Avin was at the window when Sun wished ‘good morning!’ from the horizon. On a breezy day, like the last Tuesday, he may have walked about in the bedroom, catching-up on last night’s events, or sketching a bleak, infant concept for the comic. This morning, the golden rays hiked, as clouds stocked the skies in a dark congregation for a damp afternoon. Nights didn’t matter to him: they are forever gloomy and solitary; forever since last week.
He took his phone out. The screen was off. An urge to poke the metallic Power button prickled his skin, making him shiver and throw it on the bed. A laptop, a PC, and a digital sketchpad slinked on the work table, all dead and gathering dust. Yesterday, a shipment of sketch pens, pencils, blotting papers, drawing sheets, erasers were delivered to the apartment, still closed and wrapped in the closet.
Tania was supposed to meet him last-week: here in the apartment. Since everything changed before that, she never made it and he didn’t bother cycling through the coast, over the backwaters of Paanya, across the village of Chalum, to her house. She would come when she has time; anyway, who wants a friend whose friendship is driven by socializing? That’s too old now, he thought.
Being an artist glitched his social presence from a young age. When parties and dinner invited him, he sat at home doodling and gaping at the screen. Colours were brighter and vibrant inside his dark room. He thought about these times as he prepared scrambled eggs and pancakes for the afternoon. Oh, I need to brush my teeth and take a bath! But, but, Tania will not come, so who cares?
I need to open that package and start a new life. Everyone else is doing something, look at the street! Yet, the old times when current, generators, inverters, emergency lights worked, time passed without a purpose. Now time is slower than a breath, detailed and infinite. Avin’s mind drifted in memories and dreams, saving the images captured in the past as a tape of inspiration. He lit a candle as the sun went down, then blew it off and picked up the package in the dim grey light of the dusk. There were colours inside. Hundreds of untouched green, red, blue which would dance in his hands and sleep by his side, uncomplaining, unlike the phone or laptop that once demanded every wakeful second of his slow existence.
He thought about the time before the Internet. It was a time when Shakespeare, Aristotle, Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Nietzsche lived and changed the world. We can live without it, too. I am changing to accept a reality without a screen. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and paint; I’ll go to Babar’s house by walk and drink the cardamom tea that his mother will make. I’ll read the book grandpa gave when I was fifteen. Now I am tired. The mind is like a cat on the wall: it doesn’t know where to jump; and once I jump, there’s no climbing back again. The new reality will consume me and I will persevere through this change to make a life without hinging on inspirations from random forces in the world like electricity and the internet. Ridiculously random forces.
Avin’s final thoughts for the night contemplated tomorrow – like every other night. This chant brought him satisfaction in a reality where family, friendship, passion, love, money, and happiness were being reformed after the incident. His fingers slapped an invisible keyboard beside his bed, typing a to-do list and saving it in a folder called “Monday.” He searched for “Weekend Timetable” and deleted it. He shivered as he shook away these scenes in his head, mumbling, “Not from tomorrow, not from tomorrow!” before shutting down for the night and restarting on the next day – with Hope.