It was a sunny day yesterday; the white buildings turned yellow, and the grass on my balcony looked like proper grass. It was the only time it looked like real grass, really. It was a bargain I could get behind. There was a tradeoff between the artificial and the real, and somewhere between all of that was life. People who did not step into nature often did not know what a little grass and sun could do to us. Those who did not live in towns or cities, the realm of make-believe, eventually got disconnected from the world they at some point had to return to. I was none of them; like always, I preferred not to belong. I lived suspended between the two worlds.
In spirit of the tradeoff, I decided never to clean those sheets of grass, like I once saw the person living across from me, a building ahead. I could see them vacuuming their balcony once, and it gave me a moment of confusion, at first, but then, a hearty laugh. They weren’t wrong in doing it, of course, but there was an irony embedded in there, apparent and for all to see, especially those who lived a beeline ahead of them. This event did not impact my decision in any way. Once I had cut the sheets to fit my balcony, the grass was real.
I got a few plants a couple of weeks ago, and when I fitted them into the planters, some soil fell on the grass. There are now two patches of mud on it. A pigeon flew into the balcony and brought a couple of twigs, and they remain, rolling here and there with the wind, stuck in the boxed balcony. When it left, it also left a few feathers behind. Feathers were a come and go; the breeze rarely minded taking them away. As I read in the sun, which shone brighter after a couple of days of relentless showers, some tufts of grass and one whole leaf lay near my feet. These little gifts from the neighbourhood brought me joy.
The two days of rain aside, yesterday was like most days in recent months. At first, I wanted to share this warmth with others, but as infinite as it was, I wasn’t intent on giving an ounce of it away. So, I basked in the sun, read a little and at some point, I fell into a nap. I woke up to a sky peppered with clouds.
It was a productive afternoon.