Resident Bohemian

I could not sleep well at nights. Every important thing was off of the to-do list, but things that stay at the back of your mind don’t really go away; you do not even have to put them on a list. It felt as if time was running out.

Stranger old man who had become my friend was sad when I was moving to a new town; he was sad that we would not be meeting again. I told him that I would be having a house-warming, and would invite him for that. It lit up his face like it would a child’s. He jotted down his name and number on a piece of paper quickly. That’s when I knew what his name was. He handed it to me and said that he would come all dressed up for the house-warming party. Cute.

The party never happened, and I never called him. It was always on my mind. Six months went past. A couple days ago, I took out the piece of paper he had given to me. I messaged him on the number reminding him who I was, in case he had forgotten. I apologized, and told him that I hoped he would give me a chance.

He called me and I came to know that he was not driving anymore. He had lost his sight in one eye after a routine operation. I did not mention a single of my problems, or the reason why I had not called him. There was no reason really. We decided to meet.

We met on the day the sun was out in full glory. It was melting all the heaps and mountains of snow around. There were puddles reflecting a lot of sunlight. I jumped, splashing. I ran, pranced. When I reached the place, I called him up. He was at the wrong place. He took a train, a bus, and reached the wrong town. In all the excitement, he bungled up. He apologized and said that he would make it to the right town. He took a bus, a cab, and we met at my favourite cafe.

The hugs and kisses felt like we were long-lost friends. We shared a lot of stories. He told me about the time Aerosmith was not even a band and used to practise alongside in the basement where he used to work as a 20-year old. He told me about the first girl he kissed and went on to marry and then divorce after five years. He told me how losing sight from an eye sucks, as an old man who has nothing much to do, and whose favourite thing in the world is reading. He told me about his daughter who works at a coffee shop. Then he asked me about me. He asked me if I had met anyone in these six months. I told him a little bit about what was happening, and that made him really sad. I told him not to worry, because I was happy and single-not-ready-to-mingle now. He laughed a lot and told me about how after he had his daughter he never had any relationship and how it liked it that way. Then we somehow reached the topic of smoking and he could not believe that I smoked. He said that he loved smoking a pipe and showed me his fine quality tobacco that was coffee-flavoured. He then told me about his daughter’s drug addiction and successful rehabilitation.

We then looked out at the beautiful day. He said that it was a harbinger of good things. I could not agree more. My best friend landed in the US today. She did not give me her flight details, and we had an argument. She did not want me to receive her at the airport. She wants me to go to her place and stay with her. Spring break is going to be with her. She had to say that she would slap me, to shut me up, as usual. She does not miss a chance to make me feel like a teen-aged idiot. My other best friend, well, I don’t miss a chance to make him feel like a teen-aged idiot. That probably is working though. He seems to be on track with things with his lady love.

My old friend is going to trace back his ancestry, and go to London this year. He then said something that completely changed the way I look at things. He told me that I inspire him. That he dabbled with a lot of things when he was young. Now, he wants to find a passion, and stick to it. He said that I made him think that way, and that he would not have otherwise thought of it. I had a lump in my throat, and I could not say much for some time. I told him that it meant a lot to me. You know, I am a lazy narcissist who does not care much about the people around. I just could not believe what he told me. Yet, it was humbling somehow.

When we left, he booked a cab for me to go to college. His friend came to pick me up. He told me that Bill was a nice guy. And that among the friends, they have a special name for him. It’s…


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