We had plans as school kids, or when we were just on the verge of college, that once we found our footing in this world, we would share an apartment, the three of us. Because, then, we were certain, absolutely sure that all three of us would do something together: work on a movie, or come up with a comic book, or write books. Or work on things really similar. Or, at the very least, stay in the same city. The three of us were inseparable, or I liked to think that. Yes, I liked to think that very much. Back then, stereotypes didn't seem as bad or cheesy as they do now. I would be the glue that held the team together. One of us would be the moody, soft-spoken sort, another the moral gorilla, quick to get angry and even quicker to admit when he's wrong, and the third, namely me, the wisecracking hotshot who was a lot more, but was also so in love with who he was, and who his friends were, and how amazing his friends were...well, I'd be the one ready to take the blame, or take the leap, if it meant the survival of our friendship.
Then college happened. Stuff happened. The usual stuff that happens to every college guy who thinks that come end of school, life will, life must, surely take a turn for the better. Provided, and we agreed on this very strongly, unanimously and were full of idealistic verve when we did, that we slog our asses off. Because we would do what we loved to do, to think about. We wouldn't be part of the rat race, no sir. But we would also never let it get to our heads: once you've got what you want, you got no excuse any more. You manage to lose it, its all your fault. No grumbling, no whatever.
Things did change, but not for the better. Not for all three of us. I got into art school. The soft spoken guy I told you about took computers and stuff. The angry wildcat with a heart of gold had to go with his family business. He had to study for it. No choice. Okay, to be fair, he did have a choice but sometimes having a choice is not enough. You need some sort of support, not the kind we gave. I'll admit I was thoroughly in love with my life then, and had become something of a nuisance. How I would advice, but to what effect? It was the kind of thing good little kids say to one another because they can afford to. Because they're kids. And because they're too young to know they aren't really good or bad unless they're out there alone. I wasn't a kid. I acted like an adult, or what I thought an adult was supposed to act like, but then one day I found out there's no such thing as being an adult. Nothing so clear cut. One day at my uncle's place, and what a little curiously insignificant little thing at that. See, my uncle, I used to worship the guy. Think the world of him. He got me into books, he read the greats, had this real humanistic side to him I thought only my father had. I used to idolize my father since I stopped being scared of him, but it takes me a long time to feel the same way about others. But my uncle, he was such a man. Then one day I hear he beats his wife. Okay, alright, it was his life, who was I to judge? How often are these rumors true anyway? It struck me funny. A man like him, engrossed in his Dostoevskys and Faulkner's, someone who appreciated good art. And then I go out to buy ice cream for my grandma one day, he tags along because he has stuff to buy too, and pays for all the stuff and tells me "I'll take the money for the ice cream now." Any other guy would have probably missed it, but I didn't. I suddenly found myself visualizing me in his place, and a little kid in mine (I still saw myself as a kid) and I couldn't bring myself to even think of ever asking the little guy for money. You don't do that. Its kinda cheap. Its miserly and cheap and it suddenly shattered his protective force field. Now I would be critical of every little thing. The man didn't feel so great anymore. Lookie there, I told myself. None of them don't feel so great when you go beneath the surface. The surface is what I had a massive fascination with. The surface would have ruined me later on hadn't it been for little incidents such as these, I was certain.
(to be contd.)