Crooked smile

The usual 9 am cacophony loud enough to submerge one’s thoughts rose from all corners of the city.

Scooters blared their broken rhythm as it drove by, an urchin showed his hula-hoop stunts, the lemonade man lured in customers with a voice that was rented, buses stopped suddenly and honked away scaring pedestrians, scratched bright cars were forced to rub shoulders with slow moving rickshaws; the birds were chirping maybe, but who would notice.

He stood there waiting for his cab to work, taking in the madness of the world that is always in a rush, always late, always selling, always swearing, and always talking. He lit his cigarette, licked his cracked lips, and couldn’t decide exactly when he should quit smoking.

Then he saw them. Across the street, on the other side of the swirling dust, standing at the bus stand were a pair of eyes that immediately placed him under the gushing Liril ad waterfall. A very visible tingle.

They tore off the gaze and he thought how silly this was. But he looked up again and found them staring right at him.

You know how sometimes you get a sudden hope? Everything around melts into nothingness and you start feeling light too? And some part of your brain tells you that this might be the person who will discover a hidden city in the woods with you? Well, this was that for him and more.

He took a slow drag of his half burnt cigarette and his dream adventure partner fidgeted with his fingers.

Occasionally a loud bus would obstruct them and they’d feel embarrassed and try to understand. They couldn’t deny the butterflies that were trying to escape their mouths.

Finally, he smiled and he returned an awkward one.

Another bus came. The cigarette burnt down to its filter and when he looked again he was gone. He departed with one of the many buses that were destined for one of the many streets, to melt into the crowd, to escape into one of the many matchbox sized houses. The city of noise swallowed away the one with the most beautiful crooked smile.

The humdrum came back the way bubbles rise up in a vessel of water on fire. Slowly and then urgently.


Image via internet