NaMoWriMo #3

today was a good day.

this may come across as a surprise, especially since it comes right after my existential crisis but it is true. the effects of the crisis still linger but this time, unlike anytime before, I managed to turn it into something productive, and that did, in fact, make all the difference. it’s so funny to me that the difference between a good day and a bad day depends merely on your action or inaction. maybe also because I’ve tried really hard this week to not resort to the unproductive, isolating activities I’ve indulged in, over the course of the last three years. but whatever the case, I’m happy today and that is what really matters.

the day started off slow, with me missing my 9 am class, because sleep. I was determined to make it to my next and only class on the agenda for today. in feminist theory lecture today, we decided on out final text for the semester, this essay called In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens by Alice Walker. Walker has been on my reading list for so long now so I’m happy about that. it was when I was leaving the class that I met a friend I had not seen for a long time. we talked about the sun and the weather, thesis advisers and proposals, surrogacy, depression, Dadri, placements, and Raag Darbari, and it was such a pleasant conversation to have. towards the end, we even talked about our experiences of the semester, where we discussed the need for positive thinking and the importance of relaxing and taking things lightly.

the thing is that I know what exactly I should do when things aren’t going my way (my dad must be chuckling reading this). more often than not, it is only due to my laziness that I generally don’t end up doing it. I know how I should try to orient my thinking, what thoughts I should filter and what thoughts I should actually have. I know what kind of a thinking (positive) I need to develop to not get wrapped around silly ideas and mental exhaustion. it is only that I don’t end up doing them.

after a similar conversation with my friend over lunch, where we also discussed a couple of things that were bothering her, I retired to my room, fueled (and somewhat warned) by the reality check I got yesterday, where worked for bout an hour, filling applications, looking at instructions, getting my paperwork in order, preparing my schedule and everything else. a little exhausted but also very distracted, I don’t know what struck me. maybe it was my conscience telling me something or maybe it was my sore muscles after my workout from the day before, but I decided I would go to the gym. me, a socially anxious girl who was going to the gym for the first time without a partner, who was going to work out in fit college students, yes, me, decided to go to the gym. and I did. I worked out for about 40 minutes and I felt so…almost vibrant after such a long time. I felt like I was the protagonist of my own show, who’s just overcome this challenge, and on whom the brilliant white light shines from heaven, as the enlightened being transcends all humans to become the first superhuman. it was glorious, and not a word of this is contrived or exaggerated.

anyway, I go for dinner, come back and as I settle into my bed, having changed my clothes and having turned the lights off, I felt this glow in my heart. I felt the love of everyone who loves me and I did something that I rarely do from college. I called my grandparents. first my dada. he told me the same story he has told me before, he asked me the same questions, and he blessed me like he does everyday. but I don’t know why it felt like it worked today. then, I called my nana. I had been thinking of my nana since the morning, about his health and how strong he had looked during Diwali, and seeing his face brought me happiness like I haven’t felt in a long time. I felt so loved, so blessed, hearing him ask me questions, ask me my whereabouts, telling me to come over the weekend. it was the first time in a long time where I actually realized how lucky I am to have grandparents who love me the way mine do. it was with this warm feeling in my heart that I returned to my work.

it’s been about four hours since then, and the feeling hasn’t receded. you know there are times when you feel like everything happened exactly how it was supposed to have happened? that is how I felt today. I felt like everything was exactly where it should have been, like I was exactly where I should have been today, like I did what I should have done today. I felt successful, I felt productive, I felt like I had achieved something. I felt like, I feel like I have a candle in my heart that refuses to burn out, providing me warmth and heat and light. that’s how I feel today.

that’s how I know it is a good day.

NaMoWriMo #2

it’s day 2 of NaMoWriMo, and I’m still writing. if I were you, I would probably commend me for even writing at all, considering the existential crisis I’ve been experiencing since 5:45 pm in the evening. yes, I am having an existential crisis.

the last time I wrote with a commitment to the blog and to my lovely readers was probably when I was nearly finishing high school. I was applying to colleges, to different programs, all the while preparing for my Board examinations, and I was quite worried because the future had never seemed more bleak or uncertain as it had then. it’s funny how history repeats itself.

because after four years, countless memories, uncertain identities and shifting loyalties, I return to writing, and to the blog, in a similar predicament. with four years of college behind me, and having about seven times the knowledge I had before, I am once again applying to colleges, only that it is ten times worse than it was for my undergrad. because this time, there are no do-overs. once I commit, it is for lifelong– rather, it is a life. normally, I would not be so pessimistic in my approach to the future, but the enormity of the situations scares me. the future is not that far anymore, and there is hardly enough time for me to slow down, and take on life one breath at a time.

