A story is told of the recent days when men become men and women are women. Kimberly, desperate to discover the secret to life, set out to discover. He approached the first person who came on his way. He did not know. Neither did the second and nor the third. He, at the age of five years, realizing that no one knew the secret, gave up.
He, convinced that he was missing a beat somewhere, continued in his restless search for the rhythm. The rhythm of life. This was until Monica came along. Hardly a week after the online encounter the two would be sharing a secret let on Monica by her great grandfather before the older man passed on half a dozen years ago. The park date was, Kimberly’s head between headphones, seated at the local municipal’s library, an IP call on progress, Monica on the other end, agreed to.
The following morning he woke up early and determined to indulge on a lifelong pilgrim of discovery. This story of that park meeting is still being celebrated.
“How did all this come into being?” Monica sounded all the more clever in person.
“It has become part of me.” Kimberly said, his eyes appraising the six-two tall girl wearing basketball sneakers and a backpack leaning loosely on her left shoulder, before adding as a matter of fact, “that is why I am here.”
“Sit down.” Monica was firmly in control of the encounter.
He slouched, on a huge stone that lay at the base of the century’s old tree, his back leaning to the bark of the tree facing the Monica who was slouched on a similar stone under the shade of the same tree.
“Are you ready for this?” Monica goes.
“Listen, I spent the whole of yesterday looking for someone who could at least pretend to know, the secret of life.” He produced a gourd of milk and gulped a mouth before handing it over to Monica.
After receiving the gourd in her arms, she handed him iPod.
“Keep it and listen when you go back home.”
Kimberly received the device put it into his military-style shirt pocket.
It turned out to the best outing for the searching souls.
“Excuse me,” he said, pulling out his tablet from the backpack, “we need to put this on record.”
He powered the gadget put on the recorder and placed the gadget between them.
“Please.” He said nudging Monica to continue the narration.
For the next, couple maybe three, hours the occasional sound of ruffling leaves would be accompanied by heaves, sighs, muted amusement, grunts, bursts of laughter, silent pauses to hold back tears and occasional breaks to sip milk from the gourds. It was a winding story with a rhythm. By the time it came to an end, their faces were, apart from the dried-up contours of tears, marked with relief.
Kimberly, at the beginning of this year during their anniversary, rented the most powerful P.A.S. in the city to broadcast the message on the iPod.
“Kimberly, this is Monica.” Her voice is heard in the dialogue, “my great told me that the secret you look for can be summarized,” the deep breath coming out of the amplified speakers pointed to a nervous voice of a young girl transitioning into a young adult.
The unaccompanied, smooth as silk, solo, on rotation around the city the whole day, composed of twelve words: “Touch someone with a story. Better still, the story of your life….”