And like that in an instant…
It was all clear to me.
(plus a tiny bit of nausea that just appeared from nowhere)
And it felt like someone had put a spoon of salt in my mouth.
A teaspoon to be precise or better say the amount of salt you sprinkle on your fried eggs when you are still admiring the yellows and whites you just invented like a wizard of that Lord of the Ring Franchise.
But I’m Superman, I’m freakin Superman.
Faster than an email…
Yes that faster than a locomotive, stronger than a bullet, bird, plane, drone, whatever satirical tagline you wanna throw guy – That Superman.
This isn’t supposed to happen… not to me.
His shadow looked bigger than him, I still can’t figure out why that shadow is the first thing I noticed or maybe because it was the time of day when the sun is just big enough to fit in your hand, trying to seduce the night with its last remaining punch lines.
The guy had one end of scarf in his hand which he placed on his right eye, it was there, for like 30 seconds or so, or maybe it was just 10 seconds … but it felt longer… still there…
One eye cries more than the other, is it even possible?
Yes I thought that too, I was thinking a lot of things at that exact precise moment.
I can do that, cuz – I am Superman.
They say it takes a lot to make a grown man cry, it’s what they say right, man up, don’t be a crybaby, grow up ya’all that shit.
~ If you could, … since morning they… haven’t eaten… I … all day.
His words were coming out like that Skype call which never connects fully and you get only chunks while your brain processes to make some sense out of them.
Which i did eventually cuzz …. Ya you guessed it – right.
He had stopped me at the middle of the road, dead middle. With one hand, that scarfed one.
~ What?… i said
And with that my head did that little forward movement which usually happens when you move your chair towards the table with your feet.
He looked at right into my eyes, still holding that piece of scarf, the other gripping his vintage green bicycle…
~ I tried
~ I real…lly did
~ All day… couldn’t find any,
~ If i could have 2 kg atta (flour), kids haven’t… eaten since
And then he stopped.
His clothes ragged with dirt of God knows how many days of carrying bricks, the left shoulder smeared with white drops of whitewash paint of some gig he did some days… or months ago.
There he was the…
Poorer than a middle class man.
The daily wage earner slash seeker.
Illiterate than an average man.
Stronger than your white-collar dudes.
Bread earner of a family which happened to be his whole world.
Hero to his kids,
Wow this guys accolades are even longer than mine.
The next two events happened in perfect sync.
My hand initiating its journey towards my pocket, (what? I can’t have pockets? … com’on… cut me some slack)
And him gripping the handle of his bicycle and doing a 180
He was gone
Waaai………….. the “t” was just a tiny hum.
He didn’t stop.
And I knew why.
… The real thing.
Like those so many others in my country.