so, my existential crisis. at 5:03 pm, I walk into my tutorial class. we discussed Kubla Khan for about 40 minutes after which we talked about Biographia Literaria, Coleridge, Mumbai, NET, why you should clear it and how you should prepare for it- in that order. you can probably guess where it is heading my now. my anxiety levels have already risen. it is 5:58 pm now and the next class is to happen in the same room. only then, the TA makes a primer for all the basic exams that any masters’ prospective student should give. evaluation scheme, syllabus, entrance exams, intake, question paper format, she does not spare any details. to add the cherry to the pie, she almost instructs us to apply to SNU as well, citing it to be one of the best in India for English literature. I was weeping internally by this time.

clearly, existential crisis had intensified. what was supposed to be a light tutorial session for a Romantic poem turned into a reality check that was just what I did not need. it will take me three days now, just to return back to my senses. the future is scary, it is uncertain, and I want to put off being in it for as long as I can. I cannot say that I enjoy it here, but I certainly do know what is going to happen, and that is reassurance enough at the moment.

so in honour of the TA being to freak me out, I am going to finish watching Vertigo that I started in the morning today but fell asleep halfway through. this is, I think, my second quality movie in two days. the one I watched yesterday was this amazing Spanish film called Even The Rain. I would definitely recommend it. it is amazing what a small but tight commitment can do. I can actually see my slow disassociation with binging and my engagement with better quality content. I’m saving time, I’m talking to people, I am writing!!

it is in keeping in line with this that I will also attempt to read a couple of articles on the consequences of demonetization due tomorrow morning, 9 am. don’t think I will be able to  get to a couple of pages by Nabakov, but that’s ok since I read for a while between my classes today.

this is day #2 of the NaMoWriMo, and this is Akanksha signing off for the day.

A Day In My Life

Many a times, I wonder what I am doing with my life.

A typical day in my life would start with me waking up at about quarter to eight in the morning, occupy an empty toilet in the bathroom, brush my teeth, wait for a bathroom to vacate, bathe, and leave for my nine o’clock class sparing seven minutes for the commute. Fit in a hurried breakfast at about ten thirty, an lunch at one thirty, my class gets over by three thirty in the evening, Ideally, I like to fit in a workout at the gym for about an hour, but it is not an ideal world. I grab a bite, usually junk like chips or biscuits. Then depending on the amount of work I have, it is either studying or I chat with my friends, listen to music, catch up on my TV shows, or simply sleep. At about eight thirty, I go with my friends for dinner at the mess. Coming back at about ten thirty, I study for an hour or so, and then call it a night.

Then there are days where I simply get nothing done right. I sleep late; consequently, I wake up late, either getting late or missing my morning classes altogether. I forget to eat because the food sucks, I fight with my friends, I don’t go to the gym even though I know I should, I sleep the entire evening, only to wake up late at night, when I can neither sleep, nor study because I am too groggy. Those days are the worst because I end up feel like a useless lump of skin. I feel disgusted by myself for having slipped in my routine, just because of my frivolous attitude.

Coming to the university, I had to change a lot and adapt to a lifestyle that is befitting to me, which actually brings out the best in me. Last semester, I had classes only two days a week, which were absolutely packed. The rest of the days, I had no work, nothing on my agenda. I fell into a vicious circle of laziness and lethargy. I would stay up till dawn watching movies, and would sleep till noon, getting ready late in the evenings. My productivity was all time low, I wasn’t blogging, I wasn’t reading, I wasn’t doing anything. I hated that feeling. Thankfully, by the end semester break, which was almost a month long, I almost had a proper schedule, and I promised not to let myself slip again. Since the starting of this semester, I was inclined to give my hundred percent in college. I eat food, I study frequently, I am regular to my classes, I am happy.

Today was a wrong day in sorts. I slept late last night, working on an assignment we had been given. I set my alarm for seven thirty, waking up eventually at quarter to nine, giving me barely enough time to get dressed and rush to my class. I had a class from nine to ten and two consecutive ones from eleven to twelve and twelve to one. My eleven am class was cancelled at precisely eleven am, after I had wasted an hour in the block doing nothing when I could have taken a bath and change. I came back to my room at eleven, ate chips, drank juice and buttermilk, watched One Tree Hill. I went back for the twelve noon class, attended it, had lunch and was back in my room by two fifteen, feeling a little flustered by the hot sun, and my unwashed, unproductive state of being.

