She stood there, can in hand, head reeling as though she were drunk.
Am I drunk?
She tried counting the shots she had downed since she entered the pub. 11, 12… 15? She wasn’t sure. But she wasn’t drunk, she was sure. Excited, maybe. Yeah… excited. That’s more like it! She knew she couldn’t get drunk, even if she drowned herself in a vat of liquor. Of course she’d never tested that belief. She was too good to ever do something as crazy as that. At best, drinking would just make her sleepy. She had always been proud of how she was born in a sophisticated family, was brought up with such high values, a pure vegetarian, teetotaler, had held her drink well when she was introduced to it by friends. But now, her tolerance to it had become an irritating matter. Because sometimes she wanted desperately to get drunk, and couldn’t. Like at flashy parties, or after fierce bedroom fights, or family blame games, or when she felt lonely. Drinking could never give her that false sense of peace that others craved.
Then what was the point? Why did you drink?
She knew why. It was her Anniversary today.
That’s why she was dressed in black, teetering on stilettos too high for her to handle, pouting with scarlet lips at the first group of twenty somethings she had found in the pub and recklessly befriended, as if they were her homies. She wanted a date to remember. It had to start with drinking because she wanted to test her limits. But damn these tiny pubs and their closing time. So the twenty-somethings suggested that they should do something stupid and crazy. And they dared her. Which is why she was staring at the stark white boundary-wall of the Courthouse. And because this night was all about testing her limits.
They were jeering her behind her back, “Oh, I know she can’t do it…. She’s too tame. Too old for fun!” said the twenty something in the crew cut and slashed-at-the-thighs jeans.
The girl in the red slacks hissed, “C’mon… Before someone sees us!”
But that’s the point… To get noticed being bad, or else what fun is there in doing bad?
Let’s start with it.
She shook the can in her hand, and approached the wall. With one firm hand she pressed a hand on her nose, and with the other, shaky hand, she pressed the nozzle on the spray paint can.
A red mist began to form patterns on the wall. She let her imagination guide her hand as she painted the one word that came to her mind – Erupt!
She painted that one word over and over again, at several places on the wall. She wanted to remember this sensation, that word and what it meant to her tonight.
At last she stood back to look at her handiwork. She was still shaking, but now with excitement and pride. For the first time in years she felt alive. The loud hooting from the over-excited jackasses behind her was nothing compared to the gush of blood she could hear coursing in the veins of her ears, throbbing with an intensity that made her head ache.
“Oh my my, Auntyji, you’ve done it! Ha, you’re something!” That came from the guy in the bomber jacket, the one who had been eyeing her all night long. He was now right behind her, she could sense his warmth right through the gauze of her dress. She looked back at him, he looked down at her with a lewd smirk, and she said, ‘back off‘, in a tone so sour it could curdle milk in an instant. That wiped off his grin and he took a few steps back. Thank god he wasn’t that stupid.
Just then, the shrill sound of a whistle pierced their bubble of excitement. The twenty somethings started running, but she stayed glued to the spot. The guy in the bomber jacket made a last ditch effort at earning brownie points with her, “What are you waiting for? That’s a police constable. C’mon!” He stretched out a hand towards her.
She turned the other way and started walking towards the police constable…