Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Personality Test.

Online personality quizzes are becoming increasingly popular and it looks like we'll believe just about anything, however vague, they'll tell us. We don't hesitate to flaunt about these elusive results on facebook/twitter and somehow feel enlightened about ourselves. Well, how about you take a stab at the following questions and see if you can answer them for yourself. Who knows, they may enlighten you too. 

What’s the kindest thing you almost did? Is your fear of insomnia stronger than your fear of what awoke you? Are bonsai cruel? Do you love what you love, or just the feeling? Your earliest memories: do you look through your young eyes, or look at your young self? Which feels worse: to know that there are people who do more with less talent, or that there are people with more talent? Do you walk on moving walkways? Should it make any difference that you knew it was wrong as you were doing it? Would you trade actual intelligence for the perception of being smarter? Why does it bother you when someone at the next table is having a conversation on a cell phone?

How many years of your life would you trade for the greatest month of your life? What would you tell your father, if it were possible? Which is changing faster, your body, or your mind? Is it cruel to tell an old person his prognosis? Are you in any way angry at your phone? When you pass a storefront, do you look at what’s inside, look at your reflection, or neither? Is there anything you would die for if no one could ever know you died for it? If you could be assured that money wouldn’t make you any small bit happier, would you still want more money? What has been irrevocably spoiled for you? If your deepest secret became public, would you be forgiven? Is your best friend your kindest friend? Is it in any way cruel to give a dog a name? Is there anything you feel a need to confess? You know it’s a “murder of crows” and a “wake of buzzards” but it’s a what of ravens, again? What is it about death that you’re afraid of? How does it make you feel to know that it’s an “unkindness of ravens”?

Source: "Two-minute Personality Test" by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Eclipse.

It's been four years since I last spoke to her. Four years. That's how long it takes to graduate from college. That's how long it takes for February 29 to come back around, and that's how long it takes for us to experience a total solar eclipse.

I'd like to think that it has been four years because we have just lost touch, like it happens when people grow old, move away and become busy with their careers. I'd like to think that she has moved far away, to a sunny state, like California, for a job or may be even a Masters. I'd like to think that she is so terribly busy with the long hours and the beaches and the hikes she loved so much that she has no time to pick up the phone and call me. I'd like to think that she is really happy. That she has found a man who adores her, she has already moved in with him in an artist's studio apartment with white brick walls, and spectacular views of the city. I'd like to think that she has made new friends, and she goes out every weekend, gets drunk and then spends the Sundays hungover, so obviously she's been unable to call me over the weekends.

I'd even like to think that she is really angry with me. Perhaps over a silly little thing I did back in the day. Or perhaps because I really hurt her. Because I am an awful, terrible human being whom she completely despises. I'd like to think that she refuses to speak to me again. I can live with that.

I'd like to think that she is not dead. She is pissed off, busy, far away, happy, angry, moved-on, does-not-care-for-me-anymore, but not dead. 

[In loving memory of a darling angel, 1988-2010]

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Treacherous Business

He no longer sings for her. She should have seen this coming. No one ever does anything for anyone for too long. Thinking otherwise is foolish. We only do something when it is fresh and novel in our heads. Perhaps that's why romance fades over time. It turns into routine.

She remembered when he used to sneak in the guitar, and play till she fell asleep, and then again in the mornings. Eagles, and Oasis, and Dylan and Clapton. And boy oh boy, could he sing. Could that man just sing through his soul. She remembered the piano and how he always wanted to play, and sing, and ask her what she wanted him to play next.

She saw him play for another. Brown Eyed Girl. Her song. But songs... songs are loyal to no one. We, who are hungry for love, desperately trying to relate to someone - something - just gravitate towards the treachery... as if all the songs were just written only for us. Music is such a treacherous business. It belongs to no one. It only makes us see our own reflection, nothing more. She shouldn't take it personally.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Assembly Line.

While driving back from work, I came to a stop when the light at the intersection in my neighborhood turned red.  I randomly looked to the left when I saw a man sitting on his porch with a cup of what looked like coffee reading something on his iPad.  I thought he was cute, with his dark hair, and light eyes behind his thick-rimmed glasses.  On any other day, I would have romanticized the idea of him looking at me and smiling, and I, smiling back. Not today. But there is something about the dark hair and the light eyes. Sigh. The little things that tickle the heart.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just assemble a man or a woman we like? Dark hair? Here is a selection you can choose from. Blue eyes? No problem. Tall, muscular? Coming right up. Short, and thin? Not a problem. A combination of kindness and assertiveness? Sure thing. A little moody and completely girly? Why not. Loving and looking to be loved? You got it!

We could go in there, pick whatever we like, assemble it the way we want and walk out with the man or woman of our dreams in our arms. But alas, people are already assembled, and not perfectly either. Dark hair is paired with dark eyes, and kindness is paired with passive-aggressiveness, Muscles are paired with sheer anger, and passivity goes well with insecurity.

And love, love is paired with indifference. And well that's just sad.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Sleep Tight.

He was the most unlikely of companions. She didn't think she would have anything in common with someone who wore a stud in his right ear. She didn't think that she would like a thick beard on a man's face either. It hides the face and she always liked looking. Neither did she want too tall. But there he was. Six feet one and supporting a thick long beard, not to mention that stud.

She'd hoped that it would happen. That they would meet again. That she'd finally be able to have all the conversations with him that she only had in her mind. She had imagined the meeting a few different ways. Perhaps she'll be visibly excited, smiling, beaming with joy, shy, quiet, hesitating to make eye contact. None of that mattered now that he was here. Sitting right next to her on that beige sofa in his living room. He was looking at her quietly.

Suddenly, she felt sleepy. Of all the scenarios she had played out in her head for this moment, feeling sleepy was not one of them. She tried not to yawn. She leaned towards him, as if she was about to kiss him. But she didn't. She leaned further into him so that he had to lean back and lie down - she on top of him. When she put her head on his chest, she felt a familiar scent, but she couldn't make much of it. She was too sleepy for that. She closed her eyes while her fingers played with the stud in his ear.

The way she slept, with her face softened and arms wrapped around his shoulders, was beautiful. She hadn't slept like that in a long time. 

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