Ma'am, uh, I wanted to talk
Are you skipping class? Come to me during the lunch break
Yes, come sit
What's your name
Jhankar, I’m in 9th A
What do you want to talk about?
What is it?
I feel hands.
All over me.
In the places they touched and all the places they didn't
My entire body clenches when I feel it
What... what are you talking about?
I feel hands ma'am
Not just theirs
It's been like a month
I still feel hands'
I still feel scared
I still feel sad
I still can't sleep at nights
Fearing I would have to watch that traumatizing sex tape in my dream again
And then wake up, shaking, crying, unable to make a sound
Feeling like my underwear is still stuffed in my mouth
I can’t breathe
Y’know... y’ know when I feel hands
No matter what I do I can't get them off me
Just like that night
I hold myself, I scratch myself
Once I tried cutting myself
And it stopped
Since then I have carved so many hands out of my skin.
*Two Years Later*
Hello, Jhankar! It's been two years,
How have you been? What brings you to me?
Have you been crying?
Why are your eyes so red?
Look at me. are you high?
I don't know
How do you feel?
I don’t feel much
I’m almost inanimate
Don’t know if my lungs are anything more than slaves of smoke
If there is more blood or more shots of heroin in my veins
If my liver is something more than a pool of vodka
If my stomach has anything besides pills of all the colors of the rainbow
If there is any flesh of my tongue visible beneath sheets of acid
It has started to consume me..
More vigorously than I ever consumed it
I'll try to help you with that
Is there anything else? How is it all affecting you?
Sex. I've been having a lot of sex.
Casual meaningless sex
But I have someone now
We love each other and we haven't had sex
I was lying on the bed with him
And I looked at the wall in front
And was immediately be taken back to when he pushed me against it.
I told him
"There have been lovers at my home, before you...
Leaving footprints in the dirt on the floors of my house
Like imprints of kisses in lust on my body
I prefer not making love at my place.
The walls of my house mourn their touch just like my skin.
The door of my house tired of opening for each of them just like my legs.
The mirrors sometimes still flash their faces before my eyes just like my brain.
The ceiling tired of being stared at just like my chest.
The door of my room tired of being shut just like my mouth.
The bedsheet wrinkled from being clutched so hard just like my hands.
And the floor tired of being walked over just like me."
Are you a nympho?
I'll help you get through with both of these addictions.
Just continue your sessions.
*Few Weeks Later*
Good morning. How are you feeling today?
Sad. Extremely sad. Depressed.
It's just the withdrawal. Look around you, the world is beautiful. Life is beautiful.
You tell me to look around;
You tell me how vast the universe is;
You tell me how many beautiful things there are to see,
There are to heal.
But I think you don’t understand
That it’s all perspective
It’s all subjective
It’s all in our heads.
I can’t see beautiful things
if my mind has painted my eyes blue.
Everything seems sad to me.
You'll laugh at me when I tell you
That blooming flowers, I think, are suicidal.
I think they feel exactly like that girl at my school,
Who thinks her beauty is a curse
Who thinks people only love her body
They made her believe she’s only her body,
She’s so much more than that.
I think, the flowers, they want to die.
Maybe because they think that it's better for everyone.
It’s better for the plants they grow on,
They feel like a burden on their delicate leaves.
It’s better for the soil,
It gets to bury them under itself,
And decompose them,
Petal by petal.. to its own fertility.
I also find chirping birds depressing
Maybe because of their high pitched, loud noises
Resemble my mental cries for help, a lot.
Maybe they are calling for help.
Maybe they feel trapped in the sky.
Maybe they hate how easily you assume they are free
Sky being the limit is still a limit after all.
You see, nobody is free.
It's just the withdrawal. It'll be better soon, honey.
*Couple of Months Later*
Now that the withdrawl stage is over and you're all over with your addictions,
How is your 'depression' now?
You know, earlier my depression was like this feeling
When you are trying to take off a tight turtleneck top
And it gets stuck right over your nose and mouth
And you can’t breathe
And you feel like you can’t ever get out
That you’ll have to breathe with such struggle, forever
Or like a feeling
That you’re trapped in a room
And the walls are coming closer
Very very slowly
So slow that you watch them creep closer every day
But you know they’ll never come close enough to crush you
So I constantly felt the need to end it myself
Rather than breathe with such struggle
Or watch death creep closer every day
THAT depression interfered with everything
Screaming in my head to make its presence felt
It has moved
From being a constant nagging presence
To become a part of my identity
We’ve grown comfortable together
Me and my depression
Are no less than two individuals
In a toxic relationship
Neither willing to give up
I don’t engage in many things anymore
Don’t talk to many people
Don’t bathe for days
Which reminds me of another reference
My depression is like my body hair
Used to shave it,
It came back every single time
Now I don’t,
I let it stay
I let it grow
It manifests in me
In so many ways
My skin- a graveyard of soft touches
My voice - now converged with the ones which used to scream in my head
My lips - mourning imprints of lovers’ kisses
My hair- scattered over my shoulders like responsibilities I need to confront
It doesn’t make its presence felt anymore
But I know it’s there... in every part of me
It’s bigger than me
I’ve learned to breathe through the turtle neck top
I’ve made peace with the creeping walls
You teens, need to stop dramatizing everything and calling it depression