The final stretch will decide the fate of your day. Like a fifth set tie-breaker or the final of forty laps, you are running purely on adrenaline. That is how you started the day too. Down in the 5th base, you have got to suck it up, put in the long yards and control the sports analogies. Post the morning high, it has all been downhill as expected. But the day ain’t over yet. Not until you clear the obstacle course that separates your quarters from your galley.
You are, of course, referring to your eventual bus ride home. It is the most sporty thing you do all day. You do not exactly look forward to it. But it is amazing how resourceful one can be in the absence of options. As the fateful vehicle approaches, you become aware of an impatient, heavy breathing flock of fellow slaves around you. This is not going to be easy. But what would life be without competition?
As you jump, lunge and land, predator-like focus takes over your senses. The only thought that comes to your mind is: ‘This would look really cool in animation!’
Most slaves have developed their own techniques: elbowing, blocking, side-stepping and toe-crushing. You too have to play ball for the prize. Looking prim is the least of your worries right now and civility a distant acquaintance. Like sniffers trained to lunge at the prize, you and fellow slaves scamper for the few and vacant seats.
You see your target, a vacant aisle seat on the left. With random precision, you spill into the seat. The look of reclusive relief on your face seems to say: ‘Life is not so bad after all!’
Having caught your breath, you look around at the losers who could not corner a seat. A lady standing right next to your seat catches your nearly gloating eye. She is uncomfortably contained in her formals and has a familiar look of disappointment on her face. You had the same look on yesterday when a miscalculated side-step cost you a coveted seat.
You get up, at once compelled, and offer your seat to the morose lady who takes it in disbelief. As you hang on in the public transport vehicle, your legs are wary but your eyes have a glint. Good deed in bag, free will practiced, you have salvaged an otherwise forgettable day.