Friday, February 03, 2012

The Switch

They considered me foolish; they thought that I was growing soft in my head, that I was just plain nuts. And for a long time I did try and examine myself to see if what others talked about me was true.  I was undecided, unsure.  Everything was unreal. Was I mad, or was I the only sane one left in the town.

It has all started of one day while I was having a shower. A slight movement, on the periphery of my vision, made me swivel my head towards the shower door.

I could see nothing. I turned off the shower, and kept looking towards the door. Suddenly I see the Electric Switch wink at me. Man, I was tired, and I was seeing things.

I called out loudly; my soul mate rushed into the bathroom, and very concerned asked me what was up. I pointed to the Electric Switch and told her “That Electric Switch winked at me”

Smiling she said “James Adam Paul, This is not the time to get funny on me, I was getting the kids ready for the school and the bus would be reaching in another few minutes”

After she left, I kept looking at that Electric Switch for a long time. Nothing strange now, everything was the way it was meant to be. Was I nuts?

Throughout the day, this incident kept bugging me. My boss kept asking me if everything was alright, I guess I was not focused on my work, and my thoughts were showing an impact on my work. This was painfully brought up to everyone’s attention including my section supervisor, when I accidently shut down the corporate server. I guess the theme of the day was Electric switches.

 “Hell with it all”, I thought to myself, and took rest of the day off. With my boss yelling at me and everyone giving me dirty looks, I walked home. While, on the way home, I came across a near empty bar. I normally take the subway, and I had never walked past this bar before.

“No man’s Bar”, The “r” was missing between “o” and the “m”. All signs were there, this was the bar for me today, a “Noman’s bar”, this was just the place for me.

Since it was quite early in the day and I was not expected back at home till evening, I walked into Noman’s Bar. No one other than the bartender was around, and he was lost in his copy of “War and Peace”. And the brunette in the corner, staring into her mug.

Nodded a greeting to him, asked for a beer.

Had myself a couple of beers, felt good. Looked around after downing these mugs, and then things started going to hell, my private hell.

The jukebox started talking to me about my day, and she kept getting interrupted by the electric lights, the bar telephone kept shouting encouragement to me and kept asking me to keep my chin up.
I sat silent, expecting Bugs Bunny or Donald Duck to pop up any minute and talk to me.

I guess I was nuts.

‘cause neither the bartender nor the brunette looked up while all this was happening, either it was normal for them or I was the only one who could hear what was going on.

I walked out of the bar and started walking towards home, and the parked cars I kept passing kept “Howdy”ing me.

Reached home. My soul mate was out. I went back into the bathroom. My silent electric switch winked at me. And started talking, and I sat quietly and kept listening.

This is how it all started. Next day I went in for a medical evaluation.

No one in the hospital could convince me that it was all in my mind, you see, the ECG machine kept talking to me, while I was with the Doctor. Kept telling me funny stories about the ‘good’ doctor. Just to check my sanity, ECG machine asked me to ask the doctor about the whisky he had in his office.
I asked the doctor about the quart bottle of whisky he had in his draw.  His face turned a couple of shades of purple before he spluttered on about getting back to my checkup. I did not ask him about him and his nurse.

So it was not just my imagination. Things were really talking to me.

This is how it all started. I do not know why I was the chosen one. There was nothing special about me, just an average guy doing average things.

Then one day, I hit the TV news. There was a homicide. I walked to the house where the  crime had taken place, and the electrical devices started talking to me.

The police had got a fingerprint which did not belong to anyone who was supposed to have been in the house. To cut a long story short, I talked to the chief of police of police and told him the name of the person who committed the crime. The figure prints matched and I became famous with the PD. A few more cases like this and someone in the PD must have got greedy and sold the information about who was solving the crimes for the police, to the press.

Press started comparing me to Noreen Renier.

Well, this is how my life was for a few years. I did my magic stuff, which seemed unbelievable to everyone. 

Had myself a steady income, which I kept parting with the Nomans bar.

Then the bells tolled for the last time on December 31st and thus began the year 2012. I did not notice till around March of that year that I was hearing fewer machines talking to me. Not that I was worried or apprehensive, I was finding it pleasant that the incessant chatter was slowing down, was getting more sleep. Getting lost of sleep now.

Captain’s log Earth date 20-december-2012:

I woke up with an eerie silence encompassing me. The normal noises which one associates with urban living were missing, not that it struck me immediately as I woke up. The toothbrush rubbing against my teeth was a noise I was used to for all these years, with my eyes closed, while brushing today I did not hear it. After a few strokes, my mind kind of kicked on and indicated to me that something was wrong. I open my eyes; I see in the mirror that the toothbrush was where it was supposed to be, but no sound. I experimented by moving my hand a few time around my teeth…still no sound.

I opened the tap, no sound of water gurgling out, though I could see the water flowing and hitting the sink. Oh boy was my first thought, next I spoke out aloud; I could hear the voice only in my head. It felt as if my ears were plugged in with a fat roll of cotton.

Locked myself up in the room. Walked around in a daze most of the day, the devices which talk to normal humans were not speaking with me the ipad’s , the stereo, the radio all were silent.  Don’t know when I went to sleep again.

The next day was supposed to be 21st December 2012. I wake up when I feel something crawling on my arms, I open my eyes and I don’t seem my familiar roof over my head, instead bright sunlight, birds chirping, air that smelled green fresh, insects making their gentle sounds, animals neighing, barking, meowing. Grass under my body instead of my bed, me naked, no cloths.

I look around and I see no neighborhood, no buildings, no cars, no bikes, no people, just trees all around, and the sweet green fresh air. I walked the whole day; there were no sound which mankind makes in an electronic world, a world of devices and crowds. 

The animals were friendly is what is remember thinking when I came across them. They had no fear of humans; there was no aggression in them. I kept trying to understand why I kept thinking that the animals loved me. I walked for so long that day, I did not feel tired at all, but I did not meet, hear, or see another human.

When the sun finally set, I chose a spot to lie down. As I lay down I felt a slight soreness where my ribs end. The flesh felt sore, the skin felt new. I thought to myself, that there was a rib missing.

I loved the blissful feeling, as if I was part of a new beginning.

As I slowly dropped off to sleep with this thought in my mind, I remembered Genesis 1:26. I smiled finally, knowing that tomorrow was the start of a new day and I would be on a quest, a quest for my Eve. 

And I told myself, “Adam, this time around, no apple trees and no snakes.”

1 comment:

Naina said...

Wow! Nice concept. Nice ending too. May be also add a little more in between the story. Feels a disconnection in between. The transition you have chosen to twist the story is nice and may be you add a slow subtle ness to it.

BTW who is your soul mate... Hmmm?

Also add couple of more characters and names, like the bartenders name, brunette's name, police man etc...

Liked it.