It gets better till it gets bad
Then there is no turning back
Painting by Ron Hicks.
It gets better till it gets bad
Then there is no turning back
Painting by Ron Hicks.
In those early days of curiosity, when not everything is known, while he sat across her having coffee, he asked,“so, what was he like?”
She looked at him, took off her spectacles and rubbed her eyes. “You know darling, I read a quote a while ago. It said – I know that’s what people say – you’ll get over it. I’d say that too. But I know it’s not true. Oh, you’ll be happy again, never fear. But you won’t forget. Every time you fall in love it will be because something in the man reminds you of him.”
She leaned forward and held his hand.
“I know I have been mean to you, I know I have been distant and sometimes I have been just very cold. And you have been so patient with me, you have been around and I like that you have been around, it is nice and warm and soft and I love that which we have right now, I love that which we are trying to build together.
And I know you care for me, maybe not so much as you will in the future, but right now in your own manner and measure you do. And it is because of this caring that I am asking you to never ask me that question again.
Firstly, because I don’t remember, secondly because I do not want to remember.
I want this what we have between us to be fresh, I want it to be free from any past prints, I want it to be completely brand new. I want to fall in love with you from the beginning, from the start, from the first page.”
They say a lot of things you know. They want to make us believe that we are living, that we are existing in the worst of times. That we are all disconnected, masked from reality by the veil of technology. What we read, what we see, what we hear, what we feel is not first hand, it is derivative. They say it is a bad time to be alive in. They say mankind was better before. They say this is how the world is going to end, each one of us so deluded by our own narcissism that we will choose nihilism over meaning.
Like I said, they say a lot of things.
I don’t like what they say, and I refuse to believe that life is a hopeless pursuit of consequence. No. It is not so. The simplicity of the entire affair cannot be missed, be looked over. Everywhere around us, every single time, in every thought, in every action, in every interaction there bubbles that indomitable spirit of significance. You feel it as you go through your daily day shaping your own essence, deriving your purpose, finding your way.
At night, after 24 hours well spent or not, you collapse in your bed aware of the worth of your creation. Or maybe not. Maybe you are too happy just being. That is a good way to go to bed too. Or maybe you are too sad. It didn’t turn out all that well. That’s all right, you know. That’s just probability. It happens some days. It’s fine really.
They don’t tell you all this. They don’t speak about the moments that fill your spirit with beauty, a force so strong that you know anything is possible. They don’t speak about that unadulterated smile, they don’t speak about that true touch, they don’t speak about that candid opinion, they don’t speak about that sincere approach.
Don’t listen to them.
As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.
-Of Mice and Men
It was the start of something new, it was the end of something old.
Two broken-had-been-lovers trying to belong again.
It was beautiful and it was sad.
There were echoes of past stories in their new conversations. Both were happy but neither knew how to feel about this new happiness – to hold it with care or to just glide with it. It was the start of something new. It was the end of something old.
In response to today’s DailyPost Prompt
I have a friend with a beautiful name. Maya, she is called. I really like Maya because unlike most people Maya does not understand the concept of fear. Therefore in the most orthodox of the settings in my country she can be herself – calm and composed. Also unlike most other people Maya does not let gender creep into her daily train of thoughts. She thinks without keeping the fact in my mind that she is a woman.
Why should one keep their gender in mind while thinking about things you ask?
That is how it is in my country – if you are a girl you are constantly reminded of it every single time you breathe. That is how it is.
Maya called me last month. She said – you know something strange happened. I asked her – how was your trip, she was travelling you see, Maya loves to travel. She said – the trip was soul soothing, I was living in the present after such a long time, not once did I look at my phone, I forgot time. We just were. It was a time of extravagant delight.
I love when she talks like that. It is live heaven on earth, she can make you feel that. I asked – what was the strange thing that happened?
