The Two-Legged Stool

I’m seated in a KBS bus on my way to town. It’s empty, which just means that I’m one of the first people to get in. It’s One in the afternoon. The sun’s rays diffuse through the cloudy sky, and some of them hit me squarely on the face. I’m not going to move from the window though. I like it here.

I like watching the cars on the roads. I like watching people, trying to guess what’s on their minds. It’s not hard. I guess a lot of practice has made me really good at it. But I’m not really interested in analyzing the human condition today. My mind is tired. I’m just from a three-hour exam that has pushed my neurons to the limit. My mind and body are a team, and we sit for exams together. We talk, motivate and chide each other in an ongoing game that must make me look mad to the outside world.

My stomach rumbles. I haven’t taken anything since the three slices of bread and the cup of tea that is my lot in the morning. I can feel my eyes searching for any green cars on the road. I feel embarrassed, for I know what that green car represents. Do I really want to see her today? Looking like this? Feeling like this? No. I emerge from the recesses of my mind and regain full control of my faculties. The autopilot has been switched off.

I have this never-ending research going on at the back of my mind. I’ve been carefully analyzing all the green cars I come across in the big city. From their model, make, person driving them, condition of the vehicle and all these other tiny irrelevant details that I’d never mention out loud. Most of the time I’ve spent a lot of mind energy on these vehicles, willing them to have the one I want to see as their passenger. Sometimes my belief in the power of the human mind leads me to think that I can impose my will on events going on around me. I don’t know if that is a sign of madness or genius. And I don’t really think I ¬†want to find out.

The exam has really taken a toll on my team. I want to peacefully drift to sleep, but something inside me reminds me I’m in a public service vehicle. I wouldn’t want to lose my phone or cash or worse. Only a little while left, I tell them. And then you can rest. But we all know that this is a lie. I won’t rest till the darkest hours of the night. That is how it has always been. It’s my routine. We’re struggling for something. The vision is there, in all its glory, but we can’t help but feel that we’re missing something.

There is an emptiness that surrounds us. We’re like a two-legged stool, waiting for the carpenter to finish his work. Waiting for the third leg.

The conductor extends her hand. She wants cash. I merge mind and body and desist from wading in the dark, mystical pool that is the two-legged stool.