It was a bright, warm, yellow-hued November morning, or so I fancied. Outside, the world stubbornly hung on to the last few dregs of heat, which struggled to break free from the embraces of the soil. It was an annual ritual dating back hundreds of thousands of years.
Inside however, as I sat thinking these inconsequential thoughts, a slight tremble ran up my arms, bearing out some unknown vendetta against the pages of my notebook through my terrible handwriting. I wonder, if every object had a soul to call its own, could we sully it or reduce its purity by our influence, as I sullied the chastity of the page through my pen?
I rocked left and right, unable or perhaps unwilling to fight the inertia of it. I had been commuting this way my entire life, and I had long given up the feverish agitation of fighting with it when I was a younger, more headstrong man. As such, I let the swaying take me with it, and thus, tarnished the sheet of paper that I drafted this on. A journalist might have termed it ‘collateral damage’.
Beside me, a grandmother plays with her fifteen pound bundle of joy, while the mother carefully manoeuvres her boiled eggs. I see her hitting it on the table several times lightly, making a dull tap-tap-tapping, never quite hitting the same spot because of the rocking, and then peeling it piece by small piece. In comparison, I felt like a savage brute because earlier I had rapped my eggs,once each, hard on the selfsame table, and stripped them naked in two smooth motions, first one half, which the egg readily gave up, and then the second, which required a little coaxing. Now she salts and peppers her own, emptying the little sachets, perhaps hoping to re-cover the eggs, like a change of clothes. The eggs seem to suffocate, much like her son in his multiple sweaters and balaclava, still with the kindly grandmother. She relieved it presently, pinching the excessive salt and putting it away. I imagine this is a technique to infuse taste into the eggs that I don’t know of, because she is older than I am, and hence must be wiser.
As they proceed to put the now snoozing baby in a more comfortable position, I partake in that most annoying habit that the youth today seem to love – I put my earphones in and shut the world out. As Adam Young sings ‘Gold’, my thoughts drift to her who shares my name in part and, if the powers that be will it, might some day share my name in full. I’m headed to her presently, and will see her in two days.
A falcon swoops close outside, shaking me from my reverie. I look at the ray of sunbeam opposite me, swathed in its sweaters and blankets, blissfully unaware of the world in his sleep as he is when awake. The soulful beats of The Speed of Sound ring in my ears as I look at him, enjoying what he and the six or so others like him nearby had taken from me at six in the morning today. I hold no grudge though. It’s ten A.M. now, and there is a lot of brown outside as we’re at a standstill. The ugliness of the minor stop and the toilet on it, characterized by brown, disappear as we jerk forward, resuming the familiar to-and-fro.
My present situation bars me from doing much but think. As Maroon 5 gives me Captain Splendid and Future Kid for an encore, the names of those songs direct my attention to my uncertain future. Much energy has been funneled into that sinkhole over the past week, and I force my thoughts elsewhere – into an imaginary situation, like a lucid dream. I employ this tactic often, consciously or unconsciously, and I like to imagine it keeps me sane.
For a moment, I put the pen down and straightened up, and my gaze strayed to the right. My pensive torpor evaporated when I saw a creamy blue sky and an expanse of lush green below it. In my shock, I looked to the left, and surely enough, the dull yellow permeated the landscape. I repeatedly looked both ways to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating from the mild chill. I wasn’t sure if the heavens were showing me something, if the sun dried up an area in particular, as if to show me that the lord giveth to the right and the lord taketh away from the left, or if the windows merely needed cleaning. Fascination! Then one of those moments of appreciation and gratitude came upon me, when we realize for a moment, just for a moment before the ego returns, how tiny and inconsequential we are in the universe. Coldplay brings these moods upon me often, and here I find, it returns after the small lapse!