Mr P is quite an obnoxious person. He’s not bitter; he just acts like a bigger know-it-all than Hermione Granger.
For the last year or so, he’s been following me around closely. Lurking in alleys, hanging around in some corner, waiting to jump at me screaming – I told you so.
I think I’ve been living in a bubble of sorts. A house full of dreams. I could just close my eyes and there I was. Doing absolutely everything I love. With everyone I love. Or who I thought I loved. Oh, it was paradise.
“Pathetic”, remarked Mr P with a disapproving shake of his head.
“Fuck you. Dreams are beautiful, and dreams are where the future is first built.”
“Suit yourself. But don’t say I didn’t warn you when you come crying to me.”
“Even if I do fail, you’re the last person I’d come to.”
The house of dreams was a simple place in the beginning. All it had was books to be read, books to be written, and football to be watched.
Then it gradually started to fill up. A piano entered the fray, so did a career in psychology. Then a gym. It wasn’t hard. Let your mind wander, close your eyes, and boom – you have a dream. It’s hard to fathom exactly why anyone prides themselves on being a dreamer.
And so I built this paradise in my head. A year ago, I took several first steps to build it for real. I bought a keyboard and joined a class. I enrolled in a course on psychology. I started working out.
And of course, I took great pride in sharing all this on social media. Glimpses of my road to paradise.
“You see, Mr P?”, I said defiantly. “Do you believe in dreams now?”
Mr P smiled in such condescension, as if he had foreseen all this, and events yet to unfold. Nothing could surprise the arrogant bastard.
This carried on for a couple of months. At the turn of the year, the first quake shook my palace. All my routines vanished into thin air for a while.
How did it happen? It’s simple. One of the things I had overlooked was that the sheer amount of time I had at my disposal a year ago. And the fate of all things in excess is for them to be undervalued.
Someone was sniggering in the corner. It was Mr P.
“This is a temporary blip because of the added workload. I just need to find a new balance.”
“Of course, of course.”
But the quakes kept on coming. Trying to find balance in life was like building sand castles on the beach, and watching them get washed away by wave after wave, who didn’t even have the decency to say ‘whoops’.
The house of dreams persisted somehow, but the cracks had begun to appear. Efforts became intermittent, and blank gaps of nothingness became routine.
About 3 months ago, certain events unfolded. What these events were is not important, but the consequences are quite straightforward: the palace caught fire. That is the simplest way I can put it.
Piano, what piano? The last time I touched it was to clean the dust off it.
Writing, what writing? The dream was to write books – and now I’m embarrassed to even mention my blog, the poor thing is like a story-telling certificate from school.
Psychology, what psychology? I have not taken a single step since completing that course a year ago.
Let’s not even talk about the gym.
The irony is that a year ago I published a blog post about how easily we give up on our dreams. So I felt the need to be honest about how that pursuit is turning out.
What now, then? The house is still on fire. And what do you do when a house is on fire?
Step 1: You try to save and salvage the most important things.
I haven’t compromised on watching football. And though there were blips, my reading never really ceased. In fact I’m making it a bigger part of my life. The rest is ashes for now.
Step 2: You cry. You cry for help to anyone who would listen, until you realise none of them can do anything.
It is time I introduce you to someone. I’ve known him for a long time, but never really interacted with him. Until now.
He’s quite adept at dealing with facts and accepting them. He has little time for thinking, and focuses more on doing. At first glance, he doesn’t really seem to have an appealing vibe about him. Ordinary is a word that comes to mind. But once you get to know him, you’d probably say the same thing that I do: he gets things done.
His name is Mr P.
P is short for practicality.
We’re working on building a more humble home.