Please take away all the happy couples

Clarification:

Let me start by making this clear,

I’m not anti social, nor am I a recluse

Well, okay maybe a recluse,

an introvert clothed in the desires of an extrovert,

a living, breathing, walking conundrum

 

But somehow it makes me vomit these days

when happy couples are shoved into my face

 

when I’m on the train half dead on way to class at 8am

and they sit there leaning on each other with their hands intertwined

displaying affection publicly on the Purple Line

while the guy I like takes 4-6 business days to reply

 

when I’m at the hospital getting treated for a friction burn

no, no, not from what you think

there were no carpets involved, no making out against the kitchen sink

but because I’m clumsy and fell off my bike

and just lay in the dirt after I gave up on life

 

So, when I’m at the hospital getting treated for a friction burn

while I wait, planning my sole vacation

to try a little stereotypical soul searching in a third world nation

to regain the balance I lost after the last guy ruined my bed

and eventually fucked up my head

and they sit there, laughing, joking, annoying

with no care in the world, no stinging pain, like life is all fun

while I try to calm myself by fantasizing about watching my ex’s car burn

and failing because he doesn’t own one in this city.

 

 

Let’s send them into a void, unto a parallel universe

And keep the ones who can’t get it right

because all I want to see is misery

and arguments and fights

all that I want to affirm is that it’s not just me,

it’s everyone,

it’s not just me, it was him,

it’s not just me, everyone has difficulty navigating the 21st century dating waters

it’s not just me, it’s everyone in hiding in every quarter

 

Saying, oh I’m done with this,

while lying through my teeth,

hoping I’ll be swooped up unexpectedly

not literally though, that would be kidnapping,

but the metaphorical kind

from the ye old days of poetry and Austen novels

 

till then, I sit here in my vacant sphere

counting all the irritating happy couples full of cheer

betting on when they will break up, hoping I get to see them fail

All the while secretly wishing I’ll be one half someday

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2019.  All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Weird Awkward Things

June 9, 2015

I wear the weird blue pouch thing around my neck that has my suite entry card, my meal card and sometimes the key to my room. (I’m sorry, I cannot correctly term half the things here. Most of the time I find myself gasping for words, because my mind has decided it is time for it to be on a lockdown. Not quite a fun thing to happen during a Writer’s conference.) I re check that I haven’t forgotten the key to my room on my table that is full of take-out boxes, clothes I’ve worn during the past 5 days, printed papers and my hairbrush knit with my unruly strands because I’m too lazy to put any of them back, and I head towards the bathroom. I’ve already embarrassed myself here at least a million times and the last thing I want is to be locked out of my room and be forced to pound on my suite mate’s door and beg her to call Yale security.

I pray to the universe that no one is walking out of the their dorm rooms or entering the building or whatever, so that they aren’t put in my way and have to see me with drool over half my face and a horrendous bed head after I’ve just woken up. To be fair, I might possibly look that way even after I’ve showered and brushed my hair. I don’t have a mirror in my room, and the bathroom has to be unlocked with my room key every time I want to see my face in the mirror there, so I usually give up on the notion of stroking the mane of my hollow pride. I’m too lazy.

So I’m in a country that is shit expensive, where half the people cannot pronounce my name right (the irony), where more than half the people make me repeat what I’ve said because they couldn’t get my accent and where I have no clue how things work.

It’s not too bad usually. Sometimes I’m regarded with sarcasm and a chuckle or two. Their amazement crowns my apparent daftness and it does eventually work out. But on days like today, after I feel like I’ve exhausted my capacity to be ridiculed over things I do not understand in the least, I just want to lock myself up in my utterly big dorm room and pretend to be a caterpillar in my unmade bed.

So I guess I should probably make a list of the weird awkward things that have happened to me here until now and etch them in my mind as life lessons. Or maybe by some weird time travel fifth dimension thing, I’d be able to read them and brace myself. So dear younger self, kindly pay heed to the following guidelines:

1) During lunch in the Dining Hall, do not keep your glass in your plate while emptying the food remnants in the bin that they have for you to empty your food remnants. (I had no clue something like that even existed.) You will try talking to a hot guy while waiting in the line, and inevitably be distracted, forget where you are or what your name is. You will end up throwing the glass in the bin along with the half eaten salad you put in your plate as an excuse to steal ranch dressing without coming off as weird. Then a woman who noticed the really embarrassing rendition would walk up to you and say that it wasn’t that bad, you could always write a book titled ‘Dumb Things Smart People Do Sometimes’. Sarcasm for the win.

