The Games We Play

I was in a strange mood for the past few days, induced by reading melancholic books (Middlesex – hermaphrodite meets Detroit) and watching some melancholic movies (Le Concert – Russian poor musicians in Paris and Blue Valentine – Ryan Gosling, finally a real man but is going through a falling apart marriage). It made me even more contemplative about life, which was further exacerbated with the abundance of free time on my hands.

I was thinking about men-woman relationships and how it used to be easier when I was younger. You like someone, he doesn’t like you, you mop around a bit and get over it as there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Guys used to be much more romantic. They would buy flowers, write long letters (and later on e-mails) and would put a genuine effort in catching your attention. But at some point in time, things reversed. The long letters shortened themselves to that “what r u doing?” text message sent at 1am, when it’s clear that the party in stake is not playing badminton or knitting, or that the sender is expecting an answer to an altogether question. We also started playing this weird games of availability that somehow are aimed at indicating a serious intent – don’t answer on the first ring, don’t reply to texts until the next day, don’t call the girl for at least a  week after the date. And these are just the very mild forms. I can go into the way worse ones but I would maybe keep this for another time. It also seems like men became picker and started going younger and younger in their tastes (and behaviors), while women became more flexible and started accepting so many things that would have been completely unacceptable before.

When recently a nice younger guy asked for my number, I obliged, despite being quite uninterested. He called and I was busy, and then he called again and I was travelling and he sent some texts, which I ignored. I was expecting that he should be well versed in the protocol of opposite sex communications but he kept persisting. I then felt bad because I hate the above games and wanted to encourage a young soul to continue putting an effort in obtaining its potential subjects of interest. I agreed finally to meet him for lunch. He was 15 minutes late and arrived just as I was about to leave. No apology. The conversation was extremely dull as he proceeded to tell me about the recent Hulk movie he had seen and laughing about stuff that was utterly not funny. We went through several subjects and which produced similar anecdotes on his side. Not to mention he had ordered spaghetti dish and was slurping his noodles during the conversation.  Horrible. I somewhat felt motherly at some point and wanted to give the guy some advice for the future but then decided that I will reserve this glorious role for his actual mother. I felt so relieved when the hour had finished and we parted our ways. After all of this, I had expected the guy won’t bother me anymore. After all, it was clear that we had nothing in common and besides I am leaving so soon. But, no, he texted  the next day to ask for my plans for next week. Ehhh.. if it was only the right guy.

I decided to stop answering. I just couldn’t bring myself to telling the guy the honest truth. Oh, the games we play!

I venture out east..

As I was lying on that bed, under the blanket, completely relaxed, staring at four colorful paper umbrellas twirling above my head and soft music playing in the background, I was thinking that this is how being a baby must feel like. The only difference was that I had needles sticking out of my ears, above the bridge of my nose (my “third eye”),  the front of my palm, my ankles and my breast bones. No, this was not some kind of a voodoo ritual. I went for acupuncture for the first time of my life. The acupuncture was preceded by an amazing relaxing massage and succeeded by  a nice stretch of my arms, legs, neck and spine by a little Azerbaijan woman who once made the right choice of studying Chinese medicine and reflexology. I can’t say if the needles actually worked. I couldn’t even feel them (it might have something to do with the high threshold of pain that my dentist claims that I have when I refuse anesthesia) . But Gulnara promised that I will feel like a new person tomorrow. I look forward to waking up! She also said that my cold feet are a result of the state of my nervous system and all the feelings that I keep inside and must instead release. Therefore, if you see me and I start crying all of a sudden, don’t get scared, I am just trying to warm up my feet…

“Be careful when you drive back”, said Gulnara before I left. When I stepped to the bright light outside the clinic I understood why.. my body was so relaxed that I felt like my feet were melting into the concrete outside. My eyes were semi-glazed off and my  mind was floating somewhere in space. This is how being high on something strong must feel like. Oh what a great feeling.