Checking In






I feel strange walking down MG road all alone.

About a month ago I promised to take myself on little dates whenever I felt like I needed to check in with myself about everything that’s happening. Yes, these dates are the cutesy coffee shop dates, I make an effort to feel good before I do this. Usually, I read, but I’ve been doing so much of that lately I thought that I need to cut it out. Also, I’m currently reading Lolita an I don’t have the mental ability to do that right now. Since 2020 began it’s been a blur. I don’t know what’s happening any more. Everyone has been immersed in the CAA, NRC struggle, there was a wedding in our extremely extended family and so bua, aunty and uncle came for the week. My weekend was gone and so was alone time. I slept in Ma and Pa’s room and never got to oil my hair, clean my washroom, do my weekend laundry load, wash my hair, or write with music blasting all over. I didn’t get to shower like I like, with the door open and the lights off. I couldn’t dry myself off in the room and hurriedly put on clothes when the bathroom floor was wet and so the tips of my jeans got wet.

College is panicking because mid sems are coming up. College is also a construction site right now and that is worrying me more than it should. I feel like my writing is not enough. I also feel that I make all of the writing revolve around myself. Like this for example. Today we spoke a lot about living online and watched a welsh documentary about social media and mental health. It got to me a little bit. Tomorrow we are going on an outreach programme wherein we will go to a home and interact with the people there. School memories have taken over that image for me. I’m worried.

I can’t talk about all of this anymore. CAA, assignments, read and read some more, do assignments, shower, sleep. Wake up and repeat. As much as I love it. The rush. The creating. The storing millions of letters into my brain. I needed to Shh.

College ended and I got into an auto and came to church street. Autos aren’t allowed inside so anna dropped me a little far away. I walked past the old blossoms, past the car showrooms, all the resto-bars and this place called little goa that was the most Bangalore thing I’ve ever seen and I see the café coming closer. All along there are cute pinkies linked together, sweet or not so sweet inside jokes being whispered followed by high pitched giggles and smug smiles. There are goodbyes outside the metro station, promises to text back are being made even though they will inevitably break before either of them gets home. I have George Ezra and his abstract lyrics playing in my ear. It’s very soft because I promised to take care of myself today and so these cliché interactions somehow begin to mean less and less. I feel some of the guys in these interlocked arms look at me and wonder if that’s wrong. I see one of these girls stare at me as I pass by and wonder if she’s judging me or if there’s envy involved. The aunty trying to sell sunglasses on the road stares at the open second button on my colourful printed shirt and then at my face. Maybe I need sunglasses. There is a small child playing with a piece of trash on the ground and his parents are glaring at each other before the mother notices and plucks him away. Strangely the piece of trash comes with him and he is happy.

I had some options on where to go today. There was Starbucks but that’s a black coffee, intense study place. There’s CCD but it’s oddly reminiscent of D and even more so of being unsatisfactory. There’s the rooftop hookah café but that requires another level of confidence that I have yet to attain. I could have spent hours at blossoms and then gone home crying that I was broke but I wanted to sort my brain out. It seems like a tangled pair of Samsung earphone in this day of air pods. There is McD but that’s a short visit and then there is the unnecessary amount of guilt that papa will inevitably lather on slowly throughout the month. So, I picked Matteo.

 I enter the long café, I see that this again has become the designated place for young love to form, blossom and fade. A place of solidarity for those who can’t hang out at home or in college. There’s no one alone here. I pick the place right by the back wall of this place and set my bag down. The people working in the café know exactly what to do with me. They seem okay with me typing away on my laptop. Perhaps I remind them of a time of less popularity, of less work where little nerds would come and chill for long times over coffee. I get an iced latte and it comes almost immediately.

I can't hear what anyone is saying because I’m plugged into my phone. I won’t say I noticed everything or give you the cliché of the fly sitting on the rim of my glass or updates about the condensation of my glass but I do know that the couple in the next table is a little unnerved by my presence. Maybe they feel pity because who comes to a café and writes like this. Maybe they think I'm doing an assignment or passing the time before I have to meet someone. Maybe they are annoyed that their bubble of privacy in this public space has been disturbed. Frankly, their anxiousness gives me some sort of satisfaction. A sense of achievement that I can and actually prefer to be alone with my thoughts. I surprisingly don’t feel the need to have something like this, maybe its stunted development, the damage of the past or plain simple common sense. As I lean my head against the huge red leather armchair, I feel slightly less like I’m like a floating balloon about to burst and a little more tethered. I feel a sense of discomfort in writing this long rambling piece and like I'm doing the whole stream of consciousness thing that Virginia Woolf so graciously tortured us with but I stopped caring the second I entered this café.

There is certainty in me about what I’m going to do next. I’ll finish this piece, edit it a little bit, go to pee then pay the bill and leave. I know that I will walk back down MG road, this time ill pick Ed Sheeran, just for kicks, and still feel strange. Not because I walked into a PDA plaza but because I feel superior for not being part of this. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just pride that I am able to feel secure about myself. Alone. I’ll book an auto home. I’ll probably reach a little late and then go for a walk. I’ll get ready for tomorrow then go to sleep.

I feel like this is enough to hold onto for now.

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  1. Lovely Writing

  2. aneternityofemotionsJan. 13, 2021, 6:05 a.m.

    Love this cafe