Eternal Springtime

The sky is bright blue today and that is a relief. It is bright and sunny outside, and I can feel the sun on my face as I sit at my desk. The window affords me this candid view of the citizenry’s lives here and the sky’s wide openness is something that I cherish to no end. Damn, the weather is good. I talked to the Receptionist yesterday and made her laugh, her eyes glowing and her back arched backwards in a gentle curve reminded me of an Italian sculpture. Her hair was tied back in a long ponytail and as she laughed, I could hear an innocent tinkling in her voice. Springtime is beautiful. I can feel myself feel uplifted from my dreary solitude every time I turn to see the blue sky. The last few days were cold, and silent, washed in shades of grey with a chill that made me think of existential crises and numbness.

I thought of going out to a party I was invited to, one where there would be booze and there would be women, but I decided against it. I may feel cold in my room and feel the cold isolation of the lone foreigner, but I am content with my own company. I drink alone, and talk to women alone and only if I need to. I keep myself on the bare essentials of human need, and I have found that it is comforting to be alone. I  loathe the company of my colleagues here, my fellow countrymen and I share nothing in common except for a nationhood that we take for granted back home. I have nothing in common with my batchmates and I am quite glad that I am left to my own devices.

Lab work yesterday was a success. We had some complicated procedures to solve and we had some frustrations, but my time in the hot lab was made easier by the Lab Technician, a redhead woman who looks like a bitch and has a resting bitch face that can make the strongest of men collapse into a gibbering heap. Her hair is flaming red and she wears glasses that match her green eyes. She has a very rare combination of full lips, soft hair and pimples which make her look oddly adorable. I stood in the lab, wearing a mask, lab coat and green gloves, doing my thing and she sat a few paces away on a rather comfortable chair.

We had to pause and leave our apparatus for our solutions to precipitate ( among other technical details that will drive you mad), and in that free time I sat near the fridge. Thankfully the fridge was open and a current of cold air flowed towards me in a relieving flow. She came over to me with her chair and sat on the other side of me. We sat in silence for a few awkward minutes.

“What’s your name?”, she asked.

I told her.

“Where are you from?”, she asked, leaning in a little closer.

I told her.

“Really?”, she was, unexpectedly, taken aback.

“Really, ma’am,” I said smiling. I found it amusing as hell to see her usual Resting Bitch Face turn into one of a more inquisitive and normal face. We talked normally for a while and then she told me what I dreaded to hear.

“You know, you are a little odd”, her Resting Bitch Face returns.

She waits for an answer and I patiently reply, “Am I?”. I usually answer like an existentialist philosopher drunk on neat whisky, but today I couldn’t help it. “Yeah,” she replied. “You are always alone, rarely speak and are overdressed.” I turn to look at her appalled. “No, really. The other groups always say that you are a this lonely foreigner, and I even heard it from this waitress at the Cafe.”

Damn.

 

I said nothing for a few seconds. I really didn’t know what to say. It is a small community here, the students and the professors and lecturers, but this is too much. I’ve never spoken to the Lab Technician before and yet, 5 minutes into our first conversation, she’s interrogating me like a KGB section chief. I had no words then. She sensed my discomfort, and then cooed softly, “Don’t take it to heart now. Everyone is curious about you. I am, too.”

 

The cafe at the end of the world

The nights are very lonely in this part of the Earth. The streets are nearly always empty by day and are empty at night, save for the occasional drunk yelling and staggering at bus stops. This city, or rather, town, is beautiful by night. As I watch the lights come on in the buildings outside my window, I feel a stab of sentiment. I walked to the cafe, the other day, and was glad to find that the Waitress wasn’t there. After last time, I felt as if I had invaded in some private space of her life. I sat at a corner table, after hanging up my overcoat at the coat rack. I ordered a plate of lasagna and waited. I remember the small food joints from back home. They were small rooms under people’s houses where food and drink could be bought. The food was often cheaper and more delicious than anything that the town’s restaurants had on offer.

I settled myself comfortably on the chair, took out a book and read. I enjoyed the soft music they had on and was glad that the Waitress wasn’t there. I wondered where she was, though, and I wondered if she was going to be hit tonight as well. I decided that it wasn’t in my power to do anything about it. Like the many gross injustices around the world that I ignore, I chose to ignore this one as well. I ignored it, resigned myself to its reality and decided to focus on my lasagna.

