Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Conversations With Boys


Mid Life Problems
Just as it’s time to leave, he leans in and asks like it’s a secret, “Are you happy?”

I lean back. My brow knots up. “Wrong question. Ask me if I’m excited about the future.”

“Are you excited about the future?”

“Yes. Even if the happiness comes & goes.”


“You? Are you excited about what’s up ahead?”

“I don’t know. I’ve checked all the boxes – degree, job, marriage, money. I expected something more than this.”

“More than what?”

“More than…vanilla.”

“Talk to your wife more. Be vulnerable. You’ll be surprised how meaningful it can make your life to share like that.”

“I think I’ll start a band.”


They meet after more than decade but one might say they’ve never met before because this is the first real conversation they’ve ever had.

And she says, “I used to be so scared of you back then.”

He looks surprised: “Why??”

“Oh I was scared of everything in those days.”

“No no. I’m pretty sure it was me. I used to be an asshole.”


Body Issues
He texts me from an out-of-town wedding: “God everyone is *so* fat here. The women are cows.”

I text back: “I’m fat too. You seem ok with it.”

“You’re different.”


“You change. Your face changes.”

“In bed?”



She is half a country away from home and from him. It’s a lonely hotel room, where the TV only plays Tamil channels. She has an early morning but sleep won’t come.

“Why not?” he asks on the phone.

“I have trouble. Insomnia.”

“I can sleep anywhere, any time.”

“Lucky you.”

“I’m going to help you sleep.”

“Best of luck. You won’t succeed.”

“Oh I will. Are you in bed?”




“Listen to the sound of my breathing and breathe deeply with me.”

She inhales and exhales with him. For a good ten minutes.

“Are you asleep?”


“Ok. I’ll keep trying.”


The Turning Point
I dream of forevers with him.

But he says, “I’m only going to be a chapter in your autobiography.”

“Impossible. Only one?”

“Yeah, I’ll be the one after the assholes. Just before the love of your life.”

“You’re the love of my life.”

“No. I’m the turning point.”


Wah, mazaa aa gaya!

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