People often mistake acidity for love, for both include a burning chest, and a near-smoking heart. It was love, unfortunately, in my case. And I was able to make the distinction because I’d always been acidic as long as I could remember. If more than two-thirds of our body is made of water, I can well assure you that the rest of it in my case was pure acid. I knew my acidity well. Love burnt different. It was a little lower, the fire, near the juicy core of heart, where it tried to smoulder a thing which was inside another thing which, as mentioned before, was made of more than two-thirds of water. It was rather an ambitious coup – though the surplus acid must have helped.
It was like the first headache, first love was. Do you remember your first headache? I do. I distinctly remember. Before that I did not pay much attention to my head – I’ve always been much of a nose-man – but the pain – as of someone, out of sheer whimsy, deciding to renovate the space inside your head was shifting your membranes, often dropping them, nailing portraits of an abstract oddity, on their walls, and un-nailing them because they ‘just didn’t go with the pink flesh there’, dragging heavy things from one corner to other, leaving them midway too, to increase the volume of the Radio, as some obscure metal-band were screaming their lungs out– made me aware of the astonishing pain-in-the-ass-ness of the head. My first love felt a lot like my first headache – a little worse.
And since it is customary and since you’d want to know, I’d have to – though I wish to God I didn’t had to – talk about this person I first fell in love with. To begin with, she was a she. ‘Was she beautiful?’ you’d ask. ‘Are icebergs beautiful?’ I’d ask. ‘Well yes they are, but they are too cold and can kill you,’ you’d answer. ‘There’s your answer,’ I’d answer. She was one of those women who looked very pretty on a balcony. She called me Bug. She loved cauliflowers. She ruined me. If there ever was a Bughum left after futile rigours of politics and communism and fencing, she made sure nothing remains of him. Oh! She was as cunning as a lizard – the really clever lizards, not those foolish ones who drop their tail at every visible opportunity. I loved her as Beckett loved nothing.
It was a hot Thursday evening when I could muster enough gut to talk to her. She was sitting at the balcony of a several storied house, like Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, clad in something very rich. There was a party that was to start. We both were invited. I saw her, and I started seeing things. For instance, I started seeing that it was ‘meant to be’ and that something ‘larger’ was ‘on work’ to have made us come to the same party. If only I could have seen that the host had invited almost the entire nine planets to the party.
So, I saw her and ‘Uh,’ I said, and then, did not say a word for a very long time. (I have always believed that first there was the word. And then, there was an utter confusion as what in God’s name to do with it, as it was so completely useless). Then, to elaborate on my ‘Uh’ I said something profoundly silly: ‘A more brilliant nose was never made. Will you marry me?’
I was standing there like a cloud bursting with sweat. My eyes were open to their limits, against the will of the entire body, especially legs that wanted to run away to a more secure place where there were no parties and girls with brilliant noses. But I did not move even a millionth of an inch. I stood there, with my entire soul and body, waiting for an answer. She smiled, and then laughed, and then laughed a lot. And when she was done laughing, even she said something profoundly silly too: ‘Maybe, I will, if I like your name. What is your name?’
‘Bughum. Lwoyoblrig Bughum.’
Lwoyoblrig Bughum is an out-of-work balladeer and an ex-wannabe politician. To know more about him click here. Bughum’s nose, as you must have gathered, runs quite in opposite directions to his brain. In his own words you can read it here. Bughum also dabbled in communism, unsuccessfully, for a while. To read about his radical political philosophy click here.