, and will be one day. If I don’t fucking kill myself first.

No, seriously. For real.

But until then, let us carry on. For after all I do have a road in front of me right now. And I’m taking control of this goddamn steering wheel.


Excepted with permission from Goner: A Novel, Tazmeen Amna, Penguin Books.