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Too Many Steps Make My Knees Hurt
Dissent: Volume 6 of the Helter Skelter Anthology of New Writing

Too Many Steps Make My Knees Hurt

Step One: Analyze

As I lay in bed, sick with a high fever, watching my cats perform ‘Jack ‘n’ Jill’ especially for me, my inner newscaster grabbed the opportunity and decided to run the weekly events for my amusement. Except I wasn’t that amused.

Helter Skelter: Sapna Bhavnani
I realise that my mental baggage has finally begun to spill over. Photograph by Manoj Jadhav.

“And now… this just in…” she said with authority spitting in my eye, “In a recently conducted poll, people think you are:

An exhibitionist
A control freak

Blah, blah, blah…

She could go on and on but I had to turn her off. I made myself believe that people were probably saving the best for my grave… at my funeral, they will say the things I wanted to hear—except that I will not be able to hear them anymore. Aaahha! But switching her off did not help. I was turned on.

Step Two: Release

In the past, the word ‘release’ just meant something I did sexually, but as days go by and I start to resemble the hunchback of Notre Dame, I realise that my mental baggage has finally begun to spill over. Sure, It’s easy to pay the excess charge and hold on to that baggage but I opted to chuck out a few hundred kilos. I think this is what they call “midlife crisis”. Damn it, I hate that term!

Instead of having Technicolor dreams about unicycles and merry-go-rounds and cat people, mine were laced with—

Ex-boyfriends playing together in a muddy playground.
Ex-husbands jumping over them to slam-dunk.
Friends fielding the situation from every corner.
Thrown in were a bunch of strangers staring and watching the situation with much delight.
Mom on constant loop: “I told you so… I told you so… I told you so…”
A ball of anger passed along to each and every member residing in the mental society. Play ball!

See Also

Step Three: Take Off

The runway was apparently ready. It was my turn to fly. But I couldn’t see it. Not because I needed glasses but because I simply just… Didn’t. Know. How. What exactly do people mean when they say, “fly”? Aren’t the “love and light” people completely irritating? Do they think they are being inspirational by kinda pushing and nudging you? Or instead do they leave one feeling incapable and ridiculous ’cause they cant fly? I guess I am at the stage in life somewhere between pre-consensual and post-Viagra. A stage where everything seems as black and white as Jim Jarmusch’s face. A stage where “take off “ doesn’t necessarily mean—

Zip zoom
Whish whoosh

It. Simply. Means. To. Slow. The. Fuck. Down.

As Jim Jarmusch said, “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it.“

View Comments (5)
  • OMG. I just lost myself there in your surreal free verse. Hope to see more of you here.

  • OMG. I just lost myself there in your surreal free verse. Hope to see more of you here.

  • i just LUVD it….reading u makes me realise m not alone the way i m in this world…thanx n plz dont stop writting….u r excellent in writing n m pretty much gud in reading….

  • If mental baggage is starting to spill over, it’s probably a good time to write a book.
    I’m doing the same, but that’s a secret.

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