Bookmark #193

I was walking on the road. When I walk, I usually listen to some music. What else could you do on the street in the constant cacophony in this country? Even in the city where nothing ever happens, the chances of some vehicle, person or disappointment crashing into you are far from unlikely.

Putting your earphones in, however, puts you in even greater danger, as one might imagine. Yet, if I had to choose between the two, I think I’d go for the music. You could die with or without the music; the music probably only made it easier. Yet, as young as I am, I find myself looking over my shoulder after every ten steps or so, hoping I can avoid sudden death.

They were about six steps ahead of me: the old couple. While I walk fast, I wanted to stay six steps behind them. Perhaps, it was in the way they walked. They weren’t slow or tedious. They walked in a comfort I haven’t had the privilege to experience yet. Even looking at them was peaceful. I wonder what they must’ve felt for each other to look so calm walking together. I wonder if that’s love. I haven’t had the luck to experience it yet.

It was apparent that the man had some issues with his hearing, possibly due to his age. I wonder if he, too, suffered temporary damage to his ears when he was young. I wonder if his ears rang now and then, or were they just silent or muffled? In any case, it was clear he couldn’t hear the oncoming vehicles. Whenever he strayed towards the middle of the road, I saw the woman pulled him towards herself in almost a reflex.

I think that is why I kept walking behind them. It was probably nothing else at all. Maybe they weren’t as tranquil, and maybe they had an argument once they reached home, and perhaps it wasn’t a love as happy as it sounded in my head. I think it was the fact that he didn’t have to look over his shoulder continually despite not hearing the traffic. That is why I didn’t want to walk ahead of them.

They were about six steps ahead of me. Yet, it felt like it was longer. From where I stood, listening to my music by myself, continually looking over my shoulder, they felt a lifetime away. Six steps never felt longer.

I couldn’t walk ahead of them.

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