When many things will be forgotten and done with, there would still be some simple moments in our life that we would always cherish, somewhere in some soft corner of our heart.
One would always remember that comfortable nap that one had after some satisfying hard work which finished in mid-afternoon. After a tasty and satisfying late lunch, courtesy of the spouse, one would home in directly to the inviting bed, against all medical advice.
The autumnal weather outside, neither warm nor cold, would be just nice, maybe a bit cloudy, but still wonderful. In fact everything would seem cozy. Or, it would be in the mood itself. It would be one of those days where everything looks wonderful, with that feeling that God is happy in heaven, and everything is just fine on earth and no worries at all in the world.
So one would just slide between the bed sheet and blanket with a book in the hand, feigning to be an avid reader, while knowing quite well that the latter is just a decoy and a sure hypnotic to tip you over into Morpheus’ arms. One would savour the warmth between the sheets, and rub those seemingly cold feet and legs against each other. One wonders why indulging in such simple act instils such a glow to one’s soul. In no time one would be in deep sleep, book or no book.
Sometime you would dream of one of those unforgettable experiences that can only happen in dreams. They seem to have plotted and taken a rendezvous with the time of the moment to make your day. They would stir up memories of childhood, flashing back some old forgotten parents, aunties, grandmothers and friends, or still you would dream of yourself as you were in childhood playing one of those memorable scenes in which you were a central figure.
Oh, you would be sleeping the sleep of your life completely oblivious to the world outside.
Later, after one to two hours you would be stirring up, tossing gently to the right or left, vaguely aware that darkness is stealthily setting in outside your window, keeping you wondering what could the clock be showing. But soon you would be asleep once again.
At times there is that strange sensation that the phone had rung far away in the background, that your wife had picked it up fast to spare you a break in your slumber; you have heard her conversing in undertone with some unknown correspondent – but that was no disturbance. You have even heard the seemingly distant barks of your dogs. Usually they jar on one’s nerves, but on that afternoon even that has been just a faraway strange music to the ears.
You get the impression that as the day ages, the temperature has dropped and the air has become cooler, and true to physical laws, the transmission of sound gets skewed and refracted differently and, deep in your slumber, voices and noises appear to adopt a bizarre timber and pitch. Yet you go on sleeping, to surface now and then, to have a vague taste of incoming sensations that the world outside is trying to broadcast to your numbing senses; but you finally slide smoothly once again into yet another slumber.
You may hear the far away pressure-cooker giving vent to its released pressure, just reminding you of those steam-engine trains of bygone student days; you can even have a whiff of the aroma of the spices that your wife is concocting in the kitchen, or the unforgettable tune of one of the oldies coming from the neighbours’ house. A faraway passing car would be horning, with its Doppler’s effect tainting the already strange feelings and polarized sensations that have invaded your mind. But soon you would dip once more into a deep short doze, oblivious to the world of sounds, of smell and memories. Eons later you would emerge from this fairy sleep, the mind still fogged by some certain neuronal laziness or residual depolarization.
Far away, in the background, you would hear the sweet voices of your children who have come back from late tuition, or again you would be hearing your wife grumbling all alone, reproaching you mildly and coyly for having a good time while she has been slogging in the kitchen. Gradually, your mind would clear and the fog would be rising like a curtain, revealing the physical and hard reality lying beyond the heavy eyelids. Yet you would lay there least troubled by these invading truths, too willing to give them the brush, and all willing to bask in that fairy world that you have just visited. You try to remember and revive that wonderful dream of dreams you have just visited. But try as you may, they seem to slip away furtively – much to your regret.
By that time dusk is really setting in; the last rays of the sun, direct or reflected, have gambolled gently up and down in one corner of the room; you have watched them nonchalantly, as if telling yourself that they would be around again next day. A cool breeze would be blowing in through the half-opened window, tugging playfully at some of those curtains, reminding you that that breeze outside is the telltale of an impending night.
The children’s voices would shake you out of your reverie; the dogs’ barking would start playing on your lowered auditory threshold, the sound of cutlery knocking against each other as your wife is giving the final touch in the kitchen stir some chords in your lazy, heavy framework. You would wake up, knowing quite well that you have had the time of your life, all ready to forgive everyone and your worst enemy; you would cast a guilty ironic glance at the unread book, while your feet and toes fondle around for the slippers. The joints of the body and their cronies, the muscles and bones, would take over and carry you out of bed and forward into the real world. You would timidly and guiltily avoid the look of the wife, walk to the French window, gaze outside as if to ascertain that dusk has really set in, unmindful of the present naughtiness and excessive activities of the children or of their day’s performance at school. One is in a good mood and one would not like to stir a hornet’s nest.
With a certain nonchalance you would home in to the kitchen where your better half would give hot tea and possibly a cream cracker, as a mother would to a prodigal son coming back home after a long absence. You would smile at the children, look at the barking dogs with sleepy, glazy eyes, knowing deep down that you just have had a most wonderful day in your life.
And you have the vaguest feeling that, maybe, it is just a replay of one of those nice days that you would have lived through in your childhood, when your mother had nursed you to sleep with a lullaby after evening bath and feed.
* Published in print edition on 4 March 2015