It's been so long i feel like i am starting all over agin. at one point i thought i was done blogging but fortunately i managed to get a grip of things. i thought i was taking a little break soon enough i was overwhelmed by my laziness, it has an uncanny control over me, but the good thing is that i am back to my blogging ways....i guess i have to do a lot of reading, as i get down to it here is an aptly named story no. 8
A NEW START
As he sat there on the bench waiting for someone to sit beside him, he was thinking of ways to start a conversation, how about the latest terrorist attacks, but that would be too intense. He thought it would be judicious to keep the topic a bit more casual, perhaps he would go with the weather but they were predicting cyclones in the next few days, nothing good could come out of that, he remained as uncertain as ever. He had been alone all his life, his parents died while he was still an infant, leaving behind for him millions in banks and trust funds. At a very early age he learnt that life without parents can be profoundly painful. To escape this pain he drowned himself in his stories. Now at 26 he wished he could do it all over again. Unable to connect with another human being made him suffocate, all the money in the world did not make any difference. His professional life was equally agonizing for him, he had devoted his entire life to writing yet his works weren’t good enough for the publishing world. He had written three novels each one of them inexpedient for the publishers in a different way. They found his books ‘too intellectual’ ,’incredibly complex’, ‘brilliant but lacking a market’, these repeated failure came with the realization that he had no one to turn to for support and advice which further aggravated his anguish. He felt insignificant like a thumb print on the window of a sky scraper. He was desperate to extricate himself from this low point of his life.
Every day in the evening he ventured to the nearby park looking for an opportunity to mingle with his fellow human beings. Unfortunately for him they were few and far fetched and everytime he did get a chance he was too petrified to say a word. Mostly he found himself sitting on a bench and every once in a while a young couple would join him, but mostly they were so busy figuring themselves out he would decided it was in the interest of everyone that he did not interfere, he did listen to their conversations making little mental notes in case he ever was in a similar situation, though he himself was hugely skeptical about his chances, mostly he used them as little events in his stories. He would try to steal glances and whenever he got caught he would leave the bench with a sheepish smile on his face. Sometimes he would visit the coffee shop while returning from the park. Today was one of those days. Everytime he visited a coffee shop he realized why he enjoyed spending time here. It was never too crowded, people kept to themselves and he always got good ideas for his stories here. After a while he saw that the place was full which was quite unusual, he noticed that he was the only one sitting alone as usual.
“Do you mind”, he lifted his head to find a young woman dressed in a formal attire, holding a cup of coffee, standing next to his table. “oh….not at all….go ahead”, he muttered feeling extremely anxious, she smiled and sat down. He wondered if this was the opportunity he was waiting for, how difficult could it be to start a conversation, it was the perfect setting but his mind went blank, on trying a little harder he found his head filled with everything absurd and irrelevant like stupid Viagra commercials and alien abduction stories. He looked at her for help, hoping she would utter something. “Can you please pass the sugar”, he passes it on with a lot of enthusiasm, she poured in a total of three teaspoons, “that’s a lot of sugar….”, he said barely managing to hide his excitement now that he had finally managed to say something. She smiled and said, “it’s been a tough day…”.
“so the worse your day the more sugar you have…”.
“yeah, something like that but it’s never more than four not even on the worst of days...”
“I hear sugar can make you fat….aren’t you worried…. “, she smiled ,”after the amount of work I do, I feel I can handle a few extra calories….”
“You work around here?”, he said trying to extend the conversation a little longer. “yeah…..”
“Is it interesting?” “well….it has it’s moments……what about you?”
“I am a writer” “wow…..that can’t be bad…”
“You would be surprised how bad it can get……” “oh……but it seems everybody is getting published these days…”
He felt a little humiliated yet managed to keep a straight face, “I was under the same illusion when I decided to enter the profession”, he said with a wry smile.
“what’s with all this negativity……..you are so young you just need to continue writing……I am sure eventually you will get published…”
‘she is so naïve’ he thought perhaps that’s why she is so optimistic, “as you can see I haven’t stopped trying…”
“you have already started working on your next novel……that’s great…..what’s it about”
“no no…..this is just a short story I am writing for this online magazine…….it’s about a man who is planning his suicide sitting at a coffee shop..”
“huh…..that’s awfully sad…but you know what I find it weirdly interesting…”
“I guess…you really are having a bad day…..”, both of them laughed though he was more amused with the discovery that he actually had a sense of humor. She looked at her watch.
“oh dear……my masters give me only tiny windows of freedom… so I better be going…”, both of them looked at each other, he was completely unsure what his next move should be, he wished if it was one of his stories, soon an extremely uncomfortable silence erupted between them. As she was about to leave she said, “I am Ria”
“I am Jai”, he said almost immediately without waiting for her to stop
“It was nice meeting you Jai” “nice to meet you too”. As he saw her leaving he couldn’t help but wallow in his happiness, all his disappointments seemed to have vanished, he felt completely rejuvenated, ” perhaps this is what they called human connection”, he wondered but as he saw her merge into the sea of people outside he realized something important, he might want to meet her again, he dashed out of the café before it was too late.