It’s Monday, I’m running late for work and I’m getting distracted by another bright yellow Afro on the bus. I sit on the fence, and then I bottle up my desire to tap on his shoulder; to wander away about
purple shampoo some DIY methods that might cancel out the orange tones in his hair to reveal a swankier blonde.
The bus-ride is long enough that it offers me, before I fall asleep, a decent interval to calculate my next pay-check if I am to call in sick tomorrow, and a moment to decide on whether getting matching holographic nails with my friend next week is necessarily for me. I open my eyes momentarily and an orthodox Egyptian man takes this moment to complain about ISIS. I listen, and then I chime in, and then the automatic female voice announces that my stop has arrived.
Look away from social Media
It’s Friday and I’m sitting with a friend (and his Instagram followers) at the type of bar that Billy Joel describes in ‘Piano Man’. Every time he reaches for his phone to chronicle this evening, I muse about whether I’m actually offering the spirited time that his subscribers are under the impression. Elton John sings about a Honky Cat in the background, and I too, curate a version of tonight in my phone’s camera gallery. The oak in my my Chardonnay begins to get nauseating when paired with the taste of my lipstick, and I leave for the washroom. There, on the toilet seat, I catch up with snapshots of everybody else’s Friday night. I begin to wonder, “at what point of being truly “turnt up” does one remember to document it to the world?” I conclude that the answer is “never”. I flush the toilet, and then I remember that the moments that I’ve felt most alive are all unaccounted for, as I reach for the sink. I opt to replace my previous drink with a Sauvignon Blanc–it’s crispier, and I’m learning the difference. I put my phone away.
You and your buddy each have different paths
My friend, he’s a little bit older. He’s graduated, and he’s working in his field. He hates his job a little bit less than I do mine, and plans on rising in the ranks. He’s working on keeping his job for many years, I’m working on losing mine in a few months. We’re investing differently. Gloria Gaynor wails in the background about how she “will survive” and me too, I will, I will, survive, the sudden career anxiety spasm that’s now midway on my spine. He too, winced, my friend. He’s feeling uneasy. He’s envying my ambition, while I envy his stability. We know that our paths are dissimilar but we panic nonetheless. We’re millenials. We like to hold our stuff up against theirs so that we can compare.
It’s the little things
It’s Saturday, and I’m up early to blueprint my empire– it’s the phrase that’s replaced “business planning”– however i’m now on Instagram. My ‘discover’ feed, for some reason, has isolated recently married women with large hips who work out, and displays their images entirely. I’m scrolling past wedding dresses and pastel-coloured slime; the latter confuses me. I can taste the ribs from yesterday and I’m thinking about the future. I want to live in the present, but my current self is gung-ho. The phone is ringing and the emails are piling up- but somehow, I could feel more alive.
It’s Sunday morning and a good Samaritan shows up with Masala tea. It’s from India. It’s a packaged powder that only requires hot water. I’m extra, so I throw in Irish creme and I begin to wonder if life gets better than this. The beverage is smooth, and warm and round, and authorizes me to leave my body for a moment. I wonder, in this moment, whether it’s normal, even right, for edibles this size to take people places, and I realize that I’m feeling alive, and that daily moments like these are what I should thrive for instead.
I want to feel alive. Take me back to auditoriums from whose mosh-pits we’d beg, with posters for the lead guitarists to have our babies. Give me more playful interactions, help me let folks go, make me transcend, keep the enemy away.
Give me all of these so that I should know that I, indeed am not falling behind.
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