There is something in the last two weeks of February and the first week of March that just lightens me up. The weather is just short of hot in the days, and appropriately cool in the night. I blossom in this time; even the most mundane tasks suddenly seem very exciting, I am ten times happier. Maybe it is the winter fading, maybe the approaching Holi that I absolutely love, maybe it is just seeing and existing in the sun when it is not melting you, I love this time. If you ask me to give up my most prized object at this time, I would probably give you. I would even share my food at this time if I am extremely happy.

Any when I came to my room, I listened to some music, the fan airing away all that I was feeling and the sun outside, the cool inside, I was actually very relaxed. However, arriving quarter past three, the idea of going to the gym was growing on my mind. I am the type of person who needs to lose weight to actually be healthy but gives up way too soon, before any results of all the hard work that I put in are visible. But as I said, it was spring, the weather was absolutely perfect, and the guilt of not having gone for the past ten days was killing me. Instinctively, without giving myself time to change my mind, I changed into my gym attire, ran a brush through my hair and was off to the gym, a water bottle in one hand, earphones and phone in the other.

It was a sweaty workout, I can say. I wear a woolen sweatshirt over a tee shirt so that I sweat more, so that was that, plus considering the fact that I hadn’t worked out in over ten days and started a month ago, I was impressed with my performance, particularly my stamina in running. I can also say the The Pretender by the Foo Fighters is a great song to work out to. I returned at about twenty minutes to five, absolutely knackered, sweaty and itchy all over. Again, without thinking, I went to bathe (with cold water, the first time since winter departed), knowing that if I think, I will probably not go. Came back, cleaned the room, my bed, folded my laundry, dressed up (a little fancy), and sat down to study all before five, which is when I started this post. All my frustration of being unproductive had washed away while I bathed. Admittedly, I am really proud of myself today. I think I am finally learning how to adult #donotjinx

I don’t know where I am aiming at with this post today. Maybe I just wanted to share my little victory with someone. Maybe it is the spirit of spring that inspired me to write this uncharacteristically personal post- a glimpse of my everyday life. I don’t know but I am feeling very happy today. Sometimes, you need to step closer to reality, look at the little things instead of the big picture to be content.

So now, I guess I am going plug in my earphones, and study since I have my mid-sems just a week away. What is your daily routine like? Have you done anything, no matter how tiny that has made you proud? Does the spirit of spring also transform you like it does me? I’d love to know.

Cheers!

An Instruction Manual for a Gravedigger.

Step 1: You turn off your emotions,
that constriction in your chest just might
make it difficult for you to dig, when the snow
has covered every inch of the equally marked landscape;
identifiable by names, relationships- by how people saw them.

Step 2: Don’t let the seed of gloom
plant itself in your heart, you don’t need
a growth that cannot be weeded out; the silence
interrupted by the rhythmic thawing of the land need
not be layered with an unhappiness that is not yours to begin with.

Step 3: Along with every clump of soil
that your spade collects from the ground,
say a little prayer; what you are digging it for
will soon melt- the skin will integrate with the soil,
and the evidence of any wrongs the body had done to
anyone else, will cease to exist. Say a prayer that the hurt
are delivered their justice, so that one end doesn’t bring others.

Step 4: Know that each body will return
to haunt you one day, when you are tossing
in bed, late at night, unable to separate yourself
from the fingernails that are scratching your back, hurting
you; their frozen masks of fears, hatred, happiness, forever
etched in your mind like stone, will surround you, try to overcome
you. At that time, close your eyes and hope for forgiveness, from whatever
haunting them; maybe the next night, you’ll sleep tight, having put their demons to rest.

Step5: Remember this, for I know, what
you do is never who you are- don’t let the freshly
covered grave enchant you with its heavy barrenness;
there is nothing immoral of what you do; don’t distance
yourself from the living, or you might as well, dig a grave for your
own self. Plant flowers near the headstone, wait for them to bloom,
learn that no ending is beautiful; it is merely the start of something new.

Let Me Tell You Something About Depression.

