Of Knots in the Stomach & Missing Someone

Have you ever missed someone in your sleep? 

Have you?

In you afternoon siesta, floating amidst the clouds of deep slumber, you suddenly knew something was not quite right? That haunting shadow of absence? Has it ever occurred?

I should tell you that it does happen. Even I didn't know it did until S began leaving for his assignments for months on end. No the slumber is never disturbed, not exactly, but in essence you do know that someone is away. That something is amiss.

I was reading Sakshi’s status the other day. It was surreal, what she had written and what I was feeling just then. Something about the presence of an absence. Or, maybe the absence of a presence. Does it make sense?

Every time S has to travel I feel a strange kind of vacuum in my life. And the sad part is that I not only feel that at home but at office too. We work at the same organization, so it becomes even more challenging to navigate through my day without thinking about him, about what he would have said had he been here. No, I’m not the hopeless romantic kind. In college, yes, I certainly was one. But I’m not that person anymore.

I don’t know why but it becomes suffocating without him being in the same country or even the same city as me! Tell me have you experienced something like this, ever?

© Nabanita Dhar
Maybe it has got to do with how I spend my days. S is a huge part of my everyday routine. In such a manner that it’s hard to not feel lost or distressed without him. I still carry on though. That’s the only thing that makes any sense when he’s not around, to keep doing everything meticulously.

It feels so right too in some ways, most ways actually. What good is a rapport if we don’t feel the pangs of each other’s absence eh? What do you say? Our lives entangled beautifully.

When I make dinner, the wheat in the sorry looking container sitting in one corner of my kitchen seems miserable too. It knows I’ll not use it or even look at it on most days until S’s return. He’s the one who likes chapattis, you know? However, this time I somehow managed to get to it and make myself some. You’ll probably think that I’ve lost it completely. Well, that can be decided later I suppose. But I think his absence is so strong that, bizarre as it might be, this was my only way to console myself at that fragile moment. In a ridiculous sort of way no doubt but still it felt that he was around. S will probably laugh at this but he knows I’m the crazy one of the two of us, so it’s alright. And no I still don’t like chapattis S!

Standing at the bus stop I see couples going to office together. A knot starts forming in the pit of my stomach. It keeps getting tighter and tighter till I’m forced to look the other way. Getting in the bus is no consolation either. After all standing all the way to office just makes me miss him even more. Of-course S would argue I should have learnt to drive after enrolling for classes, not once but thrice. But then it’s not about the car or driving, is it?

His absence is like a bitter taste, lingering in-spite of my best efforts. But then it’s a taste I can’t do without either. A strange paradox.

It’s crazy how the empty water bottles in the fridge stare back at me. No they don’t want me to fill them up. It’s S’s chore they whisper. As I pick them up reluctantly I realize how silly I’m being. But still as I turn on the tap, as the water flows into the bottles, absentmindedly, I feel his absence again. And right at that point in time the water fills up to the brim and gulps out of it. And I let out a sigh thinking of the things the heart makes us do, or not do for that matter.

The coriander and tomatoes that we had planted seem to have lost interest in growing as well. I think they miss him too. No I really mean it. S looking eagerly at them at the end of the day wondering how much they have grown since morning. I think they noticed he’s not there anymore for the past few days. And they look dejected, withered in some way.

I just finished reading The Book Thief and it was full of German idiosyncrasies. It is after all a tale set in Germany! Was it a coincidence though that S was in Germany as I was reading the book? The last time he was in London I was reading a book which was set in London. I think I pick these books subconsciously knowing that they are set in places where S will be when away from me. Reading about the tube I felt closer to him. And now reading about Munich or bahnhof again made me feel closer to him. Yes, I know it makes no sense but I never did say that I’m here to make sense, did I?

I guess it is pretty much going to be the same always even when we are both 70 and he has to travel, maybe to go on a pilgrimage! I think I’ll feel the same way then too. I think relationships do that to you, the good ones at least.

Well, with that I sign off for today.

Happy Halloween!