Can't You Hear Me Knocking?

By the time I was 60, and that was nearly five years ago, I was totally stuck. Not metaphor stuck, but stuck stuck. In my late 30s and early 40s, it was not this bad. Sure, If I sat, I would be stuck to the chair, and if I laid down I would be stuck to the bed, but I would be able to get up and go on to do the next thing I needed to. It started getting worse once I crossed 50, and the last few years, it has overtaken me entirely.

(I first set my tongue to freeze, and started working on the gooey bands at my shoulders and neck, and then once the corrupt slime froze and hardened, I used the VG-1 blade of my mind to stab at it like a chisel till it broke off in pieces.  I then changed the settings on my tongue to hiss and crackle to burn the remaining bits off, before switching back to freeze mode again. It would be a long night, but I had to get out.)

Now I lie in my bed, and I am no longer sure if the slimy stuff that engulfs and devours me is stuff that oozes out of the woodwork or out of me. There are days of sunshine and hope, and I get filled with a new hope, and I spend all morning trying to get one limb free. I twist on to one side and send all my positive thinking towards that one limb, watching the fingers leave the black tarry goo, and then the palm and the wrist, and then the forearm.

(Every now and then, fatigue overcame me, and I rested, keeping my tongue in standby, and with my mind held loosely but ready to spring into action. I had to resist sleep, since the sticky situation had its own system of overtaking the unmindful. Like the darkness within that Peter Parker has to battle, I too was faced with evil that appeared stronger than my will to be and do good.)

It is a struggle of the strangest kind as the dark and viscous tentacles slowly snap back, leaving my forearm free, and instead start gathering force at my upper arm, to prevent any further losses. I contort my body to exert the maximum force, and free my arm entirely, and if it is one of those days when I am feeling strong, I manage to get it free till my shoulders.

(The flames from my tongue leaped out and lashed at the gummy jelly like ribbons that rose out of the slimy pool, sputtering as it burned through the evil that it contained. The putrid smell of burning living matter filled the air. The sharp blade of my mind was getting coated with the juices of the sticky substance and the flecks of frozen and burnt malevolence.)

Then I start working on my other arm, using my free arm to pull away at the gunk that it is mired in. Yet as I start doing that with some measure of success, the darkness gathers elsewhere and the slime begins to invade my back and shoulders again, pulling me back. Before I know it, it climbs up my free arm, and pulls it back into submission.

(Even though it was me and my battle against all that kept me tied down, the mayhem that it was made it sound like an entire nation was up in arms, and to me that was precisely how it felt. I thanked my stars for the VG-1 cold steel of my mind and the narrow laser focus of my flamethrowing tongue.)

There is a strange sense of gratification and maybe even victory in that submission, like a starving man faced with a lavish spread, a cold dog that sights a warm fire not too far away, a junkie shivering in anticipation of the heroin running up his veins and spreading comfort to all parts of the body.

(It is funny how experience often influences judgement more than truth or facts do. The horror of realizing what you are stuck in can be so overpowering that one begins to view the sticky situation as acceptable or even desirable. When I speak with others about my beliefs, I hear many of them saying, it is not possible to get out of this unless everyone thinks in the same way. I remind them that there was a time when only one person believed that the earth was round, that there was a time when only one person believed that the earth rotated around the sun, and that there was a time when only one person believed that his fried chicken recipe could become an industry by itself.)

It is funny how fact and fiction can coexist in our daily lives like buddhahood and corrupt politicians. It is funny how truth and perception tend to get blurred with things that are close to your heart. It is funny how wit and wisdom can mean the same thing just as much as they can opposites.


  1. Wow. Nice to see the old Subho back in action!

  2. Have you been smoking again, dude? This stuff seems good. Send me some.

  3. Anonymous8:52 AM

    well i m not qualified enough to comment on this post. all i can say is brilliant. u can write bout virtually anything that exists on earth and captivate ur readers.

  4. Wonderful post, Subho. All the best for the contest.

  5. @Debraj
    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. It is always wonderful when veteran readers like you say something like this on a post.

    Certainly not the hybrids you get in NYC. Jealous. Jealous.

    You are entirely too kind, Debajyothi. I read back on the post, and I find it flawed in many places. Was surprised not to see an entry from you for the contest though.

    Thanks, Madhavi. Wish you a wonderful life ahead. :)


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