When I sometimes ask myself, whether my mutism is a choice or am I a captive of it, I often get, “both” as the answer. Choice, because no matter what I can always blabber something. It may or may not get us anywhere; no learning, entertainment or emotional exchange, but I can fake interest with my words to appear amicable.
Yes, tell me more about your yoga retreat and all the chakras that you opened? Why yes, I am very interested in your one-time weekend gateway for a recreational activity, mam. Aan haan, so it rained as well? Oh no. That’s bad. It shouldn’t have rained. You’re right, when it rains, not all of us like it. I can understand your plight. How was the weather otherwise? Oh, it rained even more? That sounds horrible. I wish it had not rained for you.
I also consider myself a captive of it, because if I spoke when I don’t want to, every cell in my body will cringe and indict me of torture. The only thing more cringy than a dreary conversation for me is if I contributed to it.
So what do I do in such situations? I zip up and I choose to become an unresponsive jerk; a grumpy cat that won’t buzz off, a windows program that needs an ‘alt+ctrl+del’, a dying body of flesh that needs an exciting oratory CPR.
My mind however has a mind of its own and even though my external self is as immobile as a wood, my mind is a chirpy bird, galivanting from one ridiculous thought to another, imbibing from the overheard conversations and painting a painting that would put psychedelics to shame. If it was a pill, it would have no warnings on the box, instead just a smiley with glassy eyes.
Say, what? You bought that thing and it was dirt cheap? I don’t get it. Who is paying for dirt? Dirt doesn’t cost anything. I have never walked into a corner street shop and bought dirt for fifty rupees. I have bought ginger for fifty rupees – and boy, was that a lot of ginger – but not dirt. Dirt should be free.
Limp Bizkit. What happened to them?
Really, I want to meet people I can cursorily discuss the fabric of space-time with, but I meet people who discuss the fabric of their clothes with me.
Is that a cotton shirt? Oh, that’s linen? Really? I couldn’t tell at first. I thought it was cotton. Cotton shirts are good. My pants are cotton. I bought them with these other cotton pants. End of season sale, you know? Bro, your chinos are cotton or are they terry cotton? What’s the difference really?
I honestly could do without these conversations.
By the way, talking of pants, I often wonder, why aren’t they just called pant? Like, why can’t I just say, “I bought a blue pant.” Why do I have to say, I bought blue pants? Why in plural? Why don’t we pluralize socks or shirts by default? I can say I bought a shirt, but I can’t say, I bought a pant? Instead I have to say, I bought a shirt and I bought pants? Why is it so fucked up? And why am I buying so many bottoms for a single top? Shouldn’t this ratio be flipped – with you know, making the number of lowers, the lower number?
And the same goes for panties; it’s never a panty, it’s always panties. Bra has the elasticity of being called as bras when there are more bras than one. And regain their individuality as a singular bra when it’s just one of its kind, but not panties.
Although, what’s weird to me is that you can say pantyhose; no pluralization there! But you never say pantyhoses. Man, I will never understand English or the originators of it. Just like, I will not understand why again the panty in pantyhose is always a panty, and never a pantieshose. It’s a singular panty and a singular hose. This single panty is perhaps lonely, doesn’t have the companionship of other panties – probably has dark circles under its eyes from all that late-night crying and pondering sessions over its miserable little existence – and the hose is alone too. But I guess that’s only because hose like to be very discreet.
While this unproductive unsought information has clogged my cerebellum, I am again hammered by the questions from cotton enthusiasts.
“Is this cotton? Is that cotton? Is this on that cotton? Is that on that cotton? Are you cotton?”
Gah! Yes, I am caught-in. I am caught in this mindlessness with you cottsuckers.
Their curiosity about cotton, beats my bits about cotton beaters, in that, I want to ask, why does an advertisement for wife beaters (vests) is always so over the top and masculine? The guy with the agility of a European hare and the chest of a chiselled UFC fighter, kicks a truckload of fully clothed villains and saves the damsel in a beige dress. While on one hand, I am always defeated by the thought of how wearing the aforementioned vest will help me if I am a coward with calcium-deficient limbs, what I personally gather from vests and tank top ads, is that alpha masculine men don’t like to put on shirts.
What else I have learned from other similar advertisements that target the same demographics as vest ads, is that deodorants, colognes, and aftershaves are a tough competition to dating apps. You spray yourself a deodorant – any deodorant; foggy, watery or gel-like – and a girl with anorexic arms and dreamy eyes will be ready to pound you to death. And that the dating apps need not be marketed at all. If there is anything that can allure or challenge our fidelity, we will go full Liam Neeson on it; we will find it and we will use it, risking everything.