When she walked back to her shop, her mind was still on the conversation she had with the old man. She was still feeling guilty about her outburst. It’s been such a bad morning. Of late she has been noticing an eagerness to please in her husband, which she viewed with a little suspicion. In the beginning it was very flattering. She had gone back home with her son to visit her parents and her husband had stayed behind. He has been extremely attentive when she came back. Very attentive. Compliments..gifts..restaurant dinners. She reveled in all the attentions. Now she has thing nagging feeling with she cannot put her finger on. It started last night. The child was asleep and she moved towards her husband and she felt a distance in his loving making- as if she wasn’t there. She felt undesired and strangely unsatisfied by the end of it. Maybe it was all in her head. Maybe he had a tiring day at work. Who can know what goes on in a man’s head?
The old man. There was something so fatherly about him. As if he carried the worries of the world on his shoulders. He had this tired look and the first time he came to her shop, she immediately poured a glass of water for him and he drank it with such a relish. He has always been quiet and it’s funny how very little she
knew about him. He had no routine timing. He sometimes walk in just when she is about to close and asks her for the book she has picked for him. That’s another thing she has started doing for him. She had a fair idea the books he likes to read. He is so not into fiction.
‘There’s so much of life around and no amount of fiction can really be fictitious, since it will be contain someone’s life in it- I would rather read life’
Whatever that means. This is what fascinated her about him. She reminded her of her favorite chemistry professor. These ramblings which made sense when she heard it but cannot put in context to anything later.
She liked talking to him. She always felt she is the one who had to initiate it. He was quite and non intrusive, one has to draw him to a conversation and it’s a delight to hear his insights which are always such an eye-opener.
She was surprised at today’s conversation. She never realized how provoked she became. She had assumed him to be something else in regards to religion. He did have a priestly look. His discourse was a shocker for her. It was the passion in which he said it, as if this is what he is all about. For a brief moment, he sacred her. How silly!
‘Perhaps I should invite him during my lunch break. That should make it up for my behavior. He looks like he would like some company.’
Well, that was that. She felt a lot better after she had made her resolution. She always did have remedies to suit all situations. Like a kiss on a child’s bruised knee.