Friday, 16 December 2016

All About Time

Rex woke up to the sound of the hostel gardener mowing the lawn next to his hostel wing. The sunrays that peeped into the gap in his backdoor were bright and his eyes strained to adjust to it. He put his hand under his pillow but there was nothing there. Where was his phone? He sat up and looked around his bed; there was no sign of his phone. Suddenly the all too familiar maddening sound of his phone alarm went off. It was coming from under his bed. Dang it! He must have dropped it while attempting to turn off the alarm in his half-asleep state. He picked it up and saw it was thirty minutes past ten. His alarm had been ringing for an hour. His mind had somehow gotten used to the tone of his alarm. He found it funny how the sound of the mower woke him up instead of his alarm, which was blowing up, in full volume, right under him.

Setting his speed at 1.5x, he bustled about here and there, getting ready and walking to class. He managed to powerwalk into his class six minutes past eleven, just when the professor was about to start his class. When professor was talking about Walter Benjamin’s teleological understanding of time and language, he lazily gazed outside his classroom door and made his eyes peek through the tiny gap of the door from the classroom that was opposite to his. The gap was only about an inch but it was enough for him to spy a girl with stunning coffee skin and long dark wavy hair, tied up in a big bun on top of her head. There was something so charming about the way she held herself together. She was chatty one minute and the next, she would attentively listen to the lecturer. He was listening to his professor talk about Messianic time, but kept his eyes fixed on her. She stood up from her chair and walk up to the front of her class. Her seat was empty for about fifteen minutes — which felt like ‘empty time’ for him — and then she sat back down and continued to talk to the class and the professor now and then. He assumed that she had gotten up to make a presentation and was now taking questions and discussing with the class.

Somehow he had lost all track of time and within no time, he was snapped out of his rather stalkish gazing by the sound of his classmates’ chairs moving. The professor had dismissed his class. He gathered his things, closed his notebook — he had taken only six lines of notes today — and walked to the door. As good timing would have it, her class was getting dismissed as well. So he slowed down his pace and waited for the girl the come out. As she was just about crossing the door and walking out to the hallway, another student stopped her and asked, “Ma’am, I wanted to talk about the topic for my term paper. Would now be a good time?”