She said – On the way back, I had to catch a train from one of those really small railway stations, you know the ones from the movies of the ’70s – desolated platforms, poorly built. It was raining, and it wasn’t that big a station, there were just four train tracks and two platforms. Platform number one was well built with seating spaces, platform two was under construction. A white over-bridge connected the two platforms. It was raining lightly, the sky was gray, the station looked washed, I was walking on the bridge dragging my one bag, dressed in a long flowing dress and I thought to myself what a perfect place to smoke. But it was raining, and I couldn’t open my umbrella with all the luggage, so I decided I would get to platform two, find a secluded corner and light one.
Now then I descend on platform two, there are a few people around, some are staring at me, but I really don’t care, all I want to do is take in this beautiful scene in my head with a smoke, so I walk to the farther end of the station, I walk in the rain to where a father and daughter are sitting. I ask them if it would be a problem if I smoked, the father is just staring at me, the girl, not believing what she just heard, says – yeah, no it will not be a problem.
So I light my smoke, and I am looking into the distance and I am thinking it can’t get more perfect when these bunch of kids join the father and daughter. There are two boys and two girls and they look at me and start to talk about smoking and I almost roll my eyes. The weather and the setting is too good and I rarely get annoyed, this line of their conversation is not even amusing, it is just cliched, the world is a little like that isn’t it – repetitive in it’s conclusions?
While she is telling me her story, I can imagine her in a long flowing blue dress on a freshly washed station smoking a cigarette like they are meant to be smoked, just being herself – tall, beautiful, a work of art.
The kids then start discussing about which trips are the best to have – an only boys trip, an only girls trip or a mixed group trip. The girls said all girls trips are fun. This one boy said – all girls trips cannot be fun, too many restrictions come into picture, you cannot visit certain places, you have to get back in early, there is that safety issue. Listening to him, the girls gave a weird look. Listening to him I laughed in my head. I do not know who I felt more bad for – the women who were being brainwashed or this young man who thought in this fearful practical way about the world around us.
I understand where Maya is going with this. Still, I wait for her to say it –
Darling, she says, people live in so much fear. And they are not even aware of it. Before they can act they are conscious of their sex, of their place in society, of the rules which tell them how to behave, of the constructs which shape their reality. How does one breathe in so much senseless noise? How does one live by decree?
I cannot live like this, she continues.
You do not live like this, I tell her.
I always thought no matter what happened I’d always have you. This belief was like an anchor that kept me grounded through every storm. Friends could let me down, boys would come and go, but you’d always be my person.
I don’t know what to think anymore.
I have never felt so loved yet so alone. Life has never been better but I don’t know how to be happy. Everything feels meaningless now. I don’t know what is the point of it all. I don’t know how to love the way I used to. You said it was stupid, the way I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I have tried your version of love, careful calculated passion, turns out I am no good at it. I’ve always been bad at math.
Do you ever wonder how many steps back you’d have to take for life to be the way it should? What if you never went to that party? What if you never kissed that stranger? What if he never crawled into your bed? What if? What if? What if I can’t fix anything? What if I’ve fucked it all up and it’s broken forever? What if? What if?
What if I miss you so much it feels like I’m dying?
I wish we could skip to the ending so I could stop reliving the past, replaying the events of that night over and over in my head, trying to work out where I went wrong. I wish you had called and said happy birthday, and we could pretend for one day that everything was normal again. Then maybe we’d keep pretending. But it’s too late, it’s all worthless now, and I wish I was dead.
Like the people who put a smile on your face every time you think about them. Like the doers, the creators, the hustlers, the artists, the rule-breakers, the rule-makers. Like the people who have fire in their eyes and who work through their dreams. Seek them and they shall find you. I like being around people who make me like myself a little better, a sense of camaraderie established from the way we see the world, from the way we want to change the world. A good man once told me it is the quality of time spent that matters, quantity is irrelevant. A brilliant woman said the same, showed me the same last night. Last night was perfect in every way you would expect a night to go with an old friend. You are great, brilliant woman.
