I squinted my eyes to the dusty kick of sunshine, peering through the eastside window. I am not a very big fan of Sun, largely because it makes my mornings ‘bright’ and early. The curtains are a joke, the kind where you point and roll on the floor, laughing. Unwillingly and mumbling whatever profanity that came to me, I rubbed my eyes and nudged against the crinkled white pillows. Mornings are, by definition, drab. My bloodshot, groggy eyes caught two white aprons, carelessly dumped on my reading chair. This meant my parents had already left for work. Those aprons are due for laundry and I am expected to dump my dirty clothes on the chair the same way. Sometimes, I’m also expected to drag myself to Bandbox to drop these aprons and my rugged jeans for a dry wash. Thankfully, such expectations come only ‘sometimes’.
Having breakfast alone is actually quite relaxing. It gives you enough time to wake up and reflect on your wrongdoings from the previous night. It also gives you an opportunity to plan your day, usually under the acquiesced acknowledgement they will all backfire. Plans never work for people like me. Nowadays, I’ve gotten so used to having meals alone and whenever my stomach demands for them that I become unnervingly annoyed when ‘family’ is involved. I’m a people person – seriously – but certain social gimmicks present themselves as disguised retardation. Like the wedding reception tonight. I have no idea who these people are and couldn’t be least bothered to find out. Technically, I would not be aware of this particular reception if Mum hadn’t made it a point to leave the vulgar, scented maroon invitation card on the dining table. It’s her way of telling me – “you’d better go, or else…”
I never quite figured out what the “or else…” stood for. Anger? Resentment? Silent treatment? No food? Throwing me outside the house? Surprisingly – as it just occurred to me – I was never curious enough to ask. I think I should. At least, I would be more aware of what I’m threatened for; and what I am protecting myself against.
I slumped my bag on my shoulder and headed outside. The bag, again a tangible part of my entity, carried two books and a torn A4 copy. The books never came out of the bag and the copy remained at disposal for making paper airplanes and floating boats for rainy days. Books are meant to be submerged in dust on a pretty shelf at the back of your room. The only times you need to take them out for a read are before exams literally worth worrying about or to pretend being academically arcane when your parents are around. I’m a pragmatic person – I believe people learn more from reality and meeting other people than Randolph’s Advanced Chemistry. I learnt more about life from getting hurt through expectations and mundane attachments than any classroom could ever teach me. Then again, society is a bitter hangout. To survive, you need to be “educated academically” and “financially successful”. It’s a perquisite to prevent extinction.
Bus rides are always great for meaningless pondering. The sunny exterior, murky watermarks on the windowpanes, stinking passengers, beguiled hawkers screaming bargains – it’s all part of an everyday movement. People come, people go. A natural selection that leads to a stagnant society under the pretension of progress. Most times, you would feel like an insignificant dot in this grand pseudo fiesta. A perishable dot that won’t make any line incomplete. Dots are easy to draw, they’re all replaceable. However righteous this may sound, insignificance has its own merits. Being a silent observer is often more advantageous than a vocal fomenter.