I’ve always been lucky enough to be surrounded by talented people, people who are exceptional at what they do. But suddenly, talent isn’t enough. Suddenly, I’m surrounded by people who are truly passionate about what they do, and who do it all the time – not because they want to, but because they have to. Its become an inherent part of who they are. Reading history, sketching theatres, transforming the sound of shuffling cards into celluloid. And I panic, because instead of writing, I’m wandering around the streets of London, running my fingers over the spines of all the books I’ve always dreamed of, sniffing pots of lavender at farmer’s markets, gulping coffee and inhalingexhaling nicotine on cobbled streets, discussing love, lust, and life with a portugal, biting into fresh homegrown peaches, sitting on benches and listening to live renditions of “wonderwall”, sipping wine at almost-midnight on cold wet grass, shots of ‘jolly rancher vodka’ into a happily stuffed stomach, sitting on windowsills stretching bare cold toes and laughing with a g-man, playing poker with the only people that get along – and before I know it, I haven’t written anything new in almost a month, and I find myself changing the subject or busily rummaging through my bag for a lighter whenever someone asks me what I last wrote.
But after failed attempts at too much coffee, and waking up at 4-ish am, I realize I’m doing something more important than putting pen to paper, or letting my fingers skim over a keyboard. I’m having conversations on politics, love, religion, literature, human rights, art, war, poetry and peace on a daily basis. I’m listening to music I’d never listened to before. Im walking and making decisions on my own, the kind I’d be wary or worried about before. I’m working for a relationship, for a person, like I never ever have before and while it’s exhausting, I can still say at the end of a tired blister-footed day, that its worth it, he’s worth it. Im meeting people and getting entangled in cultures Id never have imagined having in such close proximity; New York City divided by a thin big-eared wall, Venezuela a door away, the blissful comfort of Mumbai as soon as I open my door, Iran a few stairs down, Portugal a cigarette smoke, british slang and a coffee cup away.
I find myself saying to a flatmate, after hours spent walking in cloudy sunlight, “I want to go home”, and he tuts sympathetically and murmurs something about Bombay or Abu Dhabi, and I look at him baffled, and say, “No, home. Our home” – The home we’ve all made together, the home that smells of menthols and gauloises, of mulled wine and vanilla, of columbian coffee brewing in the mornings, of spicy curries simmering in the evenings, the home littered with what an artist friend described as “happy plates”, with empty and beautiful green and red wine bottles with fake daisies stuffed in, when i feel like playing hostess, the home where we all gather in our bustling and busy kitchen to cook, gossip, play poker, or just lean against the windows to stare at autumn foliage or the opposite window with the bizarre wooden sculpture.
I may not be making literature but Im making a home and a family instead.