Notes From a Fragrant Night

Disclaimer: Not all of this is true. Not all of it is false.

Maybe it is my teeth, I think to myself shying away from my reflection in the bathroom mirror. Some baking soda should do it, make them brighter, cleaner, and it would help amble things along. I’ve dimmed all the lights and lit the old candle which smells of forests and dark walnuts. It is the end of another day and a steady storm is raging outside. Comforting, this tangible terror. Welcome, even. I am not afraid of thunderstorms anymore. They can be predicted. They’re operating exactly as we know they would. They are true to their character. After all, we don’t live in a world where unknowns are still unknown. And yet, I have been receiving emails from an anonymous sender these days, full of vivid descriptions about someone’s life. Is it someone’s diary entry to the void? Are they chapters of someone’s novel? I don’t know. The last one had soporific lines about a ripened banana and the smashing of a red vial of ink. So far, they don’t make logical sense. I read them before I go to bed. They help with the dream situation and I don’t see any reason to find out who is sending them. There have been many lives I have lived where a lot was happening over numerous emails. Long ago, my then-boyfriend saw over 200 email exchanges between his best friend and me. It was what it was. There’s always an age to talk about the inexplicable, harry over what befuddles your mind, and yearn that someone will witness your unravelling heart. There’s always a person with whom you can do this. There should be. But those times are now over, set aside, wrapped with jute ropes, and shoved into the attic. I hadn’t thought of those days until now — when there is a calming thunderstorm outside and a new email in my Inbox. Humanity is at the precipice of being its own God. We can predict our misfortunes as a species and we could avert them if we wanted to, but we don’t. This explains everything we need to know about God. A small yellow light burns above the chest of drawers in which I keep my nightclothes, skincare bottles, and sanitary napkins. I accidentally break this light bulb, miraculously leaving myself unharmed. I use the phone’s torch to find the oldest t-shirt possible. A roar of thunder bears its teeth outside. I pick a peach-coloured t-shirt to sleep in. Things couldn’t have been a different way, I suppose. What was that word? I forget. It’s a word to denote how everything has come to pass the way it has. Despite our Godliness, ice cream that doesn’t melt, and provisions to video-call someone 8243 miles away, have you heard some of the song lyrics these days? What can I say? Not much except that listening to modern music makes me feel like we deserve everything that’s happening to us. Please write about the heartache and the bewilderment of this life with finesse. I head to the balcony for a bit, unlike the person I used to be, to watch the rain up close. What could possibly happen now? The sky is purple-black and the rain is coming down in sheets. A miracle, I think to myself. You are a wonder of the world, I whisper out to the storm. Another lighting strikes and I am startled a bit, but I count to four and wait for the thunder that I know will come. Dependability, that’s what we want. That’s what we get. Two days ago, I filed some forms on the Internet and they have come back to me for revision as I knew they would. I groan thinking of tomorrow morning when I will have to deal with them. Filling out forms is the State’s way of ensuring we all remain humble. I don’t need humility. I need cheesecake and a new light bulb. I also need someone to take care of those forms for me. I could pay someone to do them, I think. Now I am biting my nails watching this storm, spoiling the moment. I’ve learnt a new trick to relax. I tell my brain to experience something and promise it that the world will not collapse in the passage of that time. That’s how I got myself to sleep this afternoon. I can smell Jasmines in the rain. My favourite fragrance! It is time to read today’s email by the mysterious sender. The world is upright, troubled, and perfect. Denouement. Yes, that’s the word. It has come to me now. 

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