As a child, I would always stare at my bowl of alphabet soup, waiting for a message. Maybe it would be some sort of secret formula or a message from the universe, I would have even settled for my initials.
Now I just stare at my bowl of soup because I have no appetite. And also because it was repulsive. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the canned version, it seemed like a fancy restaurant meal compared to the recipe mother had created.
I was waiting for her to get busy with phone calls. Once she left the kitchen, I poured the soup into the trash. I don’t care much for separating wet and dry waste, mostly because I don’t know what difference it really makes. I looked at the soup again, wondering if it would look the same coming back up. Just the thought of having to taste chunks of tomatoes and parmesan twice in a day nauseated me.
I stood in the bathroom for a while, looking at my reflection. I looked at my body very often. I did not admire it but I did not dislike it either. I liked my barely-there breasts because it made me feel closer to being a man. I felt a sense of power. I refused to look below my waist because all I saw was weakness and a discreet birthmark. I decided to shower later in the day.
Mother had already left. She usually leaves the house around 9 am but some days, out of guilt, she’d stay and cook me breakfast. I didn’t get it at first because we had a cook but over time I realised that it was the only time in the day she got to see me and felt the need to do something motherly.
I could have saved myself from the raw fried eggs every other morning by seeing her when she got back from work at night but it seemed easier to pretend to be asleep so I wouldn’t have to endure the small talk. We never got past the small talk.
After her father passed away, she took over his business all by herself and managed to keep it running. She had excelled in everything she had ever done. Except being a mother. It was the only thing she never got a hang of.
Sometimes I was glad that there were so many people around all the time. We had an abundance of housekeepers who couldn’t keep it down but a part of me liked it because I would not hear conversation in this house otherwise.
It wasn’t much of a bother when I was in school. I would leave home way before it would start and return much after but now that I had graduated, there wasn’t much to do and I no longer liked to wander.
I didn’t do much most days. I just lay in bed. I didn’t use my phone or listen to music. I just lay there and that seemed like enough. At least to me it did but Marcy (one of the housekeepers) kept insisting I go out and see my friends.
I didn’t have any friends. I knew a lot of people though. Well, I knew some of their names.
I was not opposed to having friends, I just couldn’t relate to the people I knew.
They all sounded like they had it pretty bad and I didn’t. Sure, I didn’t know my father but that’s not really considered a loss. It was not like I had lost him to cancer or alcoholism.
My siblings weren’t dickheads because they didn’t exist. And relationships; what seemed to be the topic of most lunch breaks, were foreign to me.
I was neither looking for someone to marry nor to live with and other than that, what point did relationships have? It didn’t seem very clever to start something knowing it would certainly end.
Mother didn’t get that. She would see a different man every 10 days and time after time it seemed like it did not go well. Some nights she wouldn’t come home. I don’t think she wanted me to know so I tried not to mention it. For a successful woman, she still seemed to be looking for her purpose. It wasn’t running a law firm, motherhood or being breathtakingly beautiful. I think it was was to be wanted.
That’s something I did not want for myself. I had never known a strong woman who was satisfied with herself and didn’t need the attention of a man. I’d heard of it and read about it but I didn’t believe in things I hadn’t seen. Which is why I wasn’t religious and also why I don’t have an opinion about Kurt Cobain’s murder/suicide situation.
It somehow always seemed like a lot of people, including women, believed that they were incomplete unless they had a man. When I realised this, I constantly wished I was a man, or at the least; gay. Many of my problems stem from being a girl. I was born with a feeling of inadequacy and have still not learned to live with it. The rest of my problems come from being a jaded person.
I never had hobbies because of how easily bored I was so I never got good, let alone great at anything. My favourites changed so frequently that after a while I stopped keeping up. I didn’t read much and I didn’t like to keep up with TV shows. I tried to avoid things that would stimulate my mind because it would hardly be quiet now, it did not need new things to think about.
I spent all of my nights on the roof outside my window. I never really learned what it was called. I would light cigarettes and smoke them until the sun would come up. Occasionally having minor anxiety attacks because I would think too much about my purpose, my future. Did I have a purpose? Did any of us? Would the fact that I recycled or how many people I’d slept with matter?
Did estranged relations and healthy eating habits make your life better or worse? There was nothing worse than not knowing what my future would be. I could end up wanting things I never did and be easily entertained for hours by books about nothing and there is nothing I can do about it. So, for now, I’ll lie here in the smoke till my thoughts ebb because the future is just that; the future.