Like a bullet from a gun, he sped past all those bystanders to save the old woman who did not know what lay ahead of her when she was crossing the street. She was about to get hit by that red-colored bus but survived, because of him. Everyone felt relieved yet jealous. They could have been the one standing next to the old woman, who now annoyingly resisted the hand over her both shoulders. He continued his grip over her shoulders and arm so he could help her cross the road. He was brought back from the moment of self-admiration to reality by a sudden hit. His left cheek felt warmer. The old woman now out of his grip continued her walk angrily, mumbling something under her breath and throwing glances his way, to the other side of road at a snail’s pace. Everyone continued to stare at him, this time more in self-assurance for not being standing next to the old woman.
Trrang…Trrang…Trrang. The ear-ripping sound of the alarm jolted him back from his dream. With eyes half-closed, he fumbles for the alarm clock in the direction of noise but couldn’t find it. The alarm continues. His drooping eyes now staring at the plaster that was about to come off the dilapidated ceiling and fall on his bed. He keeps staring at it for the next few minutes with the hope of being part of that historic moment – the plaster falling off the heavenly ceiling onto his earthly bed. It does not happen and he gives up as his eyes start to strain a little. The alarm sound has died down by now. He finally manages to find the clock. It was 6 am. Just the right time for him to begin the day. With an enormous effort, he pulls himself together and sits up on the edge of the bed. His next task, in this treasure hunt, was to find his slippers. He immediately spots one lying at the same place where he had left it last night. He gets his foot into it. His other leg continues to explore the other slipper without getting off the bed. He continues this extreme sport for a while until his leg starts to ache. He eventually gets up and walks out of the room in one slipper. Like a seasoned soldier, he dodges the hanging chandelier in the hall which needs repair and enters the kitchen.
Rummaging through the contents of box, he manages to find his blue-colored toothbrush and pink-colored toothpaste. While his hands are mechanically busy in a regular motion, his eyes are fixated on that mosquito floating on the small puddle of water in the corner. Should there be a mosquito? Isn’t it bad for health? How he manages to stay afloat on water? Is it he or she? The toothpaste foam flowing down from his mouth, through his hands has now amassed around his feet – a sign that his brushing time is over. It is important to get this timing right for proper brushing. It was something that he learned from a medical journal during a visit to the dentist. Although the magazine was in a foreign language he could figure out the message from the images shown in the article. Since then he has continued this important practice.
He opens the tap and water starts to flow in the form of tiny droplets. Um?It must be early. He looks back at the clock hung on the kitchen wall. It is 06:14 am. Ah! still got a minute to go. He keeps the tap opened waiting for the water to come through and looks over the glass-layered window. The bathroom light in the neighbors’ house is ON now. They must be up now. With full throttle, the water flushes through the tap. He glances at the clock. It shows 06:15 am. The water starts to fill the bathroom as the drainage is clogged. The tap cannot be half-closed. It can only operate in two ways – open or close. He’s got only 15 minutes after which the water will start to flow over the bathroom level into the kitchen. Since it is Monday, he can quickly finish the shower as he need not shampoo his hair. The clock ticks 06:30 am. He comes out of the shower dripping wet in his old rugged green towel allowing himself to be dried out by the table fan that he has fixed in the corner for this purpose alone.The water trickles down his body to the old rug at his feet and eventually spreads through the rug on the kitchen floor. He leaves behind the impressions of his wet feet on the floor as he dodges the hanging chandelier in the hall and enters the bedroom.
From the closet, with his wet hands, he picks up the blue stripped shirt and a black trouser from the pile on the left side. The shirt looks crumbled but he has got the sweater to wear on top of it. He rummaged through the pile of clothes on the right side to find a 3-holes blue sock. He continues to dig deeper and finds a 2-holes black sock. There isn’t much difference in the shades. Looks almost the same to me. I should not lift my pants too up for the socks to be seen by anyone. He gets dressed in his blue stripped shirt, evident from the collars over the orange-colored sweater, and his black trouser. He sprays the white lily perfume on the either side of his body – twice on left and thrice on right. He is a right-handed person. It was a present that he had got as a birthday gift on his 40th birthday, two years ago. It reminds him of the lily in the backyard garden of his school. The mere thought of it brings a sly smile on his lips. He had once plucked two lily flowers and kept in his pocket of school uniform. The uniform smelled so nice. From the shoe box in the hall, he takes out his Monday shoes – black leather shoes with laces. He carefully places himself on the sofa which starts to creak under his weight. He continues his descend to a point beyond which the creaking sound will become a loud thud if the sofa splits into two. But he’s trained and it is easy for him to just reach the point – it is the point at which the spring inside the sofa tears through the cushion and can be felt on your bottom as if you are sitting on a needle. He shifts his weight majorly on his legs and just softly cushions his body on sofa. The shoes appear grey instead of black due to the layer of dust. With the 2-hole black sock he brushes the dust off the shoes. Striking a fine balance between his body weight on sofa and that on his legs, like a gymnast, he ties his lace the same way as he was taught in the school. First hold one string in each hand then pull them up to grip the shoe tightly around the feet, tie a knot, hold the knot firmly by placing a thumb on it and quickly tie another knot with a bigger loop on one side and the two strings together on the other. Now, slowly take out your thumb while tightening the knot by pulling the string and the loop apart. He gets it right in the third attempt. Pure show of dexterity.
One last thing before he can leave – the house keys. It should have been in my purple jeans that I wore yesterday. It was his personal favorite jeans that he always wore on special occasions such as a friend’s birthday party or another friend’s birthday party. The jeans must be in the pile of clothes on the left side of closet. He walks in the bedroom, with his black-shoes-with-lace on, opens the closet and tries to look for the purple jeans. While ransacking the pile of clothes, he notices a small cob-web in the top right corner of the closet. Hmm..it seems empty – neither owner nor the guests can be seen around it. How big can a cob-web grow? Do spiders have 6 or 8 legs? As digs deeper into the pile, he feels some metal on his fingers – the house keys.
The lift is coming up slowly passing through each level. The levels can been seen in the small rectangular display on the top middle part – 1…2…3… He looks at his wrist watch whose hands indicate the time as 07.30 am. While waiting for the lift, he looks into the glass door of the lift and tries to adjust his disheveled hair. Hmm, it looks neat now. The cold wind blows past him leaving his hair disheveled and few strands hanging over his forehead like the branches of a palm tree. Coming out of the lift on the ground level, he walks along a pathway that runs from the side of the apartment to the end of the street. If you cross it perpendicularly it will take you to the bus stop through a shorter distance. At 07:45 am, the pathway is full of early risers living in the same apartment – mostly the children, the elderly and those who travel far for work. As he’s about to cross the pathway he eyes fell upon an elderly woman crossing the street and a red color bus coming across in full speed. He looked surprised at the sight of it but continues to walk along the pathway. The bus was a toy in the hands of a little girl who’s accompanying her mother and her elder brother to the school.
Image by Ed Yourdon