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“Are you even listening to yourself?”

He was on the floor, laughing, and I didn’t know whether I’d said something that deserved such a hilarious response or was just being outright judged and mocked at by him.

“What’s so funny?”

“Dude, reboot your life? As in, like some computer or mobile phone? What’s wrong with you?”

“I don’t know. I just don’t like it this way anymore.”

“Okay, so change it. You’re not some “tree” who can’t budge from where it grew up. Just make amends, change stuff.”

“I don’t know how to do that either. I am just, plain clueless, lost maybe.”

He sat down, now giving an impression of taking this seriously.

“Things don’t go well all the time. But you change them, you make them suit your ways. You don’t ‘reboot’ your life dude. You know how dumb that sounds, right?”

I didn’t have an answer to that. He was right. His words just sounded so sensible, and straightforward. I had known that for a long time now. But then, sometimes we just need to be told what we already know, by someone we vest our trust in. Reconciliation of thoughts and views is the way to survive through all the dilemmas of life. I had known that too.

“What are you thinking?”

“Nothing, I guess. I mean, I get it. It sounds dumb, like I am trying to start from scratch when the only thing I can actually do is reorganize stuff, and put things at their right places. That will be kind of a new start too.”

“You’ve known this for a long time now. What’s the whole point of these thoughts coming to your head then? You seriously need to stop overthinking dude.”

I just gave him that nonchalant shrug of the shoulders.

He was right though, like most of the earlier instances. I had always listened to him, although not acted on his words of advice every time. It felt good to have some advice and along with it the non-judgmental space to decide if you want to act on that advice.

“So you okay or you need some more talk on this?”

We had always liked this approach of talking bluntly to each other. There was no suspense, no things held back to be revealed at the end. It was always right there, on the face. There were disagreements, arguments, but there were no fights. Coz fights never made sense. Not between the two of us. There was no winner or loser. There were just problems and then the solutions. It didn’t matter who popped the question and who came up with the most sensible way to deal with it. All that mattered was, someone did.

“I will be fine, I guess. Maybe this is just another passing moment, a passing feeling of helplessness. I just feel so lost and afraid at times about just walking on, without knowing where I’m gonna reach.”

“I get it, I totally do. I have felt that way a lot myself. But you can’t allow that to be the defining thought of your everyday life now, can you? You can’t just wake up in the morning and take a dip in that tub of uncertain waters, troubled waters those are. That will never help. And you know this, we both know this.”

“Yeah, which is why I wish things would’ve turned out better. And which is why I wish I could just reboot this life. Coz you know I’m afraid to die. I can’t kill myself, that’s how cowardly I am.”

“It is okay to feel that way. You’re not a coward for failing to kill yourself. You’re just tagging along, and that kind of seems brave to me. There are so many we read about, every single day, the ones who lost the battle and then gave it all up, killing themselves. Didn’t they feel afraid? They sure did. But maybe they were already pushed too much to the corner to fear the sharpness of death. Maybe the edge of the sword didn’t scare them enough to keep them tagging along, hoping for things to turn better, or motivating them for taking up things in their own hands, and fixing everything that seemed wrong.”

I was intently listening to every word he said. It made sense. I would’ve just gone out and been the usual self, even if he wouldn’t have sat down to explain me so many things. After all, I knew it well, the thing about not giving up on life, and setting things right. But he did find it worthy to still be with me. It seemed right to him to not let me walk alone on this road, especially when I clearly told him how difficult I was finding it, so much that I was seeking his help.

“But you, my friend, have still got so many things in your control. You aren’t pushed to that corner. You can still think through everything rationally. Sure, you’re finding it difficult, but it’s just gonna get comfortable, and easier. Coz you know you’re all good. Maybe just one thought away from changing your whole world. One determined thought, and then the actions will follow. I am pretty sure of that.”

And like always, I felt like I’ve got so many things to look forward to, after hearing his monologue. Well, a pretty effective and helpful one that too. Almost like you need someone to read it out from that book to you, after you’ve already read it yourself, just coz it convinces you that much more.

“Son, dinner’s ready…”, I could hear mother calling from below.

“You better get going then. She’s made your favorite dish today.”

“How did you know that?”

“Well, I got to do something to kill time. Staying indoors all day can be pretty boring, you see.”

“Well I wouldn’t know. It’s just you who’d know that.”

We had a good laugh on that one.

“All right buddy, I’ll see you soon then.”

“Always here for you dude.”

He walked into his space, sitting nicely on his haunches.

“Relax; I am not gonna bang the door on you.”

“Well, one can’t be too sure these days. Remember last time we met? You did exactly that.”

“You make it sound like you actually got hurt.”

We shared another laugh, the last one, before I left.

“Just go dude; you don’t want her to come up to your room and see me now, do you?”

“See you? Ha, what a lame joke! Anyway, see ya, and thank you, once again.”

With that I closed the door of the closet, and ran downstairs.

After all, my favorite dish had been waiting for me.

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