A month or so has passed since my vacation began. I have refined uselessness into an art form. It isn’t something I am ashamed of. It takes a true procrastinator to understand and reap the benefits of being pointless. It leaves space in your head to fill up with seemingly useless information that pleases me in an oddly satisfying way. Now that I’m not forcing my head with the "important" stuff, I’m seeing the little things in new light. Hobo recently went to a cafe called Moulin Rouge. When he told me this, I immediately envisioned a French Bistro with red and white checked tablecloths and tables set outdoors under white umbrellas. It turned out to be a South Indian breakfast place presenting delicacies like masala dosa rather than chocolate and cheese croissants. This delighted me in a way I cannot explain. The fact that the Starbucks waitress willingly offered to add extra caramel in my caramel (yes, it already had caramel!) macchiato filled with me a yay-ness I cleverly suppressed. I’ve bought a lot of expensive clothes and shoes while I was here – however the yellow umbrella that my mommy bought me makes me happier than all those clothes combined. An old friend told me he is absolutely fascinated with his new shaving brush. He lathers his face multiple times, just for the joy of using that darn shaving brush. My father recently bought his fourth electric toothbrush. He spent minutes fascinated, sitting on the sofa watching it whir and well "brush". It takes an experienced couch potato to truly appreciate such things.
I’m tired of explaining to people why I love doing nothing. Yesterday I went to dinner with family friends and various adults were so horrified that I have spent doing "nothing", they offered me various stints in their office for the month I have left. I am not doing nothing. I’m seeing things I haven’t seen before, in ways I haven’t seen before. I’m always so busy doing things, if people ask me what I enjoy or love, I smile and give a generic answer. Now I know. I like the way my mother folds clothes, deftly and with the creases in the right places. I like the way my new curtains filter in light in a different way and in different colors. I like the way iced tea tastes different in different glasses. I like the feeling of knowing you own new shoes. I like seeing how babies are dressed to go to the mall. I like the way my friends wall was covered in print ads. I like keeping my new clothes in their glossy bags rather than in my closet. I like that I’m able to listen to at least 5 new songs a day, and watch a movie a day. I like the way I don’t need to think, and I can let myself wander into pathways and lanes I never had the time for.
Nothing is a very subjective term. A term that is met with much harsh judgement. I haven’t lost my temper in what feels like forever. That isn’t nothing. I have the time and the inclination to want to know about my friends. That isn’t nothing. I understand the real meaning of time. It would be a lie if I said something cliche like "I found myself" or "I know my future" or even "I understand my present". I haven’t and I don’t. I do know that after years of being quite the illogical perfectionist and pushing myself, the procrastinator inside (yes, we all have them) never really had the opportunity to know that she had an identity too. She does. If truth be told, I enjoy her company more than that of the perfectionist. She listens to me when I talk and she doesn’t shun what she considers "stupid things". She doesn’t judge as harshly and she enjoys what I give her, even if its just sipping ice tea in different colored glasses next to my new curtains. She’s an artist and a poet. She’s a reader, she’s a listener. She’s dull and she’s funny. She’s moody and kind. And most importantly, she’s the most appreciative couch potato you’ll never meet.
"I’m free but I’m focused. I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed. Im brave but I’m chicken shit. And what it all boils down to, is that no-ones really got it figured out just yet. And its going to be fine, fine, fine. I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other one is hailing a taxicab…" – Hand in my Pocket by Alanis Morissette.