I miss her of course; not her maybe, but her presence – what foolishness, how could ‘her’ refer to anything but her presence. Let’s not get tangled in the semantics. I miss her. She was the only one in the office who could make me happy, who could get me motivated to want to go back after a most relaxing weekend. Every now and then, I would peer over my shoulders at her place and would see just the tip of her head above the monitor screen; probably buried in work my dear. Before leaving, she would always go out to smoke a cigarette – not that it would have deterred my affection for her in any way. Then at six forty-five sharp, she would look across and I would look back, and we would both leave together, furtively, so that no one else could discover our little secret world. We’d even walk pass each other without turning a glance. We did this because we knew with confidence that as soon as we were alone, everything would erupt in splendid colours.
Have you ever played a game of chess where you were so confident of your winning that you left your seat to get some air outside, but only to return to find the entire chess board missing? And so the victory you thought was yours – and indeed, you were already celebrating it in your mind – is lost forever. All you have left to revel in is the memory, the imprecise memory of what was assuredly your victory. That is why I am so sour about this whole situation; because I knew that I was going to win and then all of a sudden I could not. What cruel tricks fate plays on you sometimes. Dangling a carrot right in front of your eyes, letting you smell it, taste it even, then snatched it away and tosses it into the river where the currents will wash it off to eternity.
Do you know about the man who conditioned himself to become impervious to grief? Ah! -as if the human nature were so fickle a thing when we thought it so resilient. But yes, there was a man who conditioned himself such because he suffered and suffered and grieved a thousand tears, to a point where he decided he could not grieve anymore, and so told himself to stop. He reasoned that life is a big joke, and that everything, even tragedies, ought to laughed at. He began first by laughing at people when the quarrelled with one another; then he laughed at a stranger who told him off; then he laughed at the woman who approached him with the intent of selling; then when he read the news of someone getting injured because of a stupid habit, he laughed too. Little by little, he began to laugh at everything. And when everything can be made to contain comicality, nothing remains to upset.