this evening i went with N-bomb and L to the garden for cheap after
hours nan, shikari murgi and rice. the videos they showed were
not quite as pure as the ones i’m used to, in fact they were downright
sexy! what’s really good? i mean, since when did all this
gyrating sweaty flesh become popular in a country where the lead stars
aren’t even allowed to kiss in the movies so they do the indian girl fade-away? uhm, yeeaah.
so while i was there i thought that it was weird being at the garden so
much. before the oven i used to go to the garden once every
couple of months or so and then i started going to people’s (it’s all
T’s fault: she’s the one that introduced me to that restaurant and then
i met V) and then transferred to the much closer (within 5 minutes of my house) oven. interestingly
enough, the first time in a looong time that i went back to the garden,
one of the servers–who now works behind the register–asked me where i
had been all this time. told him i was busy, yup, busy getting my
heart broke. i sat there, watching videos and wondering how odd
it all was…to come back to the place i started at. and i would most likely never go back to the oven, or at
least not as readily as before. the place is fraught with too
many good memories.
memories are odd like that. when you have bad memories of a
place, person or thing, you shun it and don’t feel bad about doing so
but when you’ve had good memories, it’s weird to know that you can’t go
back there. you can’t go back to the place where you created
those wonderful memories because it’s a current source of
discomfort. you find yourself wondering what it would be like to
go there, even though you know it would be odd given the circumstances
of your withdrawal. and memories can be sharp reminders of how
your life became better for a little bit. being with V, sipping
opium-laced chai, discussing politics and power, was like being in a
good friend’s house. a family friend whom you’ve known for
years. easy, comfortable (see “Status Quo” entry on June 13th),
unassuming, simple, warm, good.
it was so nice to have somewhere to go! somewhere to hang out
with a largish group of people over food and silliness. hot
summer days spent cooling in the air-conditioned rooms, nan in hand and
chai overflowing. laughing about Dettol. laughing about
weird couples. laughing about some cheap-skate customer who
demands to see the manager (V came back with a tie on). bhangra-ing in
the middle of the restaurant. taking orders and handing out hot
dishes of steaming curries. it was a central meeting
place–neutral-ish. it wasn’t anyone’s house where you felt you
had to leave, there was endless entertainment, food, music and
friends. it was a place like Leutner (undergrad cafe) where you
could go for saturday morning breakfast and leave after dinner.
and now that’s gone.
so i lost a hang out place.
i lost a friend.
i lost a relationship.
i lost a part of my heart.
when my Mommy died i needed something to replace the void. i’m
not as bad now, but i still wish there was something–something to ease the longing i have for my Mommy to come back, to talk to her, joke with her, accuse her of working too hard. i know there
won’t be, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing. when i lost TNP in
college after a couple of semesters, i grieved for a little bit.
when i lost my peers in medical school to graduations, i felt that
strange emptiness. when i flunked my first year of medical
school, when my dad decided to remarry, when i started taking
antidepressants, anytime that i have ever had something bad happen in
my life i’ve had to grieve. and for some of these things i’ve
felt emptiness. of course the emptiness is different for
different losses, but always there is a sense of space. space
that i didn’t realize was filled until it was not.
when i realized that i would have to let V go, there was a strange
frisson in me for this too would be a hole. not as
large a hole as some others have left, not as deep, not as wide but gee
golly willikers, there it was. that familiar catch in my voice,
that lump in my throat, eyes bright with unshed tears. it was a
loss i didn’t expect. because i never thought that he filled a
space. how? don’t ask. i don’t know. so at
other times, with other losses; i’ve wanted to fill up the holes with
other similar things (people, places or things). but for this one, i
don’t want another human to fill the space. i want the space just
to be filled by healing.
i don’t want to search for another person to fill the space b/c that
would hurt too much, be too time consuming and just not what i
want. instead (and this is different from other minor people losses–Mommy was the major loss of my entire life), i just wish i
had never met V. i wish i had never known him. i wish we
had never become friends. it’s part of that letting go.
part of that mourning, i’m sure. how much better would i be off
now if i didn’t have this pain inside me? currently, this is the
ONLY new thing that is making me sad. all the rest of the things
that make me sad are chronic.
the optimist sees the donut,
the pessimist sees the hole,
the realist sees the calories.
Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.
- Quentin Crisp
I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.
- Edith Sitwell