I was preparing to go out for a ‘chai’ when I saw him standing at the door. I stopped; I had seen him before too. The sightings had been quite frequent for the past few weeks. He was a stranger, no doubt but he didn’t look like someone wanting to cause harm. My interest piqued; I approached him.

“Hi there! Do I know you?”

He turned around. I was startled. He had an uncanny similarity with me. He had a gold embossed stick with him. The carvings on the stick read ‘Inimicus Pessimus Meus Ipsius Sum’ He put it down in the corner.  “Yes, very much,” His voice distant.

I was confused. I couldn’t remember knowing him yet he had answered in the affirmative. Who was he? I kept looking at him while I racked my brain, trying to remember whether I knew him at all.

“I am sorry. I can’t remember.”

He smiled. “Oh you know me better than you know anyone. I am your inherent Darkness.”

What was he saying! Inherent darkness? Who even talks likes that?

“Are you crazy? You seem high man. Strong stuff it seems.”

He had been smiling all the time. It changed into a wide grin.

“Oh no, Arghya. I am you. Rather I am anti-you.”

Anti-you? By Garr! He seemed a sad cosmic joke who was ready to ruin my early morning tea.

“Look man, I don’t have time for this rubbish. You want money?” His clothes did look worn-out.

“You don’t believe me? Look into my eyes and tell me what you see.”

Well his voice was captivating. So I kept up with his charade and gave in to his request.

I looked him into his eyes and a tearing surging pain ripped through my head. It was black, a kind of nothingness, anti-matter if you like. I was flabbergasted and screamed in agony, “Noooooooo!”

Suddenly I felt a tight slap on my cheeks.  My vision cleared and I could see a pair of eyes but they were not his! Where was that man? The pair of eyes looking at me in perplexity and mock chagrin was those of my room-mate.

“You dope!” He bellowed. “I told you to go easy on that stuff. You are hallucinating early in the morning man!”

“But” I started. He stopped me. ”Enough. You were speaking trash the whole time. I had to put cold water on you.” Suddenly I could feel the damp clothes on me. I kept quiet. I felt ashamed. The hard substance had taken its toll. I turned around to go to the bathroom and I paused in my tracks. There standing in the corner by the door was a gold embossed stick and it read

                                          ‘Inimicus Pessimus Meus Ipsius Sum’


p.s. ‘Inimicus Pessimus Meus Ipsius Sum’  translates to  ‘I am my own worst enemy’.