anecdotes, life, stories, words, writing

Nerves

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“I am sorry…I…I….sorry,” she stammered as she scrounged around in her sack of a handbag, digging around to find whatever it was she was going to present to me. One by one she started to take things out of her bag, a pen, two pen, few pencils, a really old motorola phone – I didnt even think these kinds existed anymore – a small opaque plastic bag, which I didnt have to peek inside to know the contents of. The wafting foul smell of beetle nut and lime told me it was doma*, a Bhutanese favorite snack. She paused when she put it out onto my desk, and looked at me for a second like she was going to offer me some, but decided against it to continue her search through the abyss of her magical bag – it was amazing how many things fit in it.

“Ahh….here it is,” she exclaimed and handed me a tiny tiny USB drive. “Can you please open it on your computer?” she mumbled. Some consultant I thought to myself. It was one thing to ask for a favor and help her with her work, it was an entirely different thing to actually carry out the work for her.

“You see, I am running out of time, I am running out of time,” she repeated. Her relatively young round eyes filled with anxiety. “Right,” I nodded back and inserted the USB into my sleek laptop’s USB port. Her mangled key chain of what appeared to be an extremely dirty teddy bear hanging off the USB in stark contrast to the shiny silver of my macbook pro. The file opened to my utter horror of chaotic pdf files, excel sheets, word documents, movies, books, jpegs, neither in order nor appropriately named. My OCD kicked into high gear and if I knew her better than just being introduced through a mutual friend some one hour back, I would have offered to organize her files on the USB. As she looked through her files to look for whatever it was that she was going to show me and ask for my help, I noticed all her paraphernalia still scattered across my desk. Her slightly large tego** sleeves skimming over my desk zen garden. I inhaled a sharp breath of air in panic worrying her lovely purple sleeves would leave an uninvited line across the sand perfectly styled in symmetric curlicues.

“Umm….,” she mumbled and rested her face on her hands and her elbows uncomfortably close to me. “Here,” I said and got out of my chair allowing her to move closer to my laptop so she could look at the screen better, but also for myself because the smell of unsolicited beetle nut and her chaotic hair and slightly running mascara was irritating me, but also garnering some deep level of sympathy because she was everything I tried not to be. I felt guilty I was judging her in that moment. She paused and looked up like she remembered something, picked up her bag and starting digging through it again. She pulled out a notebook, a compact – which has obviously not touched her skin in the least bit today- and then some breath mints. “Here, have some,” she said and offered the mints to me. “Umm, no thanks,” I said and asked if she found the file. “I think its not here,” she said and smiled at me. “Anyway, I will go home and find it and will come back when I have it, if its okay with you,” she half asked and half declared rhetorically. “Okay….?” I responded quizzed by the coolness and ease and chaos with which this woman went about.

She moved across my desk, swiped her entire arm across my desk and literally chucked all her things back into her gunny sack of a hangbag. I handed her the USB, as she got up. “Thank you,” she said. “I really dont have time and now I wasted the last hour getting nothing done,” she said laughing. “Okay, will come back soon, thank you for your help,” she said and walked out of my office. I plonked myself down on my chair, energy drained by that whirlwind of a personality. The speed and chaos with which our interaction ensued confusing the hell out of me.

I never heard back from this woman.

doma* – In Bhutan the areca nut is called doma. The raw areca nut, which is soft and moist is very potent and when chewed can cause palpitation and vasoconstricting. This form is eaten in the lower regions of Bhutan and in North Bengal, where the nut is cut into half and put into a local paan leaf with a generous amount of lime.The fermented doma has a putrid odour, which can be smelled from miles.
tego** – Toego or Tego is a long-sleeved, short jacket-like garment worn over their traditional kira by women in Bhutan.

