The other day while I was reading, a bee landed on the page. It stood around the corner. Then, it walked between the lines like we often walk around in the alleys, walkways and gardens built around some monument, appreciating them without an ounce of understanding of the why. We could never know for sure why someone did what they did. We only had a cheap explanation on a plaque now and then. Like we left the complex after an hour of feigning curiosity when instead we were bored out of our wits, the bee flew away as well. I continued reading. I had nothing better to do.
That was not entirely true. I had a lot of things to do, but the sun was warm. I did keep a check on my watch to see if I didn’t go overboard with this delinquency. This was not new to me. I have always sneaked to the library in school to read something. In high school, I often found myself in one of the labs because our teacher there listened to fantastic music to which he’d introduce me. My taste for all music is a gift from him imparted over two years. In college, I often sat in seminars with a book in my hand. The new trends in technology had no authority over the classics.
All we had, all we could grab from this world, were these little pockets of time. I was a furtive thief, quite like the neighbourhood cat. The one who belonged to no one but somehow survived. The one who called the neighbourhood its own and had a familiarity with everyone in it, but no one could tell you where it disappeared to when it did. No one could predict when it would appear next. The only difference between the cat and myself was that I had actual duties, like casting a vote, meeting someone for lunch, crunching numbers to earn some money. None of it was too interesting, but I carried it well to an extent.
This responsible delinquency kept my life interesting. I was always looking to steal a moment of my own. I often wondered why I acted this way. Like the bee lost in the labyrinth of sentences, I did not know how to make sense of it. Perhaps, reading would not be as fun if I only read for days without anyone asking me to go to the bank at the same hour.
All adult life was an act of quiet, harmless rebellion.