I like Saturday afternoons. I am supposed to jerk myself off bed and go around town, maybe enrich my knowledge with the sights and sounds (and smells) of the city; too bad, having got home from office a few hours ago and intending to prepare myself for the drastic transition from sleeping through the day to sleeping at nights, I am resisting sleep, fighting it off for some for some ‘quality time’ with my roommate whom I haven’t seen for a week, thanks to our shifts (and who has conveniently gone back to sleep, despite having slept seven-and-a-half solid hours). Going diurnal human from nocturnal whatever-creature. I don’t know, I don’t have a name for it.
So this Saturday afternoon, I’m sitting up in bed, the maroon curtains are half drawn back across the windows, and the sky is close to my face, thickening with rainclouds. I feel like Heidi in her attic bedroom. I really do. All those miles away from home, amidst new people, and young. Okay, not so young.
I find myself able to participate, to a small degree, in girl talk (now I don’t know if that’s good news); girls aren’t awful company, they can be okay at times. And it helps to have a roommate who doesn’t wake up to bright lights or noise (except the sunlight streaming full into our ‘attic’ room, or my windchimes tinkling as the breeze whispers in through an indiscernible crack between the window-pane and the frame). Nature does know how to rouse you from untimely sleep!
My windchimes, yes. I claim possession to this one thing, the first thing I bought here and that I dearly love, the steel-coloured rods clanging against the brass sphere, and three-fourth full faces of the sun on black string with gazes that can be interpreted as sinister or impassive, depending on your day at work, or in your head.
A small tug at the curtains, and sunshine and cloud-luminosity can be obliterated in one stroke. Just a tiny push on the window-pane, and the sounds of the city, the rush and the roar, can be suppressed. To block out the world that is, is that simple. To lose yourself in the world that doesn’t exist, but that you imagine and cherish and hope for. Only for a little while, though, before the world imposes on you in the shape of people within the house, hunger and thirst of the physical kind, vibrations of the cell phone, thunder, lightning, the at-once real and dreamily distant clink of the wind chimes. Oh yes, the world gets to you. It gets to you with the nagging reminders of the commonplace; with the knowledge that you’re aging, that the people on the videos on MTV are hormone-charged teenagers and the people you grew up watching have probably greyed and put on a few ounces of weight around the stomach, that half the cricket team will soon be younger than you, that the job you came into, fresh and full of enthusiasm, some day would be taken over by another fresher from college. And you’d be the wise Oracle that they’d look up to. Wait. Who am I kidding?
Not today. No amount of financial wrangling or bidding, money lost or gained (it is circulated, someone has it, so why worry?), troubled girlfriends and messy kitchens will get me out of the light and ethereal dreams my mind wants to drift into. The packet of potato chips may lie ripped apart on the sofa, the kitchen might be a real mess, the laundry might pile up to mammoth proportions. Don’t mention the mundane to me, not this day, when I am pretending to be Heidi amidst her soft white sheets on her hay bed, the sky on my brow.