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fiction, life, stories, woman, writing

Waiting

The sound of pounding from all rubber stamps the tellers used drowned out the excruciating pain in the depths of her stomach. The wafting smell of ink and freshly printed paper adding to her nausea. Blinking back tears and breathing deeply telling herself she was going to be okay. She closed her eyes and for a few seconds she was able to just be. To become fully aware of her own being. To realize that at the end of the day, all she ever had was only herself, and it mattered that she realized that and give herself a little more attention than what he may have given her. She rolled her eyes inside her head to try and relieve some of the pressure in her head. Slowly losing herself in her thoughts that mattered to her before he had happened, and before every familiar face became a calculative measure of how it might be to be that person with many to love her and none to hurt.

When she slowly came to, and opened her eyes, the bank was dark. She worried maybe her grief had driven her to blindness. An upsurge of fear and panic emerged from the depths of her very expecting core, until the person sitting next to her shrugged and said, ‘imagine what a power outage like this is costing the market right now.’ A gentle unbidden smile in return before she got up, gathered her papers, and ran out of the bank lobby. The fresh air –unladen with the smell of ink– rushing into her lungs in deep breaths. First breath, burning, second breath, burning, third breath, chilling, fourth breath, adjusted chilling, fifth breath, calming, sixth breath, calming, seventh breath, normal.

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contentment, embracing yourself, existential crisis, lessons, life, love, ramblings, thoughts, woman, words, writing

Finding My Ways

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I am at once so many different versions of myself. Yesterday I loved the way my hips swayed and the way his fingers pressed into my sides in heat and passion and love. Today I scrub a little harder under the duress-ed pressure of the hot water gushing through the shower head lost in thoughts of reprimanding. I may sometimes question your judgement a little bit, but I promise to be the one sitting across you in my Swiss wool socks ready to consume and comprehend the words you will spill in hatred and anger, or those lighter ones said in joy and pure innocent glee because I will completely understand the need. I will some days willingly guide you through the web of life the best way I can, and some days I will ask that you find in yourself the solutions to your problems you have always known but refuse to accept. Some days I will be angry. Some days I may smile. Other days I will be at once the fiery orange in my curly brown hair, wind-blown and unkempt, and yet press feather light kisses on your cheeks and your forehead in my summer peach lips to let you know I am here, always. Today you may find me voraciously reading guides on how to get ahead in life because I say that the go-getter in me needs to be nourished, forget contentment. And tomorrow I will wake up to prayers in praises to spirituality, to learn and practice compassion, to be simple and want simple, accepting that less really is more. Because, I am at once so many different versions of myself. Tomorrow I will love you fiercely, that overwhelming kind of love that leaves you dizzy like you’ve have one too many mint juleps on a hot summer southern morning. Balmy, dazed and incomprehensible in pleasure. But maybe I will be the ice, the winter gush pushing you back because foolishly I will believe I am no good for anyone. Some days are clear days. Some days I am lost.

Everyone talks about being true to yourself. But we are never just one version of ourselves to be true to. There lies within you and me, many different us, so which one do we choose to be true to. We are all at once givers and takers, of responsibilities, of dreams, of hopes, of support, and of love. Some days we need more than we can give. Other times we are happy being the one giving all we can. Circumstances have over the years created many different versions of myself. Yesterday I promised myself I will try to keep the light burning for them, to be the flicker of hope of what could be because I know what is right, I know what is best. Yet today I find myself committed to yesterday’s goals but frantically searching for the hinge on which I might peg my own being so I do not find myself lost in the same darkness. Because, some days are clear days, and some days I am lost.

