Monday, May 3, 2010

Parallel Lives

How do you cope with the loneliness that engulfs you the minute you set foot in a new destination? How do you deal with nostalgia, and the pain of leaving those you’ve come to love, behind? Again? and Again? and Again?

You could spend your time exploring the new place and meeting new people.

Done that! It helped but didn’t really work.

You could chalk off your previous life and send it along with boxed up memories buried in the furthest brain hole away from your consciousness.

Done that too, didn’t work either!

The space between my brain cells- the few active ones that is – is so fluid that the memories just keep popping up in my dreams and at various silly moments, especially when I’m at the grocery store. It doesn’t help either that I have to do groceries almost every day.

So I devised a plan.

I don’t have to leave any previous life behind… except the ones I didn’t quite enjoy. I can take it with me wherever I go and rolling out whenever the urge takes over.

Then I mapped it out.

I’ll live New York through the dream job I never had but at times when I’m writing, I can pretend that I’m actually writing for a purpose.

I’ll live Amman through all the new telecom gadgets in my possession: Skype, Twitter, FB and my BB. I stay connected, renew my virtual subscriptions and stay up-to-date with all the happenings.

I’ll live Cairo through my family and the updates I get from my school friends. I’ll know all the details, see all the photos and pretend that I’m familiar with all the hot night spots, the latest baby additions and the cutest new boyfriends on the menu.

So if you catch me at Trader Joe’s staring at the pasta rack and not really picking any box, don’t ask if I were OK; because at that moment, I’m probably having lunch at Centro with my former colleagues from Amman, or maybe lounging by the Nile at Sequoya with the girls in Cairo.

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