Sometimes life sets my speed to automatic pilot. Twelve hours ago I was in Minnesota. I went from my parents’ house, to the hospital, to the airport (MSP) and then to the airport (LGA). Normally I am all about saving money and self-flogging so I ride the M60 to the A train stop on 125th Street. Except, of course, my flight was delayed (due to air traffic control) into the NYC area. So I lacked the energy to navigate public transport and hailed a decadent $32 cab ride.
Now that I am totally and completely alone, I don’t feel alone. I feel exhausted, relieved and guilty. I spend a few minutes looking at my suitcase, thinking I should unpack. I walk over and squat onto my haunches and unzip. Ugh, the sight of my own clothes is unbelievably draining and every bit of energy I have leaves my body. It takes two steps but I throw myself onto the couch. I don’t even have the bandwidth to turn on the television.
So I lay there and watch time pass on the cable box’s digital clock. I really should order something for dinner and pick it up. I know, I live in the delivery capital of the nation, but I rarely carry cash so I would be unable to tip the delivery man. And most of the places I order from are literally around the corner. So I think it is fat and lazy of me to ask someone to make me dinner and then walk 100 paces to bring it to me.
More time passes. I don’t flinch, move or think until my mobile phone, resting in reach, rings. From where I am laying on the couch I can see the familiar 10-digit Indian mobile phone number flash on my caller id. I sigh deeply, force myself to sit up and answer. “Hello?” I say. “Hahn, Desi Girl, why are you sounding so tired?” Bangalore Cousin asks. “Probably because I am, I feel totally brain dead,” I say. “When are you returning to New York?” she asks. “I just got back,” I reply. “Have you heard from Dr. Froggy?” she asks. I snort and say, “No.” “And what has happened to Town and Country?” she asks. “Beats me,” I reply.
She is quiet in that familiar, calm before the storm way. “Mama and I want to post a matrimonial advertisement in the newspaper for you,” she says. Mama, in Hindi, means maternal uncle. “In Delhi?” I ask. “Yes,” she replies. Normally I would tell her that I am seeing someone, except I don’t know that two dates make seeing someone. And given my track record I am pretty sure she’d get on a flight just to come here and slap sense into me if I said I was only seeing one person. For a change, I agree with her about putting more than one egg in my basket.
“Sounds fine,” I reply. She pauses and says in a surprised tone, “Great.” I think she expected a fight from me. Maybe I would have fought her had she called yesterday or tomorrow, but today, I have no fight. “I’ll put the profile together. Is your email the same?” she asks. “Yes, it’s the same,” I reply without thinking or asking.