Saturday, May 31, 2008

Addiction

It turned out that M was addictive. It was something in his eyes that wriggled its way inside me. I could picture them, and there was something in them that I needed to know. It made me curious. I wasn't like I was in love with him, but I could not forget him. I found myself going back to the store where I met him trying to see him. For the larger part of a month I would only see him once in a while, but I kept going back and kept letting him ask me questions. He asked for my phone number and I gave it to him. He was shy about asking, and for some reason that made me feel secure.

It was fine to feel secure, because no matter how many times we spoke in person, and how interested he was to talk to me, he never once called me.

And yet, I found myself day after day going into that store looking for him under the false pretense of buying a bottle of Aquafina. I went in every day and bought a one-liter bottle of Aquafina.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

First Impressions

M was tall. He seemed a little uncertain when he talked to me. He had an accent, and I had no idea from where. He did not smile when he talked to me, he looked too preoccupied with what was being said. He looked straight at my face. It almost looked difficult for him to speak with me, but he asked questions, and he listened to the answers. It was November and he was wearing slacks with a sweater. He was quite thin and had a long face and long slender fingers.

His eyes were what I remember most from this first meeting. They were dark chocolate brown and very sincere. He looked honest and innocent and vulnerable. As I think about it now, it is strange how deceptive his demeanor was in the first times that I met him. I saw nothing of what I know now, save for the beauty in his eyes. Now that I know him though, he is not timid like he seemed in the beginning, and his humor didn't show through in those first meetings either. My impression was very one dimensional and uncertain. He was very curious though and even through his embarrassment he asked questions in a manner that no one from my culture would dare to ask them. He asked them in succession and as if he had a reason to know the answer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Simple, naaaaahhhhhhh, what would be the point??

I met "M" at a very strategic point in my life. I had just finished my undergraduate work, and was taking some time off. I was exhausted from my four years of college. While I was in college I worked as a Paramedic with transport ambulance services, volunteered for a rescue squad, and worked a part-time job in a hospital. At any given time I was working two jobs, going to school for my degree full time, and intermittantly going to school to earn the right to test for my Paramedic Certification.

When you train to be a Paramedic it is very similar to nursing school. You have class time, then you have internship time. You are required to do hundreds of hours divided between hospital time, Operating Room, Delivery Room, Emergency Room, Critical Care, and the ambulance where you are expected to keep track of all procedures that you do, including intubations, IV's, medications, etc. I finished my undergraduate degree and my Paramedic class within two months of each other, and tested for my National Registry Paramedic in the between time.

I had NO idea what I was going to do with my degree, but I knew that a few months off of school would do me good. And so I started working full time on the ambulance, part-time at a hospital, and volunteering non-stop at my rescue squad.

I met M on a night shift. It was late, I needed a bottle of water and M sold it to me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Learning

My father really did educate me. He taught me to read before I went to school. He was obsessive about vocabulary and math. My parents were married very young and started having kids, me first, killing their college careers.

My father worked hard and over the course of many years eventually earned an Associate's degree from one of our state universities. It seems to me though that my father studied less during the times that he was attending school than he did when he was studying on his own. My father is one of those guys who could be just as much at home with an encyclopedia on his lap as he was reading Louis L'Amour westerns or translating his pet Hindi projects. That was one of the things I was most enthralled with, my father's obsession with learning everything he could about India, writing, reading and speaking Hindi.

My father's project of educating me continued with my education on our "status." My family never had a lot of money, but my father had goals for me. My father told me that it was my job to work really hard in school. He told me that we didn't have enough money to pay for college and that if I wanted to be successful I would have to go to college. My father always specified that his degree was not "good enough." He told me that it would take a Bachelor's degree to "get anywhere." He told me that if I worked hard enough I could get a scholarship to pay for my school. We never discussed exactly how good, or where this supposed scholarship would come from, I just blindly believed him. I believed that if I worked hard enough, the money would come to me.

I knew this was what I had to do. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would do exactly what my father said. I didn't talk about it as an "if" it was a WHEN.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Let My People Go!

When I was young my father thought it necessary to "educate" me. It was a true education in all senses of the word. He thought that it was wrong to lie to your children, even if it was about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. He felt like once a child figures out, inevitably from friends at school, that their own parents were lying to them about something as innocuous as the Easter Bunny, it would erode their faith in all that their parents had ever, or would ever tell them.

Okay, so I'm being a little dramatic, but he figured it was better that the truths of the world start out coming from a child's parents instead of the other little kids at school. I was grateful for this actually and felt that the other children deserved to know.

My father had also educated me, in my five year old reality, that it was not my place to tell the other children at school, but I paid no attention to this part. I think I must have envisioned myself as a first-grade Moses. I was freeing "my people," in reality my first grade peers. This was how my life as an opinionated girl began, with phone calls home about how I made my entire first grade class cry.