Image link – here
Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you.
When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.
The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you.
You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
― Bob Marley
Image Link – here
Many years from today I will meet you in some crowded street, only I hope I do not see you amongst people, I hope it is an empty café and I am sitting in corner having a coffee, smoking a cigarette and reading a book when suddenly I look up and see you on the other side, just as you have seen me suddenly and in a flash, recognition will hit and a flood of memories will fill the space between us and my eyes will light up and seeing their shine you will smile and you will get up and walk towards a happy perfect past and I will be sitting in my chair looking at you beaming as you close the distance between us.
1571 miles away or still at home, when your heart breaks, the hurt shows in your eyes and you end up at some god forsaken cheap bar at the other side of town, drunk on sorrow and pain, lock yourself up in the washroom and scream so loudly that no one can hear you. You cry the whole way back in the cab, just sitting there looking at the city pass by , not thinking, just feeling the hollow in your chest and letting the tears run across your face. People don’t matter then, you don’t care how it looks, you are done being brave. Heart breaks are tricky affairs. Never again.
As we grow, we become occupied in becoming the centers of our own universes, I often say this. Every passing day of adult life, I find more evidence to reaffirm this notion. It was simpler you know, when we were younger, when we could share and talk and take a genuine interest in the lives of others. Growing up just complicates things. It becomes difficult to tell your friends about your life. Then you think perhaps you should move to a different circle of friends. Then you move, but oh look now you have drifted through too many circles – who are your friends, where are your friends?
What I am going to remember of this time, right now in my life, is how much I liked it, how much I enjoy it, how much I wish the day had 36 hours and that all my days, well most of my days in the future could be the same – just lazying around, thinking, doing the thing I like the most, walking, writing … just simply being.
I am over a 1000 miles from where my home is right now and I am also over a 1000 miles away from my old thoughts and my old ways of thinking. They don’t really matter that much now. Yes, it took me over 1000 miles to see myself better, and for that heart ache to stop.
We are a little funny sometimes, us, people, me – so sure of ourselves while doing what we do, while doing what we can. I know I am not sure about a lot of things, and I am sure of that. You will say this is just a case of that odd semantic, I would say this is a laughing matter.
Walking to work, ordering lunch, walking to buy evening groceries, running in over 35 degrees, reading before sleeping, cooking in the morning, and then getting ready, all this while talking to those few who only care, who truly care, yes that is how life is right now, and I, and I, and I, I breathe easy.
In response to today’s WordPress Prompt
Sometimes I think my writings have been written just for that one reader, who is me. There have been those times when the words of the people passed and people alive have not been able to comfort me, in such times I have gone back to my creations and they have offered me a warm hug of solace and understanding. Sometimes I think everything that I have written has been for my future self to read and to feel, and to know that there is hope, that there is beauty in life, that all is not lost and that in those alone moments where no one can understand you, you have words from your best love, you have words from yourself.
Thoughts are powerful, they literally shape your life. This is not a new secret. It has been around for ages. Your life is also shaped by where you live and who you surround yourself with. But most importantly your life is shaped by your will to live. Life altering thoughts have to be willed. In order to have that one day which will decide the rest of the course of your limited existence, you have to have the will to kick yourself out of bed and you have to choose, you have to decide. I find this power of choice both liberating and overwhelming. Being aware of the choice does not necessarily guarantee a change, choice followed by action does. Every thought which has not been acted upon is wasted.
This brings me to another aspect which has been haunting my moods in the empty time to myself between the chores of daily life. I realize how different I am from everyone else, and how similar too. But the differences are glaring and the similarities much wanted. No one understands me. No one can. Very few come from the same kind of place and their processing is limited to their experiences. And perhaps I am beginning to think that happiness or that general feel good thing about life is about understanding and being understood.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Words of those far away, both in space and time, more often than not give you the much needed sense in this vile comatose age. How comforting it is to be in bed and to read the thoughts of those who lived in another time and with great foresight left us seeds of hope to plant in our dried up souls.
