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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

The Archivist

The Archivist

3 mins 167 3 mins 167

It wraps you like skin, doesn’t it?

It's not tangible enough to attain a term, but I can only describe it.

It is light, it is dark.

Everyone sees it on you. Through you. Around you. In you.


My library doesn't have alcoves.

Sometimes, I wish it did.

Maybe then I could hold your hand without being seen. Maybe I could drag an armchair over and watch you count the veins under my wrists as I speak, both my hands on your lap as I kneel down in front of you.


Things that'd be too much to take in. Things that you want to hear. Things that I need you to know.


It’s like Schrödinger's cat, really. You don’t know if the words that you’re hopeful for actually linger within the space between us. And the only way to find out is to open the box.


Although, I’d say it’s better not to find out.


I’d have to let go of your hands if they get sweaty, what does that tell you about me? What outcome does this situation present? Does this give you a crestfallen wait for a dead cat?


I wouldn’t move though, my hands would still be on your lap. Do you then hurriedly open the box in hopes of finding a mewling, vigorous kitten?


A popular hypothesis of quantum physics narrates how things move differently when they’re not being watched. How they behave alien without constant scrutiny. While extensively debunked, the phenomenon still holds some groundwork in its initiation. It’s all a bunch of mumbo-jumbo for the likes of us.


Let’s just say it’s just two or more stimuli, not objects, reacting to each other. And when you’re not surveying the object, you do not know what kind of stimulus is spurring it.


Here, the box is closed, and you’re unaware if any stimulus is inducing something within the cat.


The nature of this phenomenon over here though can still be deflated.


It is the intangible one though, that rallies all my attention.


I see it literally becoming skin. It blends, it’s not just a wrap.


You look for people with the same sheathe without even knowing it. At the end of the day, you’re just sitting around with similar people to feel a little less of it.


I told you my library doesn’t have alcoves. Ceilings chip off, books rot, shelves tip over, and the room remains too bright for the likes of me. I prefer lukewarm luminosity, I’m not a moth.


You’re one of them, placing the books too high and letting your burdens sink over me.


Sometimes rocks fall, the concrete ones, small enough to dodge, big enough to hurt. They fall and I step aside. I don’t bother cleaning, I abide by myself, read the books and laze around. I am here just for that. Alcoves be damned, I’d never thought I’d want to build them for the sake of someone else.


Some day, the vaultings will give in and the ceiling will plummet. Rocks will keep falling. I’ll place my hands above to hold the roof over my head, above your head, but my shoulders weren’t built to carry this.


It’s instinctive though. That would be it. You’d have to find someone else, someone willing enough to get distracted and be tied down. Someone who loves the light, someone who’d build you alcoves.


About the box on the top of the shelf?


Well, you wouldn’t know whether the cat is dead or not. Even after everything collapses, even after the box is battered, there is still the possibility of the cat being alive.


Like I said, sometimes you don’t want to know.



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