He picked the pen, emptied the ink and left it on his neatly arranged table. Slowly, with his shaking hands, he cleaned the pen, an imported waterman.
From the rack above the table, he picked a new bottle of waterman ink. The last bottle from the many he bought way back in 1950’s.
A small dimple appeared among the wrinkles on his cheeks, he said to himself, “One of my best investments”. He was referring to the 96 bottles of waterman ink he purchased, way back in 1950’s.
Arthritis had made it painful for him to hold the pen for long. Writing with his favourite ink pen was one of the very few things he still enjoyed to do. Maybe the only thing!
He stared at the date on the diary, which he fondly calls ‘the ledger’. December 9th, 2012!
He started to scribble:
I am ready. As ready as I have been for the past 38690 days. I have no debts, nor any wealth. I have no kin nor any enemy. No tears nor smiles shall carry me to my grave. I am ready, once again.
He paused to remove his reading glasses (to clean his weak eyes) and replaced them back.
This was his routine; to start every page with the same sentence. The only thing that differed was the number of days.
Weather: pleasant, no rain.
People: I got a telephone call from a young lady, she congratulated me for entering some record book which i didn’t understand. She asked me how do i feel.
When i said that i feel the same like the past thirty eight thousand six hundred and ninety days, she laughed like an angel.
She went on asking what that feeling is. When i told her that I am ready to die like i was for the past thirty eight thousand six hundred and ninety days, she stopped laughing.
I shouldn’t have told her that, i felt sorry but i forgot to apologise. I haven’t heard anyone laugh like that for years.
She wished me a happy 118th birth day and a long life. She didn’t laugh or say anything else.
I wish i hadn’t told her that but now i can do nothing about it.
I am ready, for the 38691th time.
I have no debts, nor any wealth. I have no kin nor any enemy. No tears nor smiles shall carry me to my grave. I am ready to die.
He closed the diary, which he fondly calls ‘the ledger’. Replaced his pen and the diary on the rack above his table. Arthritis has reached his knees too. The pain on his knees bought tears into his eyes as he stood up.
He replaced the chair under the table, took a last look at the neatly arranged table. Satisfied, he turned around.
Slowly, he walked to his bed.