freedom is the freedom to choose whose slave you want to be.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pulse-ating (I)

(In the middle of the afternoon Ammi reminded me of Amna and Amber baji's first wedding anniversaries. I was shocked. It's been a whole year. It's only been one year. Who knew 365 days would feel so few and so many all at once?
My mind stayed boggled for quite a while. I tried to remember. Surely they got married in the first few days of August? And had I really been in Karachi today, last year? Then, inevitably, where, and who I was in August 2005.

I trawled through my archives. There is July 2005, and there is October 2005. Today I can't bear this. I want to see what where how when why, (because Karachi last year was so tragically beautifully complete and unwhole) but there is nothing. This week, this day, this year. My life is momentous and I will write what I want to read many, many years hence, so that I have a smile on my lips when I can almost taste the Mirinda in my mouth and think yes, that wasn't a bad day at all.)

It's just after 8 in the morning and I'm in the shower. My panicked eyes scan the bathroom as if the answer lies here somewhere. But the question is critical - how do I deal with this unbearable craving for cheesecake?

In clean clothes from last night and a wet pony tail I fall asleep on my bed with my face in the cushion. At ten my cross-dressing driving instructor is here for my second-ever driving class and in ten minutes I am obliviously driving our merry way to G-10, cross-dressing lady's feet firmly on the second set of clutch and brake. From second to third the gear always gets stuck, but then it's only my second day. The car is so ancient I wonder how this skeletal vehicle moves at all, and when I shut the doors on either side the body rattles in the most spine-chilling manner. More than once my mind floats to an image of myself in this vaguely white Corolla sometime-post-1960 and I wonder what I look like, wonder what the people behind me are thinking as the car stalls at a redthengreen signal.

The day goes by online, between self-exploration, amorphous cravings ranging from a taste in my mouth to a feeling in my gut reading blogs, putting my best foot forward, blog-khala inquisitiveness, random online conversations, future planning with the parents, listening to John Mayer out of the blue, closing deals, taking chances, and many disappointed sighs and hopeful smiles later I am tugging on fresh clothes and straightening my bangs and sharpening Faiqa's eyeliner pencil and she gives me a slow, slightly disgusted look. I am dressing up because I feel like it?

And I drag the parents to F-7. To the ATM and Bareeze and Chen One and Shaheen watching goofy A-Levels kids floating by happily in their cars grinning, their mouths singing along to songs I can't hear and and too many silly, satisfied rupees later I am perched on the edge of a leather sofa in Espresso Lounge across a bunch of Arab boys and a group of silent typical Islamabadi girls in a room thick with smoke, and after so many years that I don't quite recognize the taste at first, I sip Mirinda.

Ironically, I want to relish it but I have eaten so much brown rice as a prequel that I can only manage one quarter of the slice of the cake. I put the rest away in the fridge in a white plastic dabba with a tight dhakkan on top for later. I know I won't be panicking in the shower tomorrow morning.


Blogger insiya said...


9:37 AM  
Blogger insiya said...

haha- you're so motee people dont wanna talk to you anymore.

but you got me babe.. :p [Cher style!]

9:15 AM  
Blogger Khizzy said...

lol...and excuuuuuuuse me, but blue cheese is the only 'must read'huh???
how did this slip past insi???
*i miss you...come to karachi , pretty little girly!*

4:39 PM  
Blogger saphiya said...

but i'm sure i will be wondering thevery same in shower tomorrow morning. thank you. :p

4:51 PM  
Blogger maryamj said...

I love this post of yours! Definitely one of your better ones. :)

5:28 PM  
Blogger insiya said...

khizzy: hum chotay log. let's go to dunkin, sit in a corner and cry our hearts out! :(

we're not worth anything... sob. sob. sniff. sniff.

is saphiya saying she'll think of you or your comment while taking shower??!??! ladies- this is so not on! :@

7:23 PM  
Blogger mercury said...


Khizzy, thank you, now it will never slip past anyone :p
The truth of the matter is, I don't know how to link blogs. Linking blue took me one whole day from 9 to 5 (yes, didn't work at all that day). It was a painful experience involving lots of html that I don't know, and I do not wish to put my mental health at risk again. Help me?

I think saphiya meant that I've established a connection between showers and um cheesecake. Yeah.

Maryam, shukria :) And shoaib will be fine, Inshallah.

12:47 AM  

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