Four Chambered Walls | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 21, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:11 AM, January 21, 2021

Four Chambered Walls

The alarm went off just as the dawn broke through the corner of the indigo shaded curtains; 6:45 AM, 24th October, Saturday. Same as yesterday, the day before that, the entirety of October, call it a few months even.

More and more I get caught up with a sudden void pushing me off the edge, an utter emptiness slowly devouring me like quicksand.

— What is a quicksand even?

Like an unfathomable wave of agony stuck in my throat, I jumble through the perfect words to say.

Quicksand, is in fact, an inescapable surface —

If I push too hard I might drown

If I numb myself, I might choke

Either way, I'm going downhill

Until I hit the rock bottom.

I wake up, just as every other day. I surf through the internet. I eat, shower, look at the cat playing with a ball of crumpled up paper behind the dustbin. I see a winter breeze sway away the remaining dried up leaves out of that big old larch; waiting for its turn to decay as all his fallen friends lie about the ground in harmony. Behind the vein-like branches I witness an iridescent sunset slowly being engulfed by the ten-storeyed buildings.

I never really realise when the day passes by. Even though I've scheduled my routines and to-do lists in a perfectly fine manner, I always seem to miss out on something else. I attend the classes and take down notes. I let the term papers pile up till the deadline hits. I eventually survive the pressure quietly as well and somehow I turn out just fine.

I wash the dishes, change the bed sheets, iron my clothes, and brush my teeth just fine. I even feed the poor stray cat tired of running outside the alley.

We had a friendly chat and a mutual agreement that she may come and go from time to time but never settle.

I must not wait for her return. Neither do I mourn at her sudden departure. Yet, at her unwelcoming arrival, I let her slide beneath my feet with a swift hello. But she never settles, not for long.

Maybe that's what was eating me away. I've settled myself in these four chambered walls. I do the same things all day, every day. I've accepted the sunset only has a crimson hue. I've accepted the darkness that falls over this oblivious city. I've settled for too little and now that I want to be set free, these four chambered walls wouldn't let me be.

Maybe this is my quicksand. Maybe I am a sunset.

And my fears are slowly engulfing me. Sometimes, I even let it.


The writer is a student of marketing at the University of Dhaka.


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