Thursday, March 10, 2005

My Perfect Day

My Perfect Day

At 6a.m. sharp, the clock began uttering its annoying digital beeps, meant to wake me up for my daily jogging. As everyday, I sat up and shut off the beeps. It was usual of me to go back to sleep after this exercise. But today as I opened my eyes, everything looked surprisingly clear and unimaginably fresh. I was immediately wide-awake.
Leaving my wife sound asleep, I put on my jogging suit, which I, remarkably, found exactly where I expected it to be. I put on my running shoes and socks, both of which were incidentally and unusually the same. I remembered to turn off the burglar alarm before turning the doorknob.
What a fine day it was outside! The sun had just made its appearance in the far horizon and all the birds and butterflies were flying about twittering melodiously. As everyday, old Mr. Garner came across, walking his dog. Today, the dog was quieter as it noticed the playful fluttering of proximate butterflies and did not seem intent to bark at or chase me.
“Good morning, Mr. Smith,” said old man Garner. “Good morning, Mr. Garner,” I replied, as I jumped across an open manhole which I had so often fallen in during the exchange of pleasantries. Everybody I passed gave me a pleasant smile or a nod of recognition. I did not hear any nasty comments about my paunch or see anybody litter in the park.
As I got back home, I could not help but notice that the newspaper boy had aimed the newspaper accurately for the porch leaving my rosebushes and lilacs intact. “Wake up honey,” I cried aloud as I went to the bedroom, my eyes sweeping over the headlines. “Ian, I am here,” said my wife as she walked out of the kitchen with a smile on her face and a glass of juice in her hands. “Wow! You are up already up!” I said. “Why are you back so early from the park? This is the only time of the day when you endeavour to lose a few calories,” said my dear wife. “Your memory is deteriorating, Clara. I am sure both of us lost quite a few calories last night,” I reminded her with a wink and a meaningful smile. She laughed. I had recovered my old sense of humour!
When I took my bath the soap did not slip out of my hands, implying that I did not have to grope around for it while my soapy eyes burnt acerbically. To my surprise, when I turned on the shower a jet of cool water struck me. Since my soaped eyes were shut tight, I usually turned on the hot water knob to face a jet of steaming hot water. Later, as I ate my breakfast I read out the headlines to Clara – “Experts say healthy budget by the finance minister; new drug developed for cancer…” and so on. No gang rapes or serial killer on the loose today!
The shirt I chose for the day had all its buttons intact and once more I was able to find a pair of socks. “I will be late tonight. It is George’s birthday and the boys have decided to chill out tonight at Bob’s place (a beer joint),” I told Clara as I left for the office. As I drove out I found that the bins had been cleaned up and replaced the right side up! Amazing! Considering the clamour he caused during his cleaning exercise each day, the litter-guy (as I loved calling him) had done a really good and silent job today.
So now I was heading for the worst part of the day – my workplace where I would be at my hypocritical best. In my office, with me, worked Pete. Pete and I were friends, or rather acquaintances since school. Pete was a perfect guy – clean-shaven, adorned by a charming smile and Greek god looks. He charmed everybody who met him …… except me. I hated him more than anything or anybody else. And yet I had to act as his best pal in office because he treated me so. And what a show I put up! When once Clara had said to me, “Darling, you must do away with your beard and look more like Pete – you would be great,” I had cut her down to size by asking her if she was having an affair with him.
But today things were different – they were going my way! So for once and probably for the last time, I smiled as I thought of office and Pete. As I entered the building that housed our office, I found the lift waiting to haul me up to the twelfth floor. Today, I did not have to wait for the lift to come down cumbersomely and neither did I meet anybody on the first floor wishing to go downward. Things were going my way! God was giving me my perfect day, I told myself.
I had been only ten minutes in my room when Pete came rushing in. “I am sure I am going to get a raise today,” – he was talking about a raise for which both of us were in consideration. The nerve of this man! “Yesterday Gregory (our boss) was really impressed by my performance in the last project…” His words were interrupted by the appearance of the man just mentioned – our boss. We immediately stood up and he beamed a wide smile at me. He took my hand in his, shaking it warmly, and as if oblivious of Pete’s presence said, “Ian, Mr. Jones our marketing manager is being transferred to New Jersey and you are taking his place. Congratulations!”
Gregory’s departure saw all my subordinates rush inside and greet me warmly. They were genuinely happy for me! I loved the way the look on Pete’s face changed in a matter of minutes. He stammered a hasty wish and departed from the room. Once alone, I rang up Clara and gave her the news. I also reminded her that I would be late that night.
My particularly good luck that day prevented any further meetings with Pete. It was almost time to leave when he came to my room. He looked depressed and with a came-crashing-down-to-earth look told me that he was planning to go home early and abstain from George’s birthday bash. If ever I had believed in the existence of an omnipresent, superhuman celestial being, it was then. As my perfect day drew to its end this was the icing on the cake.
I decided today was the day to make a new beginning. Ian Smith was never going to be the same again. His work would be appreciated, his jokes laughed at, his attributes admired. I had been happy the whole day and had made others happy. So, I decided it would perhaps be an opportune occasion to do away with my scratchy old beard and sport a new, younger, rejuvenated look. It would also please Clara. So before I drove to Bob’s place I decided to visit a nearby saloon.
That evening I reveled with my friends, sans Pete. We drank, not only to George’s health, but also to my promotion and to the grey beard that once adorned my face. It was late in the night when I got back home. Clara was already asleep. I changed and lay beside her silently. I decided to postpone the surprise (over my beard) till the next day.
I lay in the dark recollecting the events of the day when Clara rolled over in her sleep and faced me. Her arms felt for me, her hands running over my face where my beard had once been. Expecting her eyes to open in surprise, I said, “I love you honey.”
And then my darling wife mumbled, half asleep, “I love you … Pete.”


