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Ever had a feeling you wanted to write something down twice.

My life is somewhat like figuring out the correct html codes to moving the widget on your blog from left to right, a little mistake, even the absence of a single “<” could yield absolutely nothing. I have spent hours trying to understand exactly why i did something and have always gotten nowhere.

I’d like to think there are people like me, it gives me a sense of companionship. Maybe someday i’ll run into one of them unsuspectingly and then who knows what will follow.

I never asked my parents about the circumstances surrounding my conception. I have no idea whether they had the chance to try their respective roles on for size, whether, when I was nothing more than a cluster of cells or a due date, they began to plan the course of my life. It’s not so uncommon, I suppose–the world, when you’re very young, seems to have sprung up around you. Every new discovery–the taste of ice cream, the grass stains on your clothes, even the bug you unearth in your yard, with its hairy limbs and twitching antennae–is a housewarming gift from the universe to you. Your parents have always been your parents; the notion of their leading an existence independent of yours is unimaginable, which is probably why i found the first week at boarding school so difficult.

I don’t know when I figured out that dendrophobia was probably not a gift (though odds are good I was somehwere no one could ever find me at the time), the host of fears and humiliations (minor, but how they stung) were probably not gifts, and that maybe this world I lived in wasn’t the hospitable place I’d taken it for.

I never asked because I had a hunch they’d use a bittersweet word like “surprise.” Surprise meaning accident (I’d come into being with all the grace and promise of a head-on collision, plates made of  glass shattered on the kitchen floor, or–fittingly–the sudden voiding of a bladder in the middle of the night) and accident meaning, when you got down to it, mistake.

Looking back, I suspect my father most resents those aspects of my character that remind him of himself.

I’d like to spare a child that.

“Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness”, “joy”, or “regret”. Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic traincar constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right word to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.”


About Humbug

My past has a way of making my present feel jealous of the future.

5 responses to “Surprise

  1. Perfect choice of words, an acumen for expressing in the best manner ( in a way that the readers feels that there could have been no other way it could have been penned down) and honesty in thoughts and emotions – what more can one ask for?

    You write amazingly well.

    Just loved this post.

  2. pisceanunicorn ⋅

    Brilliantly written post, loved the last paragraph and actually read it twice! 😉

  3. dipanwita

    Simple things always complicate matters..

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