Proclaimed the hoarding at the top of the opposite apartment. It was a teaser, not revealing more than it should and expecting people to watch out the space for more.
I din't know why but it seemed that the hoarding talked about me, as if proclaiming to the world that good time for me was here and the world should rejoice. They must have put it at night, when I was sleeping, for I didn't notice this monstrous happiness yesterday when I was kicking my bike for office. I completed one leg of my monotonous day in a perfectly monotonous manner and consulted the daily astrology website in my signature monotonous way. "Beware of unscrupulous people around you, great harm coming your way in the next two days," the letters screamed from the monitor. I had to quickly click the page close to hide those cursing letters.
It had a dramatic effect on me.
Yesterday I was alert and taut like an anchoring rope. So much so that when I came home I had no energy to concentrate on anything, not even on the beautiful neighbour who I usually greet in the lobby with a smile. She was still standing there when I took the elevator, but I was not interested in checking her out. It must have been a shock to her, for she examined me intently, I could sense. I could also sense that she was hurt. And I felt happy that she was hurt. It's bloody me who was hurt every time. I try to talk to her but she turns back, as if I am only interested in her ass and not in her face, nose, eyes and other front-facing niceties. Agreed, a nice ass has its own place in this earth, but sometimes I feel like to be smiled at too!
Besides, she has a boyfriend who comes to her every weekend. When he is around, she doesn't even notice that I exist. On weekdays, she waits for me to smile at her, the day I don't, she doesn't slow down her pace while crossing pass me, huffing and puffing while almost kicking the mother earth with her fair-shiny-hairless-round lotus feet. As if it's my responsibility to make her happy, as if by not smiling at her, I did a great sin, as if by ignoring her, I had broken a great covenant. Sorry madam, I am tired of playing my part. I am tired of being your part-time lover. If you just want to show your ass to me, better don't cover it up with your fancy evening dresses. It's time that you deliver, I am done doing my part!
In short, my male ego was hurt every time, which managed to erupt yesterday in a silent blast of sheer indifference. My bike had to go kaput nearing office, I had to push it about a kilometer and then I see this warning message on the astrology site. I was tired fighting against my unscrupulous colleagues and bosses in office, unscrupulous passengers in the train and the bus and unscrupulous resturant guys while they served me. I was dead, dead tired of the unscrupulous world. And I wanted her to understand that.
I brushed my teeth staring at the hoarding from my balcony. Good times are here! Indeed! My horoscope says my good times were due anytime. And the Gods had to promise that to me in writing through this hoarding!
I came down to have my morning tea, thinking about my impending good times and rejoicing about it. I was wondering from which angle my good times should bump against me, will it be a raise in my salary? A promotion? New job may be? What about a new girlfriend?
New girlfriend? Ah! That's not possible anymore. Lord knows I am in love but my love has a stupid boyfriend! So I discarded the love angle and concentrated on the pay hike part. I thought about it while sipping the sugary hot syrup that they sell as tea. But such is the habit of years, I don't like real tea anymore, a fresh, original tea almost always fails to titillate my grey cells.
It's not that I am a superb performer, no, far from it, I thought. But it's not that I don't work. I always work when I see I am dangerously hovering towards the area from where management guys scoop up maggots and throw them out in the sunlight. Every time I veer near that area, I wriggle my ass off on the safer side. Yes, ordinarily, you should not give a pay hike, or a promotion to a guy like me. If they do, I will be surprised myself, but if shit happens, accidents happen too. And when the stars are colluding to present me a good time, who the fuck are these guys to stop my promotion or a pay hike.
I ordered another sugary hot syrup and lighted another cigarette. Good times are here man, good times are here, I whispered to ghetufool. However active I am, that fucker ghetufool, who sleeps deep inside me, reacts as if he has no boss in this world. I try to befriend me, but usually he rejects my friendship with an air as if I am too low a creature for his refined tastes. But this time he acknowledged my good wishes, he said, yes, I also feel that ... Good times are here, finally! I was happy that my best friend acknowledged my presence. I asked him gently, with all the love that I could gather, "How are you ghetufool?"
He was silent, but there ... I could feel his presence in me. Means, he was happy too! It's not always that we are at peace with each other. Good times are here!
We came home dancing and singing together. For the first time both ghetufool and I had reached a common agreement and he had accepted me, it seemed, despite me -- the way I am. So I thought of nagging him a bit (it's not that I get the opportunity quite often)
Hey ghetu, I am in love ...
How do you know?
