Wednesday, November 11, 2009

रुकावट के लिए खेद है

Some semblance of service may be restored here. The thing is, while rooting around among the unpacked boxes at home over the last few days, I found a diary/journal circa 2000. Terrifying glimpse into the idiot I was in those days. The good thing about it is that it means instead of generating original content here, I can simply read and type and inflict. So enjoy.

7th October 2000, Harvard Square

It's a gorgeous day. Probably the last Saturday this year when I can sit at a table on the pavement outside the Au Bon Pain, drink an iced mocha and pretend it's summer. The fumes from Friday night's potent mix of beer, wine, single malt and vodka [Hee hee. Yes, those were CRAZY TIMES!] have cleared. The headache is gone, the hunger appeased and the mind turns to other thoughts. It's a beautiful day for happy people to be outside.

24th November 2000, Amtrak, Boston - New York

The sun has risen and it streams in through the window. An hour ago, it was a wonderful, delicately coloured circle in the sky; a harmless, benevolent poetic thing. Now it's a positive fucking nuisance that blinds me when I look out. We passed some of those picturesque seaside Rhode Island towns, and fat lot I could see!

It is really hard to write clearly on a train. The hand jiggles so. There's a bunch of schoolgirls in the seats behind me, chattering away the way schoolgirls and flocks of birds are wont to. I'm so sleepy...nauseous. Someone is playing a CD way louder than they should.

26th November 2000, Algiers Cafe, Harvard Square

I need an umbrella really bad (badly?) [Readers in the know will observe an Ancient Obsession.]. There is a wet, annoying drizzle in progress outside. Thankfully it's not unbearably cold. Not yet. I left my umbrella on a bench in the Davis Square T stop, and when I went back for it, it wasn't there any longer. I need an umbrella. It is very annoying.

Algiers is a rather swank cafe' in front of the Brattle Theater. The patrons (I don't suppose one could actually call them something quite as ordinary as "customers") are by and large very...what's the word...chic? Very elegant, talking in voices loud enough to be heard at the adjacent tables about the higher things in life. The interior seems very stylish (not that I would know a stylish interior from an ordinary one if it bit me in the ass). And, of course, everything on the menu is "suitably" priced. I do not think I can afford to eat every time I come here (and this is something I intend to do), but the thought of a pot of coffee and a small table to myself without distraction is very inviting.

Oooh. The coffee just arrived! The "pot" is not a pot at all. It's a rather grimy looking (in a stylish sort of way, of course) brass tumbler encrusted with coffee stains, full of a strange smelling, hot, black liquid with an icky layer of black powder floating on top. I pour myself a cup, add cream and sugar (a heathenish practice that is almost certainly looked down upon in this "establishment") and take a sip. It is delicious!

One distinct advantage of this place is that it's so close to the Brattle Theater itself; makes it easy to kill time waiting for someone :-), the perfect rendezvous. And it seems to be a good place for writing too! Why, I've filled up 2 pages!

Why do women smoke? It's either a turn-on or a turn-off, no middle. The coffee has elaichi or something in it. And if my sandwich doesn't arrive soon, I will be the next in the world's not inconsiderable list of hungry dead.

We (A___, V___, K___ and K____) visited the Whitney Museum of Art on Madison Avenue yesterday. A most incomprehensible place, full of strange paintings and photographs, twisted little pieces of wire etc. etc. There were about 4 things in all that made any sense. After about an hour of staggering through the place in a stupor, I bought the one seemingly useful thing in the museum store (a mouse pad) and walked out into the cold Manhattan street. I had a frankfurter at the push-cart at the corner. Infinitely more satisfying than ar,t, for about a sixth of the price.

This part of Manhattan is very well off. The very best in cars, clothes, apartment. For a short time, I was filled with the most righteous and sincere rage at the inequities of the world. It seemed outrageous that such luxury could exist in the same world where, or so I'm told, people die of hunger and the weather and disease. not that I know anyone who ever died of hunger.

If don't find anyone who will listen, I will tear up these pages and throw them into the air and think that the winds have read them.

24th January 2001, Terminal E, Logan International Airport, Boston

I'm sitting here, with butterflies in my stomach, waiting for a flight into Toronto. That fucking unregistered car [Ask me about it sometime.] has come back to haunt me again. I just hope I'll be able to get everything squared away and be done by Friday. It will be a major relief to get this thing done. Underlying the surface layer of tension and uncertainty and restlessness lie the deeper questions. What is it that I'm worrying about so much, exactly? What are the worst consequences of not getting this visa? At the most, I will have to go home to India, lose whatever little money I have in shipping my stuff and closing my affairs, and nothing else. So, basically no problem. God, these fucking demons of the mind.

27th January 2001, Toronto

Got the visa. No fucking problem. In and out like I was an American citizen. So much for the Doomsday prophecies.

There's more random crap. Maybe I will type it up some day.


Emma said...

"Terrifying glimpse into the idiot I was in those days." - was... in those days.... You mean to say you have changed? Really? :)

But seriously, quite insightful this was. Truly. I do look forward to more.

blackmamba said...

while you are doing this opening the floodgates business, please to post some saucy tell-all pieces too.

kbpm said...

How Cute! You sound so.. I don't know... young....
OH crap. Whats up with the Hindi? I am currently in a very Anti-Indian, Anti-Cultural, Screw the vernacular, Bollocks to the mother tongue type mood so its offending me no end. But I forgive you. Dinner?

Ludwig said...

[Emma] I have changed. I'm a different sort of idiot now. Turned a new idiocy leaf!

[fast venomous african snake] Oh, you wish! That I will publish anonymously some day. Anyway, isn't the current edition enough to make you reach for barf bag? Why axe for more?

[kennybun] Yes. I was young. And cute. In a roly-polier way, though. Yes, I can't say I'm too proud of the Hindi. But it seemed appropriate, given DD memories.

Dinner might not be do-able. I will intimidate.

aandthirtyeights said...


deshvaasi said...

Reading other people's diary so much more fun than writing notes for class full of crazy adolescents. yeah, where are the saucy bits?

sujatha59 said...

throw up pages for the winds to read! awww...

Space Bar said...

too cute only.

Anonymous said...

Yes Ludwig, you really do sound like an idiot in these posts. You are definitely MUCH better now. Mu.

that man keynes said...


Seriously. I miss you. That whitney thing brings back memories.

As does the unregistered car.

Let us skype sometime. You are never on g-mail

Ludwig said...

[mami] Yes. I know. You don't have to point out like that.

[deshvaasi] I had a staid and straight existence of the simple-living-high-thinking variety. Please don't expect saucy bits.

[sujatha69] Oh gosh. Please don't pull my leg and amputate me.

[Space Bar] eh? WTF, I say unto you! Repulsive, is the word you are surely searching for.

[Anon] Hee hee. Thanks you :P

[tmkahhi] Ah me, oh my. Likewise.