I wrapped the day earlier than usual, which for most people, equates to wrapping it at the regular time. But there was a childlike excitement in me when I did this, and so with time and a bit of the leftover daylight on my hands, I walked to the coffee shop. On my way there, I passed traffic—cars clogging the streets, stuck; the scooters and motorcycles shimmied and zigzagged around them, only to halt at the traffic lights. The illusion of progress is a cruel irony.
Traffic reminds me of many things. It reminds me of unfulfilled dreams in middle-class homes and lovers waiting for someone who never intended to return; in short, it reminds me of helplessness, and not just any helplessness, but one inflicted onto the self. Like the crowds never realise that they are the very problem they blame when individually commenting on how crowded the city has become, people who bring about problems now and then would do well to realise they were the problems themselves. Even if not entirely, they at least played some part in it. But as I walked to the cafe, I shrugged off this thought. I had wrapped the day early. We cannot all worry about the world at all times; that, too, is a luxury. We have work to do and bills to pay, and if we have an hour, coffee to savour and not just drink as a means to getting through the day.
This was my moment. This was my hour. I was not intent on giving it away to something I could not solve. We have days we care about the ills of the world, and there are days of vanity. This was a day of vanity. The general person goes to work and then comes home and does this repeatedly throughout the week. Even during this, they have time to sit down, read the news, and say, with all their morbid seriousness, “what a terrible world, what a terrible world indeed.”
No one is as aloof or heartless as to not see how this ship began sinking a long time ago, but that does not mean they cannot enjoy a drink now and then. Life is too short anyhow, and all of us are splashing towards the lifeboats. We do not want to be reminded of the world we live in on some days. Some days, it is only about ending it early, taking a long walk, and sipping coffee, quietly.