Three years ago I had a decent job and a rotating chair. My office was at the furthest end of the block on the top floor and so, yes, privacy and majesty were my portion too. I was fresh from two places, college, and the village. This must be the reason I used the lift up and down the office, took photos taking tea and kept a small secret in the staff kitchen because I had a phobia for electricity.
One of my favourite pastimes these days is looking across glass walls in the streets. I don’t know if it is First Class Narcissism or what but that is it – walking down the street admiring myself in the mirrors. I admire my gait. My hair. My shoes. The goatee that’s refused to grow since college. The complexion. And scars. I think I fell in love with the marks on my forehead long ago and it has taken ages to acknowledge this. Guys, this guy is simply a catch.
Every evening they go back home. They will climb the rickety pieces of metal that age has left in what once was a shiny Japanese machine. They will struggle to find space next to the window, and then caught up in the traffic jam they will witness day slowly turn into night, a ritual nature performs every day to remind them that though they wallow through unending murk, this world is still far away from being their home. That a black and white rat keeps gnawing at the rope that suspends them in this abyss. They will die.
Eventually the bus will win the battle. They will get back to the house to find the kids already asleep. They will be dog tired and sweaty. There will be the urge to get a shower, but due to the recent water rationing by the eternally angry landlord, and because there is no more breath left to pick a quarrel with the self-imposed lord, the little that is left in the cans will be reserved for cooking. By Allah, nobody in this house showers tonight.