Even counting steps became a game.
The time it takes to get to the street from my door. Four (4) floors, six (6) staircases, seventy-two (72) stairs in one (1) minute and forty-seven (47) seconds.
Can I get that number lower or should I make it a full two (2) minutes just to balance it out? Would the difference in time really have any impact? In theory, the slight difference is enough to have an impact on future events. Each moment with it carries actions, each one of those actions are caught up with each other one way or another. The significance of your actions only matter in the way you attempt to control them. The control is the tricky part because control can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To me, control is my schedule.
It is both my strength and my weakness.
This is how I proceed. I walk carefully down the street avoiding the slightest misstep. Everything is calculated with what I observe. I stop traffic with a glance as if my indecision is disrupting the organized chaos of everyday life.
The time is takes to get to the station is seven (7) minutes and three (3) seconds. I change this number around depending on the time I wake up. Yesterday It was five (5) minutes and (4) seconds. The day before it was eleven (11) minutes and (1) second.
“Excuse me please, may I trouble you for a moment of your time?”
The only thing I can’t rely on is an encounter with one of the others.
What exactly did he mean by that question? Is he here to disrupt my schedule or is he just a drifter looking for compassion? Is he someone who is trying to manipulate my emotions or is he just another lost soul?
“Do you know why the number is never six?”
So he knows. Is he asking me for help? Does he not know the game? Is he asking me to explain the system to him? No, he’s a player, a person like him has to be a player. There is no doubt he is also a player. I can’t trust this person.
I wave my hand at him.
“Sorry I don’t have any time to spare.”
“Busy man, busy man, stuck in his perfectly constructed loop.”
I miss my train. That old drifter really did know. I fight the intense impulse urging me to continue counting the tiles on the station platform. I turn around wanting to see the drifter one more time but he’s no longer there. The drifter is gone.
My loop wasn’t as perfect as I thought it was. I walk back in the direction I came from, admiring my surroundings. My thoughts are calm, I feel at peace for the first time in many months. Nothing exists in my mind except for the clear soothing ambiance of city noise.
My home is empty. I’m almost out of food.
If I don’t figure something out soon I think I’m going to starve to death.
Sleep is the only thing that keeps me going.
Tomorrow is another day after all.
My time is my own.