The day I wrote to myself my farewell

Flight tickets are brought on time, too many months in advance, that I forget about its existence. I get used to the vegetable seller and the color of the tomatoes I eat and the taste of salt in the tap water. I know what cereal to eat, where to buy the cheapest bottle of milk, how to walk to school through the shortest and calmest way. The day I know all of these, I know I am leaving. The birth of routine is the beginning of the ending. Or the ending of a beginning, if I am young with beliefs too many – that I will wake up to yet many suns and that I shall have many sun-sets to share a kiss. I get used to having time, and the routine fools me to think that the time is a constant. I wake up and eat the same breakfast I ate yesterday, for the first time. For the first time I see continuity. I see continuity in the way I sleep, in the dreams I dream, the books I read and the things I fight. I make home in another language, another smell, another sound and color. I think they are mine, I think I can own all of it. Even the fight, even my enemy! I fall in habitude with having to hate, having to complain and having the desire to leave. I make a temple for myself, filled with exaggerated images of what exists outside of this habitude. But the temple is yet another habitude, and to dream of what is not habitude is also a habitude. The day habitude becomes a shelter, a home – I know I am going.

I get too easily into the habitude of breathing, of chewing while I read news, of walking while I day-dream. Habitude is the biggest enemy, because it fools too many hearts with the illusions of a constant. I hold on to the faces here and there, write them a letter or two. To hold to faces, or illusions of faces: to chose between the face in front of I and the one in my head, or are they all the same? Letters or no letters, words or no words – I get too used to this confusion. Even confusion can be comforting from the sharpness of simplicity. Which is why I make confusion my home!

I find myself every night dreaming of a return, a return to what only lives in nostalgia. I know that the flight ticket lying in front of me is a truth to my return, to what I call nostalgia. But I don’t seek truth or reality. The closer I get to seeking dreams, the faster I run away to where the dream was only a dream, not a reality. Dreams can be horrifying when painted into reality, for they are too sweet that my tooth aches out of it. I complain that my tooth aches, so I go back to my home of confusion, and sleep complaining and dream about nostalgia. I wake up, complain, and eat the same cereal. And then I leave.

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About Shreya Parikh

I am Shreya. Project Rethought is my attempt to rethink my own observations as a brown woman of Indian origin. I currently live in Paris where I teach at Sciences Po Paris and Parsons Paris-The New School.
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