“Do you think people who live alone close the bathroom door behind them when they take a shower?” I asked, my eyes pinned on the kiwi pastry behind the glass.
In response, I got a swat on the back of my head that said everything: “Of course they do.”, “No, why would they?”, “Just do your work”, “Wut.”
I was sitting with my friend at a café. She was trying to read, I was thinking of everything in the world except differential equations. I was dreaming about college again. But simultaneously, I had imagined contingency plans A to F which were to be executed if none of the universities I applied to accepted me. Plan D or E included flipping burgers in Lisbon, where I would live, a young, single photographer, and that was where my Pivotal Question about Closing Bathroom Doors had come from. It is not usual for me to wane at things that I truly want, but when I do, I respond to them like the goofball I proudly am, joking, projecting my emotions into ridiculous thoughts until they become palpable.
Sometimes, I am the most bored teenager in the world, sitting with a Pokéball of my energy in my hand, waiting for someone to show me what to do with it.
I go to school with great enthusiasm, but this zeal is not directed towards my curriculum as much as it is to the hopes of landing something new to do, something which carries meaning, possibly causes an impact, on me for starters. It is like being in a constant state of- I can’t wait to start my life. In fact, I have an entire history of it. In ninth grade, I took to theatre at the local American Center because I wanted to test my acting skills. The next year, I scourged Delhi for ballroom classes. When I didn’t find any, I switched to Jane Fonda Aerobics videos and supplied my family with film of me waving my arms about. Then I was showed how to prove four equal to five, and despite instantly pointing out the fallacy that made that possible, I was over the moon for a month, twiddling with math laws, happy beyond limits.
My biggest break, just the thing I needed in my record, was when I got selected for a foreign exchange trip to Japan last summer. I remember thinking- This is it. Don’t you dare sleep now. And as I trudged my suitcase down the airports, I watched everything with big gleaming eyes, telling myself to believe it- I was doing something after all. I survived that weeklong trip solely on caffeine. I uploaded a few videos to my up-and-coming YouTube channel and I only kept my camera down when I did fall asleep, for not more than three hours at a stretch. Folks at home called it ‘typical sugar tourism’ but I didn’t want to hex it with tags.
The point is: I have always want to do. I want to create. I want to be on the radio, I want to write a column, I want to be in a cycling group, I want to go to concerts and galleries, I want to put another kid through college, so much and so badly, and I want to make my life worth it. I don’t find any reason to be satisfied with things that automatically happen; just as college for Indians is like a given. I want to try myself at the things that are hard to get, I want to be willful, meaningful. Living, though not started by the person whose life it is, is actively created by him through every second he exists. Whether awake or unconscious, we make ourselves people out of a mass of tissues, and I just can’t let myself go waste.
I sat at the cafe, beating songs onto the table. “So”, I asked my patent line, “What is the most unhealthy thing they have on the menu?”