Olive juice is the lip-read version of “I love you”. And that’s what I always write, message and say to Abeer when it has a more than deeper and discreet message than the usual expression of my feelings.
This week I had to be in Bangalore. Yes I know it’s a week. Well to be honest not even a complete week. Just 5 working days. But the ‘just-5-freaking-days’ got to me – still getting to me. I did my routine “3 down 2 more to go baby” message to him. A tad extreme from an external point of view. But not me. Even at this age and otherwise mature outlook, I am a mere puddle of mush and homesick expression every lay moment. I distracted myself with a ton of work and rehearsals for the much anticipated and hyped annual day of my new organization. Apparently it’s the ONLY day they celebrate with much fanfare, hence, its doused with 100% participation, external resources and expenses. So despite my unwillingness to participate, it didn’t seem like I had a choice. It kept me busy but there wasn’t a moment in any day where I didn’t check my phone like a shameless puppy for messages or a call… or so much as a whimper from my beloved.
Before this trip, after almost a month and a half, we had some time to us. It was valentine’s weekend and I decided a decadent getaway was necessary if we wanted to steal moments from our busy schedules and respective families. It is amazing what a bottle of red, some conversation, some warmth and waking up together can do for the soul. Felt like I was in love for the 1st time with him and a whole year having passed by didn’t seem to faze me. Neither did his lack of excellence in expression like me. I have grown to accept his language of love.
He is subtle, moody, selfish in expression, playful and wasn’t 1 to be coerced or cornered. But when he did… it brightened my day 5 notches higher and I smiled all through it… sometimes like an idiot. ;) Me… was always in his face, his phone, by his side etc… joking incessantly about a quip he made about ‘expiring my contract’ someday. Truth is it scares me even to joke about it. Yet I was over the top about everything. I would be the equal of – there’s no such thing as too much chocolate, too much sweet, too much anything.
I marvel at some of my friends here at work with me. Many having left their husbands and/or wives back home in another city and week after week living working and taking more than 1 can handle flights back and forth. I KNOW I can’t do that. Long distance doesn’t work for me. I hope I never am able to handle it. For I shall probably turn nonchalant or numb and that would be bad news for me. Yet I’m perplexed at those who do this routine. Even in my time away, I just had to plan something for Abeer. And so I did before I left Mumbai – an old fashioned expression of love devoid of technology or present day delivery channels. A healthier alternative to the sugar overload I subjected him to the last time I was away.
It didn’t help when I watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona, went for a run through the traffucked and heavily polluted Bangalore roads, ate sullen meals, slept in cold sheets, commuted with strangers and shopped for stuff back home – all alone. Planned our trip down south together, researched it, or talked to the parents about mundane things. It’s a crippling handicap for me. Doing it alone. It’s not an incapability as much it is the distaste to do it alone. I had 1 glorious evening with the brother – showered him with shopping and much needed grub. Even then my conversation was majorly wrapped in life back home with work and well…. Abeer. Why, I do not gather, is there such preoccupation with such attachments. What is an inexplicable connect for me might be a conquest of sorts for him (I suppose). But that’s just men in general. To have a woman so consumed by their sheer existence, makes their egos swell to exponential levels. That swelling often blocks the view of what’s real and far deeper in what that woman feels for them or does for them.
After all of this, each time I sense a feeling of overwhelm, deprivation or neglect, I look closer. I sense harder and listen intently. I read emails and messages written in bursts over a period of time. I look at pictures, listen to podcasts, recall a special moment or expression… retrace steps to something special he did or said… Eat something we both savor. Workout. Share Elsa stories. Travel spaces in memory. Then I realize there is no dearth of it at all. Just enough to keep me going and remain appreciative of what I have. I just have to be alert to pick up every signal… Like when I say P.S. Olive juice but what I really mean is “Honey I love you!”