She would often talk about the people she met on the way. Sat on water tanks while they took baths in the river below. Lived in tents with. Painted walls with. Some of them even had the weirdest of names. Like very un-Indian names. Yet, those would flow out her mouth like water, and I wondered if she never realized how un-used to I was to those names. She would refer to them often, very often, except when we were not focusing on us, just the two of us. Lovers, they could be, current and ex-es. Both, with equal impartial fervor. Like they never went out of her head. Women, their sense of couture. Their choice of earnings. Their taste in movies, governing philosophies of life, their dark dark secrets of the under-belly. As I sat opposite her, transfixed, protecting the secrets of absolute strangers, inside of my head, creating chambers to hide them in, trying hard and patiently, with intermittent loss of attention, to remember their names, and what people they were. Those people she met, are characters in my life too. Those, who I would never see or meet. Those, unbeknownst.
He, had two issues with everything. One, he didn't harbor the art of listening that well. Two, he couldn't stop talking. While doing so, these numerous, numerous people would flow into and out of our conversations. Like both of us knew them equally well. He would refer to them with their surnames first. I guess. In a matter of days, we would move on to funny versatile nicknames. Easier to catch hold of. Remember. Less tiresome. I would often convince myself that I am making a conscious effort for keeping a track of everything. While mindlessly stealing glances at my laptop, squeezing in a bit of work here and there, while he went on, or switching channels on the TV, mentally dictating what's going on in what channel. These people, the ones that are so a part of his life, outside of me, have gradually begun to seep into mine. Like they are someone very close. I see them, and I really do, through him. It's funny, because they have no idea who I am. Whether I am.
They all say, and say with such balls, that the world is a small place, and shrinking by the moment. But here I am, far and away, living with so many inside my head who are unbeknownst to me, strangers except for fragile threads of unconscious acquaintance through the She & He, that I love.
unbeknown (also unbeknownst)
· adj. (unbeknown to) without the knowledge of.