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Minesweeper

Sometimes I’m literally under a rock.


I know you will argue with me

that "it cannot be literal"

for I'd be crushed into bits.

And I'd try to explain

the feeling,

almost explaining

that this irrational feeling

and these little sagacious arguments

are what keep me from

being crushed.


Then,

you say I can’t be crushed

"by a mere concept",

I’m a normal human

with blood and bones after all.

But in saying so,

and hearing so,

and thinking about it,

and wanting to say all I desperately want to,

and then holding it back in

while I laugh it off,

the crushing becomes

a little realer.


Then you joke about

how "realer cannot be a word"

and that "it sounds slightly off".

Silly,

like the time

I'd made that rounding-off error

while we were discussing

stars and loneliness.

But I’d mutter

"It’s real to me".

And we’d launch into

a discussion about realism

and illusions,

while you maintain your illusion

and I defend mine,

till it feels like

I’m avoiding the immense,

protruding mines

that you've rigorously built

around you.


So,

you bring up minesweeper

and tell me how there’s a pattern

to that game

and if I know it

I’ll win it every time.

And I’d tell you

that no pattern will resuscitate me

when I step on a mine.

- It ends with a lot of crosses

and empty spaces.

And when it does end -

all the ticked, green

safe boxes

lose meaning.


Then you say that meaning is

an arbitrary concept

and everything is binary,

practical,

and "meaning is just something

you ascribe to your unending search for

meaning

lest it fall flat on its face

without a rationale".

And I’d agree to you.


Just like that

the conversation would be over

And we’d be sitting in silence.


You with your self.

Me with the literal,

realer rock

that is bound to pummel over

a mine

Into a meaningless explosion.


You see,

Sometimes there's several you' s.

Others,

its just me

being the

you.


Whichever you

it chooses to show up as,

at the explosive end,

it always says

"I told you so"

And I'm left mid-sigh

trying to put together

the pulverized pieces

of the now-warped

puzzle.

Image Courtesy: Someone who plays minesweeper a lot.


People are different. These differences emerge starkly in conversations that run deep, probably because those are the ones we truly express ourselves in. Such conversations often have one of two aftermaths - making both parties feel truly in-sync or making one/both feel excruciatingly alone. That's the simple reality really.

What you do with this observation, of course is the captivating part - which, in itself, often turns out to be slightly different in our thought (What we think we would do) and our action (What we actually do). Over time, these differences also create a dissonant other within ourselves - manifesting as constant self-talk that sticks out sorely, at odd angles to what we truly feel at that moment. Maybe, in a sense, we split a part off into those that we have captivating differences with and in this way, feel home with the corresponding sense of isolation. How curious!


The prose today is about one such instance of a conversation that we've all had in one way or another. Whether it be with others or with ourselves. This Sunday, here's to pondering over these discussions and corresponding participants, in hopes of travelling further in this journey of self discovery.

Happy Sunday!

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