He comes and sits quietly beside me, so noiseless and still that I forget he’s there. He seeks no attention and is perfectly content not being spoken to. As I go about my tasks, he sits and plays games on his PSP or sketches in the notepad that he carries everywhere.
As he patiently waits for me to finish my work, I start getting restless for making him wait. I ask a few silly and relevant questions in a bid to occupy him and show him that I acknowledge his presence. He answers me calmly, aware of the fact that my interest lies more in not making him feel ignored than actually knowing the answer.
Yet, the simplicity in his tone and words (usually monosyllabic) is like a slap in the face. It takes me aback. I’m so not a person who will behave like that. I don’t expect anyone to be like that, though I remember having requested quite a few folks before for the same tolerance. When I wait for someone, I force him to wind up his stuff quickly, or head out to find something to do until he is free. Or I keep hurrying the person, interrupting him in his work and helping him if I can.
He does none of this.
Of course there are a few times when he decides to go somewhere, but he always returns to check if I’m done. Never does he complain.
He knows I don’t do it on purpose. He knows fully well how I behave when I’m avoiding someone or giving him the cold shoulder.
I promise him I’ll be done in 15 minutes. I share with him what I’m working on and why it is important. Not because he wants to hear, but coz I feel guilty about making him wait. I offer to call him once he’s done if he needs to go anyplace else. His response stuns me, “I’ll wait.” Said with such acceptance and softness that I want to get up right away and say, “Hey, you know what, all this can be done later. Let’s go, you and I”.
I do that sometimes. But sometimes I cannot. And he waits. Sketches. Plays games. Occasionally making a remark about something. And I reply. And we sit there doing our respective stuff.
When I can’t keep my word about finishing my work and spending time with him, my conscience eats me. He doesn’t protest. He doesn’t moan, “You always do this to me.” He just comes back another day. And then I vow that I will ensure I spend time with him.
The moment this sequence came to my notice, things started making sense.
Now I understand why he feels nice when I come to see him. He smiles brightly when I walk up to his desk, sometimes not saying even a word in greeting. He motions to a chair. I sit down, and he goes about his work. I have a feeling he rushes up for me. Nevertheless, I’m an impatient person. So I start fidgeting. I ask him if he’s busy and will take long.
He says, “Just sit, I’m done”. He doesn’t snap at me saying, “Don’t I wait while you work?”
But I realize it myself. And he probably knows I do. Which is maybe why he doesn’t say it.
Or maybe he just doesn’t see it that way. Why put words and feelings into another person’s mouth and head?
Some things are so minor yet so beautiful. I wonder if anyone else even thinks about all this.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I do.
And he knows it. He likes that about me.
Others say I’m being philosophical, or that I have all the time in the world to think and imagine all this.
This is the way I am. And I know my thoughtfulness is appreciated by most and envied by some.
Isn’t that why you’re reading this?
Don’t miss the small things that people say or do or convey without saying nothing at all.
Have a good day!