/ Knitting the Threads is a follow up story to Trajectory Office /
José Pereira found himself in a cheerful mood. What else was he supposed to do? He walked down the streets, hands in pockets, and winked and smiled and grinned at strangers. The air smelled of burned gasoline as buses rolled back and forth and it was a bit chilly. People wore hoodies and coats of predominantly dark colours. Most of them walked head down in an auto mode. One would not dare to interrupt their pace in the same manner one would not dare to throw a screwdriver into a steam engine on full power. Nature, though, always finds its ways into the grey world. Consider first blossoms just days after a massive eruption, which covered everything with a thick layer of ash. And what about kids, flying their kites at a seaside demolished by a terrible storm. These are all small pieces of resistance, altogether waving a giant sign: there’s still life. A cat stretched itself on the pavement, sniffed around for a bit and then climbed over a wire fence and disappeared in an alley. A street corner musician produced fine tunes from his guitar. Even though far from Bob Dylan, this dude shared his art with the world, José mused and stopped for a minute or two to listen. People rushed around, heading to their homes and families and he wanted to join them. There was a voice that yet had to be silenced. Restless at any times, it always rushed him to go somewhere, and do something, worry about stuff, and gossip about other people or read the newspaper article about the latest breakthrough in the art of cutting bonsai leaves. It always made him want to get to that destination only to find… the next one already anxious and waiting. No wonder he ended up in the Trajectory Office. Endlessly comparing and contrasting, José easily missed the beauty at hand in exchange for context of worries. He worried about his choice of school, he worried about his job, he worried about his position as a 3rd generation immigrant. Worries created a context between the past and the future, in which he had an identity. And now he resolved to destroy the context and lose himself. He gave that musician a five dollar note.
“Thank you” José said and wandered away.
He decided to walk all the way back to the hospital and check out how his patients were coping. It took him a solid hour and a half of walking through back alleys and various shortcuts to reach the infamous, grey walls of the city hospital. Clock showed 7.30 p.m. An ambulance with flashing lights but silenced siren passed him and drove into the yard.
In a corner shop, José bought a bunch of colourful flowers for patients and then stopped at a hospital cafeteria to get some coffee and bagels for his colleagues. A kind lady offered herself to help him carry everything inside. It made quite a sight. For a brief moment they stood in the main hall with all its bustle and they looked lost, almost forgotten, but also, well equipped for the situation and in no imminent danger of starving.
“This way if you would” José said and headed towards the elevator.
It took them up to the 4th floor.
“Hellooo hellooo” he roared as they made their first steps across hall. Patients, those who felt strong enough to walk, peeked out of their rooms.
“Hello darling, how is it going? I’ve brought you some flowers” he would say.
“No, not the coffee, you know I shouldn’t allow you drinking it.”
“Okay, maybe a little sip” he would add after some persuasion.
At the end of the hall was an office where majority of his colleagues resided. Both groups – those who worked all day and were about to leave and those who had the night shift ahead, looked sleepy and welcomed the coffee and bagels with much gratitude.
He hung around for some time and tried to cheer up some of the patients, many of whom were facing a strenuous night.
At last, around 10 p.m. he said his last goodbye and headed home.
Samuel Chase rubbed his eyes and stretched his legs. Another long day in the office and yet another series of personal conversations with people who, Chase thought, should mainly converse among themselves. He could guess his client’s friction points from the stare of their eyes, firmness of their handshake and their first sentences. Soon after his initial day in the office, meetings settled into a routine – same story different face. It made him weary and it sucked out his energy and left him napping on a sofa on a Friday night. Many a morning, whilst turning around hopelessly in his bed, Samuel thought about alternatives, about trajectories, but he never used his own weapons.
Now, in his office, he reached out once more for a glass of Pinot Noir and the tablet. His fingers tapped and swiped the screen until the desired result presented itself. So then, this one looks pretty neat. I wonder, José Pereira, which trajectory did you choose after all?