At 10:49 PM, Blogger Braveheart said...

Read this story in 'Meander' long time back and loved it then. Though I must say that by now, I suppose you have matured in your taste and skills both.

So now, I'd love to see some new writings which won't just rely on the narrative and the surprise element which used to fascinate us all when we were younger. There is so much more to write about...isnt it?


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At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thoughts on the Chicago Blackhawks' 30
Yes, we love to rate, rank, and evaluate using every statistic we can get our eyes on it s very American.
Which is why I ve always found it curious almost nonsensical that playoff statistics and performances are verboten when it comes to season records. It s a strange official standpoint that a team can be recognized as undefeated even when losing at the most critical time, or that a player can maintain a streak despite failing when his team most needs him.
Competition in the playoffs is intensified. And with success in the playoffs being the goal of any franchise, postseason achievement is even more important than [url=]cheap nike shoes for sale[/url] what s done in the regular season. To that end, even though three of the four games Chicago lost in last season s first-round defeat to the Phoenix Coyotes occurred in overtime rather than regulation, Chicago got whitewashed, 4-0,in the deciding game. It s odd almost contradictory to celebrate a team for not losing when it, in fact, lost when, amid their winning streak, those same players sat dejectedly in the locker room because their season ended in defeat.
We perform the same categorical whitewash of playoff performance in all sports.
Innumerable sources state that Roberto Clemente s last Major League hit was his 3,000th an incredibly and, in its way, fortuitously coincidental achievement. But it was not Clemente s last hit the great right-fielder singled in the first inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Cincinnati Reds a few weeks after the close of the regular season, less than three months before his tragic death.
A .318 hitter in five postseason series, Clemente collected 34 hits that are separate from his 3,000. But suppose Clemente had finished the 1972 season, and his life, with only 2,999 safeties perhaps just one more questionable call at first base or great catch over an 18-year career. Is it fair to consider him excluded from that exalted milestone (even more exalted at the time because only 10 other players had reached 3,000 hits) because those 34 hits don t count?


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