He traversed into his past as the boat sped on through the tributaries of the Great Canal. He could feel the gush of the cool strong air, running against his eyes, his nose, his skinny jaw, his neck and sometimes even slipping into his chest. He looks back at the bygone days as though they were nothing but a dream.
The small house, the busy city and his even more busy parents - now seem like such a far-fetched reality. Here he was, riding home in one of the public boat buses, soaking in the beautiful and cool Italian summer night. He shifts his gaze to the banks, where all of a sudden, he catches a glimpse of a heated quarrel between two people. He stares at this reenactment of his home.
Deep breath in, and out.
He finds himself replaying his entire childhood in his head. The quarrels, the swearing, the misunderstandings and what not. He shrugs as he reaches the time when he was last home. Higher education in Italy, sounded more like a joke than a serious proposal to his parents. So of course, a “Yes son, go out there and do what you want to do” was out of the question. He had a stern “No” staring at his face, but the heart wants what it wants.
And thus, it’s been a year since he last talked to either of his parents. A year since he last saw the place that he had called ‘home’ for 18 years of his life. A year of enjoying Italy’s quiet and drowning in it’s silence. As the waters below lapped, and a few drops landed on his hand, he momentarily realised the depth of this silence. The sensation of feeling lost and calm at the same time. He had now learnt to distinguish between the silence that follows a loud fight and the one that follows a hectic day. The silence feels so much more silent now.
This silence is so calm and gentle and soothing. Yet it feels so empty, so lost. It feels almost dead. He takes a deep breath in at this point. Perhaps to just make himself feel alive in this deafening silence. To break this constant, endless flow of serenity.
And all of a sudden, a thought crosses his head like lightning bolt in the sky. Maybe it was the heated quarrels that kept him fighting for something better. That kept him alive. Maybe it was the loud words that instilled joy into silence. After all, aren’t high’s defined as higher than lows? So what if there aren’t any lows? Then all the high’s become nothing but a constant straight line in time’s continuum.
My life is a straight line? He tries to find scenarios to oppose this result, but he cannot. Besides a few minute bumps, the past year has been a straight line!
He is brought back to reality as the boat comes to halt. He rises from his seat as he comes to the ultimate decision. He has to step out. He has to cultivate the courage to tug at old strings and mend broken connections - irrespective of how many wounds he will get in the process. Because it is only after this agitation, these kind of fights, that the silence feels calming and alive. He envisages to make a move so that the silence feels much more silent, not out of continuity or death - but out of satisfaction and happiness.