I flop onto the couch and pull a cotton throw over my legs. I get cold in the air conditioning. Last week I told Kehar Singh (Post 4) that I’ve been feeling down lately. Then I confessed that as much as I love my cousin she is not helping my mental state with her crusader like inquisition about and men. He told me he’d talk to her. I asked him not to fight my battles. It doesn’t seem fair to make him do what I won’t.
I sigh and roll onto to my side. You can almost see the imaginary line dividing my living room in half. On one side the furntiture is arranged around a television that could double as a toaster because of its’ size and shape. Next to that is a skinny metal console that houses statues of the Hindu gods and goddesses. Day or night I can glance across the room and see Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh, Hanuman and Durga watching over me. It makes me feel safe.
On the other side of the room is the extension of my home office. What used to be the dining table is now my second desk with the laptop placed directly in the center. Between my nails and the oils from my fingers I tapped off most of the letters on the keyboard. Since I cannot afford a new laptop, I bought a wireless keyboard and laser-guided mouse. Because I like order and symmetry I have two pen cups on either side of the laptop. One is filled with an assortment of scissors that cut squiggly lines and the other has, what turns out to be, pens that mostly don’t work.
Along the adjacent wall are bookshelves filled with fiction, non-fiction, and self-help books recommended by Oprah. Amid the literature I display framed photos of my family, vases, candles and a clock.
When the mobile phone rings, I debate answering. It’s my cousin calling from India. There is a little part of me that thinks I should let it go to voicemail, but don’t. “Yes?” I ask hoping I sound bright late at night. “Hi!” she says. “I called the land line and mobile twice yesterday why didn’t you answer? I was worried.” How exactly am I supposed to stay mad at her and remain strong at the same time? Is this a talent all Indian women learned except me?
To be cont.