Wednesday, November 4, 2009

X stands for...

So many things.
A kiss, for a start, the one you put at the bottom of a letter, or a card, or in lieu of a signature on an e-mail. X is for the X chromosome, the eXtra one which we have as women, instead of the Y which makes a man a man, without which we'd be bachelor boys instead of being females, also for the X-factor which they are bound to find hiding away somewhere in that bundle of DNA.

X also marks the spot where the treasure is to be found, this in adventure tales. Through the forest, past the deserted mansion, along by the cave mouth.

X is what we put in the box. It marks our preference, the option we select, the choices we make.

X stands for the decisions we take.

Now, sitting high above the city of my teenage years, the buzz of the TV in my ears, eating a reheated 2 day old meatball, I can't fool myself that my life is perfect. But I do have my priorities straight. I am as comfortables as I could be, given my upbringing, with my success. I live well, but not extravagantly, I donate some portion of my income to those less fortunate than me, I visit orphanages to give some sence of belonging to those who never had it, and on some days I even allow myself to enjoy my most recent splurge from my last vacation to Europe, Jimmy Choo stilettos.

And I am in it for all the right reasons. I truly believe the world can be a better place if people aren't so rude, if they'd say "excuse me" when they bump into you, or stop talking in the movies, or stop spitting in public, or refrain from unwrapping candy in the theater. And I dream of that glorious day when people would turn down the volume on their iPods so that you couldn't hear them even when standing twenty feet away. On a noisy street corner. With a fire truck's siren blaring.

I am committed to making the world a more livable place, one annoying person at a time.

But love eludes me. I have had my relationships (that never lasted longer than couple of months), my affairs, my flings, my dates. I have been pursued, propositioned, and proposed to, but not once had I really been in love. I can't help but wonder if it is my own failing. Perhaps it was my upbringing. Though I can't pinpoint a moment when my mother had said anyting specific, maybe I learned through osmosis, the silent legacy of heart, what my mom felt - that love was a fallacy, that it simply didn't exist. Or how my father saw it - that love is overrated and that there is more to life, like having fun.

Perhaps it is simply a matter of luck, or the lack of it.

Something happens to me when I observe couples laughing, touching, whispering intimately into each other's ears, their breath hot in each other's hair. I was at Baku Jazz Center few weeks back, on a Friday night listening to the overwhelming notes of Jazz fly through the hall and embrace everyone to the feeling that's still unknown to me but makes me want close my eyes and dissapear to the world of music and romance.

There was a couple sitting right next to our table, the woman lovely, her hair short, her earring flashing in contrast to her tanned skin; the man bald, with an open face. Something he said made her laugh and she threw back her head, fully enjoying the moment, him looking at her, laughing with her. Then, completely unconsciously, he raised his hand and took a speck of something from her hair. Not a word was exchanged. But with this one gesture, I became acutely aware of what I was missing.

As I am done with my meal and put the dirty dishes in the sink, I think of the people who litter and whether I'd ever meet a man who would gently, lovingly remove a foreign object from my hair.

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