Malcolm dreamed about progress. He felt the framework of a vision, the vision for his future, a bright, brilliant and secure future, one where leisure, fun and frolic were a given, with food, nature and sex in plenty. He dreamed about it so often, that he had once masturbated to the vision, with the scenes gravitating from beaches and mountains, to erotic fantasies in bars and brothels. He felt powerful after such sessions of vivid imagination. He would sleep imagining, and wake up, usually late, around lunch time, always heading to the nearest bar, spending a few hours chatting to the patrons, whose professions varied from shopkeepers and plumbers to prostitutes and pimps. Malcolm felt the bar as his community of like-minded people, almost like a family of sorts, with plenty of dramas and drunken brawls thrown in for good measure.
His breath reeking with booze, he would proceed to pray at his favourite temple, where the priest would look offended and try to deny him entry, saying he was violating his pact with god. Malcolm would ask for proof, and the conversation usually ended there, unless the temple chairman came babooning into the scene. Thankfully, today, on the day Malcolm had been reinvigorated, there wasn’t any denial of sorts, rather on the contrary, no one looked or bothered to look at him. His devotion was legendary, according to him. There was something magical about this temple, where Malcolm felt peace, at one with his very consciousness, with much time spent in quiet contemplation, to detect the presence of the creator’s energy around him, seeking to harness it, and feel one with the creator himself. When would he feel the divine presence? Malcolm wanted to know, if there was a presence at all. Was it just mundane belief, a plain dogma? Only faith was driving Malcolm to live, after all, he had nothing to live for technically.
Two months ago, Malcolm had become destitute. He had nowhere to go. He couldn’t tell his family about his ordeal. He didn’t have a job. He was out of his shared accommodation, kicked out over a year’s non-payment. It seemed a spiral of negative thoughts and people had encircled him inside a vicious loop of self-destruction. He was smoking two packets of cigarettes a day, blowing away all his savings on booze, in hope that an interview would come, and he would ace it. After his seventh failed attempt in seven months, his girlfriend had left him, and thrown out of his house by his roommate, who accused him of spreading negative energy,
Malcolm had slept on a beach, where a drug addict had kept him company.
They had high-fived.