The sunshine was making a beautiful golden hue all around. Air smelled of fresh rain on mud. The sunlight was dancing on the surface of the lake like a procession of lights. Trees surrounded the lake. It was an oasis in the desert of trees. His escape from the world.
He was sitting behind a tree. Hiding. He was crouched like an embryo, his hands pulling his knees to his chest. He had dark, hawk like eyes, which seemed to absorb everything it saw. They were constantly moving, as though looking at a tense football game.
He thought to himself : 'I need to go and buy soap'.
He stood up. He was wearing a plain green shirt and black jeans. He put on his slippers and made his way through the sea of trees to the road where his car was parked. He revved the engine and zoomed on the smooth road, his window open, enjoying the cool air.
At a distance he could see a lone figure, standing by the road. He saw that the man was asking for a lift. He stopped the car and opened the door and said, 'Hop in'.
I hopped in.
'Thanks', I said, with genuine gratitude.
'No problemo. Where are you upto?'
'The bus stand. I hope you are going till there?'
He smiled. 'Don't worry. I am going into the town'
He looked at me, as though trying to judge me by my appearance. He made no comment, turned his head forward, back to his driving. We were in silence for several minutes.
I took out a coke can from my jacket pocket and broke the newly formed ice.
'No, I don't drink coke'
'Soft drinks are unhealthy'
'Yeah but, coke tastes good. Mountain Dew tastes good'
'7up may taste like strawberry milkshake but I'm no drinking that piece of crap'
'Are you that health conscious? Do you like, never eat oily food?'
'No, not that health conscious, but I saw what happens when you put mentos into coke. Nothing which does that goes into my goddamn mouth', he declared with finality.
'If you start thinking like that, you need to stay away from a lot of things', I said quietly.
'Why so?', he asked, surprised.
'Many things you see you see as harmless, aren't really so. Take little kids for instance. One kid is good. Fun. Make it ten kids, ten minutes in that room, you'll start searching for a razor'
'Yeah, well, I don't want ten kids anyway'
'You didn't get my point. What I wanted to tell you was that you can make bad from good'
'Did you know if you mix gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate you can make napalm?'
'Yeah. This reminds me of a story by Tolstoy. A kind hearted farmer is turned into a wife-beating, ever-fighting scum by an imp who just teaches him how to distil spirit wheat grains from his fields'
He thought for a while.
'The beast within eh?', he said.
'Precisely', I smiled.
'You know what I say? Living with a beast within is better than with one outside'
'Hey, drop me right here', I said, pointing at the approching sign of the bus stand.
'Sure thing', he took the car to the left and skidded to a halt.
'Thanks for the ride', I said, smiling radiantly at him.
'You didn't tell me who you are', he pointed out.
'What do you do for a living?'
'Soap. I make, and sell, soap. Here's my card', I winked.
He stared at the card for a long time. His head was humming. He suddenly realized and turned mouth open, to speak something.
I wasn't there.