I’m walking as my feet sync to the tune in my ears. It’s almost perfect. Almost. The landscape is still pretty usual. At least, I’m moving to the tune of the song as I make my way through the dense crowds. Perhaps, this is the only advantage of living in the national capital region; you can always lose yourself among the crowd and the music.
As I walk further, the perfection draws near. The song has shifted from a new-age electronic to some old-school rock. I find myself escaping into the instruments of the old and lyrics that could only have been written by the greatest songwriters of all time.
I walk into the gates of whatever building I’m entering without care at this point. It’s all muscle memory really; a cup of coffee in my hand, earphones in as the song defines whatever the situation in my life is now. Even if it doesn’t, it sure feels like a soundtrack to my movie.
I see this other person with the same expression on his face. Like brothers from different mothers, we nod acknowledging each other. We’re both experiencing the absolute amazement. I can only guess what he’s listening to, but I’m sure he can relate to it as much as I do to the indie tracks rolling abruptly in my ears.
A ballad starts smoothly as I climb the series of escalators and a couple comes into view. Oh, how perfect, I think. My coffee is running out, but I don’t care, I’ll fake a sip nonetheless, the line is perfect. This is my moment of pretention. This is my moment. I don’t know what it signifies, but it sure feels good.
I take my phone out and scroll through the queue. Too disparate, I think, I need my song now. I see one of my favourites; I tap on it. A gleaming smile draws over my face in one-broad stroke as the all too familiar notes give way to the all too familiar words. A woman stares at me, wondering if I’m smiling because I just killed someone. I didn’t, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. Do I skip a step because why the hell not?
Setting my foot on the last escalator, fear sets in, the song isn’t even halfway through, but I’ve arrived already. “How could this have happened?” I ask myself. There’s no helping it because as it turns out, escalators don’t stop and well, who’d stop a soundtrack on a perfect scene anyway?
As my feet touch the last floor, I raise my hand, as slowly as I can to ensure I take in one final note, one last word. I take the bud out and bam, I’m back into the real world. As the indistinct hubbub takes over the all too perfect track, I look around in what is only a wide camera pan in my head. I toss the empty paper cup in a nearby bin and take the other bud out of my ears.
“I hate this part,” I say under my breath, “I really hate this part.” I shove the earphones into my back pocket.