Something tangible

there are nights on which i crave you. i can almost feel the soft wetness of your tongue, as it traced  the outline of my lips. i remember licking mine in return (something which was most uncharacteristic of me). but i cannot feel it anymore; the memories are fading into pictures, losing their tactility. i have told you before that sometimes all of it feels terrifying unreal to me. like it didn’t happen. like i never went to that house with green walls or got pulled into the rain. like i never nuzzled up to you in my drunken haze, for godknows what reason (i noticed you. i noticed you and thought you were nice). i remembered an evening the other day, it rose up in my mind unbidden- i hadn’t even been thinking of you at the time. i’d come over to steal an hour between the time i finished my work at the slum, and the time i returned home to the family. i was exhausted from the long sweaty bus ride and metro ride, and my libido was working overtime, whispering things in my ear. i got there and i remember we went into the bedroom and found roommate number two passed out on the mattress. we went back out into the living room then, and spent that evening just lying next to each other, swatting away the mosquitoes, talking, occasionally kissing. the dog was in the same room as us, tied up next to the window, where she eventually settled down. i remember the walls vaguely (were they green?), and the slow whirring of the ceiling fan. mostly i remember this sense of calm and peace. you fit me like one of those old, holey, threadbare t-shirts that you insist on wearing. no making out happened that night, but i remember feeling happy just to be next to you. i think this is the image or the feeling i fall back on at the times we react violently- like matter and anti-matter, as you said.

i don’t really get this open relationship thing at a practical level. theoretically, i’ve always been all for it, but i’m a lot less cool than i like to think i am. so i have a date, but the guy might just be gay (given my past streak with white guys), and i was really chuffed about it, but now i feel really weird. i mean, here i am, like completely fucking obviously in love with you but i’m going to grab a “quick bite” with him. i don’t know how to feel- i need to have a mental map of things, and i just don’t know where this situation charts. but you know, we’re on different continents, our lives may never physically intersect, and i’m only 21. i have to live and meet all the people i’m supposed to, right?

this is a nothing post, this is an “i’m frustated with the shitty boston housing market post”, this is an “i’m home on friday night post”. the truth is i just wanted to write something sexy. sexy is hard to come by from continents away.

epiphany number eleventy

self love is more about doing than trying to reach this state of zen in your mind. actually, i’m not a 100 percent sure that this is true, but it sounds a lot more approachable. and i’m definitely a 100 percent sure that doing things for yourself is a huge part of it. condoning foolish behaviour and mindlessly indulging yourself isn’t. understanding is key. but what is also key, and what i’m going to try to implement in my life from now on is treating myself- including my body, my time, and my mind with respect. stuffing my face with a box of chocolate is not self-love, it is indulgence. also obesity, and possibly diarrhea. spending a zillion hours on the internet and going easy on myself for it? again, indulgence.

respect yourself. respect and love yourself enough to recognize that your time is important. the things that give you guilt pangs or make you feel like you’re wasting time are an abuse of yourself. the right thing is rarely ever easy, but it is so worth it.

Thank you to thoughtcatalog (ironically) and lifelessbullshit for helping me come to this realization.

on that note, have a song everyone.

helping me turn my grumypants into something more palatable. friday, you cannot possibly come soon enough.

Blue

so clearly this is a very bipolar blog. i am better at writing about melancholy than i am at writing about happiness. it started out as a virtual rantspace for myself, but gradually acquired readers, much to my surprise.

today was a small annoyances kind of day. the type that makes you want to put a gun to your head and pull the trigger, because it’s just so fucking boring and long drawn and exhausting. i am a sentimental sap apparently because the first real thing to absolutely make me miserable was the strap of one of the hendrix slippers the hobo gave me unexpectedly tearing off. the slippers are filthy by now, and have gone from white to a dirty grey. hendrix’s afro is beginning to fade and you can barely see the writing, but it bothers me. there is no way i can fix it, and this was the first gift, and it’s only a pair of slippers, and if i told him, he’d laugh, but it bothers me.

i don’t know what to do with them, so for now they’re on the floor of my room confusing me as i wander around the cold january night barefoot. i unexpectedly came across Pino Bros. on my way back from visiting a prospective house. a tattooed, pierced bro stared at me in confusion, recommended gonzo and gave me their card. it snowed today and i walked around in it for an hour.

i’m having intense bouts of nostalgia and homesickness and self loathing. it would be absolutely sickening if it wasn’t so foolishly trite.

the hobo is going to be gallivanting around harlow and london in february. it’s brilliant that his company is sending him, and holy fuck, he gets to travel to the uk, and he’s excited in his own dry way, and i’m excited for him in my manic way- but holyfuck am i going to miss talking to him. yes, i am turning into that girl despite wanting to flirt with deadbeat baristas and harvard grads. whattodo. it’s an alvie singer kind’ve neurotic love. as the bengalis would say, as my grandma would say- dhurr, bhallagena.

