Sunday, July 1, 2012

I am Peter Parker

It's a tough life, being the quiet chap sitting in the corner of the room, observing everyone around. The guy who prefers nothing better than to spend his time alone, watching the latest sporting event. It's tough to live with yourself when you'd rather talk about stuff with a bunch of people on twitter you've never met, rather than go out and actually meet people. It is the worst, when you hold your phone in your hand and realize that no one is ever going to call you, and worse still, you have no one to call (outside of your parents of course).

I'm probably an extreme case. Even now, I choose to write here than find somebody to talk to about this. But why?

I watched "The Amazing Spider-man" recently. Half an hour into the flick, I realized something. I'm Peter Parker. Yes, that sounds crazy, but let me explain.

Peter Parker (the character) is shy, quiet, a bit nerdy. But it's not just these characteristics that make me feel like him. Love. Love for the girl I've always believed I can never have. Love for the girl that makes me hate myself beyond anything measurable. Damn, do I know how that feels!

I was in school many years ago, and shamelessly in love with the prettiest girl in school (I still am), indeed the prettiest I'd ever met. We were friends. Good friends. Yet I had not the courage to tell her so. Peter Parker in the beginning of the movie, has a wallpaper on his computer. A photo of Gwen Stacy taken secretly.

Me? Once upon a time, *she* had dropped a playing card at my place. I never returned it to her. 7 years on, that playing card enjoys a pride of place among my possessions. The 2 of clubs. It rests in my wallet, close to me, as I try to hold on to her. Yes, I realize this makes me sound mad.

Anyway, I have lost her. Twice, actually. The first time was in school itself, when I seemingly lost her friendship. I lost her to exams and rumors that can circle a teenager. I suffered. For one and a half years. I would cry for her everyday. I would curse the Gods that took her away from me. I would beg no one in particular to return her to me. I forgot what happiness was.

Then, one day, fate (which I never believed in till that moment) reunited us. We became close friends. Closer than ever. I wanted to tell her I loved her. So badly. It burnt me inside. One day, I decided I would. I walked up to her. She smiled. I lost my voice. I lost my gut. She left for home. I beat myself over it while I realized I could never tell her to her face. Then I sent her a text. I poured my heart out. Through a freaking text message. She rejected me. But not convincingly. 3 months later she was mine. Mine for life. Or so I thought.

For four and a half years this Peter Parker was Spider-man. I had the world at my feet. Well, I had the pretty girl from school. But aren't they much the same thing? To me, at least they are. I was invincible. I was proud. I was happy.

Everyday, the best moments would be our phone calls. Our little texts to each other reminding us about our love. Those stolen whispers at the middle of the night while everyone around was asleep. Then there were our stolen glances. Quiet little meetings in the coffee/dessert place a few hundred metres away from home. Everything was amazing.

But somewhere within Spider-man, Peter Parker lived on. Scared. Insecure. Afraid. Deep down I knew I wasn't good enough for her. Maybe it was an unfair assessment of myself. Maybe it was completely warranted. But I was always afraid of the day she would feel the same way. The day came.

It's been nearly 7 months since she left. I begged and pleaded with her for much of it. But eventually I realized there's no sense in both of us being sad with our lives. So I let her go. No, I can't stop loving that dame with that gorgeous smile, but at least I can keep out of her life for her happiness right? How about moving on, you may ask. There are plenty of fish in the sea, you might say. That's not within the realms of possibility. Why?

Like I said, I'm probably an extreme case. I don't know for sure. As I sit quietly in my room alone everyday, I miss her. I miss the one person I always trusted. The one person whose company I craved, I enjoyed. It's not all about love and flirtation. She was... No. She is much more than that to me.

There are a couple of friends I do have, who talk to me sometimes. And neither can understand why it's so difficult to move on for me. What they don't understand is that I want to move on too. I want to forget. I want to be like any "normal" person. But I'm not. For much of my childhood, I was happy by myself. As a kid I would set up my stumps on the street outside my home every evening and just bowl at the stumps. Playing with other kids, just wasn't in my DNA.

But she. She was different. The moment I saw her, I wanted to know her. I wanted to talk to her. I craved her attention. I craved her company. I felt for her the way I'd never felt for another human being before. The connection I felt with her was far beyond romantic. For the first time in my life, I wanted a friend. For the first time, I felt that not having one had left a void in my life.

Today, I feel that same void. Nothing, and nobody but her can fill that void. For an introvert like me, it's tough to even talk to somebody. I often sit and watch in envy when I see a guy in big group joking, laughing and having a good time with a big group of people. Instead, I'll be the quiet guy nobody notices sitting alone in the canteen, eating his lunch. Peter Parker. For a guy like that, a guy like me, to want to even talk to somebody, is a massive deal. This is something most people don't seem to understand.

Today the Peter Parker in me is all that's left. Spider-man is gone. Gone with her sweeping hair, her expressive eyes, those skinny cold hands and that loving, almost caressing smile. I retreat everyday, further away from people. Further into the arms of those of you reading this.

I pray to the Gods to have mercy on me. I pray to have her back. Indeed, the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness has turned me, once again to the Gods. I tell them the truth. She has never just been a person I wanted. Instead she has always also been the person I needed.

I want to be able to climb the walls again. I want to be a hero to the downtrodden. I want to love myself. As I lie in bed, the Peter Parker that I am, writing this, I miss my Gwen Stacy. I miss my Mary Jane Watson. I want to be better. I want to be worthy of her love. I want to be good enough for her and more.

In short, I want to be Spider-man again.

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