Written by Nandini Sethi
From the inside of my house,
I try to make out the intruder sitting on the bench of my porch,
Looking lost, morose, dejected.
I wondered what I must do in a situation such as this-
To comfort him, ask him to leave, or ignore it and pass off the problem to the morning.
I decided to leave it alone, a little jittery at the sight of a strange man wearing a monkey cap and a coat too big on his big frame.
I did feel bad, watching him sit alone, in the downpour,
The weather was so extreme, I could see the chill in the wind.
Should I bring him a cup of coffee? Or throw out a blanket and then lock the door?
I didn’t do anything,
I sat on my couch, racking my brain for answers.
I didn’t feel threatened, that was certain,
For if I did, I would have called for help,
Hey, there’s an odd man standing at my door,
But there was something about his company,
A sort of solitude, despite not being alone.
I didn’t understand him, but I think I know how he was feeling,
Helpless, lost, alone, bereft, and for the lack of a better word, sad.
He was sad that the world cheated him, took advantage of him,
Enslaved him, and all for nothing.
All for him to come crashing down one night at a stranger’s door,
Wondering when everything went wrong,
When his children thought they would be better off without him,
When his bosses decided to sack him.
It was the loss of trust, in himself mostly,
That all it took was one drink of a cheap tasting substance,
To bring everything tumbling down,
To lose a hold on yourself,
To discover that it actually takes next to nothing,
To lose it completely and find yourself at a stranger’s house,
In the middle of a downpour, at midnight.
Or so I assumed. Sometimes, I project.
I decided not to do anything.
Only to sit on the floor, head resting on the door,
And cry along to the tune of another man’s wails,
Another man’s losses, that today, in this solitude,
Felt like my own.