Novelette “The Second Life” Chapter 3


            On the fifth day after vasectomy Mark has started to go out for trivial things like coffee and grocery. He just wandered in his car, parked the car close to a park beside sea shore. It is a bright sunny day, the way sunlight falling on green up and down curved lawn of the park and beautiful green trees in unpredictable shapes, and on meekly rippling blue ocean, all altogether caused to bloom some happiness inside him. Even though that happiness was feeble, he enjoyed that good feeling but with a tint of disappointment because no one is with him to share the happiness. All this blue, green, lawn, trees, wavy ocean and sunlight mixed in the coffee; he drank it sip by sip and stayed there more than the plan was.

            Mark returned home after lunch. Between changing dress checked his testicle sac and saw wounds are almost dried off. He has really started to have the feeling getting healed and entering into normal life again, and naturally started to plan to start usual activities with a sneaky little smile. He decided to visit the offices of the charitable organizations next day those he chose.

                   In the afternoon accountant called again from Toronto. Mark owns four apartment buildings in Toronto, all are now leased with a rental company. If hesitate or lazy to track all the movements of business, even though everything is in lease and supervised by a good accountant who proved loyalty for many years, it may cause cracks in the base of survival and will eventually lead to collapse, from there it would be extremely bitter and grim to go on in life. He spent with laptop the whole afternoon and few hours into night.

             Next day Mark went to the office of a charitable organisation which is one concentrating with the works of collecting and distribution of food for food banks. He offered to work as a volunteer for them and it seemed like they welcome his offer. Mark met few organizers of the other charitable establishment too in their office. The second one works for old people in need and among homeless people. He decided to devote more of his time for the second organisation. He has meaningful reason clearly inside about the choice made. To be true Mark has a secret fascination to hear life stories from old people. After the visit to second charitable organisation a peculiar curiosity developed in him to find out the paths homeless people came through to reach the present devastated position in their lives. He planned to keep record of those stories as well.  

           In the evening Mark spent some time in a sort of elite bar in a west waterfront street of the city, the street seemed peaceful and romantic outwardly. He allowed and encouraged himself to enjoy it to the maximum, intentionally ignoring all the negative things that can come across.  He sat at a small table alone in a corner there was not much movement. Ambiance of that place felt somewhat out of this world to him. While relishing in that feeling simultaneously he had a faint subconscious awareness that this feeling is not going to last much long. He ordered for two shots of whiskey on the rocks. He sipped it slow and slowly waiting for fish strips and sandwich to arrive. Glances started to drift towards him from different tables, but some were flash glances. It was uncomfortable so he tried to ignore other than female glances, even though didn’t take any of those seriously with any particular intention. He is not really interested in a one night stand at this point for some reason, he has decided to be patient until figuring out what is he actually up to. But, at the same time he was prepared for some occurrence that can occur out of his control, maybe of a secret wishful expectation. Drinks were good, nothing sensuous happened that night there.

           Mark left the bar and walked few blocks along the water front street. He was really enjoying his slightly wobbly walk, looking at lights reflecting on wavy water, the cool, vague, and shaky night city space around. He was actually walking through a street in a world of only his own. Alcohol has a ‘magical’ power to open up a door which had been totally invisible few minutes ago, into a cozy simultaneously a muggy world, with an extreme uncertainty of transforming a person to an angel or a jerk. But for few like Mark it is a very personal, special place, it’s not sure how long he wandered in that world this time. After some time Mark called a cab and returned home around ten thirty, and went to sleep soon.

            Next few days Mark worked with the charitable organisation and was busy with old and homeless people. He met some people who are living their days in the dark devastated place of life. He cunningly persuaded them to open up to tell their stories, and listened to it all with great curiosity. He realised clearly for the first time in his life that there are many things money cannot do anything in the realm of life, but he already know clearly there are so many things money can do as well. Anyhow he decided to spend some money to make them happy to the extent money can do.

           For couple of weeks Mark’s evenings were of reflecting on the things happen in the day time, and of some wine or spirit and some picky foods. His public life now seemed admirable for others and somewhat satisfying for himself too, he was very cautious to avoid any fakeness to mix in his actions.

             Even though his external life is active enough, he discretely knows clearly that this is not his whole life. He is determined to resist any invisible accusations of guilt that can obstruct his pursuit for secret personal happiness. His secret internal space is warm, pulsating and shining in amorous light perpetually.     

            Mark today tried to be in touch with ex Cathy, son Lionel and daughter Lisa, Cathy did not pick up, son Lionel also, but Lisa talked with him. Girls are generally compassionate towards their fathers than mothers or sons, that’s the way it is. Even though in a different way and tone she repeated her usual worry, why he left mom, he said, I was not happy and her mom did not do anything about his personal happiness for long time, she asked, why did not he try more to convince mom, he said, he tried a lot without anyone’s knowledge and finally with a counselor as well, even after that she continued to compel him endlessly to buy more properties. He asked about Lisa’s husband Richard, she said, he is doing well, and she revealed a good news that she is pregnant and one month now. Mark promised her he will come to see his grand child when she gives birth. Conversation between Mark and daughter Lisa ended in a very heartfelt manner.

            Mornings, days, evenings and nights of Mark now becomes more of his own, but he was very vigilant not to add up more selfishness. He slowly switched to spend his days in his own time. Everyone lives every day in a simple, basic, personal life of their own, in that simple secret life Mark has started to feel like his testicle sac got healed. A major change happened to his genitalia is slowly fading into past and he is naturally moving forward into his new future.

                            *                       *                     *                      *                        *