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When the Clock Struck 5:36

Abhirami B


The first time I met you at the bar, there you were sitting right across the table and there I was smiling my teeth off, there was vodka, some cigarette smoke and there was you. I’m sure we were debating about some insignificant thing and the second time we met, I think it was the bar again and this time we smoked and laughed and like last time debated insignificant materialistic pursuits and then we met for the third time in the bar and this time it was port wine, whiskey and some cigarettes and on the same day I bought us ice-cream.


The first few days were good don’t you think – the honeymoon phase, as some people call it, a rather misused and over used phrase in my opinion. It’s just so wonderful that time when you’re friends and the two of you know you’re attracted to each other but you’re just too shy to admit it. Reminds me of my high school crush but you weren’t my crush, you were a friend and probably a potential romantic partner.


I liked it when you called my observations intelligent observations. I liked it when you said intelligent people lead a tough life because of the amount of problems they see in the world. You were beautiful and so was that time, we connected to songs, smoked, always had some tea to sip on to and the sun to look at. That time obviously didn’t last long and no matter how much I want to relive it, I cannot.

You and I and that phase we had – that particular phase is frozen in my head. But, I wonder what if that happened for real? What if we were frozen at the exact time – at 5:36 and when the clock struck 5:36 we’d be there – frozen like inanimate objects because it was then that I loved being us, it was at that time that I fell in love, for real, it was not just you, mind you, it was everything that surrounded you and then you.


I fell for you and everything that came with you then and I didn’t even know. That is the best kind of love when one doesn’t know that they fell for something or someone. My English teacher once corrected me when I said, ‘I loved that cake’, she said you can’t “love” non-living things and hence I was supposed to use ‘like’. It sounded absurd to me then, it sounds absurd to me now because I experienced it, I fell in love with the objects, even the weather around you. It’s quite surprising that I fell for those things at that time, there were just some old chairs and tables and some tea to sip on to and the sky to look at. The capitalist in me doesn’t want to agree but it’s true.


Then I met you constantly, it was fine but it was not like when it was at 5:36. It was good but it wasn’t the same and I know it’s never going to be the same. I want everything to be the same about my life but I want us to freeze at 5:36 because when the clock struck 5:36 my life as I know it trembled and I stumbled upon a brick.


Abhirami is a second year undergraduate student majoring in English, Political Science and History. She enjoys writing (as you can see) and is in uncharted waters here i.e. the writing arena. She is a recently discovered existentialist ambivert who enjoys debating among other things. She relishes understanding and interpreting art and more often than not, stops by paintings and visual art with a rendition of pop culture in the digital form. We at Bitter Lemon Snorts are immensely proud to feature her on our platform.