I am not sure what came over me. A strong fit of materialism. Perhaps. Or pure greed. I still can't rationalize it. But I got attached to this fake leather jacket, which now hangs like a lifeless ostrich in my wardrobe, even before I owned it.
Every time I visit a new city, I let it wash over me. I let it fool me. Impress me. In whatever way it wants. It's a fresh start. For both the city and myself. Our pasts are predetermined. But the present is still untouched. We can choose to be whoever we want to be.
The curse of being a writer is that only a part of you can relish the experience. For a part of you must always step out of it. To observe. To make mental notes. I recently spent four days camping on a hill near the woods by the Baltic Sea. Experiencing the most surreal and sublime in nature.
Every time I come back from a holiday, a part of me stays behind. Still looking for more. Asking for more. Away from the drudgery of routine. Liberated from the reins of discipline. Bereft of any responsibilities.
I was 28 and he was 50 at the time. He sported long, silvery hair that was always clasped into a thin ponytail. He looked like an active member of a retired rock band. His name was not Paul. But I'll call him that anyway to respect his desire for anonymity.
But we forgot that the tiny, messy details of life have a way of peeking out of unexpected corners and hinges. And in our apartment we didn't have to go looking for them, we found them staring in our faces at all times. We just chose to ignore them.
Lola is a 20-something, attractive woman whose long-term boyfriend dumped her three years ago. In a text that didn't even display the courtesy of a spell check. Tinking we shd backup (read breakup). She cried relentlessly (six times a day on an average) for months to follow.
There is something cathartic about speaking a language that allows you to abuse freely. To say things that perhaps seem indescribable in other languages. Not because we lack the vocabulary or feel tied down by the hard rules of grammar. But because that particular language brings out the notoriety in our personalities.
Shopping has been our family sport since generations. We sweat over it like a bunch of honeybees. Working relentlessly without taking a vacation. And yet none of us qualifies to come even close to being a seasoned, respectable shopper.
Here's the lowdown: I left home at sharp 4 pm. Dressed in my favourite black jeans and blue Turtleneck. To endure the excruciating winter-wind and the heavy down pour that day. Got into the car. Drove off imagining how I'd make such a fantastic impression with my punctuality.
The room had three key features: a single bed that would scream and creak in pain every time I turned or tossed in the night; a table with a miniscule lamp that created a halo of light barely covering the odd, oblong pear that refused to ripen during my stay; and a row of three kitschy Ikea shelves hooked to the wall.
My parents are short people with tall personalities. I wished it had been the other way round. Then it was my religion. It had clearly turned its back on me. Despite my constant prayers, I stayed put at five feet. And then it was friendship.
For I was hopelessly in love. Or blinded by passion. At 23, it's hard to tell the difference. And in that clouded judgment, I perceived the dented Matiz to be a testimony of my man's rather adventurous nature. His uncanny charm. His chutzpah. The chipped-off paint on the hood lent a certain character and a whole lot of authenticity to his persona.
I am caught in the rut. Again. I am sending out brutally polished CVs to companies whose names I can barely pronounce. I am writing motivation letters for jobs I am least motivated to do. I am blatantly exaggerating business skills I hardly possess. And worst of all, I am sitting through interviews with people I barely find bearable. All this for what? I am desperate for a job. Not "a job". "The job!"
07/10/2016 13:56 BST
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