This is What it Feels Like Not to be Alone

How I wish I had pictures to tell it to everyone better. I was going home from work today and a colleague of mine was with me in the Metro. I was supposed to be dating someone but she stood up on me (oh yes crey, NOT) So I took the usual route home, same station, same bus number. But oh, different stop.

I decided to stop only after the third one and I bought some spray paint and a utility knife for a project I’m still half-hearted to do. More on that later. So I had an apple inside my bag which unfortunately I did not take for lunch because I had pasta and that serving was enough to get me through nine hours of work.

I went inside the hardware store and it smelled like deodorant and wood; I remember being close to wood when Grandfather built cabinets and cupboards for the house, the sawdust entering my nose it was like a drug that I was inhaling the same way Al Pacino snorted coke in Scarface. I bought my spray paint and knife started walking the way home and I had the apple on my right hand.

I saw a guy on the street, not sure if he was Indian or Pakistani, but the race doesn’t matter. It was afternoon and I can see that he’s been relatively standing at the same place for some time now. He had neon overalls so he might be working at some place rigorous to build someplace comfy for those that wore brands and the like. I gave him my apple. Enough said. He deserved it more than I do, and even if I need to eat fruits to have antioxidants in my system and to keep myself healthy. he needed it more that I doOnly time knows how long time has passed simce he had his meal.

The funny thing? He said thanksand he smiled. I always thought strangers always wore a straight face.

So I continued to walk home and passed by a local cafeteria; I saw they had shawarmaand I grabbed myself one. The guy who recieved my order was a countryman of mine. We had a talk while I was waiting for my order. He told me he was leaving his job after 17 days and that’s he’s looking for a job now. From his looks I can say he has a family back in the old country and he tries what he can to save up what he earns (I won’t disclose his salary out of respect). I learned a lot from him, only two years from here and he has told me face first what it felt like living in Dubai. That “It’s hard to save here because of the glitz and glamor, the clothes and the food” I even lost my ex to that glitz and glamor. But this is not about her.

He gave me my order and I paid him, We said goodbye to each other. I have to admit, it really is heartwarming to hear your own language in random
locations in a diverse country, not just at home or where most of our people are located but in the chance opportunities that our people are mistaken for other nationalities, which forces us to use English even if it is alienating.

I went back walking; taking a bite from the shawarma when I saw this gardener tending the plants of some lindy mansion. To give you an idea, he was still there when I was GOING to the hardware store and it’s summer here in Dubai and summer means 40+ degrees of heat. I only had one bite off my sandwich and I was almost home so I gave him my shawarma. He said thanks, I took my leave and I passed by a local supermarket. I thought first and when I fought my evil self, I went inside bought a bottle of cold water, went back to the gardener and gave him the water. He said thanks again and he was standing. When I left, I felt that him standing, we felt like equals – the same rank, same inhabitants of this planet and one humanity. It felt windy not because there was a cold breeze that blew by but it felt different. It felt like something being born inside of me: a completeness that I’ve felt before when I gave a donut and a bottle of cold water to someone in the old country who was sleeping in a overpass for the past 5 years now.

I always thought alone was what defined me when she left. No, not because I am bitter. But because being happy with family and a new group of friends feels just as it is before. Even buying myself jeans and new shirts to upgrade myself isn’t cutting it deep. But when I find people like these and my urge to help them out comes. I felt the same happiness as I did when I was in love. The feeling of giving something to someone and seeing them appreciate it – that is what it feels like not being alone.

Apologies that this narrative didn’t have images.
I hope majority of you don’t go “TL;DR on me.


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