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fiction, romance, stories, words, writing

Part II – Chivalry Days and Moscato Nights

KissIts been four days of sun and drinking Moscato out of frosted bottles of white, blue, and pink. For such palpable attraction to one another, we have not touched intimately….well, besides the greeting and goodbye hugs and the soft pecks on my cheek. The briskness and ease with which he carried out this latter task almost makes it childlike. That is what I seem to like most about him. The almost purity and honesty in every single thing he does. I laugh when I think about the way he walked up those stairs the first time I saw him at the villa and there I am, in my dress, glamazon-ed up but freaking out in fear just by the way he slightly scrunched up his prominent brows. “Oh god, hes going to walk up here and reprimand me for not recognizing him,” I think to myself. But guess whats the first thing he says? You look like a more beautiful version of Sophia Loren. Me? Better than the ever so sexy Sophia Loren? Petite Asian girl with my two dimensional body that I am. Can you imagine. I knew he was just being complimentary but the way his face softened as he climbed up the stairs and got to me; and the way his eyes went slate blank like a confessing child when he said that made me believe him in that moment, against my better judgement.

You know, I don’t know who he is, and why there was a frenzied mob of people surrounding him at the sports field. I guess I am on vacation because I don’t seem to have a cellphone on me. I am amazed in the four days we’ve spent hours together, neither one has found it necessary to pull out a phone to fill in the silence or even really ask anything beyond each others name. I don’t Google him. For once, I just want to remember him this way. For his shy smiles which are so unlike his usual confident self, for the way little gestures of chivalry seem to come so naturally to him — I didn’t understand why he would always, almost subconsciously, make sure he walked on the curb side while strolling through town, I would of course learn later on that it was actually a custom born out of the olden days when women needed to be shielded from the potential hazards posed by the passing horse-and-buggy. Old-timey etiquette like these always melt my heart. He was post-card perfect for my post-card vacation.

If you were anywhere in the vicinity, on the fifth day, you would have found us on the open roof of the villa. His ipod strategically placed within the large ceramic bowl as a make-shift speaker. Elvis Costello’s voice lacing the evening air and complementing the buzz from the wine. We sit on Italian wool blankets and talk about everything and nothing. He’s here because he needed a break. He asks why I am here, and I cant seem to find any purposeful reason. I wonder if I imagined being here and that’s why I am here, but only respond with a, “just like that.” “Well either way,” he says, “I am glad you’re here.” We look at each other and smile. “I remember you from the stadium,” he says. For a moment this wonderful life in Tuscany comes to a standstill. The threat of reality from life outside these few days threatening to come swarming in. “I thought you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen,” he says. I sit there stunned and unable to respond. “I didn’t…..” I think I should tell him that I am sorry I didn’t know who he was, or that I walked away but stop because it seems silly. “I know,” he says and leans in and kisses me for the first time. I sigh against his mouth. Our very first kiss.

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love, moments, relationships, romance, stories, woman, words, writing

Part I – That Sophia Loren Dress

sophia-loren-floral-dress-1965The frenzy around who had just showed up on the other side of the bleachers where I was standing was palpable. It must be someone famous I thought. I didn’t rush, not like the other girls as they double hopped over the steely benches to run towards the right. I made my way down the steps, slowly and carefully. I even remember the way my bright purple New Balances with its grey undersoles touched down on every single step, planting itself over the aluminium grooves of the benches. I got down to the grass on the field and turned right to see what all the commotion was about. I am lucky I haven’t been dashed into or pushed aside by one of the crazier ladies from the lot jumping up and down in glee. Its funny how in moments of pure excitement, joy, elation, whatever you want to call it, even adults are brought down to their most guileless, rather child-like, versions of self.

In interest of trying to find out who exactly was there on the bleachers causing the spectators to lose their heads, I slowly made my way through a thinning crowd as he obliged to take selfies, sign things and hug or shake hands. Somehow, and I imagine it is because I am the creator of this story, I ended up smack in the front of the crowd phone camera all ready, thinking and partly hoping it is a public figure I would know. Unsurprisingly it is not. I have no idea who this man is, and just as I shrug my shoulders and put my phone away we make eye contact. His beaming smile pauses, not in those meet cute kind of ways, but almost flabbergasted that there would be one person in this sea of people who might, just might, be uninterested or unknowing of who he was. His eyes widen a little but he maintains eye contact. I look away in unease. And quickly make my way back through the crowd and out of the stadium. I take one last look back at him, busy posing, sandwiched between two blonde bombshells. Probably a famous athlete I think and walk away.

