Thursday, 12 November 2009

Woulda coulda shoulda

Soon I will start my new job and I did a test run today, to see how long it'd take me to get to it. Considering I live outside Mumbai city, I should have known that it would take me either long or if there wasn't too much traffic, long.

I didn't mind it too much because I had my headphones on, my book slid comfortingly from one side to the other in my bag and watching the world go by on mute does really have it's own very special charm. In times like these I find I experience a silence that has very little to do with the absence of sound. It's a stillness that feels almost unbearable and sometimes quite frightening to experience. Especially because it lets me be absent from what is happening around me and invariably is the time the mind uses to say 'Okay you're here, shall we do some cleaning today? You really mustn't put it off any longer.'

Today I thought about regret. About the countless times I've heard people say 'if I had done things differently, I wouldn't be here today.' Heck, I've said it a few times and I thought today, well what's so special about here? Am I just afraid to let my mind even imagine the way my life might have played itself out had I done the things I most wish I had?

Years ago an easy decision I didn't make could have saved somebody's life.
Years ago just a little kindness might have made a man feel less wretched.
Years ago a little self forgiveness might have saved the best friendship I've ever known and never had again.

'Tch, why look back at what you cannot change?' chides the part of me that hates these unnerving processes. But to me these regrets aren't a way of berating myself any longer. They're my way of, on some really non-human level, letting those people know I still think about them, that they alone can allow me to visit those parts of myself that I can't stand to consider for more than a few minutes at a time. It's my way of letting them know I am becoming the person they had needed me to be all those times.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

I'm unravelling!

My closest friends are divided down the middle. There's the Meryl Streeps and the Steven Seagals.

The former lot is always experiencing some manner of dramatic upheaval on any given day. Life is all deep emotions and obscure lyrics. There will be drunk-calling exes, initiating internet flame wars, identifying with Julia Roberts in every role she's ever played and working up phone bills that hurt to even say out loud. Not ones to shy away from a good solid controversy, their currency is tears and pointed Tweets. This faction abides by a more...elastic..code and is all heart because "let's face it, the other way is dead boring."

For the latter, any heightened form of expression is just being unnecessary and they have practically no use for interjections. They believe in emotional decorum and underplaying everything. To them, life would be no less lived, if pointless hugging were to be removed once and for all. Hard to ruffle and harder to please, this is not the lot you want to call when you've done something incredibly stupid. Not because they'll judge you even though they probably will, but because they remain maddeningly even. Something that really makes the Meryl Streep camp lose their shit.

Organically, I'm a Steven Seagal. I'm awful at discussing issues, I'd rather let them ferment until one day someone goes "Hey you!" and I take a knife to their jugular. I loathe confrontations because they feel incredibly stupid and defensive and if there's one thing more uncomfortable than getting defensive, it's watching someone else squirm defensively.
In recent years though, due to prolonged exposure to some of my friends, I've found I can sometimes out-emote Meryl Streep. In The Hours. I get all wimpy and my nose twitches and moderate length impassioned speeches just, you know, ebb from me. On occasion I've had to physically stop myself from seeking out James Blunt on my iTunes.

It's really very confusing. It makes my inner Steven Seagal want to, without a single facial expression, place some lead between my eyes. But I'm afraid this will make Meryl Streep-me go into overdrive analysing my childhood and then it all gets very Wind Beneath My Wings.

Somehow I'd imagined I'd be having more complicated and important thoughts by the time I turned 24. Just goes to show, age is very distantly related to maturity.

* Ten meeelion dollahs to anyone who can tell me where the title of this post is from. Don't pretend you don't care!