Conversations with Winter and the Passengers
I am not too certain if this piece would be appreciated by the target audience it is intended for, but it has to be written anyway because I just cannot afford to keep my computer idle today and keep my itching fingers from not punching the keyboard to keep my idle, yet wandering mind busy.
Because it is cold, it is windy, and I have to keep myself warm by this only possible means. Writing.
Many a time I have heard, ‘Home is where the heart is.’ True. But for these categories of peoples, it is not and just might never be; as far as the reasoning and thinking of these groups,’ Home is where survival is.’
It is Sunday, far away from home, where the heart actually is and it is winter. And I was at the bus-stop-my favourite place these days where I am either waiting to board a bus at times to somewhere or to nowhere as long as I have enough money on my Oyster Card or just stand there like an idiot enjoying the mystery on the faces of passengers and passers-by about to board the bus especially at these times of cut and austerity majors sweeping every part of the world-mostly felt by the passengers on the deprived buses.
The truth is, the bus-stop has indeed become my favourite meeting place where I enjoy the best of conversations. Of course from my own kind! Please do not be carried away by the ‘my own kind’ theory, it simply means anybody who is willing and ready to share my thoughts and think there is something no matter how little they can benefit from my sometimes unclassified thoughts and rambling. Because I have come to discover without being educated by anyone that I must be careful, very, with the kind of conversations I hold at the bus-stop because the other time I had one with a thoughtless kind, I saw that unspoken body language of, ‘you are harassing me and you had better get your black a..e out of here before I am forced to do something unpleasant about it!’
Yes, it is Sunday and as usual, I was at the bus-stop in the cold, windy, winter place away from home waiting for Bus 96 to come and take me to nowhere as I realised this day that going to the church will be a bore. I was there for up to thirty minutes still waiting for the bus to come; it seemed it would take it yet another century to arrive. I waited. The winter cold unsympathetic to the fact that I will never get used to it because back home, in the distance there, the weather is comforting and romantic and all year long you do not need to clad the body with clothes to get warm.
While the waiting continued, another passenger came to join me; perhaps the very right passenger who would fire up my usual conversation. Then the question popped up: ‘Are you happy here?’ I asked the young passenger who would be in his early twenties I should think would be excited to be here and live for him a bubble that would never burst. His answer was shocking. ‘No,’ was the answer he gave. And thank goodness he did and was not pretentious about it to tell me that home is where the heart is even if that home is not accommodating, and I was afforded a further room to feed my conversation.
‘Why?’ I asked him. He pouted his lips before answering. Not that being in the comfort or discomfort of winter
was that bad, but the difference is clear…I wanted to probe farther, but the bus came and put paid to our conversation. Nevertheless, my mind was restless, still. I could not stop asking myself what many like that young man and others are doing in the winter when they are supposed to be far away there enjoying the evergreen sun!
Somebody once told me that many of us have been brain-washed by the various cosmetics the winter has to display on the many transparent stores and the same cosmetics it has to offer! Brain-washed? I laughed and I still do. My friend had asked me why I had to laugh. The answer I gave him is the answer I still hold strong to my heart that to brain-wash anybody minds has to do with the mental laziness of that individual.
Like the young chap at the bus-stop, he had come to winter for further studies. Would he be going back after studies? Of course, yes! Thank goodness that was his answer. A rational kind of bloke, eh? He was not like the many who had come to stay and would never see any reason to return to the sun and have that evergreen romance and conversations.
Many reasons have been put forward why many, unlike that young passenger, would choose to remain in the winter and tag the continent of the sun a no-go-area.
One such passenger at the bus-stop had told me that the reason why he would not return to the continent of the sun at least in a hurry was because he had to have enough money in his pocket and when asked how much he came with from the continent of the sun to the discomfort of winter, he said something like fifty quid and going back without thousands or millions of quid would be embarrassing because it is assumed that the cities of winter are places where successes are defined and those successes must find the right meaning.
Would a passenger with that kind of mentality listen if he or she was told that success is everywhere depending on one’s mental readiness to accept it? Certainly not, it would just be another lunatic dishing out some motivational gibberish!
The passengers are many with their different orientations why they must remain in winter and continuously wait for that bus to come-many times it does not come and their hopelessness and frustrations continue to grow unabated. Another believe that the only thing that would take him/her out of winter is when he or she has been certified as a bonafide person of winter! Ridiculous?
Nothing can ever be far away from it! How on earth would persons of that state of mind be told that one does not need to be certified by some bunch of men and women who can never know better and most times uneducated and evening drunks in some miserable pubs before they can ever regard themselves and live as humans in a world where everyone of us is still guessing on how it was created, that the only thing that certified us as either persons of a setting sun or its rising is the amount of goodness we have to share and give to a world that is being decided by wrong politics and politicians or as in George Orwell’s Animal Farm puts it, by wise Pigs? Or one of my friend’s argument that the certification is just, ‘ink on paper!’
And what happens to meet the certification of winter and continue to enjoy the many cosmetics it presents? The passengers allow themselves to journey on the rough roads of all the wrong things and monetary wastage! Exactly what a familiar passenger did, yoking himself with traditional and cultural differences just to be echoed as a qualifier of winter stay, and when that stay has been met, he soon realises that he has thrown away his God give right to true happiness and joy and will not stop journeying to that ever survival he fights day in and out to conquer that it is ever a gift he or she can never renounce because that is the price that has to give when mental sickness has been defined and the cure is not taken from the hospital of principle and the right decisions!
Another passenger may yet decide that the reason why he or she has chosen to remain in the cities of winter is because of the security the cities of winter have to offer. Why I should not laugh and enjoy it beats me! True, the problem of insecurity may just abound in the regions of the sun, but where is the issue of insecurity and crime an exempt on the face of the earth? The many cases of insecurities and crime waves presented to us from far away winter do not make her a place any safer, does it? Yet there are many passengers out there who are not willing to think! Even when they might just be on the road twenty-four-seven defined by sleeplessness and the stress of it.
To think I have been thinking, I wonder if the cities of winter and the many cosmetics they present would have been so if the rightful owners of these cities did not go all the way to make them what they are or if when development and progress had been naturally entrenched in those places the peoples would have bothered. You know, I will not stop thinking either that if all the passengers from sun cities choose to remain in winters cities because of real and imagined fears if sun cities will ever see the sun!
I have never believed that development and progress have ever been brought to bear by lazy minds and passengers who will decide to abuse themselves and their minds and their brains and wait for that bus that will never come, no, I have never been a party to such thinking!
Thank goodness that the other passengers from far away sun city of Egypt are proving to us by the minutes that lazy minds do not bring about the desired change and wait for the bus to take all the time in the world to arrive when it deems fit, that you demand it, with a collective agreement, the call for the bus, instead of giving a few wise Pigs in their natural and cultivated dirt who think they have the monopoly of wisdom to lord it over the progressive interest of the larger society.
It is not just enough to survive on the bus if the driver of the bus is progressively sick; people have the right to live and to do so is a choice we all as passengers have to make!