Empty Glasses

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Everything is ready. The house has been cleaned. The living room has been cleared out, fresh flowers have been arranged. The food has been cooked and placed on the fancy silver ware. The wines have been laid out, the bar has been stocked. A pretty dress has been worn. Do you see my shoes? Aren’t they gorgeous? I bought them on our honeymoon.  And I fell in love with these earrings in Turkey. And he bought them for me.

These cushions don’t need fluffing, I know, but I always get edgy right before the guests start arriving. One by one, bringing cheer into this house. The house is always empty. He bought this huge house, so that our children could have space to play while they grew up. The house deserves company too. Oh! Was that a car? Let me quickly glance out the window. Well, it was just a taxi. I wonder where everyone is. The invites were for eight. I know I didn’t want the party to start until nine. Nobody ever arrives on time. This is what we call ‘fashionably late’. Ah! Look at the chandelier. I had it cleaned for tonight. Doesn’t it sparkle? I never light it up unless I have company.

Sigh!

Don’t mind me looking out the window every two minutes. It’s almost ten and people should start coming soon. It’s a busy night. I am sure everyone’s decided to attend those dull formal parties before they come over. I always serve the best food, the best wines and my parties go on until sunrise. I never stay till the end. My age doesn’t allow me to stay up beyond two am, but people are welcome to stay for as long as they’d like.

I wasn’t always this warm, you know. Beauty and arrogance walk hand in hand. When you’re young and pretty the whole world falls at your feet or maybe I was lucky. There were always parties to go to, men to dance with, friends to laugh with, clothes to show off, and jewelry to demand. Oh those were such wonderful years! Kindness was unknown to me.  I never ever believed in using the words, ‘please’ ‘thank you’ or ‘sorry’. And that, my dear, was my claim to fame. My husband, poor fellow, literally begged for me to marry him, but I was reluctant. He was a rich man, so I chose to settle for him. I wasn’t getting any younger, you know? He bought us this lovely house. He wanted children. He was a man! The process of making a child was pleasurable for him. For me it meant sacrificing nine months of socializing and I couldn’t even imagine the damage it would’ve done to my figure. This waist used to be one of the daintiest in town, and trust me, it took a lot of hard work to keep it that way. And it’s not like the ordeal was going to end with the birth. I had enough friends with terrible dark circles, all because the baby would keep waking up to cry.

You see, my flawless beauty was my pride.  I wasn’t going to let my husband’s fantasies destroy my pride. Little did I know… Time always leaves its mark on beauty. Wrinkles crept in and blue veins started to crawl up, taking with it my pride. You can’t hide from time what you possess. Time. I hate this creature called time. It took away everything from me. My beauty, my husband, my life…

What time is it? Midnight? And yet, no one has arrived? Is there some kind of a curfew in the city? This is unbelievable. Or is it? Every year, fewer people have been turning up for my parties. They have their children’s anniversaries or their grandchildren’s graduation ceremonies to attend. Some of them, they decline my invitation for a quiet family dinner. Can you believe it? People become so dull with age. But not me. Not me. Time, you may have taken my beauty with you. But my spirit is mine. So what, if I must celebrate this spirit in solitude? I will celebrate it. I won’t let you stop me.

Now, what shall I do with all this champagne? Oh no, I don’t need all these empty glasses. These empty glasses remind me of my friends. These glasses should have been filled by now, they should be clinking and toasting to me. Their rims should have lipstick marks and finger stains. But no, there they sit, sparkling clean and empty. Time does not wear them out. Time does not destroy their clarity. Time, you are an unfair bastard. I wish I was untouched by you, much like these glasses. But the only thing common between us is the emptiness. Damn you, Time!

Picture by Kaurwakee: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaurwakee/

1 comment for “Empty Glasses

  1. kapoor_karan
    June 23, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Sometimes we see the past so clearly that every stitch of time reveals its purpose – Shantaram. Nice Post.

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