This was published on The Unknown Pen last month. Thought I should republish it here. (Here’s the link)
Everything in the world we live in has layers. The earth has layers – crust, core, etc. (Don’t remember my geology too well). Even the atmosphere has layers. The ground beneath our feet – the upper part of the crust – has layers. Our skin has layers. Everything has layers.
It is no wonder then that we, as people, have layers.
When we are born, we are naked; not just in terms of clothes, but also experiences, personality, and so on. Over time, we pile on layers – slowly and steadily. Some have more, some less so.
That is why we have different kinds of friends and relationships – a best friend, few very close friends, a bunch of good friends, and so on and so forth, on the basis of how many layers we let them penetrate.
But, do we strip ourselves to the level where there are no layers? I find it hard to believe.
Even the most honest person in the world, who has never lied, may still have a few layers. Stripping oneself totally might mean broadcasting each thought, each feeling, even the fleeting ones. Hard to capture each and every one of them. The speed of thought—conjecture alert—may well be faster than light.
This, I believe, what makes the breakdown of relationships so painful. One moment you felt so light without the usual number of layers, and the next moment, you felt weighed down. That constitutes emotional distance – not space, not time.