The street was almost empty,somewhat dimly lit as the lights were not on yet .the sky was dusky and neither the stars nor moon was visible. The din lights from the apartment buildings on both sides of the street were the only source of light.
The weather was pleasant on this evening and the wind ruffled his hair making it even curlier than normal. He was wearing a vibrant blue t-shirt made if microfiber and khaki shorts.
Hebwas there for his evening walk on black sneakers. Covid-19 had intervened into everyone's routine and habits.this was not his usual path to walk as he usually loves to be on the seaside listening to the rhythm oh the waves.
But now all usuall places are restricted.he was walking briskly, taking in the landscape looking around at nothing in particular, as he always a stranger here.he saw nothing but many cars parked, in their allocated sports, longing to go somewhere.
He thought what he people in all those highrise buildings would be doing now.most if people don't have to go to work, no schools for kids.malls are shut and social gathering places like cafes, restaurants and even parks are reamain closed.
He brooded over about he current scenario and how the people would react.would this staycation indulge or stifle them with claustrophobic feeling ? He wished if he could read people's minds ! Azan (call to prayer? From the nearby mosque abruptly nstopped his thoughts.he sighed and looked around to see where he was. He was passing the sis story building next to his building and suddenly his eyes spotted a window half opened on the fifth floor.the light were on and the curtain nwas flapping in the wind.
A roly-poly,seemingly I her 40's wearing ba floral printed top and White trousers came out onto her balcony.she was holding a cup of tea I her right hand,had short hair and was wearing spectacles.seemed like she was having a break from a long hours of work from home .she was looking down the street as if she was anticipating someone.
Out of the blue, he thought about who actually lives in these buikdio, even next door to him. Is his neighbor Egyptian or Indian? Or is he from the Philippines? Alas ! No clue !
Everyday he must have seen many faces Asian, European, middle eastern etc.-in the elevators and corridors, crossing the street whilst getting out of the car , yet didn't know their name. He knows beell they live in the same building but couldn't recall many of the faces. And he didn't know the name of anyone nor did he know their nationality.he never bothered where they would go or what do they do for living or even to smile at the kids playing in the couryards.he was always too busy !
Hundreds of people, from different walks of life , hailing from diu nations,all living in the same neighborhood,yet all living confined to their concreat boxes.his mind started wandering again.. numerous thought floating through his mind.
He recollected reading a piece of writing in Forbes a few years back, about 'socisl beings' we humans are social beings we share mirror neurons that allow us to match each other's emotions unconsciously and immediately we leak emotions to each other. We anticipate and mirror each other's movements when were in sympathy or agreement with one another when were on the same side
He doubted this now, this term social beings as he felt that everyone around him were practically 'strange neighbors' he assumed everyone did the same as he and he hardly remembered anyone smile or talk to him either this though brought him some solace,however, his face brightened, he is not alone,
This realization brought him back to reality and he sped up his pace, and allowed his brooding to subside.the wind has picked up and was blowing stronger than before causing sand to drift across the road.
He heard the shutting of a window, making him look up again, and the lady had disappeared..alone again..