Elife

White walls of a hospital

The rumble of the wheels broke the silence of the underground. Although, could you call such a crowded place quiet? Perhaps you could, if you thought about the deafening clatter of the trains mechanism.

I ran my hand over the screen of the newly acquired phone. It looked at me as if waiting, as if expecting me to say something. But I was silent. I kept quiet and hoped that no one was staring at my screen.

I really did not like such inquisitive people. Although I have to admit, I used to be like that myself. You know, when you go to work or college, you don think about something like that. Eyes go into other peoples personal space on their own. You don think so, no! Im not making excuses for myself. I rather blame myself for who I used to be. But, on the other hand, I have changed. I don act that way anymore.

But perhaps the reason was boredom. It is boredom that often drives people to do things. It is boredom that draws us to want to learn something. What is there to learn in the underground car anyway? You can find out how much a sushi delivery is on sale, what great, but often useless, courses are held for young people, how much it costs to live in an apartment complex, and even sometimes find out that someone has lost a cat. How frustrating being human can be! On top of all that, people also look in others phones. Some may even find it amusing.

But even so. I was glad that I was finally able to get what I wanted. Almost all my life I had lived with an old model of phone, and yes – exactly a phone. It was so hard to keep in touch with my work colleagues, constantly reminding them that I don have Telegram, WhatsApp or Viber. But theres a great value-added item. Im not sure I should complain about something like that. Some might even be happy about such a find. My phone was the legendary Nokia-3310, which has become something of a symbol of the company. For a while I wanted to just sell it to collectors (not bank collectors!) and get myself a nice smartphone that way, but I decided not to do so. Something… Something stopped me.

Anyway, I had saved enough money. I had enough money to buy a smartphone. I decided to take a risk. The thing is, I work for a phone company (Id rather not name it) as an accountant, and I often heard from the manager about a newcomer to the market. There wasn much information about him in the paperwork, and there weren many customers. But… There were, weren there? So I decided to become one of them.

I want to rest today. Just a break from everything. From work, from people, from the fast pace of our days. In my hands I was holding a smartphone from ELIFE.

It was a fairly rugged phone with its own operating system. Watching its splash screen I thought to myself: ”Why doesn a company like this have a mass customer? So much time had been spent… And for what? ”

It was about the same way I was starting my own business. Despite my current job, I have a good background in finance. Maybe its my fault for not settling down in life as I should. Or maybe its the fault of society. I don know.

I switched on the camera. I decided to see how it shot. I don care that much about the megapixels on the packaging. I am, after all, an ordinary user who is not that interested in photography as art. However, I don run an Instagram either. Consequently, I don seem to need it. At least not on a permanent basis. Maybe I will take photos of documents with it, or maybe something else for work, but no more.

Meanwhile, a dark-haired guy with sharp features was staring at me from the mobile screen. I got goosebumps. I guess I don need to explain, but Nokia couldn boast of a camera. Like a lot of phones at the time, I guess. I started looking at myself. How sad I looked… My hair was disheveled and under my blue eyes, not so elegantly ”decorated ” with bags, there were traces of tears.

I closed the camera. It pained me to see it. So many things had happened in my life, but none of them had given me what I wanted. Often I just caught myself sitting on my bed, sobbing about my miserable existence. What should I do? I honestly don know. At some point I decided to give up, to stop trying to change things in my life and started to go with the flow. Ive been living like that ever since. By saying (thinking?) about it, I don mean that anything has changed. Its just different. Everything is the same as it was and remains the same. Except that its gotten worse emotionally and all that sort of thing.

To be honest, I don have any friends. Ive been trying to make friends since I was 20. Maybe it was too late. School time was over, adulthood had begun. But why do people always say that adulthood has to be hard? Its as if they
e trying to make it so. ”Don be happy. ” Thats how I see it. Anyway, its been seven years and I still don have any friends.

I wonder if I would have been a good friend.

I sighed.

Maybe. They say the best friend is the one who knows how to appreciate friendship. And who values friendship more than someone who has never had one? It is rightly said that we only know the value when we lose it. I have nothing to lose. Thats how it works. I do not know whether it is good or not. On the one hand I can truly appreciate the friendly care that is given to me; on the other hand, there is no one to take care of me as such.

Yes, I live alone. In a small flat, in a small town. Every time I come home after work, I sit down on a shabby sofa and, hunched over, play Snake or other simple games. Sometimes I get bored. Then, I just lie on the bed, staring at the ceiling. I don have any hobbies per se. I have tried many things in my life, but never finished anything. I even bought a book once, but its lying alone on the shelf of my wardrobe. Im sorry, Gandalf. Its not your destiny to lead Frodo on his adventure. I tried to draw, I watched various tutorials on the computer, but either that was because I drew on paper, or Im a bit of a bungler myself (which is more likely), it didn work out. Perhaps somewhere there are still pieces of paper on which I left my futile attempts to reproduce the masterpieces Id seen online.

It probably wasn worth it, though. How long has it been since then? Three years, I think. I don know if its the effect of time or if Ive simply wised up, which is an odd thing to say about self, I think, but Ive come to the conclusion that trying to redraw masterpieces from the web is inherently pointless. After all, the authors of these so-called masterpieces have laboured for many years to achieve such a result. An ordinary person without any aptitude for something like that is unlikely to master any such thing in a short period of time.

And, you know, the same goes for everything else. It always takes some time to pass. You can achieve results instantly. Nobody has a magic wand… Neither do you. You try and Ill see.

Personally, I can figure out what I want. I can figure out what I don want either… Every day I drag out my meaningless existence. My life is a loop and its not even the classic home-family-work-home. Its more of the not-so-frequent, but still well-known, ”home-work-home ”. Sometimes I try to make sense of it all, but sometimes it all seems wasted.

I looked at the phone screen again. The same energy was still emanating from it. He was probably my only friend now. I grinned slightly.

The sound of the trains brakes drew me out of my musings on the animate nature of electronic devices. I shifted my gaze slightly and, placing the phone in my pocket, clasping it shut, began to prepare to leave. The sound kept coming closer and closer, like an inexorably catching unison of death.

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