In the middle of the night
As the darkness loomed over his head
And threatened to consume his sanity
He stared in wonder mulled in confusion
Detached from the world, lost in thought.
His eyes went dull, got lynched with red
And the angel and devil sat cross legged
Next to his shoulders
Fighting an everlasting and undebatable fight
Wondering exactly when his smile went awry.
The angel spread its wings and the hallow on its head
A kind little cupid, mouth-filled with bread
Resembling his own younger self
The rattled angel went on about the atrocities
Enforced upon it by this unfair unkind mankind.
He listened with rapt attention
Silencing the devil as it attempted interruption
Beaten, threatened and tortured
The angel shivered in trepidation
Whether inability to fulfil expectations made this mess.
His mind went back to years of solitude
Still couldn’t believe if the class topper was the most hated
What was the point
When high marks attracted hatred in class
When low marks attracted hatred at home.
He spent the next hour in bed
Searching for some peace of mind
Oblivious to the fact
A piece of this peace was left behind
In stories untold of the child’s mind.
The clock ticked seconds away
And the devil picked his nails away
Waiting for its turn
To unleash the hours and days and months
Worth of lost self-esteem all on this lost soul.
As the angel ended its sorrowful monologue
And he came out of his dazed and distracted past
With lingering remains of insanity
The little red riding devil began its complaints
Spreading out the scroll of lists in style.
It first began with reasons to stop whining
And complaining about under-achieving
The things he never found or received
Because life is too short to make excuses
When you could’ve worked harder and planned smarter.
Then it began to burst in anger
Enumerating the things he missed out in life
Always wanting more
When he had all he could ask for
And drew for him the fine line between want and need.
As dear little mister devil chitter-chattered his way
All through the thousand and one complaints
He was left wondering
If he had ever anything worthwhile whatsoever
Or was it all a blinding illusion of want and need.
The devil, he realized, was his present self
It knocked some sense in his naïve childish brain
But not without
Lamenting on his flaws and furrowing on his faults
And adding some cracks on the canvas of his soul.
Still wondering if it was a good idea at all
To bring his angel and his devil hand in hand
In the same place
He closed his eyes and shut his mind
Too tired to continue listening to his tormenting brain.