Thank you dear writers, dead and alive, for you bring to me what is amiss in humanity around me.
Maybe the things you hate are keeping you away from the things you love
“Because it is occasionally possible, just for brief moments, to find the words that will unlock the doors of all those many mansions inside the head and express something – perhaps not much, just something – of the crush of information that presses in on us from the way a crow flies over and the way a man walks and the look of a street and from what we did one day a dozen years ago. Words that will express something of the deep complexity that makes us precisely the way we are, from the momentary effect of the barometer to the force that created men distinct from trees. Something of the inaudible music that moves us along in our bodies from moment to moment like water in a river. Something of the spirit of the snowflake in the water of the river. Something of the duplicity and the relativity and the merely fleeting quality of all this. Something of the almighty importance of it and something of the utter meaninglessness. And when words can manage something of this, and manage it in a moment, of time, and in that same moment, make out of it all the vital signature of a human being – not of an atom, or of a geometrical diagram, or of a heap of lenses – but a human being, we call it poetry.”
― Ted Hughes
In response to today’s Daily WordPress Prompt
Once, when she was a young child, Katherine stared too long in the mirror. Looking deep into her own eyes, she climbed into her soul and could never really make it out. After that day, whenever Katherine stands in front of mirror, she sees a blank space. She sees no reflection, neither of herself nor of her soul.
Sometimes when she is tired, really tired, tired of the world and its pretenses, tired of the humanity and the rat-race, tired of having a good time and living a good life, tired of doing the right thing over and over and over again, every single day, every single hour, tired of all the struggle, tired of all the pain she has said good bye too, tired of being strong, those times, Miriam Chako wishes he was around, she wishes that he would keep his shoulder around her and hold her, her hair would be on his chest and they would not speak, he would just hold her, and everything, every single thing would be alright.
Supplement this with the reading Miriam Chako and the mistake
When a good man loves you,
It is all –
In response to today’s daily prompt
The soul in a perpetual state of drunkenness
from one trigger to another
grasping for an awareness lost
in its awakening of consciousness
In response to today’s Daily prompt
“Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.”
– D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
The painting is called Trouble. It is by Ron Hicks.
I am working on a piece on anxiety. And it would be super great if you could spare some time and just leave a comment below telling me how do you deal with it. Looking forward to your responses.
hugs, kisses and all nice things
Read : To all those who are sure of themselves.
One doesn’t need to travel to open one’s mind, but traveling does open one’s mind. Moving away from the comforts of your immediate mental constructs, once you are on the road, you see the expanse of the world stretching along its paths newer ways of understanding life. Because no matter in which direction you move, there exists life which you have not seen, there exists life even without you ever have being.
How foolish it is then to think that one knows everything, that one has thought all that can be thought and that this is just how things are, how can they be different from what I already know. But my dear fellow, what do you know? You, who lives, in the narrow confines of diminishing meaning mistaking monotony for reality, you who has traded growth of mind for an illusion of security, you who laughs at any new exposure – mocking it, belittling it while clutching to the safety of your limited biases, yes you, tell me, what do you know?
Not much, you must admit. And therefore, my dear friend, this is where I must pull you aside, take your hands and give you my words – don’t settle. Not yet. Don’t settle for a reality decided for you by your immediate surroundings. Lift up your soul and walk towards others. Learn, see, be open. Love, laugh and live. Don’t get too comfortable in your own skin. Instead let differences mess with your mind, question what you know, doubt what you believe. Get out there and witness this multitudinal existence of being.
Don’t settle. Not yet. Not when you know that there are 7 billion other human-beings on this planet. These 7 billion people are living in over 200 different countries. And that is them doing this just now. Before there were fewer beings, and they have lived on, in future it is highly likely there will be more people and they shall carry on. Without you. So, while you are here, if you have not seen all that there is to see, then tell me what is the point to be?
