A roadside market in Uttar Pradesh – Part IV

Posted: January 30, 2014 in A roadside market in Uttar Pradesh, Short stories, starts & writing


During two months of drug addled inanity and childish mucking about on the road, it became increasingly apparent to her that this continuous need to “blaze up”, “take a trip” or “get wired” wasn’t necessarily just an indication of his addiction to the various illicit substances they’d come by on their journey. She had come to the conclusion that there was something really wrong, something flawed in him.

Sure, she’d consumed her fair share of whatever they could get their hands on and there were lots of times when she questioned her own ability to function in a socially-normal, human manner. Too much time spent being a spectacle, a novelty, the “Beautiful Miss” with the lone white man. All of these amazingly generous, ignorant innocents had absolutely no idea who she really was or how she would (or should) normally act or interact with other people. And he was just out of his mind all the time and impossible to have a normal conversation with. The most normal it got was to discuss practicalities – where to eat, where to sleep, how to get to the next destination, how to get to the next high. So she’d started to forget how normal adults behaved with one another, what real conversation was like.
He was different though. It went deeper than the drugs. The drugs gave him an excuse for being antisocial, for only contributing monotone monosyllables to a conversation, for not having an opinion, an excuse for just muttering “I dunno, man” when things were a bit serious or “heavy” or when he was put on the spot. Or he’d try to turn everything into a joke or try, usually unsuccessfully, to try to make what he thought was some kind of relevant pop-culture reference. Sometimes he’d hit the nail on the head and the room would either descend into laughter or silent reflection. In these instances he’d grow in stature in her eyes – a profound observation from a profound soul.
Early on in their relationship there had been times when they were stoned together and he’d say something about the sensation he was feeling or the beatific scenery they were looking out at and she’d sense something deeply philosophical in his remark, something that his altered conscious state wouldn’t allow him to articulate. So she’d honestly believed there was an attentive, intelligent person somewhere behind all that hazy bullshit. For certain, given time and a chance to straighten out, she knew he’d prove to be more than just this cute, retarded stoner.
But as the trip wore on she felt more and more that his behaviour was an indication of his inability to interact with other humans on anything other than the most immature of terms.

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