I feel a cruel and heartless swine for my attitude. It is careless and ignorant but I know that it is genuine. The cafe started filling up with patrons and the waitress who was serving me got busy. I had noticed her standing at a table writing furiously. My guess then was that it was something from school, or University. I felt a stab of pity. Its funny how I feel intense emotions that barely last a second. My feelings are interjections, mostly, to my rationality. I felt proud of the woman who served me. She was trying to improve herself, and that, to me, is the greatest effort. Self-improvement is the path forward, it is often said, and I remember working for a, ahem, “analytics firm” and thinking about my college application. I continued working towards my education and learning useful tricks. I can, for example, fix a generator and cook.

This cafe is the high point in my social life. I don’t talk to anyone, and I don’t talk about anyone. I find that I have nothing to say, and no one to say it to. The closest intimacy that I feel is in this cafe, where I see people with their families, girlfriends or boyfriends, and kids. I can see the pity in their eyes as they see me, a lone foreigner in the corner of the cafe. I looked up to see a family of two adults (parents) and 3 children. They looked happy and the children seemed to be enjoying their pizza. The two parents were looking at me from across the room and this continued for some time. I looked at them and they realized that I knew that they were staring. I smiled and nodded, continued with my lasagna. The woman’s expression was that of pity, and the man too looked as if he saw in me the solitude he was glad not to have. I felt nothing when I saw their little family except gladness. I am not one to project my character and preferences on someone else, and I don’t project my bitterness either. I was happy for them, but I am not sorry for myself in any way.

Whisky and Abuse

I went to the cafe to ogle at the Waitress again. I went in, and I was greeted by the familiar warmth and music of the cafe. I welcomed it, the sound of cheerful music, the blast of warmth from the radiator gently caressed my frozen face. It has been raining again, and of course, I am dressed in my formal black overcoat and trousers. I chose a table, hung up my coat and sat down. The Waitress came over and handed me the Menu. She left to attend to her other customers and I decided that I would have my first whisky. I selected Savoy and a 500 ml bottle of Heineken beer, and waited for her to turn up.

A minute or so later she came to take my order. She didn’t offer me her usual Shalom, but wished me a good morning. I looked up because I like her face, and there were signs of domestic abuse on her face, hidden by her make-up. I could make them out, little swellings and discolorations near her eyes. There was a gash near her full lips, but she had it covered with foundation or whatever the fuck it is that women put on their faces. I felt a mad rage for a second. I hate domestic abuse, and I for a second I was going to ask the Waitress if she was going to be okay, but I just told her what I wanted. She must have realized my rage from the expression on my face because she stuttered and left quickly.

I hate domestic abuse. I fucking hate the shit, regardless of the sex involved. I don’t care if a man beats a woman or a woman beats a man, I fucking loathe it and my blood boils at the very thought of physical and mental abuse that anyone in that kind of situation has to face. I fucking felt the anger course through my nerves as I saw the pretty face of the waitress battered like that. She did try to hide it with her make up but fuck that, fuck it all with a meat cleaver. I drank my whisky when she brought it but I didn’t dare make a move. I’m not one to intrude on other people’s private lives. Part of me, in this post drunken, now sober, state of mind thinks that I should have asked if she was okay. It is appropriate to ask a person with a bruise on the face if they are fucking okay! Another part of me just shrugged it off. I am afraid of the latter.

Unattainable women: The receptionist

My hotel is a significantly large one in this town. It is a large building that lords of the town, and I often see people look at its flashing neon lights 14 floors above the street with wonder and awe. My colleagues know that I stay here, but I stay at a subsidized floor with simple furnishings without a TV but with a charm that reminds me of the Cold War. God, how I miss the Cold War, Judi Dench said in some James Bond film, I find that I miss it too, but without the murder and espionage. The furnishings are simple but the view of this Eastern European town is good. It is night-time now and I can see the buildings opposite full of life. On one floor a couple is dancing, like they usually do. A few windows away I can see a man sitting at a computer. I see him at that position throughout the day. Another window into an apartment gives me a view of a bald man’s life who comes to the balcony to smoke, blowing billows of cigarette smokes into the cold air.

