As midnight rolled in, I kept chatting with a far-away, newly-married and lonely cousin in the US, while frantically copy-pasting links to cat rescue/adoption pages for an acquaintance who displayed some slight interest in keeping one. A phone call from my best friend. A constant, sub-sonic headache in my right temple. For the first time in 23 years, I don’t want for more. It’s fine. I’m not writing to reassure myself of my newfound zen, but to document it, lest I forget tomorrow, or day after, or a week from now. Lest I fall into my usual miasma of craving constant attention; if I could do without it on my birthday, I can do without it on all other days.
Stumbled out of my room at 1 AM to find Baba supine in front of the TV; he couldn’t sleep. Ended up making myself a cup of tea (with Marie biscuits) and slumping down beside him to watch the last bit of an ancient music program featuring Hemanta Mukhopadhyay. Listened to snatches of my favourite Bangla songs, in his deep, perfect voice. He smiled so rarely, hardly crinkled his face or moved his hands in time to the music. Absolute stillness. Between talking and breaking into song, not a single extra fussy break, or cough. Just a sudden lift.
I finished my tea, and my kitten pounced at the tea-bag string. Dragging it around triumphantly, she left brown patches on the floor. Baba went back to bed. I cleaned up after myself, and found my headache gone. Its so quiet now, at 3 AM. My cat is purring, and the fan is a soft susurrus in the background. This is just fine.