Friday, July 17, 2009

9-5 Army

As the sky transforms to the heady sounds of bird laughter, something in the most improbable sense becomes a proponent of unproductivity across the country, indeed the world; tiredness is injected into the souls of the 9-to-5 army, and as they attempt to relish another drab twenty-four hour rotation, it crashes – wave after wave – into their feeble barriers of morning caffeine and water-right-in-the-eye, hastily conceived and probably not made to order. Sometimes these waves are so entirely overwhelming that some never make it past the crash-back-to-earth phase – not until about 9:01 AM, anyway.

Summer has arrived.And as difficult to get through as it is, we make it. How?

In the 9-to-5 army, everyone has a nickname. Partly-panted comes down the stairs in a ball of regurgated wool; the shave was perfect and his best shirt is on, but he somehow came to the conclusion he could hook up his trouser button and slip on his left sock at the same time… which made him swallow the other sock which was in his shirt pocket, when he slipped down the stairwell, when he lost his balance, when his pants tangled his feet, when they came off halfway.

Hot-headed rushes down the steps past Partly whom he considers an ignominy in motion, but overdoes it and bangs into the wall after tripping on Partly’s outstretched elbow, with which Partly was trying to extract remnants of the sock from his throat. Generally a perfectionist, Hot swears at Partly and at the fact he is already 4 minutes behind his schedule, picks himself up, swears again, and proceeds down the second set of stairs into the living room and out, into the car. But he has forgotten his car key. Or has he?

Didn't Partly-panted mumble he left it in the ignition last night. Last night?

Before the swear word is fully out of his mouth, Partly-panted (who is now Fully-panted) arrives on cue into the passenger seat next to him, clutching two cups of creamed coffee. ‘What were you saying?’‘You forgot to lock the doors and remove key from the ignition last night?’‘Oh, it wasn’t me. It was my friend.’

On the verge of exploding into another morning vent-out so common amongst the youthful metropolis proletariat, Hot-headed doesn’t – just. He doesn’t because in his inner-most heart he knows that somehow, this one momentary leisure of early-morning coffee with a best friend is what makes his companion’s day, a sanctum of solace that allows them to surpass their routine that is guaranteed to be imposingly ascetic, and anemic.

So he slows down just enough to be able to spray-spit his coffee back into his cup.

‘What friend? Why did someone else take this car without asking me first?’
‘Something major happened to his dad, so we had to take him to the hospital right then. He’s fine though, got him in there just in time.’

And despite the weariness, despite the wear-and-tear of personal fabric amongst commercial billboard thumb-tacks, a splint has ignited a different kind of fire from the one that the anger would have incensed because he unknowingly aided a good deed when it was required, and became part of the bigger picture. It was what he needed most - and his day was made too.

That said, this doesn’t happen every day. But they do, if you keep your eyes open, often enough to keep us in check. Many have methods to get through the day, to feel that inner peace; their own abdication that persists in moments of testing difficulty, sadness, sorrow and the like. For those who don’t, it’ll take time, but its’ there; a friend, a hat, a song, a drive, a client, a customer, a bus ride on time…something really stupid that somehow that shooes the blues away.

‘In a mad world, only the mad are sane’ – Akira Kurosawa

Find it, and use it; As long as you let the summer blues become summer greens and summer hot pinks, it doesn’t matter how silly it is.Because, in that way, if being normal meant there was something wrong with being different, you know you'd rather be completely mental, anyway.


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