The point is that of vantage. Every time you step into the shoes of a new man, you will attain the point of vantage. And you will see there is a delicate coherence in seemingly divergent independents. People everywhere are just the same. We all hate the same things – hypocrisy, lies, double standards, laziness, lack of spirit, lack of interesting things to say, suffering, misery, disease. We all love the same things – honesty, kindness, courage, bravery, simplicity, humility, compassion, hope, dreams. We all want the same things – a purpose, some meaning, few dollars, some success, a nice little house, good coffee, red wine, delicious food and someone to care.
There then now you know – all of life’s meaning lies in the simple fact – to live today, you must travel tomorrow.
Note – The second paragraph turns ironically meta – the narrator uses mockery against people who mock.
Read : This is an open envelope to all those rebuilding themselves
As individuals, we have grown up to be so by ourselves, liking the time spent in adding meaning to our daily existence that any kind of encroachment on this personal space induces a reluctance to interact, a reluctance which borders on repulsion. This form of independence of thought, space, and time, I know not, whether is the way to search for meaning but it certainly is life-affirming. Any further attempt to expand thereupon would undermine the brevity of thought of the two lines. This thought ends here.
So hurt she was by all that had transpired that every time she subconsciously tried to try again she felt like she way playing with fire. Heart-breaks can be nasty business. Trying again puts you in a world of uncertainty, predictability and anticipation. To deal with these one requires courage, perhaps she had lost all of hers, it requires patience, maybe patience was her shield against the realities of her daily life, it requires hope and as we know she had lost all of hers, a long time ago.
Did she want to try again and feel? She wished she knew. Her spirit had aged and it had become numb. It would require more than an answer for her to become one again. It would need a reconstruction. She would have to be built again. From scratch. And that takes time.
So she taps into her reservoir of patience and places herself before all else. For once, justice shall be done. For once, the world will get it right. And if the price to pay is to be by herself, then this thought ends here.
Note on Kite – What I really like about the above composition is its being concise, connected and complete.
Dear ugly girl with a beautiful sister,
Everyone is not beautiful.
And of course looks do matter.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
And now that she is growing up and she is just going to get more beautiful. And since you are going to be around her, people are always going to draw comparisons, relatives are going to remark about your plainness, they are going to feel bad for you, boys are going to pay more attention to her, she will always be the first choice, her beauty will be revered and you are going to be side-lined. It is going to get tough and it is going to get worse, and don’t let any one else console you otherwise.
And you might suffer feelings worse than low self-esteem.
Yup, it is going to be horrible. Just horrible.
But then hopefully, maybe, maybe you will find yourself in a place where you will see that such subjective concepts as beauty do not really matter. Maybe you will have multiple paradigm shifts and you will realize that there is more to life than just being beautiful. Maybe you will meet wonderful people who will show that life is about learning, exploring, having fun, a few good friends, creating, and giving back to society. Maybe you will travel and meet new people who will be fascinated by the stories you tell them, or who will like you not for your looks but for your words, or for how well you play the guitar or how melodious you sound, or for how kind you are. Maybe you will study in a place where you will find brilliant people who are doing everything they can to change the world.
Maybe you will read, and read a lot and find out for yourself about the conventional and societal constructs of beauty and how the definitions of beauty vary from culture to culture, place to place, and you will realize how futile this beauty business is. Maybe you will think and you will conclude that esteem isn’t a byproduct of looks, but it is an amalgamation of real-deep virtues.
I hope you meet wonderful people and go to faraway places and fill your life with beautiful experiences and then, for yourself, find out that there is just so, so, so much more to life than looks and clothes and money.
I am not really that beautiful, or pretty. I have been surrounded by beautiful women all my life. And sure, there have been instances when men have paid more attention to these beautiful women than to me. Do I feel bad? Absolutely not. Do I feel jealous? Why should I? I really do not see why my sense of worth should be defined by those around me. I have dated some of the most handsome men in my circles, and the way they have looked at me has made me feel beautiful and loved and wanted. I have met their hot ex-s, and never have I felt insecure. Insecurity, you will learn if you choose to think, is a state of mind and nothing else.
