“Die, die, die…da…da…die, die, die. Falling into the SKY, Sky, Sk…” – the sound reluctantly let go of her ears as she disengaged them from the earphones belting out tiring, repetitive rhythm. Rhythm, she thought, is something she always sought. WHY, Why, Wh… the rhythm she had just driven out of her mind peeked in briefly in a new guise. She shook her head with the rhythm. She had to get the song out of her. She smiled. It was out. Trance. Trance was her music. Monotonous background music – rising energy, unstoppable, unmistakable imminence – BEAT – monotonous background music. Trance was her life. Dazed existence – a surge of purpose, a spike of excitement – BEAT – dazed existence. Our story, though set in times yet to come, is about the same humans that have always searched for a rhythm to live by. Life is spent as a continuum, but lived in spurts – this fact, she recognized. She was feeling inside her a rising restlessness, her consciousness was yearning for engagement with life – to rise above its death-like ordinariness. She wanted to feel alive – to break out of the monotony between those moments when life happened. And, she had a companion to help her restlessness culminate in a climax. It was not her first time. The last time she had used it, her core had vibrated in ecstasy. It was a different rhythm altogether. Though, the medium had remained the same, experiences had always been novel. She held it in her hand and looked at it with a sense of wonder. As she reminisced, a naughty smile fluttered across her lips. “Someday in the past this would have been confused with a sachet of detergent powder”, she thought. She also wondered how in the past such labels would be on duplicate products, being bought by unsuspecting customers, but quite ironically today people made sure that they bought this and not the original! Enough, she thought to herself. She was bored; and that needed to be taken care of. She poked a tiny hole into the sachet, as instructed on its back and let the white particles descend upon her table in 5 neat short and slim files. She retrieved a capillary from the drawer, and hungrily snorted the 5 files out of existence. But, little did she know now that it was not she who had consumed it; it was the other way round. Yes, this stuff is legal now. Welcome to the year 2016!
She wondered, yet again, how things were so different just six years back. There was no way in the world she could have imagined that someday she would be so much into hallucinogens (click), and so much of hallucinogens would be inside her. She was slipping into the past now. It was the year 2010. It was also the year her dad was still alive. Nothing had lasted from that era, but for the memories and her phone. They were the last things her dad had gifted her. While, the indestructible memories had been living a life of their own in the sanctuary of her mind, the phone was the material manifestation of those memories, seemingly, as indestructible after all these years despite weathering vagaries of the world governed by cruel laws of physics. Her dad’s last pictures were clicked with it. His last lively smile was engraved in its inanimate silicon circuits. His laughter that had displaced his smile in a little video she had captured also lived amicably somewhere side-by-side in the very same circuits. Her phone blinked. She squinted into the screen. Her vision had got very blurred.
join me 2day @ 7
@ Lst Stn
What could this mean? Her already overburdened nervous system was finding it difficult to interpret it. “Lst Stn” perhaps stood for “Lst Station”, a new dating service she had registered for a few days back. Nobody knew what “Lst” in it stood for. Some said it stood for “Last” and for some it was “Lust”. She had not had the opportunity to find out for herself. The uphill mental task somehow turned her on. The fact that sender had wanted her to break the code turned her on further. “Hard to get. Umm… but harder once gotten”, she thought and giggled at her own joke, which she would have found obscene any other day, but not today, not in this moment. She could feel her heart beat faster. Yes, yes, this was the excitement she had wanted. She went to the next line. “i X u = dVIII 4 u”.
She was restlessness now, more than she had been ever before. Somehow the fact that ‘dVIII’ was still not decrypted excited her further. She wanted to meet her b.1R whoever he was… or she, for that matter. But, how much time do I have? She looked at her watch. It was four and she still had three hours. “I must get ready”… and then suddenly she looked at her watch’s dial again. The hour hand pointing to the beautifully etched IV caught her attention. She again looked at the phone’s screen. ‘IV’ –> ‘four’, then ‘VIII’ –> ‘eight’. So, ‘dVIII’ –> ‘date’, she thought. Now it made perfect sense to her. “I into you is a date for you”.
For a moment she wondered why it was not ‘d8’ instead, but the next moment she was at Lst Station. She was brimming with anticipation. It was a small cubicle, with occasional flashes of stroboscope further warping her sense of time. In no time she was in the arms of her masked b.1R – making love to him. And before she knew it her black dress was wet – with blood. Her unconsciousness was punctated with registrations of sounds – some discernible into syllables, others not; of sights – emerging suddenly into her field of vision and then her field of vision sucked into a black hole. “You slut, I always knew you liked it dirty, yet six years back you’d ditched me to maintain chastity. Die…” Being pushed around, jostled, hauled up. The ambulance doors had opened. From the corner of her eyes was visible the large screen of a news agency.
She woke up with a startle, her phone was ringing… “Dad calling”, the screen displayed.
“I’m fine, dad. I’d perhaps overslept.”
“Yes, you had been put on sedation. Neighbors had called me up informing me you were regaining consciousness.”
She looked around. Indeed, she was in a hospital. White linen. The rhythmic beeps. Yes, she was in a hospital.
“You’d an overdose of what is it…? Snuff excel. What you’d been getting earlier was fake Snuff excel. This one was the original. Must’ve been kick-ass, right?”
He laughed at the other end.
“It’s alright. You take rest, now. I’d be returning to Mumbai by the very next flight.”
“Thanks, papa. I’ll miss you. And happy journey! Byeee!”
She was now feeling light. Her dad was alive, so was she. She had a doting husband in Kamesh. She looked fondly at her phone. Her hallucinations had not been entirely wrong. Her phone. It had lasted all along for six years. She looked at it fondly. She put on Für Elise (click) [Listen] on her phone. She had found her true rhythm. No jerks, no shocks, no misadventures – all she wanted her life to be was one soothing melody.
Just then her phone blinked again.
join me 2day @ 7
@ Lst Stn
She nearly jumped out of her bed. The last line had brought a naughty smile to to her lips.
It was the same message that she had read a few hours back. Nothing had changed. Snuff excel had made all the difference.
To remind again…