The evening shift at the hotel is managed by The Receptionist. She is a slender woman, brunette, and her hair falls below her shoulder gently kissing her elbows and back. She has wide curls in her hair and her mouth is set firm and thin. In general, she is pretty easy on the eye. She is the only one of the wonderful ladies at the Hotel who speaks English and although she stutters and mumbles through some of her words, her appeal makes up for it.

I don’t know what race she mistakes me for, but her surprise at mine mentioning the land of my birth was a little embarrassing. I wonder is this is racism, or just me being stupid. I told her where I was from, and she gawked, and looked at my passport with a slight bit of shock. Her hair was a little damp from the rain outside and yet, I could see that it was done up well. I am an admirer of women’s hair, and I’m trying very hard not to come off as a creep, but unfortunately, the unfettered truth is like that. The Receptionist looks at my passport and up to my face, and is confused. I find that I am getting a little more annoyed by the second. God’s cock woman, get on with the formalities.

Since I am a foreigner in this land, I have to have my passport on me at all times. I have to present it in the bank, in the library, in the Hotel, etc. It is tedious, but by now I am getting a little more used to it. She hands me back my passport and for an instant our fingers brush against each other. I notice that her fingers are very warm. I look up to see her face but she has turned away and is now at the far end of the Reception,  getting out a bottle of water from the fridge. She drops it and bends over to pick it, and in the brief moment of her bending over I notice the tattoo on the small of her back. It is a bird with its wings outstretched. From where I stand, it looks like an albatross.

For a moment, unbidden images of imagined sex and debauchery fill my mind. I can see her tattoo contract and relax as she undulates to the rhythm and shake myself to get rid of the sexual imagery. I may have lust but I am not a voyeur. Sex is my private indulgence, and in public I don’t engage in eye-fucking. It is cheap and every time this happens, my face goes blank and I have a slobbering glassy-eyed expression that make me look stupider than I am.

The Receptionist turns to face me and she hands me the bottle of juice. I take it from her and this time too our fingers brush. I wonder if this is some perverse ritual with the woman, but I take no notice. I put the bottle of juice in my bag and I ask her for the keys. She asks me my room number, I tell her, and she hands me the keys. She places them on the table and her hand is still on the fucking keys.

Now I am a bit cautious at this kind of thing. I could be misreading the signs, I am tired and cold and hungry. At the same time, I can read between the lines. I gingerly try to snatch the keys from under her hand, but nope, our fingers still brush against each other. It sends chill down my spine and a tickle up my arm. I can see her eyes now, grey and cold, but there is a light of warmth somewhere. Goddammit, I have to lay off the cider. Either that, or this woman is genuinely hitting on me. A third alternative is that I am a narcissistic prick who thinks subconsciously that his twisted and depraved mind is to be taken seriously. I am more comfortable with the third alternative.

I mean, this isn’t the first time that the Receptionist was a little careless with her upper limbs. A few days ago, she was giving me directions and her hand dropped and brushed against my thigh for a second or two longer than what I was comfortable with. Now, don’t get me mixed, she is extremely attractive, her grey eyes and brunette hair are magnets. Her tattoo is a jewel, certainly, her slender frame makes up for terrible English, but hot damn. I am not used to being touched, brushed and patted unexpectedly. I am not used to having my fingers brushed by receptionists, much less by receptions who look like heroines from the 1950s, with grey eyes and nice hair to boot.

I walked to the elevator awkwardly. I cringe and mince sometimes and this is one of those times when I have to mince and cringe. I cringe because I find that my Lust is returning in full force, and I cringe also because I find the Receptionist to be, well, someone worth lusting after. I am now sitting in my room, dreaming of the albatross.

Eastern European Rain

It’s raining outside. The rain falls in a shower, and it is bloody freezing. The sky is overcast and it is cold. I walked to a morning lecture through the rain because in my infinite wisdom, i forgot to pack an umbrella from back home. My hair was drenched but my overcoat, thankfully, was slightly damp. I walked to yesterday’s lecture hall to a subdued group of my batchmates. They were all silent and the smell of damp wool wafted into my nostrils instigating a massive sneeze. I sneezed loudly and I staggered to my seat apologizing and trying to excuse myself. My batchmates looked at me with disgust or revulsion, but I was glad that they turned away.