See, the point is, it is your life, and it is your choice on how you handle it. You could either feel sorry for yourself, and be depressed and live in a way the society thinks ugly and/or fat people should live, or you could go out there and experience life, embrace it in its entirety and create for your own self a world which is the envy of others.
Another plain girl
I am 31 and I don’t remember how many beds I have slept in throughout my life. You know how people always look forward going back to their homes, so that they can get back to their rooms and sleep in their own beds, and wake up to familiarity. Well, I don’t know what they mean when they say that. I have slept in so many different beds, in so many different places, and woken up to so many different settings, that sometimes now, when I get up, I forget where I am. Sometimes I even forget who I am.
It is a novel feeling.
Don’t get me wrong. It is not like I don’t have a bed. I do have a bed and I do have a home. The bed is mine, in a manner of ownership, but I don’t really own it, because I hardly lie in it. It lies there, in my home, night after night, it just lies there, neatly made covered with an expensive sheet it just lies there, empty. Night after night.
The bed that I am sleeping in these days, it is not mine. I don’t own it, the pillows it has are not mine, the sheets are. I do not look forward to getting into it at the end of my grueling days. You know it sucks, having that feeling taken away from you, that feeling of looking forward to crawling under the sheets into your own bed. I do not know that feeling and I do not look forward to getting into the bed that I sleep in these days. But then this is the only bed that I have, and for the days to come, until I get into another, this bed, I suppose, is mine.
Today Ann is in the mall, walking down the corridor of beauty parlors and salons. Her hair has been acting up lately, it has become dry – from the tips to the roots, as well as her scalp, her scalp has become dry too.
Ann does not like the things she cannot manage, every night before she sleeps she applies five different kinds of lotions, and shampoos and conditioners, and sprays and serums so that she can have the perfect hair the next morning. She must do it the previous night, every single time, because her hair is so unmanageable, she can never ever just wash it and let it dry out in the outside world. Because only she knows what she looks like in that time between when her is wet just after the shower and when it is completely dry. That in-between time is a secret that has been kept away from everyone, even her friends and boyfriends. That is why sometimes they think she is a little eccentric, but then, she is kind, so it really doesn’t matter.
What Ann hates about making her hair perfect is that she has to go through a tedious process every time she has to wash them. Every single time. She hates that. It is such a grand waste of time, she thinks. Every other day one cannot spend three to four hours just on their hair. No. There has to be a better solution, there has to be something that lasts long, really long.
So, she walks into the first salon she sees. For perfect hair, for the perfect you, reads the display of this salon. The salon people, the saloners, smile at her, greet her as she walks in. They ask her if she would you like to have a coffee ma’am, should they get her some juice. Yes, they know Ann at this salon. She is a regular.
Ann sits down with the head hair expert lady saloner.
What would you want to get done today Ann?
I want my hair done perfectly.
We can go in for your regular routine. Or you could try the new treatment which Lo’real has just released. Keratine Intense, it is called.
How long with this new treatment last?
2 to 3 months, followed by the usual touch-ups.
Do you have something that will last longer?
There is the botanical oils treatment. It will last around 6 months, but you will have to be in the parlour every month to back it up.
How long you do want it to last Ann?
Well, forever sounds about right.
The head hair lady saloner expert smiled.
No, we don’t have anything for that. But the Keratine Intense treatment should do you wonders for about 3 months. Shall we start it then?
No, said Ann and she got up and walked out.
The next salon display read – care for hair that lasts long. Ann smiled. Maybe this is it, she thought. She sat down with the head hair expert man saloner and went through the same exact conversation.
Don’t you have something more long term?
Your base genetic structure cannot be altered Ann. Your hair will remain how they are naturally. Nothing can be done about them.
