I see the inside of my eyelids as they fall like half broken window shades over my pupils, blurring everything for lost moments like hot water on bathroom mirrors. There is a middle aged man before me, (probably a former IAS aspirant, as most professors I encounter tend to be) rambling about something and something else referring to another something that’s super important -and I should listen to him. He is my teacher, I am in college, I must get an education but oh look there is a dragonfly outside the window! Its fluttering over so many strange flowers like my brain that has the commitment issues of a 40 something alcoholic with an exceptional libido. It reminds me of the colour mauve for some reason but NO this isn’t the time for that.
Commitment! Concentrate, concentrate! You can do this!
Oh no, he is giving out exam results again.
I watch as his magician fingers flip through the bundle of sheets right before the big reveal and I brace myself like so often metal does teeth in adolescence –
WAIT, did he just call my name?
Hmm, a B+ isn’t too bad.
I try to remember what pen I used for the exam, resolving to make it my lucky one.
The boy 2 rows ahead of me, rebelling profusely in his head, plays pool on his vintage smartphone and I stare dully at his progress as I desperately wait for the bell to ring, and when it does it works like morphine, bringing more relief than there ever was pain and I slump and slither all the way to my room and collapse on my hard mattress without even locking the door.
Inverted sleep cycles are misunderstood by the world, I contemplate; often times they give sleep to look forward to when attending classes is less exciting than understanding the managerial capacity of paper clip companies.
I try to empty my brain of all stray thoughts, but now that I am in the beautiful embrace of my old, inanimate friend, my eyes shut together with a furious determination, I see swirls of undefined colors in complete blackness until my head is suddenly flooded with under developed philosophies that are more obscure than the predictions of an amateur astrologer. I begin, predictably, to wallow in self-pity as the realization of my exaggerated incompetence strikes me yet again.
Who am I? What am I going to do? Maybe food will make everything better?
I grumble and groan and roll around before I stomp with an elaborately disturbed mind to the college canteen and buy myself 3 packets of potato chips, a bottle of coke and an ice-cream lolly, preparing to hate myself more once I am guilty of gluttony. Picturing myself as an enigma lost in thought, and quite liking the image, I sit next to the football field gazing contentedly at the setting sun, assuming I appear to be nothing less than a deep, intellectual soul. The image pleases me immensely and I immediately feel better about myself. I secretly hope successful pretence is half the battle won as I inhale the food with happy thoughts about a sitcom I vaguely follow, dwelling upon the simple pleasures of life, almost convincing myself that all I need to live comfortably is sunsets, unhealthy snacks and oxygen. .
I look around dreamily and-
Dammit, there is the girl I can’t remember the name of. I must get back to my room, before I am roped into yet another tensely awkward interaction.
She is surrounded by a few other people I refuse to fathom.
It is time to run.
With a surge of adventure, I discreetly scuttle past the testosterone fueled seniors near the field and sneak into the hostel.
I throw myself on my bed, relieved. I try to backtrack to the intellectual jewels my mind was propounding a few moments back.
What was wrong again?
I check my phone.
Wow, its 8 pm already, maybe if I sleep now I’ll wake up at 6 tomorrow and finally have a decent sleep cycle!
The jubiliance this revelation brings is enough to silence the rest of my head.
Happily this time, I collapse into a slumber.
….only to wake up at 1 am, with no sleep left to spare and a hyperactive conscience craving a bad movie or two. There is guilt and a sense of impending doom as well, but they don’t fare well in the face of such sudden wakefulness.
Oh well. At least I’ll have something to look forward to tomorrow. Sleepiness motivates.
I shrug and turn on my laptop.