Man & Animal

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I felt a thirst, an everlasting thirst within me. I checked my lips; they did not have the dryness of a thirsty man. The thirst within me could not be quenched with water, for it was stirred, not by the instinct of survival but by the desire of losing control and of letting go. This need overtook me because I slowed down the car and parked it into an empty space to my right. I closed my eyes, for facing the reality with open eyes was not something I could do. I took out a circular chip from my pocket, it was supposed to help me garner the strength to stop. I desperately scratched it, trying to erase one of the words embedded on it. But the very fact of embedding something is so that it cannot be removed. So how can I fight something that has been deeply rooted within me? I unlocked the door and got out of the car in a hurry. One drink wouldn’t really hurt. I opened the door of the bar across the street and went inside. The man across the bar nodded to my presence and immediately started filling a glass. I sat down on a table; I quite enjoyed my own company. The glass arrived and as I picked it up with my left hand, the watch on my wrist caught my attention. It read 01:03:37 PM. I had to be at the hospital by 1:30, so I had to leave in 10 minutes. I remembered that – 10 minutes, one drink and then I leave. I raised the glass to my lips, but as the crystal touched my teeth, I stopped. I still hadn’t done it; I still had the option to choose. Today I was either going back to the same 10 years of my life or I was finally going to embrace the last 5 months that I’ve lived with a sober view. As I rocked the glass between my fingers, my mind oscillated between the choices every man has to make. To accept who you are or to acknowledge who you are supposed to be. I did not know what the universal right to this question is, but I knew the socially acceptable choice is the latter. People around us want us to conform to a set of ethics and morals, because the majority fits in within this structure. But the few outcasts like me do not get a chance to embrace the spirit within them. We are left to be functioned as robots, following algorithms and pre-written instructions. I raised the glass and the first few drops of alcohol flowed through my tongue. I could feel it, as each and every drop slowly sizzled through me, and just as my insides began to go numb, my brain started to feel and express more than it ever has. My glass was replaced with another, and then another, and then another. The spirit inside me, which had been weighed down by responsibilities forced upon it, welcomed the spirit that I gulped down my throat. It was the meeting of two spirits, animal and liquid, and it had been long time coming. But as the alcohol burned the chains that bound me, the animal within me started to take shape. For with every drop of alcohol I drank, it demanded two more. And so I drank, and then I drank more. The horse and the rider, the passenger and the driver, the man and the animal had finally been re-united. Together, they drowned in moments of nostalgia. The man across the table stared at me, and his eyes carried a gleam of appreciation towards me. I am where I should be, where I am accepted, respected, maybe even valued. I was home, I was among fellow alcoholics. The man continued to stare at me and then used his fingers to shape out a cell phone. I was sure he was not asking for my number, so I realized what he was pointing to- My cell phone was ringing, it had been ringing for quite some time now. I looked at the number flashing on the screen, it was the hospital. I looked at the time: 2:31:41 PM. I had missed my wife’s first pregnancy, I had missed the birth of my first child, and I had basically missed another chance of being the man people wanted me to be. But I did not care; I felt no guilt within me. Yes when she told me she was pregnant I was emotionally motivated to quit the one thing that kept me going. But she never accepted me for the man I was; however damaged, broken or drunk I was, I had always loved her. But like others who wanted to barricade me within these walls of rules and regulations, she was no different. I took out the chip from my pocket and started rubbing it in between my fingers. It was supposed to show me the right way in times of distress. The chip had embedded within it, in bold letters, the words ‘Alcoholic Anonymous’. I had to choose which letter I scraped of it, because only one of the two men survives today. I tapped on the desk and the bartender bought me another drink. My cell phone rang again; I cut the call and switched it off. Today, I choose to be the man I want to be, by accepting the animal I am. Today I break free of all emotional and moral expectations, for an animal is best left in the wild. Yes, I’m not going back to my wife. Yes, I don’t want to see the face of my own child. Yes, I don’t care what you think of me. Yes I’m an alcoholic.

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10 thoughts on “Man & Animal

  1. So wrong, yet so right.
    We waste our entire lives pretending to be someone we’re not, someone we think society will appreciate, forever fighting the person that we actually wish to be, only to realize that ‘society’ is never satisfied. It’ll always expect more, something better from us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. spent last 5 minutes of my life reading an article that was do mind boggling…ignored the phone calls, the sound of my mother asking me to sleep for i choose to accept who i am not the person i am supposed to be…
    keep up the good work tushant.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I rocked the glass between my fingers, my mind oscillated between the choices every man has to make.
    I know very few people who can reflect their genius in lines like these.

    Liked by 2 people

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