Attempt No. 57 at a Blog: Battling the Slump

I really don’t want to do this right now, this putting pen to paper. I don’t know why I ever did. Or why I imagined it was ever my calling. But I promised the husband that I would for at least fifteen minutes, so be it. Really wish I had those strange old egg timers that my Mom used to use to try and get me to do my homework. We used to have a ticking apple. An apple to cook an egg.

What I really wish I could do instead is curl into bed and let the blankness just wash over me, until I fell asleep. Depressing nonsense the business of being depressed. Also, the last thing I want to write about.

I almost never write in the first person. It’s strange. When I do, I sometimes have someone else’s voice playing in my head. He usually sounds like Al Pacino with a mix of what I imagine Churchill might have sound like, upon retiring after the war to one of the many libraries of a Gentleman’s club — answering any question posed to him with an anecdote or proverb.

Funny day this. Started off with a pap smear, conducted by a gay doctor. The first man other than Frank to touch me in three years. I rather not dwell on that — anything to do with feminine care is dull and vapid. After all, if Tina Fey couldn’t make periods sound interesting in Bossy Pants, what hope do I have?

I did come home and watch a lot of TV though. My favorite sport, I have a growing belly to show for it.

The first show was a grand puddle of “shamolsey” as Frank would put it. Cedar Cove, where the gorgeous Andie MacDowell plays a small town judge. If you were ever not envious of her beauty when she was younger — your righteous ass has no hope now. At 57 she is the epitome of sexy grace.

Like any great Hallmark show — Cedar Cove is centered around a small town that no one has ever heard of or would ever bother going to unless they were driving through. And yet somehow there is always loads of excitement — whether it’s the local, evil real-estate mogul trying to tear down the “historical” lighthouse, or the judge disallows a couple from getting divorced. There is never a shortage of break-ups, and men dropping in and out of town, ruffling the feathers of our heroine’s life and those of the ones she cares so deeply about.

I’m not sure if I ought to dwell much further on the plot. It is shomlsey and the dialogue dripping with predictability.

But what’s so wrong with that? What’s so wrong in indulging in the cheesy and saccharine? We do so with our food when depressed so why not with the hours of TV we watch?

How is watching a documentary like Anita or World War II: The Last Heroes or even Henry Ford, basically, any incredibly strong, well-centered, multi-dimensional, talented person meant to help the slump?

The last time I was jobless, away from home, and living in an even pokier apartment than I am currently, I decided to take myself on a lunch and movie date. Thank God, Frank was fool enough to be in love with me by this point — because between stuffing my face at La Boulagierie, followed by getting a large soda and popcorn with exxxxxxxtra butter at the movie, and my attempt of being productive by choosing to watch Black Fish instead of We’re the Millers, I was a hot mess of tears and surely anyone with even a peanut-sized sense would pick up his sketch book and run.

For the next couple of weeks I would wake up calling out, “Whales! The whales!” Only to then stay awake for hours tossing and turning, in the midst of texting friends on the other side of the world, 7000 miles away. And missing home even more.

Mind you it doesn’t take much to fall asleep when depressed. After half a bottle of wine, I would promptly pass out by 9 o’clock. The trouble however, lies in staying asleep. One tends to dream strange dreams of whales, or the over fishing of tuna (thanks to Jiro Dreams of Sushi a misguided assumption that it would be a sweet Japanese version of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations), or ex-boyfriends walking around half naked at your wedding — all equally horrific. All in requirement of being outlawed.

There is however, in all the weird, dank, boring self-doubt and sadness, a moment of light now and then. Like when your love sings you murder ballads to soothe you back to sleep. (I’m not being sarcastic, murder ballads exist. They’re strange but oddly beautiful and soothing. I think it’s the fear of death that shocks you back to sleep.) Or a friend cooking you lunch or getting your butt to yoga class, where you randomly start crying, only to feel better than you have in weeks. Your shoulders ache and women twice your age with perkier behinds get into a headstand in the time it takes you to sneeze. Damn you California! Somehow, though you need the support of a wall — you do it.

These are the small wins that aren’t very American or even very Indian for that matter. But they’re enough to help me hold on. And by God if it requires watching a formerly A-listed superstar rock it on the Hallmark channel — so be it.

Originally published at on August 5, 2016.