There’s a game I sometimes play on my own. I call it Nothing to See.
I pull the blankets up and over my head and I listen.
That’s not all. That is not the extent of this game. If it were, it would be a very poor game indeed, I believe, although still somewhat better than other games I find that are much more profitable.
It’s like this: My blanket is over my head. I can’t see and I pretend I am years into the future. Sixty. Seventy! Perhaps I am dead. Perhaps I am merely close to dying.
So far into the future and yet I have received a precious gift from someone. I know not whom. For a brief few moments, I can hear – only hear – sounds from my old life, back when I was happiest and young.
Sounds from my tv room. February, 2016.
Trashy Bollywood movie on the tv and Farzana across the room, jabbering away in Urdu on her phone. There’s my brother’s fiancée, just to the left of my couch. She’s playing Nintendo DS with a squealing little cousin: “Oh no, shoot that one! Shoot that one!”
“Yes, I remember this,” the very old me – or the dead me – thinks to herself. “What a perfect day!”
I listen. I hear cars going by out in the street. My semi-presence here is sensed by my cat Qasurah, Lord of the South. She mews, paces and mews – tries to get my attention.
But I’m not really here.
I can’t pet you, Qasurah. I’m old now. I’m old and far away and merely eavesdropping on your time.
Farzana laughs, the central heating hums and I listen.
Oh, what a day it was, way back when!