Versions

I don’t know how many different versions there are of me. I don’t know which one to trust. But there is a fake one, a moody one, an overthinking one, a frequent one, and a dishonest one. I have become increasingly suspicious of what I am saying to people in moments of intimacy. I think that whatever I say will be lodged somewhere in the air or in my own head, and that it will be said and used by the people they were told to. Or it will be said repeatedly in my own head until I have extracted all possible meaning out of it, tested it and vowed to never open my mouth again. This does not mean that I cannot trust people, this simply means that I am losing what I was once capable of: the ability to keep quiet and not offer comment.

I am growing more and more desperate because I am not able to decide who I want to be. On any given day, I am the over-thinker. I watch myself cautiously, pausing now and then to test the waters, exercise free speech – withdrawing every once in a while and eventually reserving all my comments for people I am comfortable saying anything to.

Lately, I have been asking myself – Should there be people in my life I can say anything to? Why? Why risk it especially since I know for a fact that I have never been able to continue friendships? That the bottom line of all failed friendships has been never to grow too attached to people?

Then there are other days when I manage myself pretty well. I listen and say nothing. But then there are also days when I blurt things out to people in moments of excitement and wonder why I am alive. Although with a lot of practice now, I know when I am saying things that I will later regret — my brain sends me green signals but my tongue ignores it and goes at it. This is followed by five minutes of recalling what I have just said and ten minutes of considering becoming Buddhist.

At one level, I am losing respect for myself because I think I have become information hungry. Like some fucking news channel. My only option now is Buddhism.

All my energy today is going into not explaining why I have so much free time.

Jogging

I have decided that nobody hates running. We may dislike it because we think we cannot run but we can. I have hated running with all my might all these years. As a child, whenever I would start running, I would fall on my face. My father’s theory was that because my head is bigger than my body, running would send my head crashing down to earth. I ignored it but it’s true. I did fall whenever I ran. Sometimes deliberately, because I thought I was going to fall anyway, why not just do it prematurely instead of having it happen to me without my knowledge.

I don’t want to jinx it but I am going to say this anyway. I have been waking up fairly early every morning since last Saturday so I can go jogging. It’s a good way to watch my thoughts and because all my thoughts are about me – the victim, in ALL scenarios, it becomes easier to ignore tear ducts when all your blood is threatening to fall out of your lungs and face. I took it slow the first two days, watching my breath as I slowly began to run out of it, feeling my face growing warmer, my armpits collecting moist, my inner thighs burning with itch, my forehead bubbling with hot blood, and now slowly I am beginning to pick speed. It’s just 2 minutes of jogging and 18 minutes of recovering from it. So far, so good.

The Museum of Innocence

I woke up at 6:30 today, 3 minutes before my alarm made its rude interruption on my morning self pity session. I turned it off and decided to sleep instead of pity. I had been in a rut all of last night because I was over thinking. I suddenly realized I was 25 and too young. I have wasted my life chasing after things just to see if they will turn out they way it did in my head. Right from all the loves and friendships. I don’t know if it’s stupid but I think it’s all worth it only if I can write about it. I was 5 pages away from finishing The Museum of Innocence when it hit me. My existential crisis, I mean. That I am worthless and a few 100 steps from becoming Kemal Bey. I hoard. That’s all there is to it. I hate saying this but the book is a tale of caution. It’s like missing the point, I know. But I am so much in love with the idea of love that this had to happen. I woke up a distraught woman because ‘nobody likes me ya’. I spent 2 hours after that moping around in my room. Finally when I picked up the book to finish those last 5 pages, I want to believe I changed. I am now cynical about love. I have decided I want to be a cat when it comes to love. I was looking at the museum of innocence website when I had stopped pitying myself.

I still want to hoard and everything but I am going to hoard things about me for me.

Self pity

Like prisoners, they line up one after the other waiting to enter space. Mind, body and soul. A thought, an image, a song, a movie scene and you feel the corners of your mind opening up to the clawing need of self pity. It’s 6 in the morning, you open your eyes to the yellowed darkness in your curtains. Gates open and close, school vans stop and honk, two-wheelers sustain their starting problems and you cringe. The alarm didn’t wake anybody up today. You wait for it to ring and turn if off. Last night’s thoughts crawl up under your thighs and mock the wetness in sheets, now they creep into your mind and the toying mirth in its blankness upsets you.

Thoughts become gestures, gestures become insults, insults become hot and burning tears. Rewind. You have to be properly upset, there should be more meanness in the enemies’ gestures. There should be more tears. How can you fashion a dramatic walk out on somebody without letting them know you are crying?

Fatal illnesses like cancer aren’t fun anymore. You have cancer, your friends come, cry, and then you die. Where are the bullies? The friends who become enemies on such mornings? Where is the evil in their villainous plans to ruin your life? Their actions aren’t knifing through your heart like you want them to. Try and harder. It’s 6:45 now. You have cried. The pointlessness in this exercise doesn’t bother its dramatics. As long as your face now is imitating the one in your imagination – sad, lonely and crying, it’s ok.

In the shower, steam seeps through your toes and you watch it rise up as your stories fall through all around you and vanish into the drain along with soap, dirt and hair. You feel new but it’s still not a new morning. You don’t want it to be, not yet. The pulling away from self pity can happen later, at a time when you have to think about work and life seriously. But now you just want to be left alone with the miserable liberties your mind takes with all the bad things that can happen to you. And they are rarely the very bad things that can happen to you in real life, like losing a limb, losing your job, not getting to go abroad to do that fabulous PhD. They are ridiculous, small and almost laughably petty: a friend choosing somebody else over you, them forgetting you and leaving you, them not remembering your birthdays. The fear becomes bigger along with more elaborate stories that you create, more details, more play on memories until you find somebody else, but the story is always the same, the fears are always the same, those of abandonment.

When you step out, you feel lighter because the day is starting to catch up and suddenly time is a real thing, like a problem, then you think about work and eventually the day becomes real.