Friday, September 23, 2011

The Memory of You...

I just heard that the perfect relationship comes from the right mix of chemistry and timing. Someone I dated briefly in NY - Josh - can be described as someone with whom the chemistry was interesting, the timing not. Recently, he got in touch with me and I think I almost wept with the relief of exchanging a few properly spelled words with a man who could make me grin and my knees quiver... a little. As we were talking, I realized what a horrible feeling it was to not be able to share my time in NY with anyone here.

Why not? Because few people get it.

New York isn't just about the bright lights and frenetic pace. For me, it was the ability to step out of my house, grab one of the many convenient trains, go to any part of the city, walk into a bar or a cafe or a diner, chat up with a few friendly strangers there over coffee or a drink, walk down to the Village, stop off at a store and pick up cheap and good wine, watch dancers on stilts performing in Union Square, pull out a blanket in a park, settle down for a picnic, log on to the net from the Park itself and look for things to do the next day, head to Soho for class and stop to pick up a grande from Starbucks, chit-chat with the girl who takes my order, catch up with cousins and friends in the evening, return home to the antics of Cookie the Labrador... and on some days, head out again later to be wrapped in warm fuzzy feelings with my date.

(Looking back, I think my relationship with NY is also one where the chemistry was good, the timing - not so much.)

The few people who perhaps DO get it? They are the people with the faraway look in their eyes when the subject comes up, the wistful smile of remembered happiness followed by "Yeah, New York's great...". And then, a quick but decided shrug to shake off the nostalgia laden dust of that city in favor of all that they have here. And indeed, there IS a lot.

Just... not THAT.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Year of the Dragon...

... is supposed to be one of many new things for my Chinese sign. Yes, I do read that stuff, and honestly believe that the Chinese have nicer things to say about me than the rest of the astrological nonsense floating around. So, in my infinite wisdom and hypocrisy, I choose to only believe what the most complimentary have to say about my future.

Justifications aside, I have to admit that this year has been full of new things for me. For one, I was around for various family events that I haven't been a part of for years - my father's b'day, the cousins' bday, rakshabandhan with my brother in the same city, 3-month holidays in a different country, being wined-and-dined by three very different but really nice men, showdown with Mom, the earthquake-hurricane-tornado trifecta in New York, starting the editing assignment with a publishing house, writing classes that could be the first step towards a possible life with words.... and finally tonight, meeting with VJ outside the confines of my home with his friends!

If this is how the year's going to be, I'm sold!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Step Away from the Light, Dammit!

Just yesterday, I got into a shouting match with my Mom. Yep, the same lady I've been patiently hearing out about her failed marriages and how various people keep letting her down, while trying to constantly reassure her that I'll always be there for her, etc. All this, in the hope that one day she will get over it. Because, after all, in this Age of Aquarius (or whatever we choose to call this particular Renaissance), Healing is Everything.

However, in the midst of tears and accusations, slammed doors and flying snot, she told me clearly that she has no intention of getting over her internal drama, but that I did have the right to not be a participant to it.

Wow. I wish she'd informed me of that hidden option 17 years ago. That way, I wouldn't have indulged her for the last 17 years in the hope that someday, it'll be my turn to talk to her about my relationship with my Dad without her jumping in with her crap of marrying and being abandoned by the same asshole. Someday, I always imagined, 'll be my turn to spew venom about the years of being torn between Dad and Mom and being the perfect daughter so that they wouldn't have any other complaints in their life. I thought that someday, I'll be able to talk about all of that and hopefully, heal.

No such luck, clearly. And here was the shocker: the minute the words came out of my mouth, I saw the flaw in my reasoning. You see, I finally wrapped my head around a simple truth: My mom owed me nothing. Our parents owe us nothing. Just as they didn't intend to screw us up, they can't intend to fix us the way we need to be.

But there's a real lesson in there - and it's not what you think. While I heard myself talk to her, and marvel secretly about how mature and calm I was (almost detached), I realised that everyday we make a choice about how to live our lives. And the choice we make is whether we:

a) Decide to get over all our crap in your life and lead contented, unruffled lives or
b) Decide to hold on to all our crap and use it as material for fulfilled creative ambitions.

And while my whole life has been geared towards getting over stuff, I somehow think my mom has it right. She - with all her carefully nurtured psychoses - has written an entire book (which some people say is really good), while I write blog posts.

And the irony of this particular revelation? The minute I realised that my mom wasn't going to be the source of my healing, and that Dad is always going to be the asshole, I had no choice but to deal with the fact that my Life and all I make of it is going to be my choice. Yes, I know it's common knowledge, but you'll be surprised how much of a distance exists between common knowledge and relevant wisdom.

So now, I'm more well-adjusted than I was yesterday. And I probably have lesser things to write about.

This healing business is sucking a bit right now. Not to mention the kind of havoc it's playing with my ambitions. Dammit!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Love Letter to a Poet and a Stranger

Is it weird to have fallen for words that breathe and leap off the page
like harsh poetry in the middle of a sun-dappled afternoon
where the smell of death competes with the grasping pull
of sex reminding the breathless that air is superfluous
and the gluttonous that food is in plenty
enough to have you choked on it
unable to swallow and destined
to consume for the rest of
your insipid life
all the while hoping
that you could see me
through the looking
glass, misted
over with

Maybe it is.

Just had to put it out there and hope that perhaps you read it.

To Frankie Leone

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How do I miss thee?

Wine in the park, walk down Madison Avenue, flea market in Hell's kitchen, barbeque festival in Union Square, forever 21, Shakespeare and a picnic, secret bars, crowd around Sunflowers, that quaint shop in the East Village, the subway map that took me everywhere, sandwiches packed with meat, making out under a drizzling tree, eyes meeting on the train and becoming a missed connection, Andy Warhol parties, coffee and free wifi, walking, holding the hand that wore the wedding ring under the watchful gaze of Bettie Page, high lines and sunsets, Christina Perri and Bebel Gilberto, the city winery and its 400 wines, talking on the corner of Houston and Greenwich till 4 am, Soho-Noho-Out-You-Go-Ho, words on a page that had a life of their own, Sidney Poitier through the rain drops, the strung out poet and his tryst with Alcoholics Anonymous, classical quartet at Washington Square, children dancing in the fountain, dinner and a show in the theatre district, blind dates and Times Square, clubs, broken high heeled shoes, movie dreams with friends under Washington Arch amidst brightly colored umbrellas, traipsing through Chinatown, the Family Guy with the family, waiting for the rain to stop with the certainty that it won't take longer than a few minutes, Atlantic city-Pennsylvania-after-hours-beer-shopping, step-family, the Borough of Lost Boys, concerts on the pier, pets, laughter and love...

But I'm home now.

And it's different. It's all very different.