Fat and sad

October 7

It’s like walking on thin ice, or a field with pits and holes dug all over and then covered with dried leaves. I don’t know when I’m going to fall but the feeling of falling is imminent, it hangs over me like a cobweb – I can only see it at a certain angle in a certain light.

I was walking on a tight rope over an abyss of loneliness even before the sun set and then, as it became darker outside, instructions to an assignment pushed me over. When you’re on a tight rope it doesn’t take much to make you slip but seriously, three pages of instructions for one assignment tells you something. It tells you you’re in for two awful weeks, for long stretches of researching. My eyes will shrink, the muscles between my shoulders and neck will tense up, knot together in wiry balls of stress, my brain will stop functioning eventually and I will eat incessantly and get depressed at a rate proportionate to the food I’m shoveling into my mouth.

I wondered if I should take up on a friend’s offer to spend my Friday night more productively (productive in terms of Friday fun. It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday, intoned Rebecca Black in her supremely successful attempt at redefining tragedy that’s so great it slips into comedy). But I’m lying in the pit of hopelessness. Also wearing my PJs. So I decline and then it is just me, a very big bag of baked pita chips, a small tub of hummus and Desperate Housewives.

On a separate note, I managed to jog for fifteen minutes straight yesterday. On a similar note, I think I’ve pulled a muscle in my left calf. On a tangent, it is so amusing to hear Americans from different regions discuss accents.

“Gimme a fuckin` quorta so I can park my fuckin` caa-r!” say people in Boston.

“Shi-Kaa-go!” with nasal emphasis on the ka, say people in Chicago.

Southerners will speak in French and bye is au revoir pronounced phonetically au revoir. Apparently there is a Baghdad in Kentucky.

It was amusing to hear because it reminded me of the whole Karachi vs Lahore or Karachi vs Islamabad (okay, the latter is not even worthy of a pretend scenario) debates. I love picking on trends that exist across continents and cultures. Like Cotton Eye Joe, or how 25-year-old men have the same sense of humor as 16-year olds no matter what side of the Atlantic you’re on, or how parents always walk in on the one dirty scene in the movie you were watching with your friends.

I’m learning so much and doing so much. I’ve met some really cool, interesting, awesomely diverse people but there are those moments.

Those moments in which you feel like you’re trying to cover up a hole with a blanket of leaves. And this blanket isn’t going to be strong enough to hold you up when you eventually, inevitably get tired of standing and slip.

I think it’s that stage of being away from home in which the novelty is wearing down and I’ve finally gotten into a routine and my mind has finally stopped whirring around just enough to pause over the distance. Family, friends, fiancé. Sigh. The little comfort offered by alliterations.

I really shouldn’t have eaten so many baked pita chips. Damn you, awful assignment.


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