I tell him it was artisan bread with cloumage, aragula and pink peppercorn jam.
And he replies, “So you ate toast”.
gnarled, veiny hands and forearms,
(and feet too, from too much walking),
an interest in the blues,
a propensity for hedonism,
a love for the written word,
an appreciation of beauty in stretches of untamed road,
contrasting views of the world,
and an unceasing fascination with each other.
– dug up an old tidbit I’d scribbled sometime earlier this year. Inspired by something Shalmi said.
one day we will own a house with shabby comfortable couches, that you can sink into, and french windows. one of the rooms will have rust coloured walls and a fake fireplace on the mantel of which will live an empty frame that i have spray painted gold. we will own a cat whom we will name Murakami. Murakami will like you more but love me more, like children often do their mothers. i will have faint frown lines that finally show between my eyebrows and you will have the same old metallic frames housing your gaze. your hair will be more tamed, with a few blotches of white in it. mine will have resisted and have gotten messier than ever, clinging to girlhood. we will have a record player cohabitating with a stack of books we don’t read very often, but like to look at for their covers. perhaps they will have grand impressive titles like ‘Sarte on existentialism and bacon’. Actually, that is a book I would like to read, so scratch that. I should have been an art director in films. Perhaps I will be an art director for small films, and you will be writing something you like. one of the walls in one of the rooms will have lines from poems and books we love on it; parts will be yellowing, but we like it better that way. there will be a stack of dirty dishes in the sink that i am putting off doing, and there will be a line above your forehead, signaling your growing impatience,as you sit in an armchair and read The Times cover to cover, leaving out the obituaries and the tabloid. i will be traipsing around the house with a vague look in my eyes, in purple slippers and a long t-shirt that i have stolen from you. i cannot remember what it is that i’m looking for, but i keep throwing glances at the refrigerator each time i pass it, and finally, i settle down with a block of dill havarti (in a coloured jar with a paper label saying ‘I Can Haz Cheez’) on the other armchair on the opposite side of the room. i sit cross-legged, open Ulysses (which I have not managed to read in all these years), and catch you looking at me.
you just sigh. “never mind.” a slight twitch of the head.
“what?! why must you always leave things hanging?”
“i suppose you’re going to want me to do the dishes again”.
i smile in what i think is an endearing manner, but you don’t catch it because you’re looking at the kitchen and besides, you stopped thinking it was endearing about forty two weeks ago.
“only if they bother you”
“whatever”, you snap, and bury your head in the paper again.
sunday crawls along. i’ve never liked sundays. bloody evil days providing you with time to mull over things you have no business thinking about.
one day we will own a house, and a cat, and comfortable couches, and grow old and tired of each other. or perhaps not.
It’s like there’s a part of my brain that always has you on its mind. There’s a corner that’s always tuned to you. Once in a while I remember it, and I look at it, and there you are. Right now, typing this, I’m sitting curled up beneath a red rug that I have ‘borrowed’ from the roommate for the time being. The roommate is hardly ever home, and her cat is beginning to love me more. Already he follows me around instead of her (it’s because I actually feed him). Anyway, I’m curled up on the air-mattress, as comfy as you can get on an air-mattress. The giant tabby cat is curled up, pressed against my feet with his back facing me. He’s quiet, satisfied, and he flicks his tail from side to side, erratically, like he’s keeping time with the music. I only just realized that the tail is a muscle a few days ago. It’s one of those things you know, but don’t know. So the tail is a muscle, like certain other things are muscles.
Here is what I do sometimes: I go to Grooveshark, and I click on you, and I click on ‘play station’. It’s a comforting thought that I can play you like you’re a radio whenever i want. Right now ‘Crush on you’ by Springsteen is drawing to an end, the tinny sound through my speakers, turning my room into an old-time cafe with a jukebox. I like having this option to play your station. It makes me feel safe, and warm- the way a fire in the fireplace makes your soul feel warm, as the flames leap up and lap at the wood.
I want to write you a letter. “Dearest”, it would start. I want to write it in curling handwriting at the back of a post-card. but i won’t because I’ll forget, and we talk too much on the phone anyway, and where’s that letter I was promised?
I’m reading ‘American Gods’; it’s interesting. It’s nice, this feeling of being wrapped up in a story. I’d missed it. I’ve missed you. I’ve forgotten how to kiss you, but maybe I’ll rediscover it when we meet. Through the prickliness of your ‘stache, or perhaps not.
‘Whiskey in the jar’ is playing now. I’m going to get back to my book.