2) Every single time you want to refill your lunch plate, you need to discard the old one and get a fresh plate. (Something that if you were to do at a wedding buffet back home, the people paying for the food would be charged twice, in addition to other people giving you the stink eyes.) One fine afternoon when you’ve just sat down for lunch at the table, you’ll have an epiphany. You’ll realize that you don’t really care about calories and that you deserve an extra slice of pizza. You’ll carry your untouched plate brimming with food and sprint towards the dining area, because pizza is life and everything else is a cold lie. Then a seemingly scary and utterly loud lunch lady is going tell you that you aren’t allowed to bring in your used plate to put in more food. People will notice and stare at you like you’re a Van Gogh painting. Not in a good way though.

3) Keep your eyes and ears open while waiting in line at a bookstore to pay for your shit. There will probably be a counter tucked in the farthest corner from where you’re standing; beyond your vision and human frequency of hearing, the billing lady is going whisper ‘Next’ and you’d be oblivious to that. So the person next in line will employ the magical use of sarcasm (oh, joy) and ask if you’re enjoying yourself too much standing in line to move further. Cue the Van Gogh stare.

4) You will not understand the American currency of nickels and dimes and would ultimately be carrying too much change in your bag while paying in dollar notes because you do not want to hold up the line and have people give you the stink eye. Your brooding dark soul will not be the only thing weighing you down.

5) You’re going to splurge all your money on Starbucks and extremely mini sized 2$ water bottles, because you keep forgetting that tap water is drinkable. Remember American tap water is drinkable.

So that’s it for my first 5 days in New Haven. I’m pretty sure this list is going to be longer than Homer’s Iliad by the time I get home.

Yours Truly

The girl who sat in the restricted area at Yale and made them put up barricades the next day, with huge red signs of ‘Do Not Enter’.

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

An Open Letter to the Guy from my Gym

Dear Gym Hottie

It’s been ages since I’ve seen you and to be honest I’ve, in fact, forgotten your face. So let’s hope that you haven’t gone missing and the police doesn’t ask me to give them your description  (because I’m too hopeless to even attempt to do that).

I’ve seen you about twice in my whole life, but believe me, that was enough to make me always look for you in the crowd, rather hopelessly I might add.

For me, running on the treadmill next to you on that fateful day will always be a fond memory of our non existent relationship. I cannot seem to forget how I kept staring at my own reflection in the mirror to avoid looking at you, which made me fall in love even more.

With myself, that is. Because of the perfection that is me.

And then I realized, or rather imagined, that you were stealing glances at me too, which heightened my  adoration to the infinite sky.

For my own self, that is.

And then I almost broke my teeth as I skid down the treadmill because I was too preoccupied with the love fest and lost my footing as a result of it.

I still remember what attracted me to you was how tall you were. Tall enough to stand on your toes and pluck the moon from the sky if you wanted. Everything about you reminded me of the starry sky on a clear summer night: you were dark and mysterious, and immensely out of reach. And staring at you made me happy and my heart skip a beat.

So I did what any girl with a crush on a guy would do: I completely avoided you, scowled at you when you tried to smile at me, tripped on the floor a few times and even dropped my phone on someone’s foot when you were near.

You need to come back to the gym, dear Gym Dude. I miss the romance.

With love

The Girl Who You Think Hates You But Doesn’t Really Hate You In Fact It’s The Opposite

Bye.

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

 

The January Incident

Sometimes certain things, the simplest of things, that happen due to either complete coincidences, or due to some incomprehensible plot of the universe and all the timelines that intersect it (haven’t quite figured that one out yet), impact you with utter profoundness.

Maybe you left a place a few seconds later than you wanted to.

Maybe your friend asked you to wait with her while she waited for her friend to get over with classes.

And, you agreed to it, although you initially intended to leave a few minutes before.

And then you waited.

And waited.

And ultimately you left because you were getting too late and the prodigal friend still didn’t return.

And then, bam!

Something happens that wouldn’t have happened had you left according to your uninterrupted plan. And you sort of start believing that the universe wanted it to happen. Hence, the reason for its intervention.

Or maybe all of this is bullshit and what happens happens. (As I have stated numerous times before, I am but a bundle of contradictions.)

So, this is how the incident goes. It is nothing too memorable or out of the ordinary. It is nothing to be journaled. I probably won’t even remember it happened in a few weeks. But, it is the fact that the incident got me thinking in way too many ways and I landed up here, on my blog writing about it.

