A comfort in awkwardness
It started with a casual wave.
I didn’t even see her properly. Through the corner of my eyes, I saw her waving at me. Casually, I waved back. After all, she was my next door neighbour!
Though I had seen her before, but we never shared a conversation. Our eyes met now and then. But we chose to remain in our comfortable awkwardness.
A lady in her mid-forties I would say. Simple, yet sophisticated. An aura, that one could easily relate to respect and love.
So there she was one day, and we shared a wave.
Next morning, when I went on to pick newspaper, there she was. Sitting on the corner bench, staring at me. When I first saw her, I was a bit concious. After previous day’s wave, I couldn’t decipher if she was expecting one from me today.
While I was thinking hard about it, she smiled and gave me a wave- Again! I found a peculiar comfort in her action and I reciprocated the wave without a second thought.
There was something compelling about her that I couldn’t let go. It was a feeling of mine, or perhaps her vibe.
Soon, it became a ritual- seeing her.
We waved to each other every day. Sometimes it was me, and sometime it was her. It bacme warm for me by then. And this became our new comfortable awkwardness.
Never a word, but she was always there. Her presence sufficed for all the words. Her eyes gave me a strange comfort. Her smile reminded me of home. Her wave cleared my head.
It wasn’t awkward anymore, untill one day- it was.
The lady I have been seeing everyday for a couple of months now, wasn’t there.
It was not like she was a part of my life or something. Or maybe deep inside, she was. What if her presence became an abstract part of my life? Not seeing here there bugged me. And the fact that it was bugging me, bugged me more.
I even went upto her door to press the bell and check if everything was fine.
Right then, it occurred to me. She didn’t have anyone- a parent, a husband or a child. She was all by herself.
What if she was in some kind of pain? If she was in pain, should I be worried? If she was in pain, should I be the one to know?
Something stopped me from pressing the bell. I took a step back and went inside. I kept thinking about her the whole day. I was so restless and was this close to pressing that bell time and again, yet I didn’t.
Next day, I was skeptical in setting a foot outside. I was afraid of how my day might go if I don’t get to see her again. Still I opened my front door, trying to act casual.
And there she was! Sitting on that bench of hers. Her smile brighter than ever. Her eyes like a shiny pearl. She waved at me again and suddenly, my day was so colorful.
Oh lady, look what you did to me!
There’s a strange comfort in the awkwardness with her, and I would not like it any other way.
I know nothing of her. But something tells me that she knows life in a peculiar way, and that she has come to terms with what life has to offer. It unsettling in ways, yet so restful.
Since we started this little ritual of ours, I get a vibe that she shares a feeling with me that I not know of. I think she sees it. And, how much ever I try, it remains out of my reach.
I so desperately want to ask all about her. But deep down, I don’t want any answers. Perhaps, I am not ready to take them. I am confused in my thoughts, but to me her life seems very simple. To me, she is content with what she has, and I would very much like to keep it that way.