So what are all these treatments that you so religiously recommend?
You want to know the truth?
Quick fixes. That is what they are. Instant solutions.
Ah, I see.
Should we start with the protein treatment then?
No, said Ann, I am looking for something permanent, I am looking for something long-term. And she walked out.
She met Adam the same night. They had drinks. She told him of the saloners and of their quick fixes. Adam smiled.
Do you want to know the truth Ann?
Adam lit a cigarette.
Look around you Ann, look at the society we live in. You want to lose weight, you go on a diet. You want perfect skin, you take a facial. You want good hair, you go to the parlour. You have a deadline to meet, you spend the entire previous night working. You like a guy, you sleep with him on the first date. It is not working out, you end it and you move on and you try again. It still doesn’t work out? You end it. You tell yourself that next time it will last. But how will it if you don’t stay?
We are living in a society of quick fixes. We are living in a society that seeks instant gratification. Managers are worried about their quarterly numbers. They don’t give a shit about the long-term growth prospects or the environment implications of their decisions. Everybody wants quick results. Now, I want this now! How can we ever achieve permanence like this? How can we ever built something long term like this?
Take your problem. You want good hair. Eat right, every day, every single meal of every day. Work-out. Meditate. Read. Research. Learn. Introspect. Reflect. Keep it natural. Do this for a month, then a month more, then a few years. You will have absolutely gorgeous hair. It is rather obvious is it not? Permanence is a continuance not an end result. It requires effort, it needs patience.
I am standing in front of the mirror combing my hair, when suddenly I go back three years – I am in your bedroom, standing in front of the mirror, combing my hair and you are standing nearby, your hands folded, you are looking at me, and you are smiling. You look perfect, you say. I smile, you are so perfect, I think.
I am walking back from class and it is raining outside, the smell of earth after rain, petrichor it is called, hits me and I go back five years – we are walking towards the cafe, hand in hand, it has just rained, the smell of earth after rain is all around us, it is a perfect evening and I am with a man who will break my soul in a few months.
A handsome man held the door for me today, I smiled at him and said thank you, and there I am, an year back in time – I am standing at your door saying goodbye and you are not listening because you want to kiss me, and then we are kissing, at your door, your shirt still unbuttoned, we get in the lift and we are kissing, we are on the ground floor now, it is time for me to go, you are smiling at me and I am looking at you.
I am sitting at a bar with my friends, we are drinking and it is a jolly night. Someone cracks a joke, and I am with you six months ago – we are laughing and drinking and smoking and drinking some more, the waiters love us, we order some more, our favorite pastry, and then we talk, and then I shout and then you laugh, and man that was fun.
I am coming back from a football match, it is late in the night. There is a man walking in front of me, and he is wearing red color studs and I go back to nine years ago – I am the new girl in school, we are 17, you are the soccer star and I am the brainy girl, we are so young and naive and I blush when I find you staring at me in class, and you blush back, there is that day when we are all alone in the class, and you tell me you have a match and I wish you luck, I kiss you on the cheek and you are red in face. Ah, so young we were.
I am trying to cancel an online order, my net connection is a little weak, and I think of the book you ordered for me, gift wrapped with a note, and the care you took for the message to be precise enough to be flirty and concise enough to be harmless, in case the parcel was received by someone else. You had touched my heart then, and I had fallen in love with you.
I am walking down the wing, I see the cleaning lady’s stuff outside one of the rooms, and I think how different it was in my previous hostel, where we had to clean our room ourselves, there was the cleaning staff but all they cleaned was the hostel outside the rooms and I think of how shabby our rooms used to be and then I remember – I remember that one night in your shabby room with its messy bed and messier table, I remember I was wearing a skirt you liked and that we were standing in front of the mirror, you and me and we were looking at us, together as a couple, so hot, so young, so perfect, in the mirror. It was just a reflection, of our true lives. A rather misleading reflection.