Every child is born with The Clean White Sheet.
The moment he hits air, The Sheet starts getting filled up. Instinct guides him in the beginning. He learns what to do when he is hungry. Or wet. Or when he just needs somebody to hold him.
He learns to cry out his needs. He learns to smile his approval. And that is all there is to it.
As he grows older, as his memories become tangible things that he can reproduce with words, language guides him through the tumultuous ‘growing-up’ phase. The White Sheet starts getting crowded, and his mind fades away the memories that it deems unimportant, leaving little holes, where remembrance used to be.
Life, the years of his life, are measured using the yardstick of experience. The happiest, the most tragic, the most humiliating, the most hurtful experiences, all leave an indelible mark on The Clean White Sheet.
Some of the experiences are so wrenching, that it crumbles The White Sheet.
If he is lucky, if he has parents or siblings or lovers who care about him, they will help smoothen out The Sheet. But no matter how hard you press on the Sheet Of Your Soul, no matter how hard you try to iron out the creases, it will never be the same again.
That is the thing with The Clean White Sheets. Once they crumble, it leaves a wrinkle. Always.
As he ages, navigating the minefield of life, the sheet takes on the colours of his life. Sometimes, it becomes the red of anger. The green of hatred competes for space with the white of peace. Eventually, one of the colours always wins. And that colour marks him for life. It becomes his identity. The other colours start fading away. The black and the brown and the ugly all leave stains on his colour.
Perhaps he gets lucky enough to find a person with a Sheet not unlike his own. A sheet that, when placed over his, fits perfectly into it. No odd crevices or plateaus jutting out, the two sheets folding into each other in a perfect harmony that only the finding of a true soul mate can achieve.
As the dusk of his life approaches, as the people who gave him life, the people who laughed as he cried, wither away into the land of memories, his sheet is primed.
The colours faded, the edges dulled.
The sooted, stained and tattered sheet that was once his soul will eventually wither away, and if he is lucky, he will become a memory in a few Clean White Sheets, adding his colour to those he touched, for better or for worse.
In the last few moments of his life, he will be lucky to remember The Clean White Sheet at all.
The time when instincts guided his life.
When he cried his needs, and smiled his approval, and that was all there was to it…