Monday, April 28, 2008
Overflowing toilets and getting pulled over by a cop.
Those were the reasons why I woke up at 4AM this morning. Knowing I had another 4 hours to go before meeting friends at the beach, I tried forcing the nightmares out of my head, skipping through various time frames of my life, eventually remembering things I had long forgotten. How easily does one forget things that happen in their lives at age 9, 17, 19, and even the recent twenty-something.
I was in Milan, a comic book in hand, while my parents shopped at the Giorgio Armani fashion house. I remember how terribly bored I was counting the days till we went home where the bed was familiar and access to my very own library was near. That is my memory of Milan. Not Duomo di Milano or Castello Sforzesco. Just being extremely annoyed with my parents for putting me through what seemed like torture. When we stayed at a wooden ski lodge in Zermatt, our next stop, my 9-year-old mind immediately marked Switzerland as the best European country ever. Grocery shopping will never be as fun, and the smell of roast chicken out of the oven will never be the same. There, I fed swans, met my favorite cousin, and more memorably, had access to the whole Tintin edition. Albeit being written entirely in French, I was deliriously happy.
At 17, I experienced first love. It's easy to reminisce the innocence of it all, and how dreamy the simple act of holding hands felt. Every word that came out of my mouth in his presence was carefully engineered. Every tuck of my long fringe behind my ear and every outfit picked for every date. Those too, were engineered. I remember watching his band play, feeling extreme pride as the young crowd cheered. Endless nights at the playground talking about nothing marked our relationship spanning all the way through college. This charade, unbeknown to us, lasted a good 3 and half years to the surprise of my friends. Of course it helped that there were secret travels to-and-from Europe, and the biggest move, making plans for an internship in London just to be closer; leaving my best friends in Boston as I spent the next 6 months with another set of best friends, and living a luxurious life I couldn't quite afford. Champagne, clubs, scones and clotted cream. Pied a Terre, Oasis, Topshop and Zara. Those were things I did without for 2 years either because I wasn't yet 21 or because I just lived in a different world.
Skipping a year, to my last semester at college. With mini skirts under long winter coats, my best friend and I made our presence as Naughty and Nice. Week days were as weekends were: full of ridiculous endeavors. Things I'd never in my practical mind do, we did anyway. Being waited on anxiously by my second family while playing cards and drinking iced lemonade in a supposed gang member's den during the wee hours were one of the many. These crazy nights out lasted 2 whole months before the bf and I started an unexpected new chapter.
Since then, getting picked up at school by Chris wasn't the same as it was before. It was giggler, newer, and accompanied by butterflies in my stomach. Witnessing my love for a friend grow to something more was scary and fascinating at the same time. I had plans to go home, back to the place I was so attached to, where life was pretty much handed to me and family was close. This all changed through a teary conversation at the Boston Commons, right after Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. For the first time since Freshman year, I cooked and looked for a job as I convinced my parents that cohabitation was ok.
I can't remember when the Kayuga nights stopped. But I miss them very much as I sit in my cubicle making sure projects run seamlessly under my supervision. "Clichéd as it is," I thought out loud, "...time really flies. "
That's when I fell back into deep slumber.