Lately the vacuous feeling of nothingness has begun to overpower me. Every night, as the room plunges into darkness, and my head hits the pillow, I think of the world outside the four walls of my room, whether I’ll ever find an escape, a backdoor through which I could slip into a non-entity, and into the vast surreal world that awaits me. But does it? What if death comes first? It would be a terrible waste. A tragic waste. Why is it that the smallest of distances are unattainable? Hills lie half an hour away from my home, yet I’ve never grappled an opportunity to go there, or rather the opportunity never presented itself, or perhaps the opportunity knocked once, twice, thrice and in the tedium of day, of work, of money, of worries, of shortcomings, I ignored the first knock, the second knock, the third knock. Will you knock again? Where would fate have me? Sitting on a chair, losing my voice, teaching? Or immersed in educating myself to get a degree? Or would an inherent flaw have me crippled emotionally that I am unable to grab it? What would it be this time? What would it be next time? Or will I finally settle with the inability, make peace within the four walls? It would still be a terrible waste. A tragic waste. Grasslands I’d never get to walk on, water I’ll never get to swim in, valleys and plains eyes never gets to see the vast end of, majestic trees under whose shade I’ll never take respite, hands these hands that never touch, no smell, no sight, ears that never get to listen to the silence, the brooding, deep silence, the kind of silence that astounds you at first, then immerses you, then fades within you, then becomes you. My ears are conditioned to noise. Perpetual noise. The humming of the fan, the beeps of the air conditioner, the trickle of water from a tap unknown, on any given night, even at the bewitching hour. The sky, majestic night-sky, illuminating in its full glory, overhead, tracing the Milky Way with your finger tips, under the stars and constellations and the nebulas, the galaxies, the comets, the planetary wheelings. I keep my soul ajar. My eyes are heavy with sleep, but I burn inside at lost time, past moments. Had I been aware you knocked, I would have been gracious, embraced you with open arms, welcomed you to take me with you where ever fate paves a way. Had I known I’d repent, regret tonight, I’d have left earlier, never built that door to keep you distanced, now I might. Out burn out, don’t consume me, let me light. The world awaits me, knock again. Knock again.