/ Stories

The backburner

Who left you so?

Things get in the way like rain on the windshield. In the beginning, it's a smooth cruise, an uninterrupted course, a pleasant journey resonating with perfection, without speed bumps, the speed is a pulsating eighty kilometers an hour, and the breeze is cool, fresh, hitting you in the face with the sweet intensity of joyous splendor. The sun is up, not too bright, bright enough to be disillusioned into happiness, and the sky is clear, blue like the ocean, wispy white clouds which add to an ecstatic high.

Time heals; time screws.

There's only so long the smooth stretch of road will last. There are speed bumps of jealousy, red lights of misery, separating islands of time, interrupting traffic, roadblocks. You don't even realize the shift in the gear, from the fifth to the fourth to the first, the speed coming down, and the day darkening, the night drawing nearer and nearer. To make things worse, there's rain, sweet drizzling at first, and before you know it, it's pouring, pouring so hard, shattering the windows with the fierceness of the strongest storm, and your vision's blurry, there's barely anything you can see. Darker and darker now, there's not even a moon to guide you through the night, into light, out of this mess you've created for yourself, out of this tunnel that's blocked from both sides and eventually, as the impending crash that you so vehemently denied draws closer and closer, you suddenly know there's no way out, this is it, it's too dark, hope too vacant, and everything will go wrong now. The brakes will crash, the night will be all encompassing, and the gears won't work. And they don't.

It ends.

Importance is as flexible as time: we move in and out of lives like hot and cold weather. Suns come and go; moons brighten and fade away. We find ourselves at the bottom of piles, at the back of lines, at the corner of eyes, and, eventually, not in their vision at all, because the darkness of forced forgetfulness is more powerful than we can imagine. So easy for them to forget when we can do anything but.

There are explanations; there are debts. But it's never enough because nothing prepares us for the onslaught. There is nothing we would deem as perfect reasoning. Hours of psychoanalyses follow, churning details in the forefront of our minds, and spitting out justifications which only serve to feed the confusion that has gripped the heart so intensely and is not letting go.

A meeting of old friends: misery, self-pity, denial. Etcetera. We go down down down and the air gets lighter, the walls close in. We drown and it doesn't feel like we can get up. But we tell ourselves we must survive, they can't win, all is not lost. There's something else that has taken hold of you now, something more sinister, something less noble than self-sacrificed self-loathing, something that burns. There is endless, mindless rage, anger pushing through the pores, under the skin, writhing against molecules, coalescing with atoms.


You're an instrument of anger and you will slice up everything in your way. Acceptance is a beautiful thing; it has the gift of the illusion of clarity, when the lucidity itself is the haze over the haze, when everything makes perfect sense because we want it to make perfect sense. To avenge the loss of purpose is the purpose itself now and we will redeem every single iota of that fury.


It doesn't last long, does it? We want to be angry, stay angry, to let the frenzied indignation consume us into a numbing state of oblivion but we realize there's nothing to aim the wrath at. There is a certain level of respect leftover that you can't rid of. You must wait; we must wait. There's always time. And the hope for the hope of healing.

Who left you so?

Grace is a gift for the fallen, dear,
You're an angry blade and you're brave,
But you're all alone.

Shopnil Mahmud

Shopnil Mahmud

A software engineer with avid interest on any form of arts and philosophy. Likes to write codes for a living and poetry for the soul. Currently residing in Toronto, originally from Bangladesh.

Read More