Eight in the morning

I met her on the bus. The seat next to her was the only spot left to sit, in a bus so crowded; it reminded me of those pictures from South-African bus lines. Surprisingly, nobody had taken the seat next to that girl with the black tie before me. I didn’t know why, she looked rather okay: nice blue eyes, shoulder-long brown hair, and she seemed to be an artist. At least she had a sketchbook with all kinds of drawings: trees, cars, faces and more. As I sat next to her, she looked at me, like she wanted to know what my intentions were. My only intention, however, was to relax before another day of work.

I turned up the volume of my iPod. Come to think of it, I don’t know why I did that; I could hear the vocalist of Motion City Soundtrack pretty well. My action provoked a reaction (go Newton!) of the girl with the black tie.

“I’m sorry, I can turn it down” was my first reaction. But the girl just shook her head.

“You’re sitting on one of my drawings” she replied, and I got up. Damn! I really sat down on a picture: a beautiful sketch of a sunset, somewhere in the mountains. And now the paper was all crumbled up! Thank you very much, big ass! I took the picture, and handed it over.

“I’m so terrible sorry for ruining it! Normally I’m not that clumsy and…” but the girl didn’t seem to listen. Instead, she stared at the picture, and smiled.

“No…you didn’t ruin it. You gave it the missing flavor!”

“Come again?”

“I just knew something lacked when I made this. I just couldn’t capture the…emotion” Puzzled, I raised an eyebrow.

“I’m sorry, but you felt crumbled up at that moment?” She giggled. It was somehow cute, yet otherworldly.

“Maybe, but how could words describe an emotion anyway?”

“People use them every day to describe their state of mind.”

“You sure they describe their state of mind then, or just create an abstract sketch of their inner turmoil?” Again, I felt confused. It was freaking eight in the morning, and this lady was doing a Plato. Just my luck again.

“I mean” she added, “When I make a sketch, I’m not capturing the picture, just the outlines, maybe even the bare skeleton of something that cannot be shackled by any mortal tool. Who could prove me wrong, or right?” She looked deep into my eyes while saying this, and somehow, her words echoed in my head. I could not think of anything better than:

“Many artists in history claimed that their pieces captured not just the image, but also the ambient emotions and feelings. And when I walk through a museum and watch all those whackos go crazy about some flashy colors, I guess they captured something on the canvas, huh?” Wow, for something completely improvised on eight in the morning, I thought this was quite a witty reply.

“They captured something. But if someone could truly capture an emotion like say, happiness, wouldn’t we already be able to buy it in the supermarket? A bag of happiness, today at a twenty percent discount!” She posed like a salesman would, while trying to sell his wares to a not so sure client. Again, it made her look cute, yet freaky at the same time.

“So you say that if humans can capture something, they try to make a fortune out of it?”

“I guess the market for emotions would be quite big. I would like to know what fear tastes like. What emotion would you want to taste?” Come again? What kind of question was this? Wow, correction: what kind of conversation was this? I didn’t even know this chick, but all of a sudden I found myself in a philosophical cage fight with her. Quarter past eight: still far too early for this stuff!

“I think our topics turn a little weird. You mind if I just listen to my…”

“Yes I do” Why did she look so mad at me now? I didn’t actually insult her.

“Look, boy, you know what I see when I look around this bus?” I wanted to give an answer to this somehow rhetorical question, but the girl put her right index finger on my lips, and leaned forward.

“I see boring people, with boring lives. They just KNOW that I would fill up their lives with a change, a twist, and thus ignore me. They don’t DARE to bring change to their existence they call mockingly “life”, but you took the right step. You know that I’ve been watching you for a few weeks now. Usually, you belonged to that grey mass of norms and values, of scientific truth and Darwinism. But today, you dared to step out of that. And now you want to fall back into that grey puddle, even though you have barely opened your eyes to a world filled with color? I won’t allow that, punk”. One half of my brains screamed: “FREAK ALARM! MOVE AWAY SLOWLY!” while the other said: “This could be interesting”. But before I could react, the girl gestured that she had to get out at the next stop, and I stepped up to let her out. As she walked towards the doors, she turned around.

“Think about: what emotion, what COLOR, would you like to taste?” She stepped out of the bus, and for now, out of my life. All she left was the crumbled up picture of a sunset somewhere in the mountains. And suddenly, I knew what I wanted to taste.

I wanted to taste the flavor of noticing how colorful life could be, yet standing in the grey, boring mass.

——————————————————————

NOTICE: I wrote this in about 30 minutes, because I felt like it. But still, think about it: wouldn’t you want to step out of your boring daily routine? Would you buy emotions if they were sold at your local Wallmart?

And yeah, part 2 of “Stitching Up” will be up not later than the weekends. Still have to study for my upcoming tests, so wish me luck!

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