A week ago, I was having a cup of coffee in a random coffee shop when I saw two people talking to each other. What is remarkable about two people having a cup of coffee and talking? Nothing and yet it inspired a whole series of unintentional events.
Their conversation was drowned by the geographical distance between our tables and the unruly traffic outside. Obviously then, whatever was being said was indecipherable. But, at that precise moment, in my mind, somehow, the inaudibility of their conversation got paired up with Harry Potter speaking with snakes and I got fixated.
I had to watch Harry Potter. I tried really hard to get rid of these thoughts but to no avail.
As a last resort to challenging my stubbornness, I checked my diary and there it was, written in red, circled and highlighted and everything to gain my attention: “Emergency alert – clean your house”.
One more day of not cleaning won’t hurt
I was too weak to question my judgement. So, be it!
You shall be the fellowship of the ring Harry Potter it is.
I reached home and was welcomed by the stench of dead food. The house was in a terrible mess. There were dirty clothes and dirty plates in every corner. Mould in the sink, toothpaste in the fridge and things everywhere. I found my way into my bedroom and found my laptop under the piles of plates, books, papers, scissors, nail cutter and you name it and it was on the bed. For a second, I wavered but like I said it was only for a second.
I started with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The next day, the whole routine repeated and the “clean the house” moved to the next day and so did a lot of other things.
And so on, every day, I neglected the fungus that was growing on one of the coffee cups on my bed and continued switching my cleaning time with Harry Potter. It was a struggle to find clean clothes or pen or any other thing in the house. The living room floor was basically covered with two layers of random things. It did not bother me. My deadlines were approaching very fast. It did not bother me. I was way behind at work. It did not bother me.
As the week progressed, I grew more and more frustrated with my daily study and work schedule because that meant I could only watch HP in the night and that too only for a couple of hours.
And then came the weekend. By now, I was dangerously lagging behind in all aspects of my life but it did not matter. These are the times when calling upon the inevitability of death provide such solid foundation for justifying irrational decisions! Bless death!
At the end of the week, I managed to finish watching it and felt extremely proud of this achievement which apparently holds no value in real life but hey! Fuck real life. Who has ever got out of it alive?
Okay! Now, I had to answer to myself so I sat down to analyse and stuff!
Why was I so obsessed? Why did I have to ignore my gut instincts of living in a livable condition? Why was I playing with fire when I postponed my deadlines? A very good analytical line of questioning.
One Six words answer:
Lots of memories associated with HP.
The Reading and the Watching – the dark stuff!
I read the first five Harry Potter books when I was struggling with night terrors, isolated in a safe house, scared, bearing the brunt of broken relationships, trading my teen years with shit and other not-so-good experiences.
I read the seventh book in equally unfortunate circumstances. I remember that I had nowhere to live and had checked into backpackers, I had no job and University was not going too great as well. My life had completely fallen apart and there I was on a top bunk in this cheap, random place, ignoring my life and reading. I remember, one of the bad people switched off the light so I read the last book from the light of a torch. After I turned the last page, the reality hit and I realized that my life was pretty much fucked. But, that particular night when I was sitting on top of the debris of what was left of my life, the seventh book gave me that window to clear my mind and begin fresh. It was remarkable.
4 years later, I was in the cinemas watching the first day, first show of the second part of the seventh book. Again, I was in deep shit and again the movie managed to distract me for some time.
6 years later, this obsession to watch it all again was strange but understandable. I needed an escape from the reality of life, which, as it happens to be has been getting more real and ugly. With the current climate of this unyielding desire for escape, my brain came up with this amazing temporary solution to watch HP. Sometimes, I want to kiss my brain because it is so fucking smart, it pushes me in the abyss and then extends an arm out by providing all these solutions and ‘saves’ me.
Anyways, that was not even the fun part. The cool and exciting stuff is my revision of Snape.
There was only one big change in my reception of HP from back then compared to now. I understood Snape.
Why did Snape become the centre of my attention?
Perhaps, over the years, the intimate knowledge and experience of love matured my perception of love and therefore, he got to me? Perhaps, I believe that the kind of love that Snape embodies is the real deal? The ultimate love? Perhaps, I knew what it meant to be unrequitedly in love? Perhaps, his coming to light from the dark side resonated with me? Perhaps, his suffering called out? Perhaps, his selflessnesses was strikingly alluring? Perhaps, his being in the ‘middle’ fired the flame?
And, perhaps, I am going to make a very delusional but within-my-character statement next.
Perhaps, I am Snape.
P.S. I most certainly prefer obsessing over historical figures and fictional characters. Hint: It keeps me sane.