Suboptimal living

I blinked back at the fan rotating above me.
You could say that I was awake. I would say
that I was still clutched by sleep. I yawned,
resisting the day that had come to take me.
All this while, the fan pushed the air.
It kept at it, whether I noticed it or not.
I would notice it if it stopped. If it did stop,
my attention would diverge midway to find
my wife, trying one ploy after another
to rouse me out of bed. I would grunt back,
acknowledging her impatience and,
this predictable urgency that mornings create.
Nothing of that sort happened, of course.
The three blades kept chasing each other,
so I lay there, watching them play.
I would notice the fan if it grunted too.
That noise that makes you think- what if
it would just snap off the ceiling and fall on you?
Would it drop down heavily or
would it leave a swift, clean cut on me?
Nothing of that sort happened, of course.
My wife would have had me repair it. She worries
about such things while I hope for it.
I did notice, however, a tiny spot of white paint
at the edge of one blade. It danced in circles
at that stupid speed. It just kept at it.
Monotonously. Involuntarily. Happily?
One complete rotation, now.
And now. And now. And now. And now. And now.
The birds chirped to remind me that the darkness
outside wasn’t night. It was still early morning.
Moaning. Mourning. No, morning. Yes, mornings
that lazily cast its shadows in our apartment,
coaxing me to reach out for the light
switch. Click.
Illuminate!”, I ordered the tubelight.
And so it did.
My wife, who was racing time in the kitchen,
peeked in curiously. I grinned back at her,
making light of my unprovoked strangeness.
We rushed through the things to do today,
the day after and a week later.
I reassured her they may or may not happen
just how it did or did not happen
like the day before and the week prior.
I assured her that I would try my best
to not be jealous of the electronic devices in our house,
those wretched things that don’t have to
jot down a list of things-to-do or
complain like I need to do.
Switch on. Awake. Switch off. Asleep.
Roused only by serendipitous electricity.
No will. No want. No will to not want.
Nothing of that sort happened, of course.
I was busy being whipped by busier routine.
I’d rather be an efficient robot
with gears that work because of non-optional, set principles.
I’d not have to decide to get up, every bubbly day.
I’d not have to create drafts until it was pretend-perfect.
I’d not be contemplating on things that don’t even matter..
I’d not have to sip my tea myself.
I sipped some tea myself, letting it warm my throat.
My wife sipped her tea calmly at the window sill,
watching the world awake, five floors below.
We had a few serene minutes before we left
to join the bustling, bright day while that sparrow
could sit perched at the window grill.
The very moment, I thought that thought
that meek bird jumped
just to guilt me. It jumped- no, believe me,
without spreading its wings, it dropped itself in the air
out of spite, as if I drove it to suicide.
But it had swooped back up in time to my wife’s delight.
‘That’s not the proper way to fly!’
‘Usual, I mean.’
‘Why would you want to fly the “proper, usual” way?’
she said, making bunnies in the air with her slender fingers.
I had a retort, I swear to you, but it abandoned me
leaving me quiet and my wife satisfied.
Of course, things of this sort happen.
It was time to leave for the day.
I turned to call the lift.
while the ignored staircase looked at me.
I stared back at it, imagining
myself sliding swift
down the railing.
The lift announced its arrival as I stepped on
a better thought.
I let the metal box close and
efficiently carry me down.
‘It is a good day’, I decided,
At least I’m not as sad as I used to be.
fun.- At least I'm not as sad

9 thoughts on “Suboptimal living

    1. Yeah. Maybe that’s why the sober reaction from other readers as well. You can’t decide if it’s prose or poetry, so you don’t know if you really like it. Hmph.

      I intended it to be visual and have unexpected breaks. It struck me today that I didn’t express his happy imagination of sliding down the stairs well. It should seem like a short relief from the drudgery before he chooses to go back to it again.

      This poem is misunderstood. (Maybe, I should try audio-recording it.)

      Thanks, anyway.


    1. Thank you so much!
      I love this poem- I’ve mentally placed it in the best 3 poems I have ever written yet- and I was heart-broken at the reaction it got. Anyway, I shall seal my heart back again with this compliment. 😀 Thanks!


  1. A friend recommended this blog. And so I picked up a random post. I loved it. 🙂
    It is so visual, so mundane yet so intricately analysed. It’s as if you can connect to each and every thought, and then, at a point you tend to think, maybe this is the way all minds work.. anywho, thanks for this wonderful read! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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