Boston Chronicles 1.0

So life in Boston has settled into its own easy pace. Cambridge is being kind to me for now. Every day brings with it some sort of new discovery. Now if only I could find more permanent, affordable housing, everything would be perfect.

The hobo, contrary to all expectations remains in my life six months in. Less pressure with more effort seems to sum up the whole scene, as A. said. It seems contradictory, but makes more sense. I get to keep my sanity, and flirt with cute bostonboys? Yes please.

Friday: After a pretty unproductive day at the lab, I was supposed to go out with a new friend from the lab and two of her friends for a girl’s night that promised to be wild. Her friends decided to bail on her however (blasted flu), and so I decided to rescue the night and have a girl’s night with a completely different set of girls. I recruited J and P, and the four of us decided that it was Friday goddammit, and we were going to have some fun. After some mulling over possible places- drinks and good food without breaking the bank seems to be a tall order- we decided upon ‘Brown Sugar’. Token American aka the boss suggested Bon Chon but AH dismissed it as fast food, thoroughly upsetting him. So Brown Sugar it was, and we set out on the shuttle, clutching our coats, ushankas and scarves. We waited in the lobby for a good ten minutes, making eyes at the puffer fish, and violently coloured snaggle-tooths in their aquarium before we got a table. The food was excellent, and served in preposterous quantities. I ordered Fishman’s Madness which was basically an explosion of scallops, squid, shrimps, mussels, mushrooms and peppers in this delicious chilli-garlic gravy. I have discovered that I really dislike scallops- they remind me of the pork fat that hobo and company tricked me into eating, and taste like nothing but blandness and blobs. The texture itself puts me off. The squid was for some reason carved like pineapples, but the mussels were great. Post-dinner we dragged our Garfield like selves to this tiny Japanese place where I experienced the deliciousness of mochi for the first time. I liked it so much that on Saturday I walked for half an hour to Trader Joe’s to buy myself some, which sadly turned out to be nothing like the real deal. I now have a pack of mochi lying in the refrigerator, covered in flour , all gooey and gross.

Saturday was spent waking up late, frantically running to the dysfunctional T and reaching Boston Commons nearly an hour late for my ice-skating date with the labmates. The weather was unexpectedly warm and sunny, the speakers at Frog Pond played old 90’s music, and we spent a good three hours there. Now this was my very first time on the ice and considering that I can’t even walk in a straight line, ice skating was really… interesting. My labmates were super patient though, and the scene wound up being something like one at each side, holding my hand while the third skated behind us. Every time I would wobble, the three would zoom up and huddle around me. By the end of the day, we’d all become a lot more physically intimate than we would have expected. Good first date, I’d imagine.

So after ice skating we grabbed footlongs at Subway and then I ran to Vanderbilt Hall at Harvard for choir practice. I got roped into it by AH from lab. Here’s how it happened: Hey, you should come see my acapella group. It’s gonna be a shitshow, but it’ll be fun. Hey, what’s your range like? Hey, you should do liptorrals and sirens. Hey, you’re a soprano. Great, our group needs help.

And so I’m singing ‘Fields of Gold’ in harmony with the Harvard Heartbeats at their cadaver memorial on this Wednesday. What’s a cadaver memorial, you ask? Well, people donate their bodies to science, see? And this Wednesday the families of those dead bodies along with all of Harvard Med School are going to come to this program at Harvard and watch me sing a solo, and harmonize with 5 other girls (it’s going to be a complete shitshow, since very few of them can actually sing and we’re getting roughly one and a half rehearsals in before the show). Random, but it’s a thing.

The other highlight of Saturday was the walk to Trader Joe’s where I bought Green Tea mochi, a pack of three dark chocolates imported from Belgium, and Trader Joe’s own smooth peanut butter cups made of dark chocolate (Dear Reese’s, nothing compares to you). Came home to find a note on the fridge from the second roomie saying, “Help yourself to banana cake if you like”, which I obviously did, and boy was it delicious- full of pecans and almonds and chocolate chip and dusted sugar. 

Sunday has been pretty useless, in a not so terrible way. Woke up late, stayed home, talked to the hobo, and made my new year’s list which I hadn’t all this while because I’d started off the year completely miserable. I also read ’50 shades of grey’ which a friend sent me the ebook of, and it was completely fucking awful, like I knew it would be. So recommendations for good literary erotica are welcome. What, didn’t you know that this was an adult blog?

What I hope to do with the rest of my evening: shower, laundry, read papers and come up with a list of relevant questions, finish the new year list.

