Urgent Enough

There was so much to see, so much to taste. That pork belly with the crispy crackling, she wondered what that tasted like. So many countries to visit, so many smiles from kind strangers, so many sunsets wasted in the 6×6 cubicle. Urgency crept up on her while she wasn’t looking, and it said, “Run!” She ignored it and kept on tapping away at the keys, that annoying pain in her wrist replacing the dream smile with the permanent frown.

Back home, she chopped the onions, stirred the dal, and boiled the rice. The chicken was rinsed and put in to the pot, the same old masala. She set the table, pulled out her chair and chewed her meal, still wondering what a faraway cuisine would do to her taste buds.

Urgency became a companion. It sat on the gear shift as she pulled out of her parking spot in the morning. It stirred the dal in her packed lunch. It made the wrist ache a little more. It made their voices so annoying, bouncing off the walls, talking of this movie, that absurdity, the other woman.

She tried to talk to her friends. They laughed and said she had a case of the blues. Take a vacation. And went back to complaining about why their job was worse. She appealed to him, but he refused to budge an inch. She rolled over and went to sleep with a sigh – it was something pleasant to dream about, poignant, lost before it was ever owned.

Urgency now had its arms wrapped around her, constricting each movement. The rice was overdone. The keys were mis-clicked. The chicken was bland. The excitement of a new package arriving didn’t happen. It was just one more thing to own that she didn’t care about. Stifled sigh as the urgency squeezed tighter with each passing day.

Then one day she woke up and couldn’t breathe. She panicked, felt the images flash, and only a few were worth it. It made her want to scream. A jumble of disappointments, excuses, longing. Struggling, she threw out her arms, prised Urgency’s fingers off her, and gave it a good, long hug. She was done fighting for what didn’t make her happy. It was time to try another way.

So many stamps in her passport. So many new flavours tasted, so many smiles seen, and given. So many waters that lapped at her feet, no two sunrises or sunsets the same. Hair flying in the wind, eating a lovingly prepared sandwich atop a cliff, watching the eagles fly. There was no pain, not in her wrist, head, anywhere. It was bliss.

Why me?

The thought occurred sometimes still. But she had found the answer a long time ago. She packed away the sandwich wrapper, got up, dusted off her jeans and said to the wind, “Because I am a nomad, and they were trees.”


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