Updated: Jun 22
Zamrud woke up from his deep slumber and groggily reached for his phone to check the time. The digital clock on his phone displayed 2:40 p.m. With a mix of surprise and annoyance, he muttered to himself, “Oh no, it’s already late afternoon, and I just woke up.” Realizing the missed opportunities of the morning, Zamrud begrudgingly rose from his bed, feeling the weight of procrastination settling upon him.
Eager to catch up on his responsibilities, Zamrud hurriedly turned on his PC and checked his email. The slow-loading Gmail, due to his internet service via a modem, forced him to painstakingly delete each unimportant email individually. The lack of a convenient “check all” option frustrated him. Delete, delete, delete! There were pressing tasks awaiting his attention, particularly the need to revise his final assignment and submit it to his professor.
However, he found himself yearning for the right mood and battling with a sense of laziness that hindered his progress. As Zamrud scrolled through his social media feeds, the familiar tunes of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘El Condor Pasa (If I Could)’ played softly in the background. Amidst the distractions of likes, comments, and shares, his stomach growled, reminding him of its emptiness. Recognizing the urgency of nourishment, Zamrud ventured outside to satisfy his hunger. The kitchen cupboards were bare, so he opted to purchase a simple yet filling meal—a can of sardines and a solitary egg. These provisions would suffice to temporarily appease his stomach as the afternoon slowly transitioned into evening.
While walking back home with his modest groceries in hand, Zamrud gazed upward, contemplating the sky and his surroundings. Memories of a poignant dialogue from the film adaptation of Markus Zusak’s novel, ‘The Book Thief,’ directed by Brian Percival, resurfaced in his mind. The exchange between Max and Liesel captivated him, prompting introspection and self-reflection.
Max’s question echoed within Zamrud’s thoughts: “Can you describe how today is and how it feels?” Liesel had initially responded with a hesitant, “Cloudy,” as the sudden inquiry caught her off guard. Encouraged by Max’s prompting, she contemplated her answer further. “It’s a pale day,” Liesel tentatively expressed, struggling to articulate her perception. Max, intrigued, encouraged her to elaborate. Liesel mustered her thoughts and conveyed, “Everything is trapped behind the clouds. And the sun… it doesn’t look like the sun.” Trying to find the right comparison, she added, “Like a silver oyster?” Uncertainty lingered in her voice as she offered the clue. Max’s smile conveyed his understanding, validating Liesel’s choice of words. “Thank you. I can see it,” he acknowledged, satisfied with her response.
If Zamrud were to describe the appearance of the sun today, employing Max’s inquiry as a framework, he would echo Liesel’s depiction precisely. Indeed, the sun resembled a “silver oyster” as Zamrud traversed the streets in search of sustenance—a metaphorical representation of the day’s ambiance and the unusual atmosphere that enveloped him.
In conclusion, Zamrud’s late awakening set the tone for a day marked by a constant struggle to regain lost time and combat the daunting presence of procrastination. Amidst his quest for productivity, the echoes of fictional conversations and the subtleties of nature resonated within him, providing unexpected moments of contemplation.