I cannot- I just can NOT.
T: well long distance is one thing that’s working for you
R: haha how on earth is it working?
T: you can choose how much you want to keep in touch. it’s all in your hands really. if you actually wanted to, you could go incognito
R: maane? just drop out of his life without a word?
T: err mane just cut him off. i’m not saying it’s an option but that’s the thing with long distance. you’re not prompted by phsyical proximity anymore.
R: yeah. i think that’s too mean. but. it is an option.
i don’t know. i think i just realized how much of my mental space he eats up and how much i DON’T want that. it’s not his fault. it’s mine. and its because i’m intense and obsessive. but i really can’t afford to lose my focus now and i really have. so i need to get shit together and consciously think about him less, just spend less energy on him
T: well said. if i was there i’d pat your head 😛
T: i think the fact that you’re thinking this way means you’re seeing the larger picture
R: haan. i think its about time. i’ve been so scared of the future, i think i’ve been clinging to N as one good sorted thing in my life. but you know. here’s the thing. a guy can;t make you magically happy. even if he’s the right guy.
and ignoring my problems and just all the SHIT i have to figure out with gradschool and the future and whatnot won’t go away by focusing on N.
R: so. i’m not doing that anymore. i mean i just realized that i *was* doing that.
T: i’m glad. you have to balance the head and the heart
T: and being abroad and on your own, you need to do that even more
In other news: I ate escargot! It was too drenched in olive oil, and butter, and cheese for me to really make out anything of the flavour than it was rubbery and reminded me of mussels. Also, I have realized that I hate steak and I’m never going to put myself through eating it again. In even more news, I’m on the lookout for housing again. If anyone lives in Boston/Cambridge and is reading this right now, Heeeeelp. I do the dishes, and take care of floods, and cook once in a while. I’m generous, and make a mean chicken noodle soup. I’m also cute (no, really) and love babies, and animals, but don’t own a pet. I’m smart and a great listener and am willing to amuse you with music or horrific anecdotes and witty pop culture references, if that’s your kind’ve thing. Haaaalp.
life is doing a ‘moon river’ right now. in a jumble: pancakes were given and eaten. with blueberries and strawberries and maple syrup as accompaniment. breakfast at tiffany’s, and morning glory were watched. new lab manager is an adele lookalike and likes to bake for fun. she brought in a bundt cake two days ago, and her attempt at jaffa cakes with white chocolate and bitter chocolate and bits of orange jelly. boss (henceforth known as Dean) turns around to see my mouth smeared with chocolate and one grubby hand in the ziplock bag full of crumbs. he’s too amused to be disapproving.
i had one of those discussions with Dean that you could label “deep”. we talked about religion and god, and sentences like “because i know that god sees me, and i am loved” were said unironically. by a near 7 foot tall man who’s known to reply to “i have a question” with “i have an answer”. people surprise you. they continually surprise me, at least. i told him about getting inked soon, and he told me about his brother who’s a chef and all tatted up. i was expecting judgement and condemnation. instead i got mild ribbing, and genuine respect. #whatthefuck.
i perform western blots and cry over them till hallelujah happens. only half a hallelujah though. i eat-drink lots of bread and soup, and fry salmon and eat it cold over the granite kitchen counter, standing up. first boston sleepover happens, homecoming minus the sex. sex does not happen- i’m sorry, vagina. i seem to have developed a penchant for the word “vagina”. this could just be me acting out after having spent all of high school being repressed and thinking that “stupid” was a bad word.
or it could be my attempt to drive away my newfound admirers in dubai (yes, i see you and i have been told. what are you doing here, child? do you want to be corrupted?)
trip to rodney’s secondhand bookstore happened. i had an almost-indie moment with a scruffy beanie wearer in a mustache. we smiled and talked about the book i wound up buying- the history of the blues which came before the pbr series. i walked away when he buried his nose in the musty smell of the film section.
there is this bizarre thing that happens and it is this: every time i (mini)fight with my boyfriend, one of his friends emails me. the two are completely unrelated, but it is a true.
anyway, i am sick of this last stretch of winter and i long for spring. tanki comes over in two days and i will basically be living on caffeine very soon. i am too tired to be excited anymore, so i am glad she’s coming on a friday.
in other news, passionfruit orange guava juice is the shit. in case you were wondering what was with the incoherent mess of words, i’m falling asleep right now,and trying to put off taking a shower. thank you for reading, goodnight.
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.
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.
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.
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