I sat through the boring lecture on an obscure topic and wondered where the Lecturer was and what she was doing now. I can see a sliver of sky from an overhead skylight, and I sentimentally remembered my days when I was a strapping younger lad with a questionable orientation. I remembered my frustrating walks through my school’s estate thinking about Life and Death, Love and Sex, but the rain drenched every impulse I had, so I was left freezing atop a mountain.

It is pretty much the same now, only that I am a grown man. The solitude is the same, the longing for intimacy is the same, the faults are the same, but the freezing isolation is so intense now. In my isolation, my thoughts and music are the only real company I have. I don’t usually drink, but when I do it is something terribly mild like cider or beer. I feel no need for intoxication, but I feel the need for satiation. One of my reasons for choosing the undergraduate course that I am studying now, was to isolate myself with reason, to keep solitary and build an island to live in. Most of the men in my batch (we are outnumbered, almost 2 to 1 by women) are islands, and very few are oases.

This Eastern European rain washes down through my hair and induces a fever. I long to be in someone’s arms again, but to admit so is to admit weakness, so I stand at traffic lights, freezing and cold, but proud.

 

An empty lecture hall

People have receded into blurs in my vision. They are just blurs of undefined edges that I don’t care anything about. I find myself taking lonely walks to my hotel (where I live) in between classes only because I want to give myself some “me” time. I hold nothing against society, but I am too strung up with the contact of other people during lecture halls.

Today, I sat in an empty lecture hall, earphones in my ears, Hozier’s “Jackie and Wilson” played and I sat in isolated peace. I felt my turmoil subside as I sat on a seat, letting my thoughts settle into nothingness. I missed the Lecturer, because I don’t have her class today, and I didn’t want the company of the Waitress either. The minutes went by peacefully till I woke from a trance-like state to see a girl, covered in a black hoodie, wave to me as she and her friend made their way to the back of the lecture hall. I don’t know who this girl was, and I didn’t know her name, although I had seen her in the hall before. I was taken back, and waved in a sort of limp way, and smiled. Now, my smile is not one of those pleasant, I-am-genuinely-happy, movements of the muscles of my face. It is an ugly grimace like expression which gives off the feeling that I am in the middle of getting a kick in the balls. I have tried mastering it by smiling stupidly at my reflection, but I can’t get rid of it. I have the smug look of a self-absorbed prick and that is not going away very soon.

Part of the problem of my inability to have a winning smile is the simple and unalterable fact that I am self-absorbed prick. Talking to my ex will not give you results because she is a whore, and a manipulative bitch who broke my heart. She claims to be in love with me while she holds hands with another man. I spit at her memory and decency be damned. My ex is a liar, and probably suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, and I’ll be damned if I have to ever talk to her again. She texted me a month ago, and like the swine that I no doubt am, replied, carried on the conversation, reciprocated the sordid “I love You”s. I’ve never lied so much in my life. Its only my inability to tell people to fuck off that saves my reputation.

Anyways, this girl waved at me and I smiled back. She left the lecture hall and went outside. Her friend joined her. After a minute or two I decided to go out for a walk and some fresh air when I see her. She is shy and giggles uncontrollably. The two of them walk out of the University’s gate and I watch them recede into blurs. I pace outside, my face goes numb and the wind screws up my hairstyle, but I am happy.

A few minutes later, she returns and skips around in some puddles in front of the lecture. She is bounding with happiness, and I am surprised. I haven’t seen such happiness on one person before. She breezes through the door and her embarrassed friend follows her. I stand there just wondering.

 

 

Unattainable women: The lecturer

I can’t help but feel a twinge of sentiment when I think of the Lecturer. She is a prodigy of sorts in her subject, and around 24 years old. That’s 4 years older than me. She is, well, words fail me. Whenever I think of her, I find myself at a loss of words. I go silent and stutter like an imbecile when anyone mentions the subject that she teaches. I can’t think of her in a lustful way. With her, it is a longing, something that shames me when I think about it. Intimacy disgusts me, it is like a perversion that makes me nauseous if I think about it.

