Time stood still when Sins felt the rumblings begin from the base of his stomach, just above his intestines, to rise up like a volcano through his food pipe. His legs were moving as fast as he could stagger drunkenly towards the toilet. A mixture of garlic bread, yogurt, fried chicken and banana cake erupted through his mouth, in a well timed stream, bearing a stable velocity, and now lay splattered all over the small toilet’s wall, because he was too late in placing it inside the open commode.
Sins stared at the mess for a few seconds and ran outside the bar, making a quick escape, lest he was, spotted by the disgruntled staff and asked to clean up. He ran more quickly and hailed a cab from the street corner opposite, a street populated by pimps and drug peddlers, with their addicts in tow, bargaining with all their might, their gleaming smiles bearing a hint of desperation that reflected in their eyes.
Sins was one of the addicts. A recovering one.
Six months ago, he could be found roaming the city streets alone, most late nights, searching for the latest ware, and then settling with it at another addict’s house, a place so withered and desolate that it seemed to hold the souls, of addicts who swarmed around, generations past, their sad legacies furthered by the likes of Sins and his ilk, men and women who had no qualms about physically or mentally creating any sort of value for the societies they inhabited, content to sit back and self-destruct, blaming the society for their lost motivations, refusing to acknowledge the victory of their own past circumstances over their present.
Three months ago, he had reached a point where, he didn’t remember the last time he had received or given appreciation of any kind. He didn’t remember the last time he had seen the sun illuminate his skin. He also didn’t remember the last time he had spoken to his family, not that he spoke to them much. He didn’t remember the last time he had eaten a proper meal. Having stashed all his belongings – his clothes and books at an old friend’s place, from college, he had drifted from one place to the next over the for over six months, meeting people who belonged to the same social strata – upper middle class and higher, realizing that having a direction, saddled with aims and objectives wasn’t going to be anyone’s forte soon, because they were being consumed alive, by an excess of dopamine, which wasn’t being earned organically by blood and sweat, but through easier means.
And that was the problem. It began slowly, and slowly took them over, first their minds, and then their bodies. Getting rid of them overnight was a dream, only a few managed it, and those who did, lived to tell their tales to the world, ridding themselves of a trap, to reach greater heights than they had imagined, all by controlling and disciplining their mind. For the past three months, Sins had been doing the same. He had camped at the friend’s place and stayed put, refusing to venture out over the next three weeks, getting his head back together and focusing on work, where he had been slacking off by doing the bare minimum, just so that he wasn’t fired and earning a salary.
In the fourth month, he discovered that if he could just control the craving by diverting his thoughts to sports as soon as he felt like taking a hit, he could delay the craving for longer and longer, changing the topic of diversion to other pleasures like sex, gym workouts, killing sprees with chainsaws, knives and machine guns, cigarettes and heavy metal music. He had found his mojo back, of reading novels through hours at a stretch, which helped him delay the cravings more.
Sins went completely sober for a month. No marijuana, cigarettes or alcohol. He thanked his stars, he wasn’t into anything else.
Today morning, however, he relapsed. Horribly.
It was his college batch mates’ reunion, individuals who had stayed together in hostels and rented accommodation for four years, having grown fatter after graduation, trying to behave like adults when the fact was all they wanted to do was have sex and do drugs all the time, hoping the effect wouldn’t reflect on their bodies. Sins had sauntered in early morning, on account of a Sunday, and blazing one hit after the other, taking a few breaks in between for food and drink. Around three in the afternoon, the group had headed out for beer and drinks at the same place they had frequented whilst in college, now populated by pimps and peddlers, much to everyone’s surprise, but not Sin’s. He knew.
After his seventh drink, he had ran into the toilet and puked out his insides.
Abandoning the rest to their own interests of more food and drink, Sins had escaped, now collapsed in a heap inside the cab he had hailed, its radio humming with classics from the seventies. He couldn’t see the scenes properly outside, a permanent haze seemed to have developed in front of his eyes. He couldn’t think straight, and enquired with the driver as to where he was headed. The driver had just smiled, replying that he knew what he was doing. Sins let the matter rest. He slept.
His eyes opened, to the driver rousing him awake in front of the square, to whose right lay Sins’ home. He thanked the driver, paid him and ran towards his building as if his life depended on it, rushing past the guard, who tried to block his path before realizing it was Sins. The lift took forever to reach, and when it did, a very pretty woman exited, and he couldn’t help but smile, receiving one back in return. All of a sudden, his head felt lighter and clearer than it had the whole day. It was like magic. Ah, the power of a woman.
Outside the door to their house, Sins remembered his friend had the keys.
Without thinking, he collapsed in front of their door and passed out.