The Happiest in the World

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As far as I’m concerned, Ramzan never started this year. Previous years I have tried to conjure up the routine, the rituals, the people even, to get a Ramzan feeling going. This year, with the NY heat, the crazy work and the guest at home, it seems impossible.

Appropriately, HD and I went to a 4th of July party last night. It was actually quite lovely even though I am not so much a fireworks person. Nonetheless, it was indeed quite nice being crammed on to a Manhattan rooftop with a view of Brooklyn Bridge and then to be crammed inside a smaller Manhattan apartment. But what can I say, it transformed unexpectedly to be a dancing hip hop party; the small space lent itself to an intimate vibe and it was perfect. The music, the friends, the cool summer breeze through the balcony, the old-time hip-hop to take us back to our uni days.

I have stopped resisting having to leave this place but as I spend this one last calm weekend here alone, I can’t help but feel that this was the best place ever. I don’t know why I think that because it is certainly wrong and I have had many other moments suspended in time that were wonderful in wonderful homes; but right now it’s this one and people are partying outside with loud music appropriate for a tropical island and it doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t bother me that I slept only 6 hours last night and got back late with the man that I love because I was telling him that I had such a good time with him.

I try to tell him to enjoy what he gets now because I don’t know what lies ahead and maybe the summer will whizz by and we’ll be apart and missing each other and I will swear to myself and God that I had never wanted it to be this way. Unless HD gets a job in DC sooner rather than later, we will learn to be apart. But nothing can change the fact that we will leave the best apartment that we have ever lived in. Looking at the pictures from last night, I can’t help but wonder if I will look back at our youthful and glowing happy faces and think that this was the most wonderful time. I won’t remember the angst and the struggle and the self-doubt and the ‘where am I goings?’. I will think these two people who go to rooftop parties are the happiest in the world and they don’t have a care in the world.

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This is what I jotted down on my phone while I was on the train a few days ago:

“Sometimes I’m afraid nothing will feel as good as this fucking place. That nothing will be as classy, so full, and completely filling and fulling and fulfilling. That nothing will look as cool as a giant yellow cookie in the shape of a NY taxi.”

Sometimes life feels so raw and tender and good I want to bite it. Just like a crush who wooed me for months and joked that he wanted to bite me.

Yesterday when I was worn and aching and rubbing my head in a meeting that I also happened to be leading, feeling overworked and underpaid, I looked out the window onto the Manhattan skyline and couldn’t believe it. I was sitting on the 25th floor of THE non-profit institution leading a meeting. At times like these, I don’t even know how I got here. I sometimes take a minute from work when walking around to look out the giant windows to the street below. I see yellow cabs and people crossing the street and the Chrysler building and I try to breathe it all in as if the window were open. When working late, I have gone to the window to see the view at night; what is it about city lights?

This summer can just be a giant apple and I will be eating it. Get it? 😉

An end-winter night’s dream

I remember writing about a start of winter once that caught me by surprise. I found myself caught in cold winds shivering at the train station. Going home and curling up warmly with a book on Friday night was all I wanted to do. I also remember those cold nights that I went out relentlessly. Cold, rain, gloom, it didn’t matter, one could shiver at the tube station or wait for a cab.

I also feel like NYC encourages that kind of relentlessness. It reminds me of that London self who had no concept of what her body needed at times. I feel like people here are like extroverts constantly distracted and over-booked. Of course, it annoys people like me who choose their timetables with care. I cannot imagine saying yes to 2 or 3 events for 1 night. Why would anyway want to do that to themselves? I now know that that is no way for me to enjoy myself. What am I maximizing, pleasure, fulfillment of responsibilities or just cramming on auto-pilot?

Hence after enjoying the first warm Saturday in a long time, I am now curled up in bed, sorting out books to read and stuff to watch, catching that moment of contentment I so needed in the sea of turbulence that has been this winter.