Monday, April 10, 2006

The death of Average Joe

When Joe ceases to be Average.
He ceases to be himself.

The suspense is over. Average Joe is dead! Wait! Is he really dead or is he just laying dormant to strike back with vengance. No! That is too scary a thought to contemplate the possibility of. He better be gone for good. This is not an obituary! It is more like an opposite to an obituary. Yes, given the life of Average Joe, the things he did or rather he did not, his life story is rather a silent autopsy of a terrorist of the intellectual domain.

Before the death there was the man. Or was it the spirit? The spirit of the Average Joe lingering around, waiting to jump on the body he would come to reside in, when its actual owner makes a few bad decisions. Like every spirit, the Average Joe died a slow death, typical of a spirit. But there was this smile frozen on his face. The smile of a teenager on a tropical beach full of babes.

On a typical day Average Joe woke up at 9am. Logically all the days in the life of Average Joe are typical. The attibute of staying typical no matter what happens, is what renders Joe Average. He hates to be late to office, this is one of the many things he hates about his office, not to mention his hatred for the office itself. His hatred for being late makes him want to wake up at 6am, but his hatred for office makes him want to wake up at 10am. The latter with all its several components being stronger, Average Joe wakes up at 9am for the office that starts at 8am. He reaches office around 10:30am; only to wonder why he went there in the first place. There is the obvious financial interest and there is nothing else. His presence like his absense is never felt.

On the way to his office, he walks across a newly laid lawn after alighting the bus. Then walks past a sun-bathing area by the pool side, to cross a deserted road and climb a hillock to reach his cubicle whose inhabited-or-not status baffles the best detectives of the world.

In all our previous discussions, we were skipping a very important and un-intuitive aspect of Average Joe's personality. By his very nature of existence, Average Joe is a contradiction (hence like all contradictions, his demise is only a matter of time). The anamoly rendering him self-contradictory is his nature to make his life less Average. It is this property that kicks Average Joe out of his cubicle onto the deserted road across the new lawn and beyond; in the lame excuse of lunch. It must be noted that in this entire process, he passes by the pool side twice in a couple of hours. This performance only increases when he does it again to get back to his office after lunch; however long his lunch might take and how much ever unwanted he might be at his office.

After lunch in the world beyond, Average Joe pulls himself up to one of those couches in the student centre. The ones that are laid in leather with a view for a flat screen telvision. Both of these luxury features are above the Average Joe standards. He is not the secretary of any association, not even the Average Joes Anonymous, since such a thing does not exist; these guys are too average to start a thing like that. Noone misses him across the length and breath of the planet. So he goes into a marathon ciesta on the luxury couch. Wakes up late in the evening and gets back to office along the poolside route, picks up his back-pack and leaves for the swimming pool.

All this ended. On this day Average Joe woke up at 6am, travelled sixty kilometers in five connecting busses and five connecting trains. This is when the illness struck, so much work within five hours is lethal to even the strongest members of the Average Joe community. After the journey, he went and had a lunch in the cafeteria. And this not being an Average day, Joe skipped the slumber on the couch, a luxury he hates to miss; but a faint hope that someone in the office has been missing him owing to his absence the entire morning hurries him.

He walks across the lawn and the pool side. Hark! the blow is struck. This Average Joe is not your Average Average-Joe. Average Average-Joes do not get blogged about. This chappie is a special Average Joe, he has his own mysterious admirer or watcher. On this day as he was walking by the pool-side, he saw her! He saw her seeing him intensely; Average Joe's life which has truned Average a couple of months ago has ceased to be Average any longer! You do not call a day in a Dull Jack's life Dull when he sees a very beautiful woman giving him the looks. Dull Jack is Average Joe's cousin, he has been rendered dull unable to endure Joe's Averageness among other things.

Average Joe instantly entered a trance and an instant later, the building atop the hillock that is his office. The question still hung in the air, "why am I here?". Only that this time it was in the foreground while the background was a trance. The rest of the day was so, things were changing in the foreground while the background remained the same, like the blue sky, only that they were the frozen blue eyes of a woman rather than the sky.

This trance was ON when Average Joe's manager (as if he needed one) asked him what his plans for the summer and beyond were? "I am quitting at the end of the month!" replied Average Joe with resolve. "Ok then I need to get you some work for the next three weeks" replied his manager. It was as if "we can not send this guy away without getting any work out of him at all!" The consequence: two senior ladies in the office approached Average Joe with a proposal for a project that could take three weeks.

There is no choice, Average Joe has to work from tomorrow, his days are over, it is true this time. Being the third stroke in a day, Average Joe could no longer take it. He died slowly while the words of the two mangers-with-a-proposal were dancing in the foreground. The letters were too small, too dim for such a bright background that held him.

There was this smile on his face. There were these words at the tip of his toungue "Oh sure, it will be done" as he died. His funeral will be on the 28th of April at a local Chinese restraunt. 'May peace be with Joe' a weak Dull Jack would say on that day.