Other highlights of the week include visit to Rodney’s Bookstore where the guy at the counter, who is writing a book and draws comics for an indie newspaper, directed me to the underground music scene and gave me recommendations on where to live (Allston, baby!). Also lunch at cafe Au Bon Pain, where Robin Williams and whatsizname played chess in ‘Good Will Hunting’. Lunch consisted of rain and a salmon-wasabi bagel which was both delicioso and affordable. Trek to Somerville to look at a potential house which turned out to be completely unsuitable. Trek to Inman Square where I discovered the Bukoswki pub which I definitely intend to visit. Also multiple visits to Flour which is close to work, has hipster baristas, and  the most beautiful lamb sandwiches- gigantic, fresh and dripping with cranberry sauce.

In other news: I bought a guitar, and I’m getting a tatoo in March which is when T comes to visit. Life is definitely having a ‘What R did’ moment right now.

Like a sadness I can’t shake. You were right. That time when facebook fucked up and I got all the consolatory and concerned messages, and you got none- you were right. People probably knew that you’d be okay, and you are. They knew I wouldn’t, and I’m not.

I’m going through my midlife crisis early it seems. I can’t eat because it’s too much effort to chew. I sat at a cafe for hours and hours today because I just couldn’t go to the big empty house and face myself. I tried to eat this delicious brownie and managed to finish only half; it made me nauseous. I’m such a cliche, it’s stupid. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t focus on my work, I’m perpetually two seconds away from tears. I ordered a guitar today with my roommate. It’ll come in five days. I’m going to get a tattoo in March, my first one. I’ve already decided on the design.

I can do all of this. I can eat the mixed-berry ice cream that my roommate made at home, and I can sing along to Lana Del Rey and Augustana. I can change the wallpaper on my cellphone and desktop, and shift around files and rename folders on my laptop. I can try to hit on the deadbeat barista with a bandana. But all the while my heart beats a dull tattoo beneath my skin: I want you, I want you. Honey, I want you. So bad.

I miss you. You don’t miss me. It’s that simple really, isn’t it?

PlanovAction

I do not know what lies ahead, but this is getting me nowhere. I refuse to whimper any longer, I refuse to let the energy drain out of me slowly drip-drip-drip. getting bogged down is doing me no favours, nor is it helping resolve the situation. Here’s what I plan to do instead:

– move house to Cambridge. move in with strangers i’ve never met before. change of scene is welcome, and much needed. i cannot deal with even the slightest bit of negativity any longer.

– immerse myself in work and fully understand as much literature is out there on mesenchymal stem cells.

– do kickass work at the lab, starting with the presentation and make headway with proving that i do belong there, and garnering respect.

– work out. you know what’s less lame than just being sad? someone really, really hot being sad. if i’m going to be sad, i propose to have a fantastic ass while i’m at it.

– dress nice. take care of myself. moisturize, line, medicate, brush- the works.

-take every chance i can to explore boston-cambridge. chill at the cafes, visit the galleries.

– talk to people. be open and warm. make connections. avoid withdrawing.

– read. read read read read read.

– write and express myself

– call home and avoid taking out frustration on the family.

– let my friends be there for me.

– find the reservoir of calm within myself.

– scour tattoo shops and come up with the perfect design.

– find a permanent place to live at while i’m in boston.

– stop waiting. stop virtual-stalking. stop putting life on hold.

– blank out the blues. keep busy and productive. if things come to a head, let them. accept that i’ve done all i could have humanly done. stay friends if it doesn’t mean waiting, but comfort or support instead. stop reaching out in futile hope.

– keep the faith. life has many adventures ahead, and many surprises more to throw my way. last year this time could have been tagged with ‘little did i know’. well, that will happen again. keep faith in the ‘little did i know’.

You’ve got the love

1. Invincible Summer. Vines. Morning slow dawning eureka moment.

2. Productive bus ride reading paper.

3. Discover old messages. Find unexpected peace, and subconscious calm acceptance. Let go of bitterness and regret.

4. Intelligent discussion with intimidatingly smart people. Fail to reject competence.

5. Visit MIT with colleague. Bond over rants and dreams.

6. Eat Turkish chocolate.

7. Decide to leave work early. TGIF!

8 Say goodbye, promise to let people know about party over the weekend.

9. Carry hand drawn map by coworker and find indie cafe on street corner.

10. Settle down with cappuccino and research paper and alternately read and eavesdrop on conversations. Initiation ritual to life in Boston.

11. Get up to leave. “You have a radiance about you. You’re going to do great things”.

12. Have long conversation with strange well dressed old man. Talk about life, Reiki, Harvard, and listen to all his advice about your life with pinch of salt, and some amusement.

