The winter sun streamed through the window on floating dust-laden rays. The lone window belonged to the post office, right at the corner of the main street. Not to say that it was a decrepit place, rather it was shiny, spic and span with new counters, and posters of all kinds announcing schemes plastered on the walls and boards. But the window was alone, stark in its misery, mired in dust-laden rays of a feeble sun.
Standing nearby, our friend from across the street had come for sending a parcel somewhere. Waiting in the line, he continued to stare at the window as if it was his only way to escape from this room. Maybe his life was riddled with problems, or he was plain lazy. A daydreamer perhaps, who knows?
Now it is time to introduce myself. This is me, the ubiquitous pen on the counter. The one with the shiny nib and worn-out exterior, and used by countless hands to write, scribble, cross out mistakes and also for the flourish of signatures. I belong to no one, where have I come from nobody knows. My predecessor was office issued, but the poor chap disappeared one day into the folds of someone’s pocket and hasn’t been heard since then ever again. How do I know this? The counter told me, the syllables mumbled from the slightly scratched surface he proudly wears as a badge of time served in this office. I am an outsider, having been left by some forgetful person who probably missed me for a few minutes and then proceeded to get a new pen. Alas, we as a commodity are always dispensable. So there is no point in being emotionally attached to anyone, I guess.
So, now since the introduction is done, I was talking about our friend, the fidgety daydreamer. I watched him from my perch on the counter, the look in his eyes sad and dull. Posture slouched and diffident. I watch many people during the day, but he was different. I sensed a quiet desperation in him, the way he held on to the parcel, looking at it many times as if checking, rechecking, and then looking out of the window.
But wait, who is that near the window, the ugly man with the scar staring at our friend with such hatred? Does he know our diffident friend? His eyes seem to burn into the poor fellow, who I see is slowly turning into a jittery mess of nerves, as his turn comes at the counter. A quick look at the window as he nearly stumbles, the job done. He makes for the door as fast as he can. The ugly fellow rushes, probably going after our friend. Or am I wildly guessing?
I ruminate, hoping that our friend is well and not in any kind of trouble. Meanwhile, people come and go, but our friend with desperate eyes continues to haunt me. The dust-laden rays continue to pour into the room, searching for some answers.