A Day in the Life of Stephen Deed Locust

Stephen Deed Locust is an imaginary name coined from Joycean Ulyssean character Stephen Daedalus

Dawn dawned –the sky all rosy-pink. Night hung in my body as yesterday’s hangover. I drink a low cost budget rum called Karl Marx. It’s a drink of the proletariat. A cracked mirror reminded me of a fable from ancient Greece. I had two glasses of black coffee. I watched the mist hovering over the earth like a helicopter. Birds are chanting hymns. The sky turned into a goblin and the feast of the monsoon as rain started. I remember how in my younger days I used to float paper boats. A witch came home to give milk. Her cheeks are wrinkled due to old age. Now I am having breakfast with cereals and fresh milk. Soon I hurry to school where I am teaching.

How much I try to generate in students the love of literature. The lesson was an extract from the Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. France is all feverish with the proletariat echoing the sounds of revolution. I asked the kids: ‘what is revolution?’ I got no answer. I replied to them: ‘a revolution is a major change occurring in a society. Revolution can be political and are also brought about by changes in Science.’ I gave them a briefing about the industrial revolution that occurred in England and the French Revolution that occurred in France.

The Bell rings for break. I hear the rushing of feet, an urgent scampering to go outside.

I wonder whether I am satisfied with a teaching job. ‘I am not’. I long to be a global vagabond with unsettled roots –a pilgrim of cultures. I want to visit many countries; I also want to visit the famous art galleries of the world. I want to do all this to awaken the aesthete within me.

The school bell rings and all the kids rush out. It’s an amazing psychological fact that when kids enter school, they are slow and when they leave school, it’s always in a hurry.

I reach home tired. Again I have a few cups of black coffee. I open Whatsapp to see if there are messages for me. There is nothing, and I feel disappointed.
I watch the sunset with the aroma of a poet. The colors of the sky are a dazzling fiesta. The sun is a globe glowing red. I watch the flight on tiny wings. Slowly the sun sets and the sky becomes a dark veil. Stars, the tiny buttons glimmer in the sky with radiance of hope and love. I want to rest but I am reminded of Frost’s Words: ‘the woods are lovely dark and deep but I have many miles to go before I sleep.’

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