From 9 am to 5 pm I become suspended in an environment that prides itself on having features that I like to think of as clinical. The area must always be clean and minimal, similar to the cars we sell. The tiles on the floor are white, or ocean-foam white, as they were named by whatever company manufactures them. The walls are white, I think the paint is called sandstorm, though it’s the exact same as the floor. Where there isn’t a brick wall, one will find towering glass barriers. Those face the street so as to display the cars on the showroom floor to the public. Our desks are arranged in a very orderly fashion, though you would think that it was chaos when you see people running around with sheets of paper in hand, asking each other questions and trying to get work done. The phones ring constantly with someone on the other line trying to get a piece of the German excellence on our floors. Potential clients walk in to a world that is entirely different from any other, to buy a product that is in a class of its own. At least that’s what the brochure says.
This is the world I occupy. The 9 to 5 I maintain to pay the bills. It is mundane and stifling and at every moment I wish I could get away. It’s not that I hate the job, I like it. I try to think of it as an art form, so as to stimulate my ever-hungry right-brain. But occasionally I wonder about the places that I would like to go to, if I were given the power. If I could travel at the lightning speed at which we claim our cars travel, where would I be? If I teleport like X-men’s Azazel or had the TARDIS, where would I want to land up? There is no grand paradise that I imagine. But there are little pieces of sunshine that I find in my own time, outside of my money-making hours.
If I could zoom through space at the speed of light, more specifically, space-time, I would take myself to the park a few blocks away from my flat, at sunset. I’d like to go to a time where the children frolic about on the jungle-gyms without a care in the world. I’d like to be in the presence of lovers basking in each other’s happiness. The park is the perfect place for this. It is so vast and the natural scenery brings out a peaceful nature of co-habitation in everyone present. I find my solace on my very favourite park bench, which is positioned across an oak tree whose leaves are at this very moment gaining hues of red, gold and brown. The sun sets just left of this tree and the warm colours give me an extra dose of life with which to carry on in the night. But by far the best thing about this park is the paradoxical quietude among all the noise. Even though the children might scream and shout and the cars might zoom past with people trying to get to the next point in their lives, I can tune out all the noise because I’m all alone. Its as if no one else is here.
If I could zoom through space-time at the speed of light, oh the places I’d go. I’d take myself all the way to Jay’s Pub on the corner of my block, on a Saturday night. This place is one that I truly call home because I am able to shine light into the corners of my soul. Corners that I can’t show to my dearest friends or even my family. This is the place where I can pour my heart out to the kindest human-being I’ve ever known, a complete stranger, the audience. I stand on a stage in front of a crowd, and though there might be a few individuals I know, when they form part of the giant creature called The Audience they are anonymous. The smell of tobacco and wood stains my senses like mud on the formal outfit of a mischievous child. The spotlight shines on me, I look into it’s eyes and everything else falls away. As I speak, the response from the voices in the audience peel away at my insecurities to reveal my inner-child. A fierce, serious, silly and shy little girl. As I speak my mind, the laughter and gasps echo on the walls of the pub and I find myself possessing the power to silence a mass of people with the shock of my words. I am all alone in this pub, I speak out loud to everyone and no one. I love them all.
I am Nonku. Selling cars by day, poet by night. I chase my true passion in the dark, work to survive in the light and in between, I find solace in my paradoxical quietude.