14 November 2012


1. Write article draft. Check.
2. Open up to someone about my personal life. Check.
3. Handle work problem with poise. Check.
4. Receive compliment on my new haircut. Check.
5. Open up to someone about my professional life. X.
6. Flirt. Check.
7. Patiently wait for my ride. Not cry. Check.
8. Cheat on my diet. Check.
9. Do something too naughty to blog. X.
10. Sleep early. X.

12 November 2012

Independence and loneliness

from the point of view of a fictional college student:
...what am I supposed to do with independence? You know what 'independence' is? 'Independence' is staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night with your fingernails digging into the palms of your hand. 'Independence' is realising that the only person you've spoken to all day is the man in the off-licence. 'Independence' is a value meal in the basement of Burger King on a Saturday afternoon. When Alice talks about 'independence' she means something completely different. 'Independence' is a luxury of all those people who are too confident, and busy, and popular, and attractive to be just plain old 'lonely'.

And make no mistake, lonely is absolutely the worst thing to be. Tell someone that you've got a drink problem, or an eating disorder, or your dad died when you were a kid even, and you can almost see their eyes light up with the sheer fascinating drama and pathos of it all, because you've got an issue, something for them to get involved in, to talk about and analyse and discuss and maybe even cure. But tell someone you're lonely and of course they'll seem sympathetic, but look very carefully and you'll see one hand snaking behind their back, groping for the door handle, ready to make a run for it, as if loneliness itself were contagious. Because being lonely is just so banal, so shaming, so plain and dull and ugly.
That is Brian Jackson speaking and he wishes nothing more than to have a romantic relationship with Alice Harbinson, who says she hasn't got the time for that, that she values her independence too much.

The funny thing about these two fictional characters in David Nicholls's Starter for Ten is how I can relate to both of them, however different from each other they may be.

04 November 2012

Sunday is two days

Difficult as it already is to face Monday, the challenge doubles when at the closure of a long weekend.

A Sunday affair
Sunday brunch (late riser here) is my favorite part of the week. Either I cook or visit a deli nearby (has to be cheap, for, by now, I've pretty much ran out of money as a result of Friday's and Saturday's indulgences). Everywhere is quiet, at home as well as outside with very few people having the energy and interest (and cash?) to step outside their home. It is the only time when I can pore over a book for hours. The entire affair—eating, reading, and contemplating (which is a given)—extends until late in the afternoon, when the sun fades and it's cool enough for me to retire to my room.

Sunday night is second to the worst part of the week. Between 8 to 12 o'clock, you cram all the other little but pleasurable things you wish to do: surf the net, blog, watch TV, listen to music, be nostalgic over text messages and snapshots on your camera phone... repeatedly interrupted by thoughts of an impending Monday.

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