Monday, November 3, 2014

A short story

The door bell rang and I opened my front door with glee. "Was this it? Had she arrived?" I wondered expectantly. The FedEx girl looked at me like a dentist looks at a candy-loving 5-year old visiting her for the first time. She seemed to have a frown for every one of my teeth (in case you were wondering, the two dental references are unrelated). "Sign here" she ordered. I gave her the longer, more eloquent version of my signature. She pulled back the pad impatiently before I could finish, dropped the package angrily, as though punishing me for her bad day and stomped off. 

On another day, I would have given a shit, but today I had none to spare. There she was, packaged resplendently in glittering peerless cardboard that I couldn't wait to strip off. I lifted the package to the pre-cleared living room centre, then admired her from all angles for a minute, took a deep breath and got to work with my favorite knife. 

The assembly took me just over six minutes. Though this wasn't my first time, I was extra careful, ensuring that all the pieces went to their rightful places. When I was done, I stepped back a couple of feet and turned around as though presenting my new bike to the fan-boys. "Apple has today revolutionized yet another industry" I announced loudly in my head as the imaginary audience went beserk. "After sucking the marrow out of computing, music, movies, television broadcasting and the phone industry, we though to ourselves-what is left? The choice was obvious. We need better bicycles So today, after years of work by overpaid engineers and dying underpaid labourers, we unveil before you the iBike" The audience erupts as I pick my nose and scratch my butt crack. 

Five minutes later, I am dashing down the street in my Bianchi Vertigo 105 sporting my cycling attire. I have always wondered how the more sport-serious your attire, the dumber you look. It's as though the designers deliberately make you stand out from the normal sane-dressing crowd, so that you are recognizable to your similarly terribly outfitted brethren. Fully geared, I was prepared for injuries, listening to music, dehydration, rainy weather and I even had those specialized glasses that increased my range of viewing. However, I pretty much looked like one of those unimportant ambassadors from a forgettable planet in Star Wars. Not that I really gave much thought to how I looked, you know. 

It was a magnificent day, I was in my element... whatever that means! I wonder if chemists agree with that idiom. Whatever! It was just the right amount of cool, not chilly, not warm. I was cycling along a spectacular route. I cycled along several little bridges, criss-crossing some quiet residential areas and passing though some dense tree-laden areas towards the city. As I sped along, the breeze kissed my forehead and the wind brushed my arms. My muscles ached a bit, but it was the good sort of ache, you know, when the body realizes pain and the brain releases these hormones, dopamine, seratonin and stuff like that. I don't know the details, but I sure felt that my brain was doing the right thing. It felt great and I felt invincible and then...BANG!!

I was thrown about 10 feet from the crossing. I was hit by a bus, a frikkin' bus. I guess I wasn't invincible after all. A crowd gathered and I was dragged to the sidewalk. I felt bloody from the inside, outside, everyside. There was this gigantic pool of blood at my feet. I was almost waiting for an alien to emerge out of it then quickly dismissed my stupid hollywood-inspired imagination. It was amazing that I wasn't dead. I then got up to thank the stranger who had helped me to the sidewalk and noticed that he was wearing this ominous cloak and had a scythe by his side.

He smile gently. I freaked out. Oh! But this was halloween weekend. Haha.. HAHA! I laughed to myself, then looked closer. The stranger had a skeleton face. OMG! I was dead and this was death. 

Surprisingly, it didn't take me long to get over it. I was always a practical person and hey! it's not like I could do anything about it. I walked to my body a few feet away. I looked awful. I ran back to death with horror in my eyes. He hugged me and patted me on my back. "There there!" he said in his hollow but soothing voice, "Always be careful while crossing the street"

About Me

My photo
I am Arjun P. Kamath, and I am a nice guy to know.