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(This is a poem that I had originally written with the intention of performing)

They say you feel sad all the time, I beg to differ
I do not feel sad, always. There are times when I laugh so much
that I think I just overreact on the days I suffer,
but the thing that remains true is that that only happens
once in a blue moon, when I do, in fact, manage to get
out of my bed, choose a pair of jeans over a pajama instead
and join my friends to watch a movie they had planned
we would, but from which I had withdrew, as late as I could.
They seem to think that I talk and laugh among them
so it is so absurd an idea that I may even have a reason to feel
differently, when in fact, the truth is that the times
I am with them, is when I am truly different, for they haven’t seen
me in my natural habitat. The days, the low days, as I call them
are stretches of days when all my troubles stem
from a single root, I sleep too much, but that I something I cannot help.
These days I do not wake before noon, when the world has done
half its chores, I cannot but wake up from my snores, and
even then, I lie in bed, till my stomach has growled some angry words.
But I beg it to keep quiet as I try to go about my business,
to attend the classes that I have left and not think about the ones I did not,
but then, the cursed bed pulls me its way, and wills me to sleep again and again
till the ancient moon rises and all the trouble of classes, I almost forgot.
These days the world feels weird as if I am eating sand,
road trips, movies, going out, bathing, eating food, all feels like a scam.
The days are long and the ceiling fan seems amusing, there is emptiness
around me, the world seems like a hole, a void in the dark that nothing can complete.
There is silence, the phone does ring and the doorbell too,
the silence screams louder, emptiness fills the room and there is emptiness still.  
These days, I hardly talk to anyone, and Solitude is my friend
and these are day when I don’t get out of my bed, for days on at end.
These are days that I don’t get out of bed, so I have no reason to look in a mirror
that reminds of my bruised, broken self, and I turn the lights dimmer.
Darkness feels bliss as the blackness reminds me I am alone
and I smile a little to myself, and think about every soul I know.
The Darkness and Solitude, my two dear friends, find for me great reasons,
why my friends who I took years to trust might not like me anymore
and thus begins the cycle of self-attack as my words carve scars in my esteem
 and on and on and on it goes, until my veins are clean.
And when the entire cycle happens three four times and again,
the sun finally rises, but I am a desolate survivor, there is no one to help,
and so my critical self tries again to build walls so I don’t hurt,
not realizing that I am the victim and I, myself, the killer.
And thus begins the healing, till I feel my feel my veins fuller.
On days like these, I talk selectively, and my voice feels kind of sick
and they ask me so and I wish I could tell them, I am mentally unfit
but all I say is I am fine, and there is some stress in my life,
and in this time I smile, I make it my façade, it hides my real self
and all the misery and the sadness that I had just felt.
And days later, just as I feel something close to being happy (that is when I laugh)
 it all start again, the laughter fades, my ears ring, I feel myself receding
unwillingly into that haunted land, where few have ventured, separately
and made friends with Solitude and Darkness and their friends: Loathe and Despair;
Finger nails scratching, dragging my own self as I am pleading,
crying in vain, hoping someone stops to listen, but it is an empty wail
as it all starts again, it all starts again, it all starts again and yet again.

 

So Put Down Your Knife And Live Your Life.

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Art Work from One Tree Hill

I look outside of my window,
and everyone seems to be just like me,
And entirely different.
They too have one nose,
two legs, two arms,
hair on their head,
two eyes, a mouth.
But do they have
the mole on my hip,
the curve of my lip.
do they have the
memory of my lisp?
Do they have the
clothes that I wear,
the things that bring me to tears,
the voice that I get when I cheer?
Do they have the nights
I spent in love,
the noons when songs
from years ago, made me realize
how living has never changed,
and that the pain that
I felt has been felt before
and the happiness
with my friends, has made
hearts grow more giving, before?
DO they have my life,
m y  m e m o r i e s
the blood that runs
in my veins, the thoughts
that I think,
the essence of me,
t h e  p o e t r y
in me, my grace, my stance?

No. They don’t.

They why should I feel replaceable?

About Untold Love

Inspiration to write by Sylvia Plath, Mad Girl’s Love Song’s excellent reading.

I think the city grey has seeped into my soul, 
I knead my eyes with my knuckles, trying to be awake,
alive, though I have never once felt so antique, so old.

The bells ring constantly in my ears and, expectedly bold,
Paranoia seeps through the uninviting demeanor;
head conjures up images, unforgotten and forlorn.

A sweaty hand across the cheek, weak eyes dramatically rolled,
there is pleasure in the throbbing, feverish forehead,
Although, there isn’t a part that seems even remotely untolled.

Blackness is inviting, darkness bring the stars (those old
taunts), haunting the night, with a ray of hope
And somewhere, melancholy sighs then, with a head hot and heart cold.