I live inside you ... unfortunately
Ah! So what you have to say about it?
Nothing at all?
Nothing at all
Arghhh ... why so?
This is not the first time you think you have fallen in love.
Will you FUCKIN talk?
Umm ... what can I say more?
Will you please comment about my latest 'thought' that I am in love ... again?
Thinking is bad for health. Try to be in a state where no thoughts come
Like being an idiot
You are not much different than that
Thank you for your compliments. Will you now REALLY comment on my new love?
Please don't call it love. You have never loved anyone really
How do you know that?
I have been living inside you since you were born! So much so that I know that you don't know what you want
Okay. Tell me what I want?
From a woman?
Well ... yeah, why not, start with that ...
Son of a bitch ... you are right! wham bam thank you maam ...
Forget love then
No, I want to love and be loved too!
Your wants are too much!
Yeah, why think small when you are at it
Son of a bitch! Don't leave me now, we are discussing something important!
ghetufool ... I am tired
I could hear the maggot smiling inside me, but he didn't reply. I hollered, tried to bribe him, swore, but no matter how I tried, he didn't reply. He again vanished in the godforsaken corner of me where I don't have any access. I never could call him when I wanted, he comes when he wants to and vanishes at will, leaving me high and dry.
Who cares! Good times are here!
I ambled my way to my apartment building only to find, to my surprise, my nice-ass-evening-lady staring at the hoarding too. Since my good times were here and I didn't need to bother about anything now and was now emboldened after ignoring her last evening, I stood just behind her glowing halo and started looking at the milky white hoarding with those cursive red letters ...
"It's a piece of art, isn't it," I aired my opinion, gathering courage, directed to nobody in particular. She turned slightly, offering her blessed sideways glance to me. Our eyes met at 45 degree an angle. My heart jumped a little bit. She was kind, gave me enough time to put my heart to its proper place. But now, my speech was gone. Inside me I could hear that lousy bastard giggle ... no way! I am not going to let him smart me this time.
Good times are here, I said, clearing my throat as silently as I could.
I wonder what advertisement is this, she mumbled.
Who cares? Good times are here ..., I sang, happy to have got a response from her.
She now turned fully to me, beaming in joy. Her eyes glinted meeting mine at 160 degree flat. She was two-three inches shorter than me.
What would that mean? Who's good time?
Why, Everyone's! Your's, mine ... ours ...
Yes, ours ...
Your destiny cannot be very different than mine while living in the same apartment.
O, that way ... yeah.
It could be many other ways too if one wants
There is only one here who can decide
You trying to be smart ...
Nah, I am trying to become unsmart. Smartness is harmful, I realised
See you then, gotta go.
See me when? Usual? In the lobby at the evening?
There's where we meet, usually. You want me to see you there?
... you are cheesy.
I was stumped by this response. Suddenly all my confidence was sucked out in by this gigantic invisible vacuum cleaner. The cooky crumbles like this then. So be it. That's it! I stood there trying to stop that bastard inside from poking fun at me. Surprisingly, he stopped suddenly and proclaimed, "Now or Never"
"Yes, sure. Thank you for that ghetufool!", I whispered to my best friend.
Oh you admit then. And who's does this ugly name belongs to? Sounds like an ugly git! she frowned, squeezed her nose exposing some gooyie stuff stuck in a hair in the cavity.
Her response jolted me.
"Ugly? Did you say ugly?", I was now facing her flat at 150 degree with my eyes popped out. I coudln't believe what she said! She was taken aback by my stance.
"I am cheesy yes! Heck, a million YES! What do you expect from me when you turn back seeing me ... You don't even have the basic curtsey to just stay where you are instead of insulting me every evening! But Ugly who? Ugly Who?"
"Sorry! I am really very sorry. But I thought you sounded something crass ..."
"Crass ... hell yes I am crass when I talk about you! But ghetufool is the most beautiful name I have ever heard! It is the sweetest sound to me. When I am down, when I am hurt, who consoles me? When I am happy, when I am jubilant, who do I cheer with? When I am in love, who do I turn for advise? When I propose and get rejected who do I hug and cry? it's ghetufool, ghetufool, ghetufool ..."
"And by the by ..." I turned back and shouted while leaving her ... forever.
"... I don't give a damn to a thousand of you nice asses! ghetufool is the one I want till the end of time ... Go die jackass!"
I turned back and started running for the elevator ... I could hear someone say "Fucking lunatic!"
I was not sure if that was the girl or that bastard inside me.
Who cares? Good times are here!