13. Long train and bus ride home, listening to music and feeling at peace.

14. Find out that there’s been an accident.

15. Heat up chilli chicken, bhindi, and tortillas.

16. Call up friend and manhandle oven while laughing over life, love, and randomfluff.

17. Settle down. Receive goodnews about housing and the kindness of strangers.

18. Be profoundly grateful for the xx. Notice what a great bum Florence W. has.

19. Plan springbreak with friend.

The thing is, it could be the time for a “nothing’s the same” post but it isn’t that kind of time. Apparently if you’ve suffered DMSO exposure, you start tasting onions and garlic. Now I can’t really smell so I’m just going to have to be very careful with all the strange molecules and drugs we like to play around with. “You belong here”, I was told. I felt like I should have been in a movie then, with quietly powerful music playing. There is a huge common area/ conference room with a huge sofa where you can expect to find people napping, glasses askew, shoes flung over at an angle, at any given time of the day. There are these huge glass walls and it’s a little surreal standing there, dangling my legs over the couch, reading- it’s the old penthouse dream I had.

I am the littlest thing. I am inconsequential. I am homeless. I am suffocating.

I used to think I liked the smell of smoke. It hangs around all the time and it makes me want to retch. Violence of emotion and then dullness. Please, please, please.

Please, please, please.

I am the most ungrateful wretch that ever was. Maybe it is the time for a “nothing’s the same” speech after all, but there isn’t anyone listening.

I can ask you to love me, I can indulge in fitful periods of unconsciousness and wake up disconsolate, but I cannot move you.

I turned twenty one, unhappily. I flew across the Niagara and shared breakfast and music with a driver from the sixties. I can barely remember him now, but he had kind blue eyes, and when I told him that I was unhappy he offered me kind cliches and tales of how he’d been arrested when he was my age. Here’s what happened- they were smuggling their friends across the border to go buy alcohol where it was legal. So there are these two guys in the trunk of the car, and then the police asks ’em to open up, and put ’em up, and don’t you know. I’ve already forgotten his name and I thought it was important to remember, so.

So there was that, and then I got into the airport and this strange, really disorienting thing happened. It so happens that my ringtone used to be this song by Dylan for various reasons. So I’m standing at the airport, filling out customs forms and suddenly I hear the song playing, with the distinctive train-whistle-like beginning. I look at my phone but it isn’t ringing, and the sound seems to be coming from elsewhere. I look around, searching, and briefly consider the possibility that I’m going mad. Finally I track it down to a speaker on the wall close to where I’m standing. This makes no sense, so I ask other people if they can hear it, and they can. They look at me like I’m a little insane. The song plays in its entirety and then there’s silence except for announcements. That was the only song that played the whole time I was there.

Lots of things happened, and didn’t. Family is a strange thing, distant family even more so. Living in the suburbs of Massachusetts is another experience altogether. I have my own sadness, man; I don’t need yours. I have not asked for your frustrations or anxieties or hopes. I am not as nice as you would like to believe, and I do not care. I do not ask anything in return, except to be left alone.

Going on a completely unexpected trip through my head. Everything appears slow and all at once. The universe is a whole and also fragmented and disjoint. I’m in a videogame and can’t feel my face. A speeding car and lots of nightmarish christmas lights and deconstructing absolutely everything. Boston at my feet, I’m in a car that’s turned into a plane. Prepare for take-off. It’s a sea of lights. I will never do this again. Knock on lots of doors, make lots of calls, find soulmate- whoops, something totally random and unpredictable says that you can’t have it.

I travelled up a lonely hill, through scraggly trees with only moonlight and someone in the distance. I stood on a bench and looked down at Boston. It was a lot darker than I expected. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. Thewoodsarelovelydarkanddeep. I walked on water.

Chocolate covered Macadamia nuts made with aloha. Funny eared, frightfully important men. Virtual piles of ‘awesome’ papers. Two days and I’m reeling. Nightly phone calls that last for hours and stretch out over miles on foreign soil. Forcing concentration on talks that are strangely comprehensible and interesting. Being told that the future may not be exactly as I’d anticipated. Certain closed doors begin to swing open again, and certain open doors seem to never have been.

Lots of random chances. Lots of emotion. Blank. Give up hope. Blank. Overwhelming anger. Blank. Nervousness. Weakness. Comfort Seeking. Blank. Blank. Blank. Intimidation. Mind numbing exhaustion. Blank. Blank. Blank.

Retreat into self. Read,read,read.

I had a prayer. I said it over and over and it came from the deepest part of my soul. It went: please. please, please, please. please.

Please.

Things fall apart. It’s going to be a sunny week in January. Eighteen degrees- Celsius, not Fahrenheit. There’s a lot to get used to these days- inches, miles, pounds, ounces, gallons. The overwhelming presence of certain people, the overwhelming absence of others. I feel more Canadian than I’ve ever felt before. I miss Timmy’s. I miss –

“You belong here”, I was told today. Looked me straight in the eye and said, “You’ll do great”. My knees were trembling and I had confessed that I was intimidated by Harvard and MIT. “You belong here”.

Some things fall together, others fall apart. Slowly, and then all at once.