About a week shy of the onset of the New Year, I presumptuously augmented the copyright notice at my blog to 2017. Don’t mistake me, I have long stopped caring about the trolls looking forward to plagiarizing my mumbling —anyone with an ounce of gumption would rather honk his or her own larynx. Perhaps my mind took a tentative jab at its failing prowess in filling white spaces, ever hankering for a reassurance that would never come by. Will I or will I not toot my crumbling bugle in the forthcoming year, glue together hieroglyphs that engage my readers?
It could be a manifestation of the treadmill test that I failed recently, a harbinger to the scalpels of the cardiac surgeons. Although I am yet to slither into the ‘decade in which most people die’, the point at which George Michael flickered away ‘peacefully’ is not too distant a feature in the range ahead. And to think that I am yet to write the magical book that could make the judges cry.
I became acutely aware of the ways I may falter belying that promise I had shed like a teardrop in a moment of frailty. I felt a crater growing deep inside me eating up the innards in its wake. My limbs would slip into a daze beyond the reins of the brain in the night. My heart would lurch precipitously in the carapace of ribs in the sinewy gloom. Lungs would labour in the fugue induced by the insect repellent and mint balm. I yearned for a rendezvous with dawn.
Away from home, I remained on a high alert in the perilous civilization I dwell in. The cats in the neighbourhood, once fond of me, would rather not cross the tangent of my movement. The stray dog who has long coveted a pound of my derrière would look away at the invisible moon in the ozone and let out an ominous wail. The pigeons hitherto fond of discharging on the wasteland of my skull would flutter away in a huff at my sight. Gutter chutes and drains under my footsteps grew deeper and sinister in welcome. I could hear even the overhead power cables humming in wicked anticipation. Many times over, BMWs driven by pre-adolescent bums nearly made mincemeat of me.
Six more days to go, I told myself and I lived. And then, five, followed by four, and so on and so forth. And Voilà! There was the beatific New Year, luminous to all those who weren’t felled by the bullets and trucks of the terrorists, road crashes, cancers, haemorrhages and strokes. To be sure, it was much less aglitter to the kin of the perished and departed, and to many it was rearranged irrevocably in the aftermath. Then there were those to whom time was merely a curb in the continuum of astronomical space.
Some more sand has trickled into the lower cone of the hourglass and I can see through the vacuum in the top. I can touch the nada with my soul’s tentacles, palpable by the very absence of matter. I realise I’ve been fortunate to live by my optimism but the temerity was clearly not worth the effort. There is little sand left in the orb of hereafter to keep blowing a whirlwind of consequence. Then, what is a grain of sand without a storm?