[Mr. Mysterious, 851 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Edward was riding the train home from work, it had been a long day and he was tired. He sat and watched people get on the train and get off the train. They were all tired. Everyone had had a long day at work. The fatigue produced by people getting up so early, working as hard as they could and continuing on throughout the day was difficult. Edward’s day hadn’t been that stressful, he was assisting someone else with ad-hoc labour. It was the early mornings that were doing him in. He had worked in a somewhat minor role, but he knew everyone else around him was working twice as hard. But that’s what the current work required, an extra hand to pick up the slack of temporary extra duties. He was able to do some things, other things he wasn’t able to do, in the current vocation it was not his role of expertise.
He was still tired from the early mornings. His sleeping patterns had been a mess of late and he was grateful for the work, it helped him readjust himself to the hours of the working class. And the working class had been working hard. You could tell by the lines on people’s faces as they got on the train. In a way he was working extra hard too, he would put in the hours for the working week and continue on working on his creative ambitions. As a writer and an artist, he understood that his life was not of a material experience, but rather a cultural experience where he contributed to creating culture for others to partake in. The cultural experience allowed for others to be acknowledged in their own way. He acknowledged that his role was not as an expert in any single vocation, but rather to act as a jack of all trades to help out where it was needed. Other people bore more responsibility, but in his own way he bore a responsibility of his own. True, it was of his own decree, but that in no way lessened the responsibility of creating a cultural experience for others to indulge in. He often wondered why more people didn’t read his material.
Then a man with a white cane and glasses got on the train. A white cane is a stick for the visually impaired. He got on the train, folded his stick and sat opposite Edward. At first Edward thought nothing of it. But on a closer account he began to wonder. Why the hell did this man need a white cane and glasses at the same time? It was very confusing for Edward. If he was wearing glasses, why did he need the white cane? If he needed the white cane, why was he wearing glasses? Now, these weren’t sunglasses, these were glasses for a visual impairment. It didn’t make any sense… Edward felt like yelling at him, “Why do you need both!?” He thought better of it and decided to keep his mouth shut out of polite respect. He was probably just tired and imagining things.
And then he saw it. He saw the man’s eyes move, glancing outside the window, taking into account the graffiti along the train lines. What the hell was going on here!? Could this guy see and he was wearing glasses and walking around with a white cane? Now, he may have needed the glasses… But then why did he need the white cane? Something was going on here. Something was definitely going on here. Edward knew about glasses, because he himself needed them. But his eyesight wasn’t that bad, so he only wore glasses infrequently. It helped him read writing that was far away. That’s about all they did for him, so he chose not to wear them all the time. But why this other guy needed glasses and a white cane was mysterious. He was Mr. Mysterious.
It frustrated Edward, but he didn’t say anything. He had worked a day and felt hungry. So he went to a restaurant because he felt hungry. Then realised he was just being lazy. So he decided to go to the supermarket and get something to eat. Then he saw him, the same guy, he didn’t have any glasses and didn’t have the white cane. What the hell was happening here!? And then Edward laughed his arse off at the hilarity and confusion of it all.
Then he understood why people weren’t reading his writing or material. It was because they were busy working long hours and at the end of the day had to cook their own meal. It was a very tiring process. It made sense and he understood that. The situation had helped him understand that. People work hard and they get tired. But what’s that old saying, ‘don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.’ Yes, roses smell like shit because shit has been shovelled upon them in order to help them grow. And roses have thorns because they’re so pissed off at all the shit that has been heaped up upon them.