He sits in the alley of the abandon section of town that connected to the main street, probably hasn’t moved since forever; everyone in the area knows him, they don’t have to see him to realize that he is there. Slouches on the dusted concrete road, knee against his chest as if to make himself smaller, shoulders slump, messy jet hair sticking out in different directions; an expression of grim and grief displays on his face- if you ever catch a glimpse of it, as if he suffers from an eternal pain and regret. He sits there from dawn to dusk, and this cycle of idle routine repeats itself every single day. He is Emanon, at least that what we call him. But no one ever tries to talk to him, never ever knows his real name; he is the man of anonymousness.
I walk past him from and to school every day, my eyes automatically train on him as I walk by, like magnetic field that forces them to glue on his figure. Everything about him screams questions, my body ruptures with curiosity as words form in my thoughts bubble, searching for an answer, a clue to this man. To be honest, he makes me feel like a Socrates, I wasn’t a question type of person and now look at me, it is as if I walk around balancing a red question mark on my head. Who are you Emanon? What did you do to me?
I remember when people started calling him Noname, but then, of course, someone pointed out that “no-name” isn’t technically a name, so they reverse it; from Noname to Emanon. Such creative people, and generous as well, kindly giving a name to this unidentified man.
I am sure that I am not the only one who wants to know who he is. But then again none of us really have a gut, especially approaching a man we’ve hardly ever seen his full face.
I take my time as I walk home, to most people, today is just a regular day, the repeating routine of: waking up, breakfasting, doing work either a job or school, which in between this hours of working stop to take a break for lunching, then going back home, dinnering, and doing more work, either an unfinished project or homework. But regularity is not for me today. Over the course of 8 hours, starting from the morning until now, I can’t seem to get rid of his face out of my mind; I fully see his full face as I walk to school– the high cheekbone and cracked-dry lips that slightly turn downward forming a small frown. The normality has vanished, my head clogs with questions about the man I don’t think I dare to approach.
I stride home, but when I come by the section, my whole body goes stiff, there his small figure from afar, back against the wall, head down, and my limbs become rigid as I froze in the middle of the road. A moment later as the blood circulates through my body brings oxygens, I regain the warmness of homeostasis. Then I did something that I don’t know I have the will to do, my feet move one in front of another– I approach him. The gravel groans as I step on them, creating this whimpering voice, as if to tell me to retreat my steps. Each step my mind becomes more and more captivated by him, he is now in the center of my universe. Emanon looks up, I watch as his eyes elate, dancing to the rhythm of my approaching footsteps.
“Hello sir,” I whisper, intimidated by his presence, intimidated by my own bravery.
The man smiles, patting softly on the ground next to him, an invitation to sit next to him. My stomach swirls, as my eyes daze, but I sit down anyway.
“Human can do things that they do not think they have a gut to do so. The more impossible they think the task is, the more it becomes a miracle to the point they think it’s probably is a tale,” he says softly staring straight ahead to the brick wall in front of us.
Is he trying to imply that this is a miracle, a tale?
I steal a glance in his direction, memorizing his facial expression, now his lips that curl upward showing the smile that doesn’t reach his eyes.
“People either call this foolishness or bravery,” he says, nodding in my direction.
“It’s an act of instinct, I don’t know what I’m doing,” there is no point lying to him, by the look of it, he can read me like a book.
He chuckles and smiles at me, this time the brightness radiates from his eyes, “I hope your instinct isn’t going to get you killed,” then laugh louder.
I should be spooked, he just makes a joke about me being dead; but somehow it builds the warmness within me. The tension is lessened, my limbs become less stiff- starting to feel comfortable. I turn to his direction and give a shy smile. He weakly smiles at me.
“I know this day will come,” he says looking at me earnestly.
It takes me a while to realize he’s talking about communication with another human being. How long was his last conversation and interaction with another human being?
“I have the urge to talk to you, I don’t know why, it’s like we have a connection?” I say uncertainty.
Like we tied together, that our lifelines intersect.
“This isn’t just a conversation. This is life changing at least for me,” he replies.
He wants something from me.
Maybe, this is a mistake.
“Remember, there will always be someone whose replace their brain with their feeling, letting pitiness takes over their common sense. Only the matter of time, the curiosity killed the cat, just be patient.”
“Communication is how people ties together, like right now our lifelines intersect. I will influence the future you, you will influence the future me.”
His whole face brightens with the idea of our “lifeline intersection.”
“I am a part of….” he starts.
“I am a part of you, isn’t it? Like literally?” I ask.
“Yes, literally. Would you please take this burden from me, take this anonymousness from me, give me an identity?
What does he mean? Run would be the right choice right now. Run. But he’s right, I get too deep into his life to turn back. He is now a part of me. As helpless as I feel right now for not being able to turn my back on him, I offer him my hand.
“Are you willing to lose who you are for me? Say my name,” he looks into my eyes.
All I see is the desperation, his eyes plead.
“But how, you did not tell me who you are, you did not tell me your na……..”
My eyes widen, sparkle with excitement. Slowly but surely I whisper
He gives a small laughter, as I sit still and watch the color returns to his face. He looks way younger than when he approached me. I watch as he stands and starts walking away from me. He doesn’t know my name.
I have to keep on waiting. The right person will come.
I sit in the alley of the abandon section of town that connected to the main street. I haven’t moved since like forever. Everyone in the area knows me, they call me Emanon. I am but a boy of anonymousness.