It is funny, considering the fact that I find lust to be acceptable and a pillar of the strength of my character, and the longing for intimacy to be a disgraceful thing. When I think of the lecturer, I find that I am willing to suspend all notions of decency, and yet, I don’t Lust after her. There is something different in her allure, and there is something in her accented English and the way she takes the marker and writes on the white board that makes me feel as if there could be nothing better than sitting and listening to her voice and the clicking of her shoes as she paces in front of the whiteboard.

I am pretty good in her subject, and this has nothing to do with the fact that she is teaching it. It is due to my own proficiency. I couldn’t help but feel a glow of warmth and victory when I received my marks for a test held a few days ago. I topped the class!

She is built like a Goddess, with long hair, smooth skin, and a toned body that is the hallmark of a healthy person. She smells of roses and marigolds and there is something that reminds me of Springtime in the way she walks. It makes my heart ache, my body longs not for her violation (good Lord no), but for preserving her in time, in my mind. I feel like Porphyria’s Lover sometimes and I wonder if I am losing my grip on reality. She isn’t like the Waitress, and neither is she like a porn flick actress. In my mind, she is a work of Art. I feel like I miss her the most when I come back to my empty room at the end of the day. I feel like I miss her when I walk in through the door of my room, and listen to the thick silence of an Eastern European town. I look out of my window and wonder where she is. It is unbearable.

She is sweet, she speaks sweetly, smiles and waves whenever we meet each other in the corridors. I am not a shy virgin when it comes to socializing, reserved and aloof though I may be. Each time I see her outside the confines of the lecture hall I feel liberated, as though I can finally see her unhindered and whole.

Kosher meat

My day at the University is usually long and very busy. It gets so busy that in between lectures and laboratory work, there is little time for a meal. As a result of this, I have managed to lose some weight. This news will be welcome back home, because I was growing notoriously fat. Shirts didn’t fit me, my trousers were too tight, and worst of all, my paunch had grown so large that it hid my genitalia. I was horrified.

Now that my genitals are back into my view and the paunch has receded, I am glad and can feel the self-esteem returning like blood returns to the brain after its work in ejaculation. I feel proud of having lost weight, and I am doubly proud of the fact that, since the week I landed here, I have eaten a total of 4 meals. I subsist on Energy drinks, water and an insatiable lust for the women in my class.

This morning, I had the rare privilege of having an hour’s break. I withdrew money and went to the cafe where I liked the waitress and decided that today would be the day of my weekly meal. I took off my coat ( I always wear a black overcoat, i have a couple of those), and hung it on the hanger. The waitress glided to me at my table and laid the menu gently. She said Shalom in a voice that was smoky and husky, and my auricular loins stirred. I thumbed through the menu and decided to eat a plate of “Pork Steak with grilled vegetables”. I motioned for the Goddess of a waitress and she glided to my seat, smile on her face, and a notebook in her hand.

Since my knowledge of the local tongue is negligible, I usually point to the English transliteration of the dish I like. The waitress repeats it in her sexily accented English, and I jump like a 9 year old at its sweetness. I pointed the Pork Steak on the menu and the expression on the waitress’ face turned from a pleasant smile to that of concern.

“That Pork”, she said, doubtfully, “Niet Kosher”.

“Well, I know that its Pork”, I reply confused myself as to why this woman decided to argue, wasting my valuable time.

“It Pork, Pig, Swine meat”, she said, as if talking to a cretin.

“I know, I’d like a plate of that”, I reply, annoyed as hell.

“But how can eat pork? It not Kosher!” she cries, as if she is going to be scandalized.

The cafe turned silent, and all eyes turned to us.

It then dawned on me that she must be hung up on the idea of mine being Jewish.

Being the swine that I am, I replied “I’m not feeling Kosher today, madam, I’m not”.

She looked at me scandalized and another waitress joined us.

“I’m not Jewish, ” I said to the two of them, “I don’t mind eating pork”.

“You’re not Jewish?”, the other waitress asked. I realized that the charm was falling from their eyes too damn fast. So I lied, being an insufferable prick that I am.

“I’m only half Jewish, ” I said, “And right now, I’m not feeling Kosher at all”.

The two of them burst out laughing.

