“Excerpts” Part 2: A New Friend

So I met someone new who happens to like the color purple as much as me. Their nails matched the color of my eye shadow and I think that was enough of an ice breaker between the two of us.

[Note from Author: The title of the series is ‘Excerpts’ and the main idea behind the series is to look into queerness at a more intimate and individualistic level. A queer person makes a diary entry on a regular basis and documents their life and experiences while navigating heteronormative spaces and dreaming of a queer utopia simultaneously. The series revolves around ideas of home, love, relationships, identity, solidarity and hope in the context of queerness. In a way, it is very much like ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’, but more queer and more personal.]

Dear Diary,

Hello again. It has been a couple of days since I wrote. Usually this disappearance would mean a state of constant despair when I wouldn’t bother myself to even get out of the bed, with a pitch black cloud looming over my head. Surprisingly, things are different this time. I met someone new the other day at the park. Of course it sounds cliché; as if I am in some sickening romantic comedy where you meet someone completely out of the blue. This is, after all, real life and things don’t happen out of the blue. But that is the thing about this city- as much as I despise this corroding empire, it happens to have a silver lining. After all, the black cloud looming over my head during the darkest of days carries a silver lining too.

So I met someone new who happens to like the color purple as much as me. Their nails matched the color of my eye shadow and I think that was enough of an ice breaker between the two of us. Maybe that or maybe the fact that both of us are obsessed with Perks of Being a Wallflower. I don’t quite remember how the conversation began and it still baffles me that I sat there and talked instead of just brooding. But the conversation lasted for quite some time and now that I think about it, it began with how much we love anything purple.

Talking to people, or being around people, is scary for me, in case I haven’t made it obvious. But there was something about them, this warmth that makes you feel safe; like the sun on a winter afternoon or a hug when you pretend you don’t need one but you really do. It wasn’t their eyes or the way they smiled or any of it, but the fact that they were there. For a moment, the people and their stares and their slurs disappeared. For once, it was the world that became invisible.

To put it simply, I guess I made a new friend.

And this new friend is not anything like my other friends, because they understand the heaviness the world brings on people like us – people who aren’t men or women; people who are everything and nothing all at once. It was comforting to have someone who listens instead of waiting for their turn to speak. We talked and laughed as hysterically as we could, not afraid of occupying space or drawing too much attention. We sat there knowing that we were there unapologetically; knowing we didn’t owe anyone the comfort of ‘toning it down’ or being ‘too loud’. After a very long time, going out felt worth it.

We decided to talk more often and go out on more walks. I will be seeing them again tomorrow evening. It feels good to have someone to talk to, someone with whom you don’t run out of words. Someone who has something to share with you. It makes me realize that in reality, we do need people even when we fear them.

Yes they are here, which makes me feel warm and comforted but also scared. Because at the end of the day, like it or not, people can be scary.

Let’s say I call them over to my house for some coffee. They might point out the thin layer of paint falling off the walls – they might mock me for it or they might peel it off even further. They might be loud; louder than the clinking of the dirty utensils I haven’t washed since last weekend – their words, their breathing, even the mere cracking of their bones. They might not like the way my house smells or the way my books are stacked or how I pile my clothes on an empty chair. Maybe they will leave all of a sudden, with an excuse that is just too obvious. Maybe they’ll never come back.


Or maybe they won’t mind it so much – the walls and the paint that is falling off. They might even help me decorate these empty walls or they might leave them the way they are. They might help me with my dishes while I make some coffee with a pinch of cinnamon in it. I’ll hear them breathe, speak and move, but it will be like a song that consoles and not a noise that mocks. They might not care about how my house smells or how I keep my books or my clothes because maybe they will sit right next to me telling me how much they love my collection of books and the cinnamon that I have added to our coffee.

They might not want to leave for hours and maybe I’d want them to stay. And in case they leave, I know, they will be back, knocking on my door for another cup of coffee; for another conversation with me. And maybe, I’d let them in too.

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Sarthak is a photographer, writer and visual artist originally from Shimla and currently based in Delhi. Through his works, he aims to portray themes pertaining to identity, alienation, anger and, most importantly, hope.
Sarthak Chauhan

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