Tuesday, October 23, 2007

And A Merry Lonely Day to You Too


"I am as one who is left alone at a banquet, the lights dead and the flowers faded."

The Last Days of Pompeii, Chapter IV
by Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton



At about half past six in the evening, one of the waiters at Dollops would walk around carrying a censer spewing forth a fog of odorous white vapor which I supposed, have virtues in smoking mosquitoes out of the establishment. Diners don't usually start coming here before seven to avoid being gassed. Not me though. That's the time I usually arrive. I timed it so.

The strength of the incense they employ in their daily chemical warfare against the little bloodsuckers is offensive to my sensorium. It made my eyes water and I had to squint when I stepped into the shop - though I consider the disruption of sight to be of no great consequence. There simply wasn't much to see. The place was a phantasmagoric world of swirling smoke and shifting silhouettes of tables and their chairs, malformed and misshapen. The typically harsh beams from the lights hanging overhead were paradoxically sedate and mellow, and if ever beams of light could be described as "drunk", they are those found in Dollops at half past six in the evening. Sometimes if the angle wills, the wonky path of the besotted rays would be dissected by a ceiling fan and I would be treated to a stroboscopic headache. The scent however, though aggravated my sense of smell, could easily be acclimatised to. In fact sometimes, it can almost be pleasant, depending on how willing I am at that present moment to forgive its odour. I am a creature of mood and seasons.

I was willing to suffer all this for that most delicate of atmosphere - one of solitude. One of absence of forced conversations and hokey smiles, of loneliness with just the company of the sound of my thoughts. Here and there, the few other patrons who braved the smoke like I did were seated in their little isolated isles - some alone like me while some are lovers wrapped up in their tiny universes of whispered nothings, quite as distant as the rest of us. There was a presence of solemnity that hangs in the acrid mist pervading the badly lighted restaurant that demanded silence and offered same in return. People sitting in plain sight were a million miles way. Nobody noticed one another. Nobody cared.

Breathing in deep and letting the dizzying scent of the smoke fill my chest, I remembered why I was alone - am alone. It's just one of the things you can get used to, much like that incense they burn at Dollops.

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And then it clears.

Sometimes, you can even get addicted to it.




Alone,
k0k s3n w4i

6 comments:

bevE said...

poor po *hugs*

almost typed "darling"

Jen said...

you're sure the incense at dollops isnt laced with marijuana? ;)

having said that, sigh.. you're good at reminding us why we're alone, whether we choose to be or not.

bevE said...

MARIJUANA FOREST!

jen: yeah. he's so emo. *emoes*

jayjayne said...

Ah, the virtues of a "gas-filled room" - as jen suggests - possibility of noxious gases an/or presence of halucinogens?

But indeed, loneliness is mostly enjoyed under the lyrical silence of a room of strangers. Gloom and gloomier - not to mention misty incense haze.

Cheer up bub! n_n

minwi said...

eh why you so depressing one. i know i know! go n get a puppy. nice furry huggable puppy. i swear, sometimes my dogs make me believe i can survive w/o ppl contact, as long as i have them =)

k0k s3n w4i said...

@beve
LONELY BOY DUN LIKE THE NAME PO =d

@jen
Now you're just getting back at me for saying that in ur emo mascara post xD
It can get too comfortable sometimes. It's scary to wanna get out of it.

@jayjayne
If they spike their mozzie repellent with weed, I'd go there everyday.
We do enjoy our little burrows sometimes - but don't worry. I'm all okay now :D *thumps chest*. I do tend to get a bit melancholic sometimes. Bad habits are like zombies.

@minwi
Oh, i've enough canine companions here - given they are strays but they are still very friendly :) In fact, I just turned down the offer of a free puppy last week. I just don't think it's responsible for me to keep one when I'm all busy with uni and everything - and I won't want to leave it here in India either.