November 29, 2010

An Afternoon in Paradise

It’s 4 :45. From an anonymous cubicle in the featureless corridor of an ordinary office building, a man dreams of an escape. He’s been sitting at his desk for what seems like an eternity and his mind has wandered off.

Still gazing at his bland screen filled with unimportant numbers, he pictures himself out in the open, with a warm breeze coming from the ocean close by. His skin gorged with the warmth of a high afternoon sun, he walks slowly on a wooden path by the dunes, letting the tips of his fingers caress the high weeds that swing all around.

Slowly, he loses the feeling of his boring business clothes weighing heavy on his tired shoulders. He replaces that sensation with a faraway memory of his Beloved, rubbing his shoulders gently with a delicate lotion that smells of coconut and vanilla. Her fingers slowly pressing from the base of his neck all the way down to his lower back, massaging his weary skin and filling him with a deep sense of surrender.

A bristle white cup holding what could be his thousandth coffee for the day starts to shift, brightening up and coloring itself with lively mango, lime green and cherry red. Crispy ice cubes break from a tray held just above and splash in, making the glass surface fog up with juicy little droplets that slide down in diamond puddles.

The usual clicking and keyboard sounds have faded away, replaced with the happy chirping of beautiful birds up above and the distant humming of cicadas celebrating a weather that makes life easy and enjoyable. He breathes.

Slowly passing his hands through his thick hair, he finds himself smiling, relaxed, refreshed. He doesn’t know how long he stayed there, contemplating this inside world he created to escape a gray monotony we are made to believe is daily life. And he doesn’t care.

Mechanically, he stretches his arm and shuts down his screen. He stands, his other hand grabbing his coat and swinging it over his shoulder. As he walks away, light-hearted and peaceful, he spares a last glance at his monochromatic workplace. Everybody’s gone.

He shrugs, and then smiles some more. He doesn’t care where his coworkers are or how their day was. He knows only one thing.

He spent his afternoon in paradise.

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