Things I Thought I Thought Tonight | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 12, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 12, 2019

Things I Thought I Thought Tonight

They have given me a grilled piece of chicken and a naan with the face of moon on a plate. The grilled chicken leg is brown with sides turned to dark coal. Grains of burnt spices glaze the piece. The naan has some sort of bread crumb slathered all over it. It is white and has a large brown spot on one side. Soft and fluffy, it glistens with brushed ghee or butter. The chicken piece also glows with its oily skin: the juice of the piece dripping. The heavy smell of spices and the soft smell of naan form a great combination. They also gave me a plate of salad. Pieces of cucumbers soaked in a splash of yogurt sauce. Its pink color hides the faded greenish white of the cucumber. Also, there is a glass with water filled almost to the rim. On the outer surface, drops of water cling to the glass, some dripping. Every drop reflects the white light over my head.

I tear a piece of naan, tear a section of the chicken with the same fingers and cover it with the naan. How much is the chicken? Cannot be over Taka 100. Tomorrow I have exam on prose. The short story mainly explores the loneliness of heart and the meaninglessness of our effort to fill in that void. I take two thin slices of the yogurt covered cucumber with the naan and put it in my mouth. How much money do I have? Maybe 500. Well, doesn’t matter. It will cover this. My father was supposed to be in Barisal today. Maybe he didn’t go. He’s ill after all. But he should have gone this week. The naan and the chicken taste good with the yogurt. No, he shouldn’t have. I take a sip of water. The buses outside are roaring. They will head to my campus. Tomorrow I will have to get on one. Aarrgh! I didn’t take a shower today. I rode the bus twice today. I am filthy. What kind of question will we have to answer tomorrow? I will take a bath tomorrow.

Wow, this tastes really good. Doesn’t matter, whatever the questions maybe, I have a clear idea on the whole thing. It is about the loneliness of the heart and the meaninglessness of the efforts to try to fill that void. The bone of this chicken is so soft. The taste of this sauce is so smooth and soft. I will buy chips so that I don’t get hungry at night. What chips can I buy? How about I take another naan? No, that will cost too much. Why isn’t there any soap? There was one every time I came here. My hair is long. But I won’t cut them. The water feels good against my skin.

“Tissue,” it’s funny how he is standing with his fat belly.

“How much is it, a naan and a quarter grill?”

Where is the tooth pick? How much did he return? There!

Ok, its ok. Will I buy chips? No, let’s not. There was a pretty girl at the coffee shop today. Did I pay the bill of coffee today? Oh shit, it’s so slippery! What is this smell I get every time I get inside this lane?

Oh shit, here we go again. One, two, three, four……twelve, thirteen, thirty four….Where’s the key!

It’s only the sixth floor. One more to go.

“A heart that’s

Fill up like a landfill

A job that slowly kills you

Wounds that won’t heal.”

Oh, a little bit more.

Ahhhhh, where’s my phone?

“Found you.”

Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap……..

I will study tomorrow morning.

“Good night, Mou.”

What will I think of today?

A good day it will be when I will finally learn all the things I wanted to and practice them every day. I will practice guitar a bit before leaving for campus. Will read books during the intervals of classes. Must practice German daily. I will buy The Trial this week. The books in my collection…of course a Sherlock Holmes Omnibus, The stranger, The Great Gatsby, Midnight’s Children…And…Ummm…And Catcher in the RyeCatcher in the Rye…Catcher in the RyeThe Complete Works of Franz Kafka is a must, and one of Murakami. Which one? Read the Norwegian WoodSputnik Sweetheart…Oh and Lolita.

 

Abdullah Rayhan is a student of the Department of English at Jahangirnagar University.

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