I stood in the concessionaire queue at the airport. We must try and get a cup of coffee or tea when travelling, not for the caffeine but because they devour the urge to eat, which is always good when dealing with food around airports. The queue did not budge at all, however, and I started seeking ways to distract myself. I started looking around and did not have to look far to find something interesting. The man who stood and waited ahead of me had a wilted flower jammed right where the straps go in. It seemed like a rose, but it was difficult to tell. The man seemed old and tired; the grey hair indicated a life lived. I could not judge whether it was lived well or otherwise, so I moved to a different inquiry. I wondered who the flower could have been from that he kept it even after it had been reduced to a dry and dead version of its glorious colour.
As we do for things we don’t know anything about, I started making up stories about it. I hoped it was from a kid who waited for father back home and told myself things were seldom as simple. Before my cynicism entirely took hold of me, I realised one can hope. One can hope for things to be good and for them to be simple. If we hope strongly enough, things often turn out to be that way. I also thought maybe he simply forgot about it, as most people forget things, and that the flower was but a glaring display of his aloofness.
All of this was, of course, selfish of me. I only wanted to be distracted. These observations happened all day long because there was always a queue and people were always around. It was incredible just how many people were around me. When I finally got my coffee and found a seat, I decided to look at the sheer plethora of it all. I reckon there is so much at stake every second of every day. Children give their fathers a flower and wait for them to return home. Fathers often keep the flowers long after they have withered, and this happens regardless of whether we notice it or not. Most life in this world happens despite us. When I thought of this, it made me dejected for a minute, but then, like all thoughts that shake your soul, it soon gave me this incredible sense of being alive.