The One about Nothing

It’s appropriate irony that a few days after I declare that a distant reader makes me a prolific blogger, I can’t think of anything to write. I don’t want to write about love. Its tiresome. I don’t want to write about what could be, I’m too preoccupied by what is. But I write about it again.

I get awed by certain attributes and achievements-intelligence, wit, good writing skills, honesty or kindness-and the ones who possess them in abundance. I put them on pedestals. There isn’t any room for envy; I just can’t stop gushing about these exceptional people for a long time thereafter, which greatly amuses my family and friends. They shake their heads and say, “Let’s see if you feel the same few months from now“.  I find their irreverence to these talented souls nothing short of blasphemy. I idolize these people, building the pedestals higher and higher after every interaction and a rare look into their dazzling personalities.

I get tunnel vision and only see what I want to see. But with time, inconsequential details that I used to overlook earlier becomes glaringly evident, and often knocks down the pedestal an inch or two. Anything could lead to it. Sometimes they can’t spell (loose instead of lose), or their vocabulary is generously peppered with verbal trash like dudes, gals or ‘sure thing ya‘! I want to run to them and put my hand over their mouth to stop them from sprouting such words so often. Most often they lack sensitivity and have inflated egos, which I had liked at the beginning as ‘sexy arrogance‘. Few of them are sexists. Sometimes the witty one-liners fail to produce even a flicker of a smile. Only three persons continue to stand on the pedestals I had erected, but I won’t name them. I don’t want to jinx it. So many have toppled over.

I take care never to fall in love with someone I have put on a pedestal, as it can be tragic never to harbour a hope of it being reciprocated; the possibility seems so absurd and improbable to me that I avoid it. I fall in love with the accessible. The mediocre. The ordinary with an edge of extra-ordinary. The rude boy. The bookworm. The poet. The one with a frown. The one with strong hands. The one that makes me laugh. The one that listens. The one I love to listen to. Sometimes even the accessible becomes inaccessible. And the wait never seems to end.

Find someone new who appreciates your love“, I was told recently. If only we could vacate our heart and accommodate it with a new person so easily. I go back to my favorite passage from Aimee Bender’s short story that describes with such clarity how I feel this moment.

…it’s brutal to imagine the idea of meeting a new person. Going through the same routine. Saying the same phrases I have now said many times: the big statements, the grand revelations about my childhood and character, the cautious revealing of my insecurities. I have said them already, and they sit now in the minds of those people who are out living lives I have no access to anymore. A while ago, this sharing was tremendous; now the idea of facing a new person and speaking the same core sentences seems like a mistake, an error of integrity. Surely it is not good for my own mind to make myself into a speech like that. The only major untouched field of discussion will have to do with this feeling, this tiredness, this exact speech. The next person I love, I will sit across from in silence, we will have to learn it from each other some other way.
 (Aimee Bender)
 And sometimes there is an exception, and it scares the hell out of me.

4 thoughts on “The One about Nothing”

  1. Omg!!! And I thought I was the only one who had this affliction of deifying people around me…I develop a tunnel vision, this goes on for a few months, until I discover they are human after all, just like me…I did not even realize I did this constantly, until my husband pointed it out…I think its easier to imagine perfect-god-like human beings around us that make us want to aspire, to be better than ourselves…also, I am constantly to superimpose the amazing characters from my favorite books on to people around me…the funny thing is, despite the fact that I now know I do this, I wouldn't want to change a thing…I think its wonderful that I want to see good, the better, the best in other people..the small negatives hit me as an after-thought, which do reduce the height of the pedestals…but better glorify than not feel at all…p.s: thanks so much for sharing this note on nothing, makes me feel so much better that someone out there does this too 🙂

  2. :)It's habitual with me too. I get so awed, and try to imbibe at least a fraction of their aura that I read the same books, listen to the same music, try the same food…all in the hope that some of their genius rubs off on me. This happens irrespective of gender, and it causes quite a lot of misunderstanding because the person I put on a pedestal starts to assume that I harbour romantic notions towards them. It gets awkwrd then, because I can't explain that I like idolizing people…the explanation seems feeble…because so few of us do it. glad to know that we are on the same boat on this 🙂

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