“Your morbid sense of delicacy amuses me greatly.” He sardonically mused at the canvas in front of him.
I had remembered him from the earlier days. How his prominence had turned to a menacing landslide of notoriety, something not quite infamous but still colorfully ambivalent and vaguely disturbing. An anti-culture hero snubbed; idealized and patronized. His banner of alienation was planted somewhere in the swamps of history and I just didn’t know where to find it.
“Is it done?” I asked him keenly. His answer was in an affirmative.
Intensely skewed, the portraiture offered a subdued yet a finely-honed observation of my visage. The disproportionate nose, angular lips, and dilated pupils added a somewhat comic effect to the already abstract fusion of colors. I couldn’t help but smile at his self-effacing attitude which was hopelessly waiting for my reaction.
“It’s alright” was my fleeting reply.
He was desirous of ascertaining the criticism his magnum opus was to receive, and drew a fresh tribute of curiosity from my brevity. My rejoinder had failed to play its part, I felt guilty. Yet, he loved how my disengagement with this particular piece was so general and impersonal to be meaningless.
“You are too snobbish for my liking,” he remarked “or as I would like to say too intellectually flabby.”
With an air of indifference, I approached him and planted a diffused kiss on his forehead.
“Well that being said, you still fancy me, don’t you?” I inquired.
“Let’s not belittle a simple fact: I don’t!” he retorted with a sly smile on his face.
I was annoyed at last. “Your appetite for experience has gotten us no where in the past three weeks.”
“Well, you are inquisitive beyond repair. Ha-ha!” he mocked me with indefinite sincerity. “Soon, I shall draw us in a luminous perspective of palatial beauty…” he continued “…that might liven up your spirits.”
“It’s this dingy residence we have come to call home.” I accentuated the last word.
We had found abode in a greasy tavern, miles away from the city. He had carved “The Three Moons” on a piece of oak and hung it outside the already tattered door. It had been three weeks since we moved in. The war had poisoned his air.
Under the stunted roof, it was the mystic and the pragmatist alone. We had our differences that ramped parallel to each others. Adventures of such kind were incurred mostly for his sake. The prospect of a “better life” never quite struck him with full force. With sublime indifference of a man who has had a glimpse of Paradise and Lucifer both, he was a man of his own making. It was from women like me, that artists like him invoked inspiration and aspirations alike. I was his lone muse.
After quietly pursuing his monotonous tambourings, I had gotten acquainted with his partialities, likings and shortcomings. He always bore an impress of loftiness with him, which I must confess, was very endearing; devoid of pride, sated with innate purity. Apparently, my persona was a perfect receptacle for a brain such as his.
In our immediate sphere, we were maestros of much consequence that immediately followed our escapades. Often a time, our conversation was charged with the blackest of ingratitude towards the society and its norms; followed by a murmur of approbation for the deeds of the ones who were silent. Our reasoning had together outweighed all prejudices. At other times, we were gratified with whatever was. The tranquility of apathetic ignorance bore deep into us. When I was inclined towards the fixedness of idiocy, he was predisposed to the notions in his head. His brusque decisions and inane ideologies were pursued by my curiosity and that was all.
“I like the radical society with all its moral perverseness and repression.” I’d say.
“I’d like to litter around the aristocratic functionaries, mound them with a floater, and bask in the glory of…..” he would oft reply with a serious air of contemplation.
The seclusion our dwelling bought about us from the submissive world outside was quite in contrast to the magnanimity of joy our company gave to each other. Despite this, he still at times favored the isolation of his being and ideas. In those moments, I was kept at par. A distance safe enough for his ideas to flourish within himself, to cathartically evolve into something I couldn’t understand on a basic level. Yet, he never failed to share what he deemed suitable for my immature mind. He’d always begin with “you know what I want to do…” I’d reciprocate with unconditional attention, absorbing the tangible, siphoning the abstract. He was a fruit laden tree, and I was a mere traveler resting in its scanty shade.
Some conclusions are better left undone.