Nine times nine,
Neighing in denial.
Nine times nine,
Neighing in denial.
This morning, unlike any other morning, I found myself stuck in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jelly; not a jam, a traffic jelly. I don’t get out much, what with the NOx and the general laziness and the outside not having much to offer, so when I do get out, I get very anxious. Accompanied by a 4 year-old who already has political views, I set out for the journey, equipped with all the gear a mom needs; Hot Wheels, juice boxes, snack boxes, snot-rags, and a teddy bear that the 4 year-old has adopted as his son. He is already proving to be a better parent than me, giving the teddy bear fresh fruit instead of boxed juices and making him a “pretend” hot home-cooked meal and brushing his “pretend” teeth, twice a day. And he reads to him too, from a book; Unlike me, I just make up stories.
So, back to the traffic. I saw most people in agony. There was honking and arm-waving and finger blowing and name calling and a lot of F-bombs dropping. I sat back and enjoyed the traffic jelly. It was fun to watch, everyone was late for work, everyone wanted to get there faster than the others, and nobody looked like they actually wanted to get to work. What were they all trying to get to? Once everyone is at work, don’t they just keep checking the time to see if it’s 5 PM yet? I know I did that and a lot of people I worked with did that. So I am going out on a limb here and say that everyone does that. Those who don’t, either work from home or actually like what they do. (Hahaha.. like there’s any money in that!)
While I was feeding one of my OCD habit of reading the license plates of every car in my line-of-sight, I noticed those poor environmentalists, who were pedalling along on their bikes, helmet and knee-pads and biking shorts and the whole ensemble. Saving the environment, working out at the same time – good on them! I couldn’t help thinking how much impact their efforts would have in the long run. For every bike, there must have been twenty cars or more. That environmentalist was breathing in pure ob-NOx-ious fumes. Not to mention, those bikes look so fragile, a monstrosity of a car can knock them down by just being around. The green warriors are trying so hard, one plastic bag at a time, and most of us do nothing. I mean, we are even killing WHALES! And those mammals are huge, and yet we found a way to destroy them. People destroy everything. (And my rants start now…) Even my 4 year-old said, “Just look at this country!” He does not understand country and state and continent and division as such, he just picked it up from his father, but he was spot on with the timing. He, in fact, pacifies his raging father when the latter is driving and yelling, “These idiots need to learn how to drive!” by chiming in, “Please Daddy, the idiots also need to get home.” Some kick-ass parenting, huh?
So, to sum it up, I lost my train of thoughts now, and the sparks of brilliance that had illuminated my mind back in the traffic, are gone. So I leave you with this:
**Before I begin the not-so-small talk, let me tell you this- these thoughts occurred to me in the morning cool, while walking past the breezy canopied streets. So, if they are scattered or offensive, my sincere apologies**
I recently read on someone’s blog that nobody pays for Apple Music anymore, it’s the time of podcasts. I don’t know if the blog was very old, or if I am very old, but I still pay for Apple Music, because they keep my playlist as it is, without throttling it with their suggestions. I like the sequence my playlist has been following for years. Sure, there’s more added every now and then, but I do not shuffle. It’s a routine. Imagine Dragon had finally made it to my playlist with Levitate. I am still not buying the “You are my shooting star” nonsense. I mean, come on! A 6 feet tall hunk who can sing and play the guitar would have shooting stars all over the place. But anyway, I figured I don’t want to be one of those frumpy oldies who only lobbies for Hank Williams and Willie Nelson, so I took to the “new-age” music so I could discuss the now-trending-later-classics with my son. 30 years from now, Justin Bieber and Charli XCX would be classic, right? So I like to know what’s going on and some of them are really good. But what is with the EDM, Trance, House and all of those (for want of a better word) thumping, beatboxing, raving, eclectic music scene going on, I do not know and don’t care to know. I may be wrong here, but you must have a temporarily comatose cerebral cortex to enjoy and dance to that. I only hope my son doesn’t take to that.
So back to the business of talking music – I have a morning routine, I walk- earphones and walking shoes and all. (No Fitbit, no!) and during the hour-long walk, I listen to my playlist. I cannot walk without someone blaring in my ears. It’s like a lullaby for walking. And when you go on a routine walk in a routine place, you develop acquaintances. Most of them are just (‘morning!) acquaintances and thank God for those. Some are “smile and nod” ones, which are still okay. But then some are just that make me go, “Man! That b**** is going to want to talk”. So I start preparing for the calamity: you know, put your head down, look the other way as if you have just spotted a blue jay, look at your palms as if you got a boo-boo, pretend your shoe laces are undone, suddenly change the direction you are walking in. And I go through all this trouble, just so I don’t have to stop listening to Bobby Womack. I can easily press pause and unplug, but I don’t want to because when Bobby Womack is singing, you’d want to listen. So, over comes the acquaintance and starts asking weird-a** questions like “How are you? Long time no see? Nice weather, isn’t it? Did the son leave for school? Where is the husband? How is the husband? Why don’t you come to the park? Are you collecting clothes again for donation? When are we ordering those brownies again? Are you going somewhere for the holidays? Were you bathing your cat last evening?” These are actual questions I have encountered. Now you see my fury?! The answers to all the above are as below:
All of these are fairly obvious answers, aren’t they? Rhetorical! But folks still feel the need to make small talk. I irritate a lady who is pregnant (and she’s not due until the summers) by saying, “Any day now, huh?” every time I see her. She is the only one victimized by my small talk. I do not know how to talk small. I can talk big, but even then, I get tongue-tied and sweaty-palmed and words rush out faster than thoughts. So I end up making a fool of myself. Bose and air-pods and the likes came up with noise-cancelling headphones for a reason. When you see someone wearing those, it is a billboard saying, “Do Not Disturb”. Similarly, if you spot someone wearing Crocs, it is a billboard saying, “Do Not Give Fashion Advice”.
So, to sum up, let me ask you this: If you were walking at the beach and saw someone in their swimming gear, soaking up the sun by their beach umbrella, having a sip of something cold, would you walk up to them and kick sand in their faces? I know one would feel tempted, but would you do that, really? As a society, we must refrain from acting out on our instincts, otherwise the world would go helter-skelter. So next time, you see someone enjoying the alone-time, stay away and do not stop for a chat. They just might be packing heat.
On a park bench,
In the afternoon,
Walking on Cars-
Advising to go back.
See for yourself
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