Few days later, I find myself out on the balcony of a beautiful Italian Villa, it may have been on Lake Como, it may have been somewhere in Santa Barbara, but I hope against all hopes that it was in Tuscany, Italy. There has always been a certain charm in the terracotta floors and an intoxication in the patterned limestone that almost guarantees any encounter one of romance, passion, sexy bed hair, wine and cigarettes. Anyway, so I find myself in what I think is my most beautiful Sophia-Loren-would-approve floral sun dress, out on the balcony looking down and ‘lo and behold’ who do I see? My unidentified, could be a famous athlete from the football field frenzy incident a few days back. His hair much lighter from the glow of the sun, on a brilliant blue Vespa, in a casual white and blue Henley, staring up at me after pulling into the cobbled driveway that the balcony I am on overlooks.

“Well, hello there,” he says. Smirk in place. I cannot tell if his accent is American or European. He speaks with no accent. What accent sounds like no accent I wonder. Shut up! I tell my mind that is going into unnecessary details from the nervousness. I fear if I step any closer to the sides of the balcony he will be able to see up my Sophia Loren dress. I furrow my brows in pretentious confusion, even as my insides burn up in nerves and I feel a deep flush beginning at the tip of my smaller than usual ears.

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embracing yourself, existential crisis, lessons, life, love, moments, stories, thoughts, words, writing

Taming the Chaos in Reverie

Image: theclotheshorse

Image: theclotheshorse

“The thing to learn from this my dear,” she said, “is that even in perfection there are perfect invalidation. What begins must end, but what breaks apart will also somehow eventually come together. Such is the way. The existence of every sentiment, feeling, incident, experience, effort, thought, words, and everything else in between is makes up what is, your life, and mine. His life and hers. All the same. There is of course beauty in the beauty of momentarily getting caught up in life’s little quips and whims. It is what is thrown onto your path to make life worth living and appreciating. Don’t fear its capricious ways, don’t fear of being left hollow and alone at the end, don’t fear its spill overs, don’t fear hurt or hurting, don’t fear, don’t fear, don’t fear, my dear,” she said. “It is not this or that, it is not your reaction to survive the bitterness you’ve been trying to scrub away, but it is also not your genuine desire to be here, it is what happens when its meant to happen. You do not need to have it all figured out, ever! That is a requirement humans place on themselves constantly but oh-so-unnecessarily. Embrace the vagueness for once because no one is going to quiz you on how superficially you understood it in the end. No, no, it is just that, superficiality, because the thing about these almost perfect situations is that it has no bottom to measure its depth. It is only as deep as you pursue it. So many of us forget and tire of the pursuit so we create a bottom and claim thats as far as it was capable of going, but that’s not true my dear, it is as deep, as profound, and as extreme as you allow it to be. There is both beauty and ugliness in that. If you understand it, its perfect. But as I said when I started this conversation, even in perfection there are perfect invalidation,” she sighed. “Allow yourself to be happy, allow other people to be happy, it may not be your responsibility but it is possible. Your brokenness is not reason enough to stop it. Don’t fear, don’t fear, don’t fear my dear,” she said and disappeared back into the sleepy abyss from where I had dreamed her up.

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contentment, existential crisis, lessons, life, ramblings, stories, twenty-somethings, Uncategorized, woman, words, writing

Broken Poetry

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The severe cracks no one sees;
afraid to let him run his hands along the fractures of my being;
they say to be human is to be broken;
but to be broken is to be unwanted;
still the shrouded torments break with it;
my current will but also my current struggles;
seeking solace in the strings of companionship;
and the frayed ends of love;
to be human is to be broken;
but to be broken is to be life’s poetry.
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