Strangers' Strange Introduction

Friday, March 25, 2011

Everyone farts; from new born to geezer hood, sick or healthy, in toilets and in luxurious beds.  Mostly while being alone. If I have enjoyed seeing the bubbles in the bath tub so must have been with many. Farting is necessary from excessive consumption of beetle nuts while driving alone throughout the day, however, it does not warrant getting carried away from concentrating on road to enjoy its sound.  It did not cross my mind I should have counted how many times I released the gas on the road nor did it become important to contemplate back. But when such rare moment happened to me I was less gentle from maintaining the status quo of being a man.

I was fatigued and tired and decided to pull over at the motel for break. The lone roadside streetlight did not have power to illuminate other end of kerb. The wind was the coldest element greeting me right after I stepped out. Except for few barking dogs the place seemed desolated with motel seemingly closed before my arrival. However, I lurched upon seeing a soul deriving a heat from the stove. I was lucky there was another chair opposite to him and soon occupied it facing the stranger.

He was of my age and almost similarly dressed in denim and boots. The heat had almost lulled him to sleep. The black muffler was opened from his neck and his clean jacket was unzipped exposing Monte Carlo bodysuit sweater. If my initial impression on him was correct he was well educated in those cloths.    But basing upon the location of the place it contradicted my former thought to drag him to a criminal living on drugs. It was hard to believe such new age generation could be living in that dreadful place. Anything was possible and he could be anyone; I could not concern much. I wanted to derive heat from the warmer stove lying in the middle of us and allow my head to rest on the neck facing the cloudy sky.

The heat had warmed me up. I wanted to attract his attention to ask him if I had any chance of getting a cup of tea. He did not seem to notice me when he bent and locked the forehead in between his palms resting the elbows on the knees. There was the dark sunglass on his head looking at me. If only his eyes had looked at me, I thought. There was no way I could prove successful talking to him and neither had I wanted to drag the chair making a sound or cough distractingly to gather his attention. I kept looking over his head pretending to be enjoying his company while listening to the barking dogs and cracking of logs.

When the silence extended to my limits of patience I longed to communicate with the human being and not to the dogs and logs. My stranger was not likely to produce a sound let alone uttering a word.

He stayed in that position for longer time not heeding to the signal I made. Perhaps, I thought, I needed to speak to him first. A slow pretentious cough did not trigger his attentive cells. Or it did when he broke the lock of his palms, straightened his back and looked at me. He was a better looking person than me although I never wasted a second envying him.

The jubilance of smile vanished before it appeared on my face. He soon went back to his earlier position fixing the dark sunglass pointing towards me. I thought I lost the contact of human being. I was wrong. He communicated to me although I regretted my desire of hearing it.

That was disgusting in a crowd. Two was a crowd and I was the victim of his air biscuits.

“Poof” he farted at first. “Poof poof poof,” I lost the count. If only my nose could move or had come with an automatic shutter against the smell of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and methane.

Inside the grey Monte Carlo sweater there was his stomach revealing the contents of it. He must have been on diet eating foods that contained only sulphur. I could think only of eggs. It was important I did not waste time thinking of uncooked radish and other foods but act fast and cover my nose.

He did not stir a hair. And there was neither another sound. I could have run away if I heard it again. I changed my impression on him. He must have dressed up smartly like I did but he was not a man who went to college and spent three years with books. The good looks stripped off from him. I regretted I thought about it. He became a criminal living on drugs after he farted to an innocent man. I was the innocent victim who did not deserve such injustice at all. I sat raging inside without arms and ammunition to fight him back.

He raised his head up, sat straight and leaned against the chair comfortably stretching his legs. I did not want to meet his eyes even with accident. I rested my elbows on my knees, bent the head resting on palms and closed my eyes. I did not know if he looked at me when he saw my dark sunglass on my head. I sat there without stirring a hair or without making a noise by dragging a chair or pretending a cough. Until I remembered one sentence I learned from many books during those three years in college, “A man can fart 15-20 times a day.”

It was apt I remembered it on time although I could have exceeded the average threshold inside my car on the road. It only needed a little push and I could be armed with the weapon produced from beetle nuts.

The stranger was unaware of the preparedness of counterattack planned by a person sitting opposite to him. He must have been basking the heat fully conscious but not asleep. He was not asleep when I heard him shooing the barking dogs. But it had already surpassed the formal introduction when the launching time had come. I breathed few times silently constricting my abdomen. I even smiled within my palms and enjoyed to think how surprised I could take him out.

I stopped the final longer breath, constricted any relevant muscles but one and “Poof” came the loudest sound surprising me by the extra decibels I had not anticipated at all.

I did not stay on the chair to notice what compounds of gas betel nut had produced. I was only happy to get back to my car and hit the road after exchanging the strangest introductions of farts.


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