Bookmark #795

I sit with a cup of coffee on a day as hazy as my future. My eyes, although half open, do not see anything noteworthy. I decide it is too early to write and definitely too early to start work, so I go out to the balcony and take a gander at all that is around my apartment. On a day like this, there is little to even look at. The hills are invisible behind the curtain of late autumn and early winter. And since the days are cold, the activity on the roads and in the building has ceased before it could even begin. I walk back inside. The bottom of my feet is now moist with dew. I tiptoe till the mat is under my feet. Starting a day with footprints on wooden flooring would be a mess. Nothing to do; I turn the music on, and the song takes me back to three years ago. I remember it clearly—Christmas Eve, the city under my feet as I stood at the top of the hills I could not see. I remember the glass of rum in my hand. Just then, a thought appears from the blue-grey blur of the setting: most of what has defined my life today had not happened until then. I pause at this for a moment or two. Three minutes pass as I go out of my way to remember all such moments. Every memory is but a bookmark. There is a before and an after. Any day, remembered properly, will feel as if it single-handedly put life in motion. But life is rarely so simple. And if there is a life that is simple on its own, it would not be the one I live. My life is simple in a different way. It is deliberate and careful. I avoid complexity like the plague. I invited my share of convolution to it years ago, and I have lived to tell the tale but run out of words to begin the story.

Before I realise it, it is the evening, and I am finishing up my work. The day has caught up with me. I have surrendered to its devices. I put my shoes on and begin to leave for dinner when suddenly I feel a chill near my nape. Moments like these—those that make you pause—often seem significant. But they seldom are. Often, it is just the change in seasons, a nip in the air, or your body telling you to stay warm. I pull my jacket off the hanger on the door and wear it as I leave, closing the door behind me.

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