Phantom Pain

There is something that rom-com writers always forget to tell us. They dream up grand romantic gestures, kisses in the rain, slow-motion midstride hugs and all other sorts of “awwww” eliciting scenes that make the love centers of our brains light up brighter than an Indian household on Diwali. And then the credits roll, and we are left to imagine a “happily ever after” where the couple die together, hand in hand, after exchanging a few sickeningly sweet goodbyes. Except that’s hardly ever true.    

Love dies, fast, annoyingly fast, faster probably than the time it takes Netflix to ask the “dying” couple if they are still watching (this time they actually are, because they don’t want to look at each other). It takes less time for lovebirds to transition to texting every minute of every day to sending each other dry ‘how was your day’ texts than is does to go through the 5 stages of grief.  In the end, all that’s left is an attachment that’s aged like milk and is just waiting for someone to pour it out. But there’s nothing particularly remarkable about that humdrum love-unlove cycle. No, what has me awake and philosophizing at 1am is the phantom pain that comes after the whole thing is done and dusted.  

There does not exist (I think, I’m not a scientist, my physics teacher tried to turn me into one and had to retire soon after) as sentimental a mammal as the human adult. One minute you are armed with slippers, African mother style, chasing someone out of your house. The next minute you are holding a blanket they used (probably dirty) trying to burn the last remaining vestige of their scent into your brain. It is as irrational as behavior can get, yet so common that you can rationally expect it.  Sometimes I wonder if this annoying human tendency was put in by a sadistic angel (probably an underpaid intern) as weekend entertainment.  

Even more annoying is that it doesn’t just occur when romance breaks apart. Even the dissipation of a deep enough friendship comes with this fantom pain. You know the feeling; your delightfully judgmental self has just seen someone looking like a waru. You turn almost automatically to start dishing shade to your (equally judgmental) partner in crime, but they are not there. You knew that, of course you knew, you don’t talk anymore, but your body didn’t get the memo.  

You add in this phantom pain to the rate at which those our age are making and losing and cutting off friends and it starts to make sense why meaningful attachments are so rare in this era. If you cannot relate, then thank the gods, and the next time you go out for shots, or tea (or heck, communion) pour some libation to your ancestors. For those of us plagued with the shadows of love gained and love lost, we move through life oh so slowly accumulating scars and wounds and every so often they throb with a phantom pain, to remind us of what we had, and lost. 


3 thoughts on “Phantom Pain

  1. Very relatable .it’s sad this generation we don’t value relationship or it can be we do value our worth that we are willing to let go when it doesn’t work out but I can not demystify that the value of relationship has declined. It is either the problem of blame games between genders, the advancement of sexuality, everyone want to have more than one partner. Friendship are worthy if they are promising and it is more easier to cut off friends than solving grievances. It’s a generation that likes it easy but yet again it a generation that is very liberal and bombarded with some many ideals that is meant to bring clarity but yet it makes more confusing, spoilt of choice that our mind cannot process efficiently. Anyway Good Work.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s