Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Something, again

The next time he goes to the café, it is different.

The smoking room regulars are all eyeing him askance. He feels that they all want to say something, but cannot because of the wall of obstinate non-being that he has built around himself over the last few days, sulking in his corner. He checks his fly. It is fine. Then what?

The café man comes up: Is that really you, man? He is still befuddled. The man explains. His secret has been discovered. His blog has been mentioned. In a newspaper in the faraway land where he was born. It said that the city still owns him. And, by some quirk, someone, who knew someone who had heard from someone who had received the link from someone who had read it, was a regular at the smoking room.

While he is brooding over which one is dearer to him – his moment of fame or his lost secret, she enters. With a nervous gaze at him, she proceeds to her table. As she sits there fidgeting with her cigarette, they exchange looks, each one with more and more embarrassment. Finally she turns her back at him.

He tries reading the gazes. She probably does not know. She is not a regular here. But she still carries the same doubt that she had, when she saw him typing. She did not fully believe him then, as she does not, now. It is that doubt that breeds the hesitation in her. On the other hand, he is not sure whether he wants her to know either. But this discomfort pains him.

Why doesn’t someone else tell her? Why doesn’t, at least, someone in the whole crowd care to realize that she is the one?

Why is it just a story to everyone else in the room?