He wore a loud flower-printed shirt, an earring in one ear and strands of bluestone beads adorned his neck. Sitting at the far corner of a table drinking rum in the midst of businessmen at the bar, you would think he was some drifter who had seen better times.
The place was crowded and so I shared the table with him. He nodded and said, “Ride the waves…”. I tipped my glass in greeting, and wondered what he meant. He started to talk–and I learnt that he spoke English, French, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese, for he had travelled far and wide.
Then he expounded on the link between God and Man, and concluded that Mankind’s search for a Supreme Being is a quest for inner peace. People blindly follow tradition, he said, and they go after vague precepts to find significance for their existence–thus a better afterlife becomes a goal.
He spoke of algorithms and algebraic equations and said that the Pythagorean philosophers believed that the mathematical aspect of music had magical properties–because music had the power to elate or to soothe the soul.
As I left the bar and passed the businessmen in their white shirts, trim neckties and suits, I overheard them speaking of unhappy wives, the latest Internet jokes and the Euro rate of exchange which you can find in any newspaper and magazine. They sipped their drinks with their pinkie fingers in the air.
Black, brown, yellow or white… Rich or poor… Good-looking or ugly… You really cannot judge a book…