There’s this stain on your blazer. You’ve only noticed it now, in the bus, there’s nothing you can do about it – well you can always wet your hanky with some spit and dab over it – but there’s a lady next to you, there always is. What will she think? A guy in a suit cleaning it with spit? You already don’t stand a chance with her so why ruin it even more? The stain however nags you and you shrug your shoulders trying to rub it subtly on the seat. Then it hits you, maybe the stain will spread. Maybe it will become worse. Maybe this small gray spot will spread over your shoulder and become one big mess. So you stop moving and decide to concentrate on your phone.
You unlock the screen and notice a smudge. You never touch your phone with oily fingers so this is annoying. You also don’t have any kids or kids around. You wish you had them, you would have someone to pass the blame on. You take out your hanky – you thank God you didn’t douse it in spit – you work on the screen gently rubbing it in circular motion. The stain doesn’t budge, it’s crusty, and you need something with a bit of moisture. Again, spit comes to mind but you notice the lady is watching your every move so you put back the hanky and use the phone as is. You hate how the crusty smudge rubs against your fingertips – it’s subtle – but it feels like running your skin over cracked glass.
It’s one of those days that feels like a Monday. Actually, all your days now feel like a Monday. The days are seemingly longer and your nights are considerably short. Just last week you walked into a club after work and sat at a corner next to a loud speaker. You felt the loud music would drown your thoughts and had to shout over it to order a beer. The guy came back with two – you looked at him and asked him to take one back. You hate how they do that, assume that you want to have two. For that reason you vow to only have one and leave – that should serve them right. Those assuming bastards. He walks away with the beer and you have the opened one in hand. Suddenly you hate its smell, you hate how the bottle looks, the long neck and peeling label. It’s so goddamn expensive – why don’t they ever use quality labels? You take a sip and almost retch. You’ve never had this reaction to a beer before.
It feels like you walked in on your wife cheating on you with her best friend. That’s not the worst part, they didn’t notice you come in due to all the ruckus – you never knew she could scream so loud. So you walk out the same way you came in head hang down in shame and too scared to intervene. You don’t know what you’re scared of. Maybe deep down you always knew she was too good for you and feel like you made her settle for less. You feel like she is justified. Yes, she is justified, every lady that settled needs to upgrade once in a while. You take it in stride and walk to your car and go back to the office. You brood all day over emails until it’s time to go home – again. She meets you at the door happy, she’s glowing. She never glows when you’re with her. She plants a kiss on your lips. The same lips you saw on his lips, she hugs you tight. You feel her fingers dig into your back – you wonder if that’s how the other guy felt. Suddenly you hate her, no, you hate yourself. You let it happen. You watched and walked away. Your gag reflex hits and you push her away and walk past her and into the kitchen. You stand there clueless. Why the kitchen? Why the hell did you go to the kitchen? You wonder if they did it there – it looks too clean.
So that’s how it felt. Just you and your beer. It feels alien in your hands, it feels out of place. The liquid going down your throat doesn’t soothe it feels intrusive. You want it out – but you persevere. You made sure every single drop went down until you had to leave for home. That was the beginning of a series of Mondays. A dark cloud seems to be following you now. It doesn’t leave your side. Everyone says it’s normal that sunny days are up ahead and you want to believe them.
You get off the bus after the lady alights. You let her walk way ahead of you like she knew what was going through in your head. You don’t seem to notice the stain anymore – it’s gone – maybe it’s the light. She looks back – not at you – you think maybe she dropped something. You look down and see her scarf. Your foot is on part of it – your dusty shoes desecrating it – you pick it up hastily and make efforts to wipe it. You walk toward her and hand it over. She smiles and murmurs a thank you. She has nice teeth – they are not perfect – they are just nice. You don’t know why you noticed that. You don’t get her name you just murmur a welcome and walk away. Then it hits you, maybe the same thoughts were going through her head. Maybe her scarf dropped on purpose. You turn but she’s long gone. She’s thinking what’s wrong with her, maybe it’s her teeth she thinks. She curses smiling and now her Monday begins.