Monday, December 7, 2009
The other day, as I was walking the few meters separating the main road from my house, all distracted in my own thoughts, my usual state when walking, maybe merely thinking about the pace of my walk or I could have been fantasizing about the day I throw a resignation paper in a burst of anger on the desk of my supervisor, making its R E S I G N E D letters echo throughout the building, as I was walking those few meters, a man walking a few steps ahead of me spotted me and some brilliant idea must have banged in his head. Not weary of the pain striking his neck turned ninety degrees to watch me, he follows me eagerly with his eyes, until he reached a turn which he desperately thought might bring such an adventure to an end losing the sight of me should I take it or decide to take it. Then, a statue of the Lady standing there right at the corner saved him from such an imminent danger and a religious call suddenly fills his heart. One hand on the statue and the other in his pants, one iris on the statue and the other at the corner of his eye, he watches me taking the turn and follows. As he walked less than a meter by my side and as I summoned the soldiers of fury to invade every cell and nerve of my body, he asks me with as much idiocy as he could gather,"Can I ask you one question, and please don’t take me wrong, my intentions are good. But why are you sad?" What does he expect? Does he expect me truly that I would turn to him and indulge in a discussion about my sadness? Does he seriously expect an answer to that? What runs in his brain cells? Does he expect that I turn to him in a sudden for a sympathy hug? But more, does anyone walk alone in the street with a huge smile on their face? I say "none of your business" with an arrogant and disgusted tone and keep walking at the same pace. I was not mad at him. I was rather mad at this society that has no room for privacy. At the airport or in the plane, anyone who takes the seat next to yours feels an urge to talk to you, even if you are fully absorbed in a book. If you happen to sit alone in a cafe, your face buried in a newspaper, beware to show your face or turn your eyes away, lest someone there is waiting for that exact move opportunity to raid your privacy and ask you with all the memory of innocence left from his childhood "why are you sitting there alone". Most probably he is not prince charming. In a bus, don’t even try to have a book, as someone who has never opened a book in his entire life will ask you what you are reading about. Just lie there and feint a deep sleep. Privacy is a luxury forbidden in some corners of this world.