I was walking by the roadside, by a stretch with a dumping ground by its side. I was walking quicker than my normal pace, breathing shallower than my normal capacity. The stretch seemed to be getting over in ten steps from my next step and it just got extended by a step with every step to become a perpetual continuum of rot and stink and decay.
Someone emerged from the huge expanse of disintegration I was walking by… someone I recognized remotely from my day to day dealings. Unlike the grime around him, he somehow was impeccable in his attire, clean and far removed from his surroundings. He walked up to me and matching my pace walked by my side.
“This is yours, I found it somewhere in there. Here, take it”, said he and shoved a decomposing body of a sparrow in my hands. I threw it away in disgust, pushed that man away from me and walked on faster than before.
The filth seemed to walk with me, like it would stay till I continued to walk. I wanted to stop and rest a while, maybe take some quick deep breaths to calm my overstrained lungs, but I kept walking fearing the dirt would encompass and choke me if I stopped moving ahead.
A beautiful woman came from behind and surged ahead, then stopped abruptly, turned back and walked towards me. Smiling she slapped me hard on my face and I almost fell to the ground. My face was red, and I could still feel the impact of her hand on my cheek. She helped me get up, caressed my cheek, embraced me and threw me deep in the dump yard.
Before I could recover, I was deep in it – my body a part of the decay and the decay a part of my body. There was nothing beyond the huge heaps of decomposing matter around me. I felt dizzy, but I had to go on, before what was around me really sank in.
And so I walked on, like a lost traveler, desperate to keep going as long as it was to somewhere. As time inched ahead and sun became more merciless, my hopes dwindled and memories of clean, spotless reveries became distant dreams of another life. I realized bleakly that what seemed like a little stretch on the road was all that was there for company now.
And that’s when I dug this place with my own bare hands, removing piles of rotten flesh and stinking remnants of others’ casual slices of life. At first, the sight of my hands touching those unthinkably hideous things revolted me, and the nauseating reek of what the removal of the first layer exposed made me vomit in a way I had never done before, like my intestines would be out any minute. But what followed this unfavorable start was a strange numbness, where nothing registered anymore. I kept digging to expose a clean surface to lie down; not realizing the filth was all over me in the course of that quest. Over time, I realized that even this was as futile as trying to find my way back on the road I had originally set off. But unlike before, the revelation did not pinch so hard this time. And so I sat where I was digging, in the tiny little trough that I had managed to create, and am writing my memoirs from down here.
Tired as I am, I would like to sleep, hoping to wake up and see that this was all a dream. It won’t make a difference though if it isn’t, as from where I see it, it is all the same.
Oh, and that dead sparrow that I had thrown away back there? It has managed to show down here and it sleeps beside me. Not so repulsive anymore somehow. In fact, it is not repulsive at all.