The Sculpture

     It’s been five years, and the beauty of it still catches me off guard. Beauty, horror, whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same. Some things are just like that, and there’s no denying that the sculpture has a certain allure to it. I’ve grown accustomed to sitting next to it and staring at the still waters of the lake next to which it stands. Most people around these parts hate the thing. They take one look and are terrified. They call it the stuff of nightmares. I never understood them.

     I can still remember the first time I saw it. I was 16 years old, and decidedly adventurous. I had heard all of the stories about the lake and the unsettling sculpture, and had toyed with  the idea of taking a peek. It had never seemed like such a big deal, and I didn’t get around to it for a long time. One summer evening, I finally mustered up the courage to sneak away and see what all the fuss was about. When I finally laid my eyes on it, however, I regretted not coming sooner. I didn’t see a horror, I saw  a work of art. The sculpture’s perfect symmetry enraptured me. I stood there for about an hour and watched the orange glow of the sunset light up its eyes. At night, under the light of the moon, it took my breath away.

     I’d always felt unbalanced. Like the world was off-kilter, and no one could see it, let alone try and fix it. The lake felt like the only sane place in the world. I would go there whenever I was feeling particularly unsettled and stare at the sculpture and the lake. It wasn’t just the sculpture, the lake had the same quality. Any direction you looked from, it looked the exact same. In fact, the sculpture appeared to be the source of this perfect symmetry. It seemed to emanate an aura of balance. You see, I’ve always seen patterns everywhere, always trying to find some meaning to the chaos. However, the more time I spent there, the more unsightly the real world became, and the more perfect the sculpture seemed to be.

     At first, I didn’t visit very often. Once a month, maybe twice. As I’ve grown older, the odd sensation the rest of the world gives me has grown into a monster in my head. It’s always screaming, always. It hates everything to do with the imperfection of the real world and only shuts up when I visit the sculpture. Every time I visit, the monster turns silent, only to return louder than ever before the second as I leave.

     Last time I was here, I stayed for two days. By the time I left, my throat was parched. It had crossed my mind to drink the water from the lake, but I couldn’t bring myself to disturb the serene waters. Right now, I reckon it’s been about four days since I arrived here. There’s something different about this time. I feel terribly thirsty, but I can’t bring myself to leave. I can’t bring myself to go back into a broken world, all the while knowing I can stay here. In fact, I don’t think I’ll leave this time. Why should I, when I can stay here in this place that has become my haven, and stare into those spellbinding eyes that seem to be more of a reflection of perfection than anything else reality can offer.

Koushik Kumaran

I love the fun things in life, like movies, music and comics.

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