In the past couple of years I’ve watched friends, former lovers and exes alike choose people to boo up with and partner up with. Some I’ve been surprised by, others made sense to me. Real talk, it doesn’t matter what I think at the end of the day. If you like it, I love it.
I could ask why someone chooses one person over another person but I don’t think there’s any real rhyme or reason. It’s like asking why one person’s voice sounds like a warm and lovely lullaby while another person’s voice sounds like nails against a chalkboard.
I just don’t think we have a choice in the matter.
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To kiss is to make ablution,
cleansing the naked heart
and preparing the shivering soul
The hands when they rise
and fall, moving over waist
and hips, push away doubt
To open the thighs in love
is the first prayer on the eve
of the holiest night
of a thousand months
It has never been my nature to attract romantic love, or to stumble into it unawares. The men I studied and worked with rarely interested in me, and I don’t believe I interested them either. I was discreet, invisible, unseen, unheard. I was content with being a colleague, a classmate, an acquaintance – nothing more.
It has also never been my nature to share myself with others. I have always written, but have been too shy to share it publically. The thought of someone reading my words was as daunting as the thought of someone walking in on me while I was in the trance of prayer, or reading over my shoulder as I wrote a beseeching supplication to God. Writing—like prayer, like sex—was sacred, meant to be shared only with those who are deeply loved and trusted. Instead of sharing my words with a giant, faceless public, I always dreamed of writing for someone: essays and poems about myself, him, and our inner universes.
Suddenly, one day, I was acknowledged as a woman.
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“I think you’re a little bit behind the curve, though, if I’m honest. This is how I think it works. First, you have stereotypes, and that will be the black drug dealer, the east Asian kung fu master, the Middle Eastern terrorist in True Lies. Then you have stuff that takes place on culturally specific terrain, that engages with it, but actually subverts assumptions. Smashes stereotypes. That’s where I’ve come into the game.”
Read more about British actor & rapper Riz Ahmed in The Guardian, here.
I am a terrible liar. Not for lack of acting skills, but due to an overactive conscience. To keep pangs of guilt at bay, I usually rely on unadulterated honesty. For a long time, I maintained the naive perspective that most other people in my life also follow this refreshingly honest mantra. In this manner I found my downfall the same way Hassan from Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner lost his innocence. As Hassan’s best friend Amir so carefully observed: “…that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.”
A few jolting discoveries in college helped me understand that actually, not everyone always tells the truth and people do not always mean what they say. In fact, many people have no qualms whatsoever about telling lies and fabricating stories.
Over the years I managed to adapt my ways so as to better cope with society’s realities, and during this time my mom has been my biggest supporter. From trivial matters such as cancelled lunch plans to more crushing blows of personal betrayal, I have always relied on my mom to serve as my pillar of strength. We agree on most everything, my consumption of outrageous amounts of diet soft drinks aside. So imagine my surprise when we disagreed on the very principles of honesty and candor that she has always instilled within me.