At work, they say being emotive is tacky. At work, they say being expressive with your feelings is tacky. At work, they say a lot of things. You can’t bring yourself to agree with the half of it.
They embrace a ‘vanilla’ kind of marketing. They don’t believe in smiling or winking or sending over cute hearts to people. They fear getting personal. They call it stupid, disastrous, even blasphemous. They don’t believe in conversations. They believe in passively stating things out loud. More like a broadcaster. They don’t want to be striking those chords that could touch people. They say being apathetic is all the identity they will ever have. And will ever want.
You can’t tell anymore if it is apathetic or just pathetic.
You believe in quirkier voices. Chirpier voices. Human voices. Unlike robot ones. Unlike theirs.
No one hates no one but you can’t help what you believe in.
Pull back. Now forth. And back. Push forth.
Layzie Bone’s New Life is drowning out the whirr of the cross-trainer. 62.5, it had read on the scale. An extra 6.3 kilograms trampling down your hard endeavor to be a normal BMI.
Why ain’t weight just a number?
62.5. 56.2. Fucking same three digits. Just different arrangements on either side of the decimal.
So a bad case of permutation and combination doesn’t just fuck up your math exam.
Fresh apple slices. Dark molten chocolate. In the night, you ditch the rules to fill your soul. You figured, crumbling only under salads and eggs and more salads and eggs is just depressing.
Whenever at crossroads, pick mental health over physical.
There’s Bollywood music. There’re disco lights. There’s you. There’s he. Some vodka and a pinch of lime later, every silly move feels the greatest dance move in the world.
Ten more blurred steps down the road to the left and you sniff waffles. You don’t walk further down. You can’t. He lifts the halfway-down shutter and you sneak in. The aroma is more intoxicating than that vodka at the bar. All the diet drama goes whizzing out the tiny space under the halfway-pulled shutter. You place weird (you-are-still-a-wee-bit-health-conscious) orders.
Plain dark chocolate. No sugar. No waffle crust. No milk. Only water. And a few strawberries to go along. For a nice snack.
They are sweet enough to prepare you the not-so-sweet craving. In the cab on the way back, all’s devoured even before the next signal arrives.
At the kitchen table, there’s more poking at the chopping board than at the onions. Dicing them is making your eyes water and watery eyes ain’t letting you dice properly and suddenly you are not sure which is leading to which, just the realization that collecting all the nice condiments in the world isn’t half the cooking you had thought it was.
The loud exhaust feels pleasant against the noise in your head.
You tap open Pocket in the phone. Hunt down that Coconut Curry recipe from among the million ones carefully bookmarked earlier in the day. Zone out.
Heat a large saucepan to medium heat. It ain’t easy to fall for someone. Add 1 tbsp of coconut oil. It can’t take just this. Just this? Add the onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, broccoli. This is a first. An uncanny first. Salt and pepper now. Maybe you are thinking too much. A pinch each. And one pinch back to normalcy? Cook stirring frequently until softened. This is hard. You are raising questions you don’t want to hear answers to. Add curry powder, chilli pepper, coconut milk. Raising them anyway. Maybe the act itself is enough time to live the fantasy. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat slightly. Slightly? This is more overwhelming than it should be. Because now you know what he could see. Now you know how he had felt. Now you know why he had wanted all that he had wanted and how it could have felt like there could be no other way about it. Now you know how he could not grow over that. Now you know how you had been enough. Now you know how only you had been just enough. Now you know how things had been however they had been. Now you know how he could have stayed attached. Now you know why he could not let go.
Now you can see how the boundaries go invisible.
Now you know what an overstep is.
You have once witnessed how much it costs.
Now you’re scared you’ll end up there.
The aroma’s intoxicating. It’s flooding the kitchen. Not so much of you though. Not yet enough on the distraction-scale for your head.
This is not love. Perhaps this is no affection too. This is a misidentification. Classic even. Because actually, it’s fear. You’re scared you’ll turn into him. You are scared you’re turning already.
Now you know what acceptance is.
Now you know how certain things cease to matter, how certain conditions cease to hold. When that happens. That. The little four-lettered behemoth.
Now you know why it hadn’t mattered to him at all. What he had seen different. How he had seen it differently. Why he had wanted to be with you, around you, anyhow, anytime, anywhere, and how it had sufficed. Him. How he had wanted his world to be a certain way. How he had imagined it to be. How he could the way he did. How he could not have had it any other way.
You couldn’t relate to this so much back then. Now you’re scared that you are beginning to.
Hope might be a good thing. False hope is not. Is never.
You know how it had ended.
You don’t want to come full circle.
Is knowing it better than not ever having known it at all?
Now you get what B had meant when he had said all of that. That you’ll know when you’ll know. That it would make sense then. All of it. Even the clumsiest parts would.
You don’t want to end up in a mess. Maybe you already are in one. But you don’t want to end up deeper.
The good parts light up your world.
But is it all worth getting buried under something you don’t know how to wriggle out of?
You don’t know. You don’t have the right answers. You don’t have any answers.
All you know is, they underestimated the power of emotions when they said, they couldn’t care enough to be emotive.
All you know is, emotions can be pretty powerful. So much so, you fear them now. They are insane.
Suddenly you want to adopt that workplace ideology. Suddenly you want to not care enough. Perhaps not care at all.
Suddenly you want to turn apathetic. To any emotion. To every emotion. To all of them out there. To all of them in here. Within you.
You would rather choose to keep your sanity.
What you don’t know right now is, they won’t leave you much choice.