Monday, August 16, 2010

His Night

He sat in the dark room alone, in front of his laptop. Bathed in blue, he stared at the screen with glazed and tired eyes. A blank word document stared back at him, equally tired. It was the first time in the entire day that he had found some time for himself, his roommate having gone off somewhere, which he, although told, did not remember. He stared out of his window, lowering the screen of his laptop to reduce the glare. Nothing. The night seemed as dark on the outside as it was inside. The darkness seemed more to be streaming out of his room rather than pouring in. Not giving into the exasperation he tried her numbers again. And again he was told the very same stuff. One number was switched off, the other not reachable. A sudden surge of irritation made him want to throw his phone out of the window. But then, he doubted whether it would ever hit solid ground, and not keep on falling forever.  And the latter was not something he wanted, coz then it would not break on impact (and therefore, would not be an ideal vent for his anger), and it would be irretrievable.  He chose to do nothing. He closed his eyes for a while, letting the darkness envelope him completely, and concentrated on the sounds instead. There was the rapid whirring of his ceiling fan. Every now and then, he could hear voices that belonged to the outside world. Voices of people moving about, rapidly rising in pitch and then suddenly fading away, like apparitions. Like anger. They seemed like stabs of a dagger on his hard-worked meditation. They made him wince, and curse.
He opened his eyes, letting the visual stimuli flood back into his self. He picked up his phone and called her again. Still nothing. Giving it up, he removed the ear-phones he had jacked into his phone and turned his attention to the two glow-worms hovering near his window, doing some sort of weird dance. Maybe it was a mating ritual, he thought. But then the duo could be duelling for all he knew. Maybe they were doing those elaborate patterns just to make him sit back and ponder about it the way he was now. In that case, were they trying to divert his attention away from the problems of his life? Or was it to irritate him further? And if it was the latter, why was he helping them succeed by doing exactly what they wanted him to do?
The last thought made him swing into action. He got up and switched on the lights. Harsh white light surged into his world like a swarm of locusts. It pained his senses and his mind. He immediately wanted to switch them off but had already laid back in his bed and did not want any more physical exertion to divert his mind away from its meditation. He looked up and could now see the fan which produced the whirring sound he had gotten so familiar with a little while before. Somehow, for some strange reason, the sound did not seem as warm and comforting any more. As if visual proof of its source robbed it of its sense of belonging. The whole observation made him wonder if sight is overhyped as a sensory perception. Maybe we place it at a pedestal which belongs to the more subtle senses; the senses of sound, of touch and taste, the ones that left at least something to our imaginations.
Having hit upon this thought, he got up to switch off the light and at that moment, the screen of his phone lit up and started blinking at a steady speed. It was her. He looked at the screen for a while and then at his ear-phones which he had unjacked from his phone. He turned his gaze back to the blank document while the song played itself out and the phone stopped blinking.