The wool was green. Like algae having lost half their colour. She knitted at the wool furiously. A dull-blue-woollen skull cap adorned her head. It seemed she had woven it herself. The jacket was ready-made; her skirt and her bag were made of the same fabric. She definitely stitched it herself. Her Mediterranean features focussed on the fury, and knotted the long wool thread into meaning. Like a dream about to be realised.
There were earphones plugged in her ear – she was oblivious to the world around her; oblivious even to the bright eyes looking at nimble fingers working at the needles. Eyes, deeply set in a huge face, proverbially, darkened under African skies.
The melanin-deficient tweed jacket accented the colour of his face and his hands – the only visible skin of the huge body. In between the newspaper headlines and the darting of the eyes to the active needles of her wool-work – there seemed an eagerness for the destination. In the eagerness, the headlines didn’t seem to make sense. He worked on the mobile phone while he cursed for the signal that was as away as a lost love.
An empty seat away, far away from his ethnic origin, an oriental held his PDA a few millimetres away from his eyes; eyes that seemed to manage to see the world through soda glasses that heavily rested on an apparently delicate nose. Why would you get a screen so microsopically close to your soda glasses, yet look at the PDA screen through the gap of the soda glasses? Ah! Some eye defect, you think, but you are not sure.
Across him, the girl, in the expensive, branded, and tattered jeans seemed least bothered – about the gadget in the proximity of the eye; the bright African eyes undecided between the headlines and the needles bringing the wool together. About the needle woman herself; no, she was oblivious to the environment. Do I have to go through this drudgery before I experience fun? Does fun come at a cost?
She asked these questions to herself in a way that she couldn’t answer. She didn’t seem inclined to pose the question to me for an answer.
Far away I saw weary faces awaiting their destination as if it would be redemption. Like going back to a loved one; like calling an end to a tired day; like a beginning of sorts, or, possibly, an end of sorts. I wondered who said that the fun is in the journey – not in the destination. Did that person use public transport after a hard day of work?
Three minutes later the tube concluded its run for the night and announced its final stop. All were requested to ‘depart’. And, as Paul and Art said, we departed to allow the tube to continue its journey back into the ‘stony womb’ to help others reach a destination.
It was a hard day – so full of learning.