Waking Up Alone These Days
by Awais Leghari
I miss the annoying Guns N’ Roses’ song bellowing out of my cell phone in the morning around 7. It’s my mom calling me. She worries I may just skip my class that’s due to begin at 8. I have to possibly iron my clothes, get on that green shitter attached to my room, bathe, brush my teeth, comb my hair, wear clothes and attempt all the mundane things that makes me no different from any other college going boy in this country. Dilawar will honk my ass off a little late as usual so I do not check the clock and frolic with unwelcome panic. Let the hot shower run and let me dream about knocking down opponents inside an octagon fighting pit. Choking necks and cashing cheques is alluringly hypnotic. There’s always something to shake me back into the real world as soon as I craftily – in my mind – bend down and grab the lead leg of my opponent, lift it up and trip the other leg. Awais, you can’t even stand straight in front of a fucking dog, so shut the fuck up. I wonder how many fighters think about jiu jitsu while sneaking in a few streams here and there and pretend to shy away from it as if it were a crime scene. The mirror appears foggy now, so I bend forward a little and wipe it clean. I swear tomatoes aren’t as red as the shapely round distortion in the space time continuum visible in that mirror. Weren’t long, hot showers good for sinking self-esteems? Are those long hours of aiming mindlessly and shifting weight in the swimming pool and of tolerating filthy, smelly guys in the gym worth anything at all? Time is now beginning to creep in, so I pick my toothbrush and crusade against stinking gums and chewy leftovers. After a ritualistic re-entry into the shower, I think twice about rolling the knobs and then just go with it.
Of course, that’s not the only business of the day. There’s nothing like taking a shit after connecting my portable speaker cords to my Mac and just letting Spotify hit it off in the mornings. Scrolling over to discover the right playlist is a little brain teaser for me. Fuck Sudoku. Oh, I forgot the part where I have to stand bewildered in front of a plethora of options in clothing. Some pair of jeans refuse to brace my legs anymore, so fuck them, I will choose something else. I glance at the corner of my messy bed sheet, and immediately pin my hopes on a trusty pair of jeans I have just now decided to wear for the fifth time in a week. Not that I mind it one bit. Pretty much around that time, my phone sets off a shrill, brief tone that lets me know Dilawar is driving up to my home. So the day now begins, and I have a meeting with a disaster to tend to.
I miss my mom and her incessant calling to be honest, because without that, I would be waking up feeling jarred and pseudo jet-lagged in the afternoon, looking up to surviving a day with sleepy eyes.
Now, I have to be a little more vigilant than before. I sleep staring at my phone from a distance, and it stares back at me like a messiah looking over a crowd of clueless people anticipating guidance. I trust you to wake me the fuck up, phone. Goes without saying, technology can never replace the warmth with which my mother remembers me, and of course, her incessant calls. I have missed many morning classes now, and I can feel my chest becoming heavier with guilt minute after minute. It is as if my whole semester is crumbling and that I am floundering the little chances I have to achieve greatness. I think of all the responsibilities I think I owe to myself. You owe it to the boy who is envious of what you have. If he can do better in your position, then you deserve to fizzle away like those unwanted bubbles on top of the glass filled with soda. Not a pretty picture I must confess, specially after I subconsciously juxtapose the image next to all my ambitions for this semester, and consequently, for my life. But there’s a muffled voice I can hear tugging my conscious resolutely and telling me who the fuck cares, Awais? Who the fuck really cares?