Perhaps that’s what I got for having loved untold:
Broken hearts, wasted murmurs, they weave through the lovely night
And when the day comes, murmurs disappear, hearts repair,
and we go drunk into our loveless, snowy, slushed lives. 

Words Of A Despicable Old Man

The first time I ever experienced an euphoric high
was the one time I was returning from a weekend
getaway, just out of town, when I was eighteen,
and the car glided on the road, and all was quiet,
and the hum of the air conditioner and the
occasional honk from an overtaking car were the
only sounds that could be heard. Of course, there
were seven in the car, and the bag pressed in my
back, and the small speaker I held next to my neck,
played a ballad of rock and roll- of pain and hope, of
misery and destruction and a feeling of deservingness;
the setting sun and the smooth tarmac, the continuous
fence along the side of the road, and the trees that dotted
the highway that I soared on, and the drums and screams
and anguish that dripped from the voices of people who
sang, what seemed to be, lullabies to my aching heart,
made the air purer, and the heart, a little less anguished;
at that time, the mind felt cleared, a one way path,
like it was in the throes of a particularly euphoric orgasm,
and there was something that fit, maybe the lack of
thoughts that had blinded me for everyday of my goddamned
life, and somehow, I felt like salvation was here, and that
perhaps what I had lacked is clarity, for everything looked
as if the it had been washed a hundred thousand times, over
and over again, and with each wash, everything-
the world, the mind, the soul, the universe, stardust, life-
for once, in continuous and perfect symphony, and not a
haphazard, misplaced situation, increased its intensity a
thousand times over. Of course, it happened just that once,
because looking for that feeling again, has left me broken,
miserable, demented, and worst of all, unhappy,
because I spent my goddamned life looking for it,
when I simply could have lived through it, many, many, many
times over, but of course, I was a fool to not know it.

Woh Kagaz Ki Kashti

Read this for reference before continuing.

Sixteen years later, a full fledged, voluptuous, long dark haired girl lies on a bedsheet on the floor of her room, next to the two mattresses, both of which are depressed with mountainous solids, covered in bedsheets and flanked by multiple pillows on either side- her parents.

The room is bathed in a gentle red hue and the air conditioner’s low, constant hum creates a drowsy, comfortable atmosphere. A guitar is in one corner of the room, against the wall, behind which the red lights twinkle lazily. The opposite wall is covered entirely with scraps of paper, some printed, some written on- by crayons, pencils, pens, markers, so much that the blue paint of the wall is hardly visible; things that may make no sense to someone who doesn’t look close enough. Each bit of paper contains thoughts.

It was something that the two sisters started earlier in the year. They put their thoughts on scraps of paper and struck them to the wall. Song lyrics, some random poems, lists, words, quotes, essays in the newspapers they liked, some important deadlines, written in bold; it was their mind on the wall. It contained candid snaps of their lives. There are times when each one of us wishes to read other people’s minds. The sisters’ minds were on this wall, right here.

In the background, from a small speaker, in a low, smooth voice, sings Jagjit Singh her father’s and her favorite shayari- Woh Kagaz Ki Kashti.

“It is an experience,” she had urged her parents who were both in their beds in the adjoining rooms when she had asked them to accompany her to her bedroom. “I want to give you The Experience.”

The Experience referred to something that she had, well, experienced just that evening. She’ll lose the lights and light up the red ones, she’ll set the temperature to an optimum, she’ll envelope her body up to her shoulders in a bedsheet, arms beside the body and play this song from the speaker. She’ll close her  eyes and let the song wash her over. She’ll inhale each beat, she’ll exhale each note, she’ll feel the music unravelling her, she’ll feel the words crawl up her skin. She’ll conjure images in her head, as each combination of words will make sense, second after she has registered them. She’ll let each chatoyant of every word that left his voice, enter her being and imprint permanently in her mind. Sometimes she will open her eyes and look at the shadows that the red lights will make in the room, and the music and the light will complement each other perfectly. She will think of songs that may make her feel the same way that she is feeling now. Her mind will produce a blank slate. That is when she will feel weightless.

Her parents were in the same position, eyes closed. She can feel the music weigh her eyes, and she knows that she’d be asleep soon. She pops her eyes open and looks at her parents’ resting bodies. And suddenly, she feels guilty.

