When you lie in bed at night, do you think about the same things that I do? Do you often stare at the ceiling, your eyes unblinking, your mind hazy from the incessant furry of mundane thoughts and worries? Do you think about the past and the future, how the two are inextricably intertwined, how the past continues to leave an indelible mark that stretches out to the present? And what about the future, does it bother you? Sometimes I think about all these things, even when I know I shouldn’t. But sometimes, during the nights when I’m tired but not sleepy, I lie in bed and my mind wanders off to one thing; the late bloomer, and what’s going to happen to him eventually. The last time we were here in this space, we’d left him in a pub. A pub that’s adjacent to the apartment block where he lives. In that pub he was seated with an old man. He was having whiskey, the old man was drinking beer. It was at that time when the night is darkest, but we didn’t check to see if the stars were shining the brightest. A conversation had ensued. It’d been about life, about why we don’t pick up calls at times…
We’d left this late bloomer listening to the old man speak, his shaky voice hurdling through the country music in the background, his words cutting through the coldness of the unfolding dawn, the wisdom in them shattering through the illusory buzz of the alcohol.
If you’ve ever been out on a Friday night you know that once the clock strikes 3pm, it’s only a matter of moments before the sun comes out to lay bare the sins of the night. I’m not sure if the old man and the late bloomer were aware of this, but regardless, they sat there nursing their drinks till darkness gave way to light, till the soft chirping of birds replaced the hum of country music and the incoherent whistles of drunkards staggering home, till the bold brazen steps of breadwinners rushing to work replaced drunken unsteady footsteps. Soon, sunlight was streaking in through the window, blinding their eyes that had gotten used to the dim pub lights. Now the pub could be seen in its entirety, how solemn it looked in the daylight, bar stools tucked around tables and bar counters. The walls were painted cream, and they’d run down because of years of neglect and indifference. The posters hung on them were well taken care of though;
‘Save Water, Drink Beer’
‘I Make Pour Decisions’
‘Shut Up Liver, You’re Fine’.
The late bloomer must have looked at these posters with slight amusement, then back at the old man to see if he too had noticed the same. He hadn’t, his intense eyes seemed set far away. For the first time, he noticed the wrinkles deeply imprinted on his forehead like it was an autograph from the Creator, the slight tremor in his hand as he lifted his glass off the table, the acres of grey hair on his head. Did the old wise man have any regrets? Where was his family? What’s his story?… He lost his train of thought, and looked at his watch with impatience.
‘I have to go, it’s daybreak’, he said, rising to his feet. It was 6.07am.
‘Yeah, but remember what I said, rise above yourself, it’s not about you son.’ the old man replied, raising his glass to gulp the remaining of his beer.
He didn’t reply, he didn’t even turn back to bid the old man goodbye. Stepping out of the pub, he realized that he had to do what we all have to do at some point in our lives, the walk of shame, albeit for the few metres to his house. One drunken step after the other, a little stagger here and there, eyes gazing on the ground and the all too familiar feeling of a bad hangover coming in slowly but surely. There was no way around it, there usually isn’t.
In his mind, thoughts were racing;
‘Why is it called a walk of shame?….’
‘Is the shame in the walk itself, or the walk is fine but the shame is in the timing, that you have to do it in broad daylight when everyone else can see you trudging drunkenly, the evidence of debauchery on your face?…..’
‘Will I make it to the house before I black out, and if I don’t, who’ll carry me home?’…
‘I think everyone’s looking at me, they’re judging me’…..
‘How dare they judge me, they don’t know what I’ve been through’…..
When you’re doing your walk of shame, more often than not you find yourself going against the human traffic, your fingers crossed that you don’t bump into someone you know. Someone that might begin a conversation about everything, oblivious of the fire in your breath, the stammer in your speech, and the stagger on your feet.
For the late bloomer, this particular day was his lucky one, no one picked up a conversation with him, so he staggered home, fumbling for the keys to his house. When he finally opened the door, he stumbled in, rushing through the corridor to the loo and fell on his knees in front of the toilet bowl. Soon, there was the familiar repugnant feeling rising up his gut, then his body violently jerked forward, his mouth spewing the contents of his stomach into the bowl.
It’s true, sometimes a wake up call come in the form of a hangover. It comes when your throat is burning and you wish you’d have just a sip of cold water to cool that burn, when your tummy is rumbling violently because you haven’t eaten anything since the night before, but you know you can’t eat or drink anything, not at that time when your body is jerking so violently trying to expel what’s already inside. The wake up call says that you have to reevaluate your life choices, seeing that the pursuit of pleasure has only brought you pain so far. That there’s more to weekends than nursing a bad hangover then heading back in the afternoon for more.
The late bloomer had his wake up call that night and the morning after.
It’s the weekend once more, have a good one fam.
Also, have you seen the new logo, what do you guys think of it?
Picture Credits: https://pixabay.com/photos/leaf-dead-dry-leaf-dead-leaf-tree-2690198/