Friday, December 27, 2013

Turkey Sandwich

You show up in my memory arbitrarily- that being your one constant. You left on a whim, and even thoughts of you are selfish in their disruptions. How can I explain the sudden nostalgia that fills me when the turkey sandwich in front of me reminds me of the near daily ritual we'd go through. Thousands of miles between and a lack of each other's presence giving rise to the strange comfort of knowing your life, your habits, your food. Things I should have, but didn't, take for granted.
And now a sandwich is enough to throw me off, to cause what feels like an invasion of the walls I have so carefully built.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wisdom from Sloane Crosley

"If you have to ask someone to change, to tell you they love you, to bring wine to dinner, to call you when they land, you can’t afford to be with them"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nearly 9.

Your absence is a void that becomes bigger and bigger with every passing year. I have often sat through conversations with friends talking about how much they are like one of their parents, how much they see themselves in their mother or their father. I have listened, aware that even though you were gone before I could find out how alike we were, you were the one I took after in ways both good and bad. I usually don't know how to contribute to those conversations.
I write tributes to you every year, and if not those, then think of that night you never came back home, but instead went to chacha's loaded in the back of an ambulance. On to wherever we're supposed to go after we cease to exist in this life. I remember the last time I saw your face, wondering how the most powerful force in my young life could have been reduced to this. The way I couldn't quite understand your love for me in all the glory of my teenage awkwardness. I still don't know if I cried more over losing you, or because of the disbelief that you could even be lost.
I never felt the lack of a father more until I came to college, because everything has been an opportunity for a missed conversation, possibilities that could have been but were struck down by the simple fact that we have been worlds apart for nearly a decade now. Walking into your office is both painful and a relief. I still expect to find you sitting behind your big desk, your laughter filling every corner of the room. But you only exist in the books you have left behind- and that's how I reach you, knowing you and I are the same in so many ways. Knowing that everything about me, from my academic leanings to my humor, have been given to me by you. Even our disagreements were those that can only arise between two people who are so similar that it forces them to see their own flaws.
The heart ache has dulled over time, but I'm not quite sure how long the damned thing will take to heal completely. It probably never will. I wonder if you leaving behind so much of yourself in me is what contributes to this feeling of being but never quite belonging. I color in what I can, but something fundamental is always, always absent, and all I can do is wistfully try to recreate you through memories that can't even mimic the complexity of your existence. After all, teenagers are notorious for all angst and no depth- and I lost you when I was nearing the prime of my angst. But I am grateful that you were unforgettable in so many ways, not just for me but for everyone who knew you. What I found embarrassing as a child has become a source of comfort and pride.
Children are silly in that they march to the beat of their own drum, but expect to fit in all the same. I sometimes wondered why my Baba couldn't be like my friends' dads. Younger, aloof, quiet, not talking to their children's friends because they were, after all, children, and inherently of no value. You refused to be that kind of father, and for that I am now grateful. I couldn't have remembered you as well as I do without memories of you having an in-depth conversation about cricket with a 6 year old, of sending our friends into peals of laughter and of plotting with me repeatedly as to how we could get kittens into the house without Mama finding out. I remember our excursions to the the book bazaar, and your pride in my first poem.
Part of my faith in God and life after this world comes from a purely selfish reason- I cannot and will not accept that you are gone forever.
So until we meet again. Thank you Baba.
The more I let you in, the more you let me down.