Thursday, February 18, 2016

Unpacking Life Stories: Late night musing

The few hours after midnight and before dawn are either filled with complete mental peace or of total sentimental breakdown. There is no in-between. The emotional bravado of the day starts to peel off and a more real self is revealed. For these few hours you either fall in love with yourself or discover profound self-loathing. But despite its dangerous nature, late night remains my favourite time in a 24-hour long day. You can get high even without the wonderful smoky Talisker whiskey that I’m fantasising about right now. Sigh.

12 am to 6 am is when I’m on my Cinderella time. Everything looks the way I want it to. I become a storyteller, imagining myself as a princess from a classic narrative of either a conjugal romance or lamenting a personal loss. I try not to lie to myself between 12 to 6. I don’t tell myself that I’m in a perfect relationship, I don’t hide the fact that my past is still stuck to me like hot wax gone cold on my skin. It is during this time that I openly admit to myself about the times when I hurt people. People who deeply cared about me. And sometimes they hurt me. I get infuriated at myself, and then eventually I forgive because I know the next morning is going to be a struggle. And I better be on my side, you know.

They say that all the stories ever told in the world originate from only seven universal plots. Seven classic narrative plots. On some nights I wonder which one is mine. Or maybe, just like Christopher Booker, we will take another 34 years to come up with ‘basic plots’ for the story of lives in our generation. Initially I remember sniggering when I found out that he managed to put every story ever told in such simple plot-frames. How Chris, just how? But Wise Man Chris is wiser than I gave him credit for. Maybe if we try to break all the complexes in our lives and categorise them into separate plots, the umbrella narrative would become easier to understand. That might help us unpack our emotional mess and deal with in a story-format with characters and causal-links. It might not look like it at first, but I think this will reduce the amount of unnecessary directionless thinking that we often resort to.

So yes, 12 to 6 will now be used more wisely and fruitfully. For truly forgiving and forgetting. And for having whiskey, of course.