Written By: Maheen Pasha.
It’s 3 am now. My hands are trembling. It’s the funniest thing really. The perfect metaphor for the control I've lost on my own life.
I take a sip of the black sludge that is in my mug. It’s my fifth cup of coffee since midnight. The brew had smelled like metal and paint and regret. I should have known better. But I needed to be up today.
I don’t think I’ll make it through tonight. I think my time is over. And what a fool I've been. Good God, what a fool I've been. A wasted life. All those years. Guilt. Longing. Regrets, regrets, regrets.
My wife is turning in her bed. She never sleeps with ease. She’s constantly worrying about one thing or the other. I’m grateful for her though. This one regret I’m grateful for.
My daughter is somewhere in Europe. I haven’t been keeping up. Last I heard she was a chef somewhere in Italy. I hope one day she’ll forgive me. I hope one day she’ll stop running away.
My son is dead. I dropped by his grave today, in the afternoon. There’s a little flower to the right of where he’s buried. I like to hope there’s a message there.
Here I am, an old man. Scribbling in my journal about the life I’ve breezed through. I have not lived my life. I have made no decisions that I am proud of. Except maybe one. But for most of my life, I have been an indifferent spectator. I stood in a corner while things happened to the people I loved. I stood in the corner and I did nothing. I just stood.
You can judge me. I judge myself. I assure you that you can not despise me as much as I despise myself. Let me give you reasons too, though. So that when I die, you know it wasn’t a bad thing after all. The world does not need more people like me. The world needs more people like her. But then again, I haven’t told you about her yet either.
So I’ll tell you tonight. I’ll tell you about her. About how I met her and how I lost her. About how I killed my father. About how I disappointed my mother. I’ll tell you the story of how I emotionally distanced myself from my wife after our son died. I’ll tell you the story where my daughter told me that she hated me; I’ll tell you how that was when the hollow in me finally echoed so loud it hurt my ears.
I’ll tell you everything tonight. Right after I get one more cup of coffee. My hands are trembling and I’m shaking from all the crying. I won’t stop before I tell you about her though. I’ll tell you everything tonight.