Of favorite mistakes

He sat cross-legged on the rocks of a ruined fort watching the sea-waves lashing as rings of smoke made their way towards his dark unapologetic soul. It was early for fireflies and he was waiting after a long exhausting day. He profoundly longed for someone and the touch of his warm breath colliding against his skin like they held each other every time. The sunlight, a pale shade of gold, glimmered against his moist face and a soft smile made its way through nostalgia in the clear spring air. It was a long way he had come.

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This is personal life crap. You have been warned.

Deep down there I always knew every passing day I was pertinently taking a step away from the love-boat. I knew I was irrational to have nurtured dreams of a fairy-tale future. To this day, I can see fragments of my half-baked personality being gradually built over the past few years. The metamorphosis was intense, the pain tragic. It was not just the pain of my shattered relationships or my wretched sex-life craving for some order and control. Underneath all the jovial smiles and sunshine (I strongly believe I can still project) there's always been a crushingly shy someone screaming for change. It was this idiot who failed to do a reality check and changed almost everything only to cry to get everything back. Analysis would clearly illustrate that 90% of the glitches in my life are a result of my invariable habit of not learning from my mistakes. The other 10%, I purposefully fuck up to gain attention. But how do I explain my inextricable behavior of clinging on to random events in my past? Perhaps some part of me which still survives there is unable to leap across the fence.

I wonder if it's just me. As a gay teenager, I accomplished my duty by creating profiles in all leading dating websites. Of course, I was old enough for alcohol, smoke and sex. I chose the last (which I suppose is loudly obvious by now). I did not fight for winds of change in a small town and kept my affairs strictly private by meeting guys in public places ranging from hospitals to parks. The details would demand another comprehensive post. I used my webcam for the kind of purposes one would have devised it for and felt proud of myself. I politely asked for sexual preferences before meeting guys as though it really mattered, provided sex was an attempt to be 'one of them' and not really something I was longing for at the thresholds of puberty. I even agreed not to address that school senior with messy hair who wanted to date me as 'bhaiya' (considering that could make a lot of stuff quite disturbing to imagine). I met uncles who taught me how to cheat wives after 30s and I met young blood who taught me important lessons of my then-future life such as bunking college to go on dates. Experience truly helps shaping up future. *sigh*

The only similarity I shared with other androgens in the block was replacement of several interests and habits with newer ones. For me the journey was embarrassing to announce and hence I started building the cocoon which I believe is still intact, a space where I can be complacent. Locked desktop, bolted doors and wardrobes, driving alone, late-nights and minimal dinner-table talk went routine. Opposition was at large. Family to begin with, started knocking doors until they realised 'some lines should never be crossed'. This phase saw me at my best as far as no-strings-attached encounters were concerned. Lack of perilous exposure would you say?

The last few days in my hometown saw me in tears for I thought I fell. I understood the battle, stood up to fight against myself and won. Where did the courage vanish? Bangalore was more of a relationship to me, than a city where I had parked my dreams. Not all of them were crushed. He had made me stronger than before, but had installed the virus successfully. I was seeking love in a place where I should be fucking around after fucking around in a place where I defied love. It took me few flings to get over the asshole following which began a series of what I thought to be 'you know what'. Sex was suddenly a myth and pampers were a given. It's almost comical that I thought I would die every time one in the series left. I lost my virginity (as they like to call it) and my free frame of mind which was shutting down to a pitiable state- almost mechanical now. Like any other sensible man in his 20s, I took refuge in porn.

The onset of my career was unarguably the most memorable phase of my life. Three months in lush greenery and exotic Kerala beaches with someone I would call the first friend of my life. I had flushed the past four years of my life amidst career-building hopes which came down to a grinding halt after I landed in Mumbai. There was no pain involved in moving on but I had started seeing history repeat itself in a cruel way. The sordid saga of post breakup flings and the corporal shame ensuing the 'crime' completely absorbed me in itself. Living alone brought apathy on an epic level. Fortunately life always shows you doors you don't want to see because of lame reasons.

No excuse is good excuse to convince yourself that it is entirely unnecessary to start breaking your closet. Late as it was, I decided to make better than never. It was not the best of a Sunday morning for my mother, I could say. She practically went mute for hours to deal with the truth trying to sink in and I could finally conclude that it was after all from her, I had derived that attribute. And so magnificently. Father had lesser inhibitions to interrogate me in and out to understand my situation over the years I spent in silence and suffering. Following this, as expected, he continues to be my strongest pillar of support. Gradually my mother reconciled on not expecting a heterosexual pompous wedding anytime in the future. Like every time I found her love asking me to lead a lifestyle that makes me happy instead of trying hard to adhere to social norms. For people who would have not imagined fighting social stigma, acceptance came easier than I thought and I had newly found respect and love for them.

Somebody once told me- "If it takes all that you went through to build this person as you are today, it was worth going through the shit". That was enough appreciation for a blissful night's sleep. Only if she knew the number of loopholes yet to be plugged in. I don't need to go back to my roots to summon it up---a vivid sketch of my entire past lies safely deposited under my closed eyelids. I know what to expect and whom to. More importantly I know whom not to. Even then I am a constant prey to fraud and a false ray of hope is all it takes to traverse me back to the same dark world of expectations. Music is the vehicle.

Love, as they say, is my favorite mistake.

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Debashish Satpathy

The writer is a cute boy based in Mumbai. He tries to click a few pictures and experiments with his gastronomy when free. He hates cats and loves when his boyfriend cooks for him.