The morning train – the man who didn’t fit in the world

June 26, 2017

Some people just don’t bloody fit in. They don’t. They might if you just gave them a passing look like the way one looks fleetingly at fire hydrants, bollards and kerbs. But if one really looks. They don’t fit in at all. They may want very much too. But there’s always enough of who they really are to leach out into wider world to remind themselves and others who may care to look longer and deeper that – this must be a sort of man who had cultivated an unusual bent of regarding himself like all other men, to see himself first not an individual. As that would have compelled him to come to terms with the finality of his difference from all other men. Rather as a member belonging to the generic human species, then as merely the cold reality of a life form that occupies this corner of this universe in this planet called earth, that’s part of larger construct called the solar system and beyond and finally to see himself as merely an infinitesimal speck of dust in the larger schema. This was how people who don’t fit in blend themselves right in. They make themselves disappear…with these thoughts simmering Miss D looked on at the man that morning in the carriage that barrelled to the city.

She had chanced on him again. This time on the morning train, just after their chance meeting the night before at Bedok reservoir when Miss D realised just as the world was full of mysterious doors and rifts that curiousity might just as well turn the knob only to walk right through, once one stood in that room…nothing would ever be the same again.

That morning she realised the man who preferred to stand and look out dreamily out the window of the train didn’t fit at all – here he was pretending to be like everyone else except now she realised something about the man who didn’t fit….he had a dervish fetish for birds.

The impression that man who didn’t fit was a delectable notion to Miss D that morning as she chewed on it slowly like an eclair like a satisfied woman who was perfectly prepared to accept that morning as what the moment had to offer.

A man who didn’t fit and knew it and yet still tried despite the magnitude of what singled him out as markedly different was rare because it could only be achieved by someone ready to let go of who he really is to assume the life of someone else…that demands respect thought Miss D as she curled her lips in anticipation. It even inspires awe in the way he tried to come across as everyone as she darted another look his way…yes…right down to the everyone else tie he wore that morning to his black laced everyone else shoes….yet despite his monumental effort to blend right in….he didn’t fit. A lot of other guys may be like that – especially the ones below the line, the cookie cutters. They look forward to nothing better than to put in a hard day’s work to get that promotion, buy a condo, a car, get that girl. It’s not about art, science, theory or even ideas. It’s really only about the nuts and bolts of making it come out right. Life that is. But very rarely does one come across a man who simply wants to fit in like a lego block that finds its place along side other faceless blocks only to click in place with a satisfying ‘thack.’

Somewhere between Kembangan and City Hall. Miss D decided to follow the man who didn’t fit – she was impelled by an almost inexplicable force that transcended even her curiosity. It was a perfectly calm, yet perfectly insane impulse when she alighted and followed the man who had hardly shown an indication that he was aware of anyone following him.

As Miss D followed him. She was seized by the most sublimely exhilarating thought that this was the first time in their numerous chance encounters when she had decided to do something completely unlike herself. It must seemed like a half a step in front of the real as she put one feet in front of the other, a feet or two just behind the man, and in the thick of the illicit thrill, she felt her skin slowly becoming transparent…and with each step. Soon she wasn’t even occupying space anymore so much as melting into it. What was around her just a moment ago, the purposeful sea of humanity rushing frantically to work had suddenly receded away and all together died out and all that remained was the back of the man and the foot steps of man and woman and that was the moment when the man stopped. Pause. Turned around and at that very moment everything that Miss D ever wondered about how it was to be the man who didn’t fit in the world was answered….all she had to do was only to look into herself in order to see the world thru his eyes.’

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