It was about 8pm on a January night. I left the gym and walked towards my car parked in the semi marooned lot. As I walked, or rather dragged my sore legs towards the car, too tired even to think sanely, I noticed two guys not too far away from my car standing in the lot. Drinking. Huge bottles of god knows what form of alcohol cradled in their arms. And a red-alert went on in my mind. And the first thing I said to the friend behind me, who had very graciously agreed to walk me to my car (Hi there, you. I know you’re reading this!) was that I was so thankful not to be alone. Which is quite a natural sentiment, I presume. But it was the second thought that crossed my mind as an inherent reaction that bothered me enough to write this.

I felt sort of guilty for being out alone at the late hour. (Yes, I know 8pm isn’t late. But be it 8pm or 2am, anytime after dark is late because it isn’t as safe as daylight. Although daylight isn’t that safe either, since Vampires aren’t my immediate concern here.) I felt like it was my fault that I felt not too comfortable being out alone at the said hour, when it is not my fault at all!

I think the beginning of this viable lesson that is fed to girls from the moment they are able to comprehend words must have been, after certain disturbing incidents must have occurred, a safety precaution of not venturing out looking for trouble. But in recent times, it has become an excuse for the delinquents to do whatever gives them a rush. It has become a justifiable reason for why bad things happen. It is the female’s fault. Bad things happening to her are directly linked to where she goes, what time she goes there, and most importantly, what she wears. Because it is also your own fault when you get robbed. Because you have things that could be robbed. Or if you get murdered. Because you did things that got you murdered. You said murderable things or wore murderable clothes. Or maybe just have the sort of face that caused you to get murdered. It’s your fault. Should have got a plastic surgery or something when you had the chance.

What I want to point out is the fact that the thought of being guilty for any bad thing might happen to me because (a) I was out alone after dark and (b) because I’m a girl , is something I do not want my daughter, or anyone else’s daughter to ever think! I want my son to feel responsible for standing in a public place drinking in the dark. I mean, you could sit in your car and do that. And then drive your car into a lake and leave the planet a better place, rather than stare at a girl who passes by you like she’s dinner. (Talk about Vampires not being an immediate concern.)

In all seriousness, being socially responsible for how you behave in a public place is something all human beings should care about. Drink. Have fun. As long as you do not infringe on anybody else’s life or make them feel unsafe and responsible for the bad things that happen due to no fault of theirs. Raise your sons right first. Then tell your daughters to avoid venturing out alone at night. Also teach your daughters how to be badass ninjas. Mostly, do that though (after raising your sons right).

An Open Letter to Starbucks

Dear Commercial Giant Starbucks

You are criticized for your over-priced strangely addictive coffee and one of my cousins is among those who ardently loathe you and all that you stand for. You are considered responsible for the homicide of adorable quaint little indie cafes who cannot compete with you. You are often mocked and taunted, and let’s not forget your ‘race together’ campaign. But you, dear multi million corporation, are the one who saved me.

I owe you one of the best summers of my life, Starbucks. I was all alone in a foreign country- tired, hot, thirsty, almost broke, sans wifi with a bladder on the verge of bursting, and you saved me, although you made me even more broke while doing that. And right now I terribly miss you and all of it. If I could relive my summer all over again, I wouldn’t change a single thing. Except pack more clean underwear probably.

My summer has been one of lone adventures in an unknown land with only my wits and GPS to guide me about. And every time my feet would scream at me to stop my explorations in wonderland, I would look you up right away and there you would be, literally right around every corner I ever was. Tucked away from the bustle. Sweet. Majestic. Green, with the scent of coffee and free wifi wafting about you.

Don’t get too full of yourself though. What automatically made me search for you all those times wasn’t love or lust. It was familiarity. No matter what borough I would find you in, you would be the same. You would woo me the same way. I knew all those times that I couldn’t make a fool of myself in your Company. Pun totally intended. I, soon enough, became well acquainted with exactly how you would use me and how I was going to use you. No surprises. Like a cliched damsel running into the arms of her ex every night she got lonely. And I ran to you all those times. I’m not too proud of all the money you made me spend on you but I swear to God, you were worth it every time. Especially the Chai Tea Lattes. Oh, the Chai Tea Lattes. And me, sprinkling Vanilla and Nutmeg and more Vanilla. And Cinnamon. And more Vanilla. I could never get enough of that Vanilla. I could never get enough of you.

Some nights you made me feel cheap. The times I tried to conserve my dwindling cash, you tricked me with the fancy descriptions under your fancier coffee names and that damned Red Velvet Cupcake you displayed right where I stood waiting in the line for the bathroom. Some nights you cuddled me with your warmth while I read one of my favourite books when it poured outside. I would never forget those rainy nights. Some nights, the nights we were apart as we are now, you made me insanely crave you.

Chai. Tea. Latte. And Vanilla.