Love and Markets

“For you, for you, I’m not moving on, I’ll love you long after you’re gone”

He had loved. He still did. For all the time he had spent writing down his feelings, never had he imagined that it would come down to this, a mere existence racked up with guilty pleasures and productivity hacks. A year ago, he would have shrugged these feelings off and let it be. Now, all he felt was the innate need to understand himself, a task easier said than done, because he as far as he was concerned, the problem did lay within him. In fact, he knew what the problem was. Half the problem was already solved, right here. The second half of the problem was where he felt stuck.

A lack of confidence wasn’t an issue.

He stared at the mounds of cigarette ash left over in the ash tray, imagining a gigantic volcano spewing cigarette smoke, choking the lungs of every human being across the planet, and leaving the survivors with terminal cancer. He didn’t like this particular thought. He didn’t like many of his thoughts, now that he came to think about it. There was a fleeting thought in the morning, where he had proposed himself to try out as a male prostitute. He had no clue as to how becoming a male prostitute could possibly solve the problems he was going through, since a lack of money wasn’t an issue. Maybe, it was about pleasures of the flesh. Again, like umpteen times before, he had shrugged away the thought, deciding to focus on making a peanut butter sandwich.

Loitering around in the local market a few hours later, after having let the washing machine do its work, he had wandered into the by-lane that lay camouflaged by a group of hippies, dressed in clothes best not described. He stared at them for a few seconds, trying to understand what had caused them to adopt a life where accepting the status quo was acceptable. But then, he didn’t judge. To understand, he would need to talk to them and find out, instead of jumping to random conclusions which only served to reinforce his view of the world and its inhabitants. For a second, he felt envious of them, doing what they wanted without a sense of responsibility to anyone. But again, he was jumping to conclusions. He let the matter drop.

He liked to observe the market.

The market epitomized everything that humanity ought to stand for: unfettered meritocracy. When he was eleven years old, playing Age of Empires II was the first thing he did everyday, even waking up a full hour before school just to have a go at it for thirty odd minutes. He liked to look at his fleet of ships heading en-route to his allies’ dockyards, exchanging one commodity for another, the difference in their value being settled via gold, the currency standard. It hadn’t taken him long to figure out that his father’s Economic Times subscription was somehow related to Age of Empires. After spending the best part of an hour trying to understand the ‘markets’ section in the newspaper, he had given up, the language being used too mature for his taste. He couldn’t understand anything, except Sensex, the index that measured the highs and lows of the Bombay Stock Exchange. The word sex had helped cement his attention. It was only after a full seven years, when he found out that Sensex stood for Sensitivity and Index.

He wondered how he could become a part of the market.

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