Thursday, February 11, 2010

Five Minute 35 Seconds

It has started raining. They are predicting a snow storm over the weekend. Few days ago it rained and snow followed. Snow or no snow, strong winds ensure the place always feels freezing cold. I jog to the minibus, open the sliding door and hop in. It is warm inside. Feels better. Find myself a seat and buckle on the seat belt. It is too dark by the time office closes to be reading a book on way back. Music is the next best option.

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
the regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Makin' love to his tonic and gin
He say, Son can you play me a memory
I'm not really sure how it goes
But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man's clothes

Ticking of time is such a constant, one hardly notices. And then there comes a day when it stops. Others still don’t notice. Ticking goes on.

The lights have come on at most of the places. The way back from office to the city is through and over the top of a hill. It makes for a good view. It’s a city that never gets dark (artificial lights mostly). From top of the hill one can see every other place brightly lit. The tower (which I don’t know is for what) changes colors at its regular pace. Red, bright green, sharp blue. The cycle goes on. A red, a green, a blue. The place stays full of light all the time. Lately snow has added to the glow. Nights are nearly white.

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there's someplace that he'd rather be
He says Bill, I believe this is killing me
As the smile ran away from his face
Well I'm sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place

The pot holes on the road are beginning to fill with rainwater. Maybe it’s the water from previous rain. Sun has not been strong enough past few days to dry anything. Putting face next to the window glass brings that freezing feeling back.

The place I would rather be…I believe this is killing me…. Life does so to so many, one stops noticing. Just like the ticking of time.

Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he's talking with Davy who's still in the navy
And probably will be for life
And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it's better than drinking alone

It is a good song. One song can carry one through so many different emotions and memories in such a short time.
I play it again.

The owner of the apartment was generous with the wall clocks. Put three in the house. The ticking was very noticeable, as it was very audible. When you live with the books and the walls as company, the ticking seconds are the sound you hear the most. Removed the clock from bedroom late one night. The ticking sound along with the brightness of the night can keep you awake.

It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday,
And the manager gives me a smile
'Cause he knows that it's me they've been coming to see
To forget about life for awhile.

The bus has dropped us on the corner ‘Ani Duniya (New World) Market’ circle, from where I walk to the apartment (the blue buildings). Two other colleagues also get down at the same stop. Slowly we branch out into our three different streets.

And the piano sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say "Man, what are you doin' here?"

Into the elevator. Up seven floors. Fumble with keys. Hit the light button. I have reached the place that till morning will be the pit stop. I put on the song once again. Five minute 35 seconds.

Sing us a song, you're the piano man
Sing us a song tonight.
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feelin' alright.

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