In twenty three days, she would be leaving for college. For four years. For the first time, she’ll be away from them- away that she will never see them daily, away that she will not hassle with her mother over the quality of the food, away that she will not hug her father and kiss him goodnight, away that will not curse her sister for not having set the beds, away that her parents will not barge in on her before dawn and catch her on the phone. She felt guilty for leaving them with nothing after eighteen years of love and effort they put in for raising her; she felt guilty for leaving them empty handed. She felt guilty for having discovered The Experience so late that she won’t be able to compose a playlist of songs suitable for it. She felt guilty for receiving all the time. She felt guilty for taking so much from them. She felt guilty for having thought that she’d enjoy hostels, when the truth is that her heart would always be there, in this house, in this moment, when she is guilty and they are weightless.

Her parents were perfect. How can she ever have thought of leaving them, how could she have fought with them for something as stupid as a mobile phone? How could she have ever thought of living alone, embracing adulthood, when she still needed her mother to tell the doctor what was wrong whenever they visited one, for her? How could have she ever thought of doing laundry when she didn’t know how to operate a washing machine?

How could, how would she leave them? 

She looks at them. She wishes, suddenly, to be two once again, when her father came from the office, straight towards her for a hearty kiss, and her mother bathed her in a small bucket in the kitchen. She wishes to be two again, because she knows she’d have sixteen more years before she’d have to leave them.

Getting up from the floor, she goes and lies down between her parents, who are, both, fast asleep by now. She cuddle with her father, his arms around her. She extends her hands towards her mother, who holds them both between her own, warm palms, as Jagjit Singh sings in the background, “Voh kagaz ki kashti, voh baarish ka paani…”

*

Sorry for the long absence. Please check the Facebook page for details. You can follow TWPM on Instagram @theakankshavarma where I post lots, and regularly. Also follow at Twitter under @axavarma. Enjoy!

Musical Chronicling: Part One 

(Play it before reading.)

 

“With an urgent, careful stare, and some panic in those eyes.”

My father loved three things. He loved me. He loved me how a moth loves the flame. I was his oxygen. The second was hunting. He excelled at it. He loved to feel recoil of the gun as the bullet left the muzzle. Third, he loved listening to his favorite song- Lifeline- on his CD player, often with some alcohol by his side.

He taught me the basics of hunting when I was eight and by the time, I could shoot a deer behind me relying on just the whisper of the leaves, he was no longer there. He had perished. He left us a lot of thing, both tangible and intangible and we all loved him, but there were two things I refused to share with anyone. My knowledge of the game and his CD. I never heard the song, but I kept it. It was mine and it was his.

It was snowing outside today when I left to hunt. Usually, hunting in snow is either very easy or very difficult. It is easy when the snow is falling with the grace of poetry and it is falling with wisdom, in soothing whispers with the air and the beauty that snow is falling now, captivating every thought on its mush. It is difficult when it comes down in the form of sleet, each jagged end of the flake seeking damage and blood and hatred and each jagged end looking for vengeance and for justice and revenge. I usually avoid hunting then. Luckily, the hunt today was easy.

I know my way in the forest and I knew of the lake where all the deer gather for water, the only lake in the vicinity that, bafflingly, remains unfrozen at such extreme temperatures. From behind the cover of the snow laden trees, I spotted a lone deer, gulping water, unaware that this is the last time he would be doing something like that.

Though I hunt, I always try to give them a death that is peaceful and I prefer to keep them in dark about my arrow until it pierces their succulent flank. There is something piercing about the look they give you when they realize what is going to come. It is haunting and it gives me sleepless night. It is the last time it sees something and it is the face of a killer. Me. I do not like to think about it.

I was taking my stance and I was almost ready to shoot when suddenly, I stepped on some frozen ice and grabbed the leaves ahead of me to avoid falling. I regained my balanced using some leaves and then I froze. I had broken the most basic rule: do not draw attention to yourself or you may lose the prey. I slowly lifted my neck to look up to the deer. There it stood, its hazel-brown coat striking against the white background. Emanating innocence, it looked so blissful, its eyes studying me until it saw the bow in my hand. Terror replacing the tranquility in its eyes, it stared into my eyes for a moment, and started to run, barely five yards before my arrow penetrated its flank.

Despite the slight exhilaration that came with one prey down, I stood stunned. Its eyes  had done something to me; they had brought something to my mind that I’d not thought of, for a long time, it brought to me the lines of my father’s favorite song.

“With an urgent, careful stare, and some panic in those eyes.”

That night, I did something I’d never done before: I took out a bottle of whiskey from the liquor cabinet, poured myself a glass, and drowned my tears in the soulful melody of the Angels and Airwaves.