The Question of Space

We get used to things. Not like addiction, more like — a habit. Or perhaps there’s a thin line that separates the two. I choose the word habit, over addiction, only to discount the extreme, and the associated medical angle, associated with addiction.

We get used to. It becomes second nature. Soon, it becomes our nature. We have no way of knowing how and when it becomes a part of our nature. The times when our friends and family say, you’ve changed, that’s when, we know that we have absorbed a habit and made it a part of ourselves.

And then, when you are loading the dirty laundry on a slow Sunday, or polishing your shoes on a tired Tuesday, without warning, it’s no more a part of you. This habit, that was a constituent, is gone. Just like that. You gasp, when you experience this foreign cavity within, as if trying to quickly fill that emptiness with air, if nothing else. Very unlike the slow and invisible getting used to, the no-more is instant and blinding. Nothing really changes, however. You set the machine on Cotton with just enough fabric softener, or polish your shoes to a tan mirror finish. The day goes by, as any other day in your life would. Walking back, over patterns cast by the golden evening sun, to the washed clothes, with some city dust on the shiny leather footwear, you wonder if that cavity was born today, or you just discovered it, today.

We never will know. Because we get used to. We stop paying attention. Emotions, just like brushing teeth, or swimming, or cycling, seem to have a muscle memory of their own. So we don’t think about it. We just assume the same feeling is a constant companion. These, emotions, they are ours. And while they don’t have malice, they just leave, on a Saturday or a Thursday. (Actually, it could be any day!) And there is that space, which consumes our thought. Naturally, we want to fill it. Else, we will be different. And people will say, you’ve changed. Yet again.

But we should wait. Because that space means something more than just a space. 

It means, we have asked ourselves a question.


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