I wonder why the kàwn is always teeming with people. Here and there, people are moving as if they were automated with some specific commands inscribed in each and everyone’s brain. I usually feel shy to look at other people’s faces. Because when I have an eye contact with someone, I feel disoriented since my brain instantly has to figure out what that person might have been feeling the moment we look at each other.
I think one has to have the chutzpah to look at someone without losing one’s poise. It also takes quite a decorum because staring at someone with a blank face and emotionless expression is one kind of modern-day-rudeness. We were taught in elementary to be affable to people on the road because it could be the last time we ever see them.
To quote ‘Man is a social animal’ is like to coerce someone to oblige that showing a face which has a gamut of indecipherable emotions is a vice. ‘Always be kind to strangers’ is also another adage which has an ulterior implication: If you do not smile at someone you’ve met for the first time, they’ll for ever be your enemy. Well, it seems I have many vices being committed and enemies multiplied as the clock ticks by.
A wise man, I forget the name, says that waiting is the attribute of the anxious. He must have been right when I ponder about his statement keenly. When someone is anxious, he is almost always too little too early. So, he has to wait and waste time—the most valuable commodity man has ever invented. I wonder why I almost always get the fidget when I’ve had something to do in the near future. Like, when exams are near, I get the exam-fever even when I do not bother to study at all. So when exams start, I resort to reaching the examination hall with a handsome hour still left to go. To tell you the truth, killing time at the examination hall is the worst kind of waiting. Had I been a sadist, I would surely torture someone by letting him wait for a caravan in a desert that would never arrive. How sweet would that be!
I remember one occasion, if memory serves me right, when I had to wait for you at a bus stand. I had to endure my worst nightmare—waiting and being exposed in public with strangers. It was the worst fifty one minutes of my life. But you had finally arrived with a thousand alibis ready to be spoken out in ingratiation. You smiled at me and it had the implication that everything was fine, would be fine, and finally broke the ice with ‘sorry I’m late Bud’.
Today, I did the test of patience. I’d been sitting on a waiting shed for three emotionally strenuous hours. I was scanning my vicinity and had to smile nonchalantly at the faces I’ve never met before. Amidst those, I was hoping to see your face that would relinquish me from the torture I had to bear alone. But you never arrived because our rendezvous wasn’t the one where I was resting my bum. Then I realized I had to text you, but I was running out of data balance.