It was a pleasant Saturday evening in the middle of the winter. Christmas was just round the corner and love in the air. The sun was just setting and everything outside his window was given a fresh coat of snow, tickled by the red, quickly fading light. Not that he noticed. He stared blankly out of the window, looking at nothing in particular. He had just woken up from his afternoon nap; but he’d buy it if you told him he’d been sleeping for a year…

You could see the icy river crawling ahead, from his window. People walking over the bridge, a few camera flashes going off, people stopping over and looking far ahead into the horizon – collecting their thoughts, couples walking hand-in-hand enjoying each others’ company; You could see it all, from up there! But, as they say, you only see what you look for. And he, couldn’t see any of this. His looked out of his window and saw none of this.

He is walking down the same bridge. He didn’t know where he was going; his head at least. His legs did; as always. He was walking down in his regular yellow shirt and black jeans, that you could mistake for a uniform, if you followed him for a few days. Extremely under-dressed for the chilly night, one would say. He kept walking down the main street, lined with shops brightly lit up for the festive season. The pavement bustled with with people walking with a spring in their step – the spring that the festive season and all the love in the air brought to you. Not that he noticed it, or had any of it in his step.

Soon, he’s walking through the park. The park that was built to celebrate time, ticking away furiously. Or to celebrate the time everyone in the world had, to enjoy themselves. He walked past the skating rink, with lots of people having the time of their life, ice skating; and a lot more, awaiting their turn. The first timers, old and young, making up for their inexperience, with their excitement; holding onto whatever they can, to finish each round, to start the next! The veterans, taking the center-stage and showing off their moves! He was barely aware of their presence and just walked on, past all the action.

The music festival; he walked past it too, like the crowd didn’t exist, the noise didn’t, the music didn’t; like there was nothing happening! The fountain “felt” no different. The cold breeze, did sprinkle the water to quite a distance and everybody kept a safe distance to avoid the chilling shower, except for the kids, who found it amusing to run into the shower for a split second and run back madly. How could he walk just by it, and not feel a thing!

The lakefront. That is where his legs always brought him in the end. The brilliantly lit skyline was a delight to watch, but I don’t believe he saw any of it. He just stared into it, blankly. He kept staring, as the night got chillier and the surroundings kept getting more and more deserted. Seconds ticked away, minutes and hours passed by! He stayed on, staring ahead. It didn’t matter how much below zero the mercury had gone. This wasn’t the first night he was spending staring into the nothingness. It turned out to be the coldest night, in a decade. But that didn’t matter to him. Nothing did. Nothing has, for a while now; Ever since he turned cold.