Here’s a little something I’m not quite ready to publish officially (even though I’m sort of doing it) because it’s not complete. I’m going to keep updating it, bit by bit, as my mind unravels itself.
Feel free to drop in prompts to help stimulate my thoughts!
There’s the door. I can see it perfectly well; it’s a weird Valentine’s day red, yet I stop for about forty-five seconds right outside it. I have no idea why.
Okay, fine, maybe I do. I just don’t want to look like an idiot once I enter. They are all waiting for me; waiting for the most ‘prim’ avatar of me, after all.
I adjust my skin coloured Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts by tugging on them a little more. I have never been a fan of dresses and the fact that one is expected to wear them to such occasions is quite an annoyance.
Being famous changes the people around you, not you.
If Nina was here she would definitely be asking me to pucker my lips and check my eye makeup before I made my way through a crowd of people I didn’t care about. Thankfully she’s on a different continent altogether but I miss her, considering she would have been the only one in the entire room not applauding because she’d be too busy holding her breath and secretly praying I don’t trip on my way up to the podium in these pumps, or whatever it is I have been made to put on.
Like I said, I miss her.
This was all her idea. It’s good for my publicity, of course, and my PR was quite ecstatic when he heard about it too. I swear I have never come across a more enthusiastic person in life; he is so willing to do all the work that I feel bad about hiring him. He could be much more productive somewhere else.
Adil would have been here but he said he missed his flight because there was too much traffic or something. He’s lying, I know, but I didn’t want to dig into the details because I am sure whatever it was must have been important since he has never missed any of my events.
Mom and Dad couldn’t turn up either but they are on top of the Himalayas. Or at least on the way up. And since they’ve been there for most of my life, I really think they deserve some time off.
I am still looking at the door; my breathing is getting heavier with every second and suddenly I don’t want to go inside. I will have no one and I have always hated that feeling of being alone in a crowded room. It’s so cliché and real.
It’s not like I have not done ANY sort of publicity for the promotion of my book. I have done a lot of one-to-one Q&A and book releases followed by direct interview sessions but THIS is not my cup of tea, or coffee or even Vodka.
I like water. Plain, simple, bland water.
Did I just hear my name? Oh, no.
I lunge forward, almost pushing the door a little too hard but that doesn’t matter because suddenly everyone’s touching my shoulder and trying to acknowledge their presence around me. My unseeing eyes are shuffling in confusion as I smile, say hello, shake hands, hug and make way to through a crowd of nincompoops who are only here because they know how rich I have suddenly become.
I remember The Gossip Girl episode in which Dan has a similar moment wherein he enters a room filled with people congratulating him on his humongous, new-found success. But it doesn’t matter because no one he cares about is there to see him at the peak of his life. He looks down and the valley appears to be empty except the ghosts of all those that used to be.
That’s most of what I am feeling right now, except that Dan actually caused the people in his life to walk away from him, unintentionally; in my case everyone is just in a different country, or couldn’t catch the flight or is on top of some snow capped mountain.
Also, being a writer, my expertise lies in Hyperbole and an exaggeration of each insignificant moment of my life.
When I was small, I’d wake up on the weekends, after having attended a friend’s party the previous night (I was always the retarded dancer) and feel the scintillating ache run through my body first thing after I opened my eyes. The physical pain, along with the bitter sweet regret of having danced too much, would drag along a feeling of vague emptiness and break the surreal aura of lightness.
I loathed and appreciated it at the same time.
The feeling had returned today morning without the pain and as soon as the bell rang I realised how uninterested I was in recitation of last evening to Nina.
I opened the door and let her in.
“Hi! Rise and shine, idiot.”
“Ugh, can you please slow down on the chirpy. What is so exciting?” I groaned.
“Maybe the fact that I am back?”
I gave her a very sarcastic ‘sure’ expression and rushed to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Foul breath makes me conscious. When we used to live together, I’d wake up ten minutes before her just so I could brush my teeth before saying good morning while she, carelessly, went about giving me early morning CPRs with the morning breath still intact.
I am not sure how we got along, to be honest. We had known each other for years but since the past two years we’d started hanging out more after all my friends began bailing out on me because, they assumed, I was writing things about them in my book which they didn’t like.
Which I didn’t exactly deny and I was kind of glad anyway. They were all way to gossip-y to even pretend otherwise.
Nina actually got along with Adil way before her and I began bunking together in the small, overly priced one-bedroom apartment I could barely afford whilst still sending out copies of my book to publishers. She too was playing the Coffee Girl for some uptown Fashion Mongrel who refused to pay her enough.
Eventually, the struggle brought us closer and soon we were inseparable. Or at least she was. I was quite the loner but she made sure I picked myself up every morning and met enough people to remind the world of my silent existence.
I can see her going through last night’s pictures on my phone. “I should have taught you privacy”, I say to her, with that careful smirk on my face because I know she despises it.
I realise we aren’t going to be ‘BFFs’ or whatever. We’ll just be mere chapters in each other’s lives but I am secretly glad to be living that chapter right now even though she can be pretty annoying for a friend.
The bell rings again. “it’s open.”, I yell.
In comes the protagonist of my memoirs. He’s wearing a white shirt tucked in with Black Armani trousers. I know they’re Armani because I bought them with him. His hair are unkempt on purpose and instantly my hall is filled with the nasty, desirable fragrance of his cologne.
He leaves his suitcase next to the China vase above my shoe rack, makes his way towards us, gives Nina a hug and then comes to and gives me a kiss on my cheek.
Nina is saying something about us getting a room but my mind is some place else.
Why did he hug her first?
I realise what a silly, paranoid young woman I have come to become and leave the seed of suspicion unwatered. I must not let my fears bloom into flowers that deceive the eye. I have bigger things to do in life.
I always have bigger things to do in life. Sometimes, I wish I’d bother with the small things too. Something I didn’t quite realise till much later in life.