 

The Chronicles of a Non-Jew

I remember when I was a younger lad, I read this book by Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question, and I remember being exposed to the word “Jew” and was, for the first time in my life, thought of the Israel-Palestine fuck-up that grabs the headlines once every four years and throws the world into a huge tizzy about who is “right” and who is “wrong”. Frankly, the entire fuck-up that the Issue of Palestine is, holds no interest for me. I couldn’t be less bothered by the opinions of people in high chairs and comfortable offices. I don’t value the arguments of people thousands of miles from the conflict.

What I value is the unnecessary profiling and hatred that spills into countries around the world every time a Gaza Conflict surfaces. People yell anti-Semitic slurs at other people who have nothing to do with the foreign or domestic policy of Israel, and people go out into the streets beating up any Arab looking man for “looking like a person who sends rockets in the air”. What?

Mistaken as I am for being a Jew, I feel the conflict’s arms reaching into the psyche of the masses. Just the other day, someone yelled “You fucking Jews will burn in hell” at me from across the street, to which I promptly replied “Which Jew, they were burnt a long time ago” and stuck a middle finger at the yelling crowd. I fail to understand the logic of the situation, and I fail to understand both my reply and the comment initially made. Hell doesn’t exist (unless you count the company of my ex) and what is to be gained by yelling about the Holocaust? The Holocaust already happened, 6 million Jews were killed, and yet, years later, Anti-Semitism exists and random people are harassed for looking like Jews.

I insist on using the term “Non-Jew”, because I am not Jewish, and neither am I significantly part of any other identity. Thankfully, my biracial heritage, encased in the pride that I have for my own nation as  a whole, keep me from developing a cast-iron box for myself. I refuse to consign myself to a box, and to tie my hands down thinking “I am so and so”. I use the term “Non-Jew” in light of the fact that since I am mistaken for being Jewish, I might  as well type under a Jewish name, but talk from the perspective of a cloaked observer.

 

Unattainable Women: The Waitress

The disaster that is modern love is a glaring example of evolution. We are surrounded by people and their personal lives and here we are, like exhibitionists, flaunting our own private lives for the world to see. In this cesspit of Social media driven frenzy, there is a certain topic that makes men cringe and writhe in pain.

UNATTAINABLE WOMEN

Most of the women in my life are unattainable women, a breed of women that is like a Facebook Feed, heavily customized, and the only thing you can do is to look at them and be content. Oh, they are approachable alright, they smile and wave and talk sweetly. They look at me with wonder but ultimately, they are unattainable.

There is a woman who works as a waitress at this small cafe who is one of them. Mistaken as I am for a Jew, she rolls out her sweetest Shalom and takes my order, reminding me that her food is Kosher. She explains the ingredients on the dishes on offer, and I listen attentively, leading her on. I sit there in a cafe drooling after a waitress and this thought alone would be enough for my family back home to disown me, lynch me, and strike me off from any Will and testament that they might have made. The thought that a well-dressed, well-brought up, college going boy can even think of forking a waitress where it counts will revile the Capitalists back home. They will call my hots for a waitress a “corruption” of my upbringing, a blot on my social class, and a perverse disgrace to the family name.

Never mind the snobbishness, though, never mind the idea that where I put my genitalia and to which curve I choose to rest my gaze are the sole responsibility and concern of my own self, the idea of forking a waitress is repulsive even to me. I am training in one of the world’s toughest undergraduate courses, for fuck’s sake, and what am I supposed to do for pillow talk? I want to fork this woman, not waste my time dreaming about wedding bells and love letters. I want to fork this woman like I would fork just about every porn actress I have seen getting forked in the dark hours of the day. I am damned if I will have to think about love letters and baby names. Who wants to marry Pamela Anderson? Who wants to have their babies through Kim Kardashian or any one of her sisters?

I understand my own revulsion as I sit and think these thoughts. It is as if the years of Capitalism, feudalism and the added “Gentleman’s education” that I received in my own country has been strapped on my back and carried across the oceans and continents to haunt my daily life in this town in the middle of nowhere. This is where I lust after women I know I have no real chance with. I use lust as an emotion to rationalize the cross cultural gap and I use Lust to make myself feel better, hoping that my thoughts of forking a waitress is rationalized if I put Lust on a pedestal.