Friday, December 17, 2010

How I Learnt To Skate

Every time I set out to write a new post, it always turns out to be as much fun as startling a porcupine. 

Trying to write something becomes almost impossible since the pressure to write something better gets to me leaving me an emotional wreck fighting a possible case of low self esteem and hopelessness. To add to this cesspool of low self esteem induced writer’s block, I usually have to fight certain influences in my life that if left unchecked would ruin my life as I know it. Being the self proclaimed writer I am, I prefer writing letters to these influences, hoping that in some way I will maintain control over my already twisted life. I have to admit, some of these letters are a bit unnecessary. 

Others are a bit weird.

And others are, well, necessary.

So to make sure that I find something to write, I have been forced to seek alternative forms of inspiration (something that doesn’t involve sniffing glue). This time I was however, lucky. It seems inspiration was bored and decided to look for something interesting and found me (yes, I am cool like that).

I had decided to go visit a friend and talk about…well, nothing just talk and somewhere between awkward silence and habitual clock checking, my friend’s small sister, as if noticing my state of despair asked me a question that would forever change my life, dreams and aspirations. While I prefer to hide behind my pen and write about (read make fun of) what other people do, the excitement got the best of me and I found myself doing something I wouldn’t imagine myself doing even if Jessica Alba walked out of the ocean in her blue bikini and whispered in my ear (that was weirdly specific), did I say Jessica Alba? I meant girlfriend.

Anyway, my friend’s sister comes to me and asks, “You want to go outside and skate?” “Skate? Did she just say skate? As in S.K.A.T.E. skate?” I was so excited that I forgot the fact that I had never touched a pair of skates in my life, let alone skate. It was just like Jessica Alba had walked out of the ocean in her blue bikini, held me by the hand and asked me to play Call of Duty on PlayStation 3 with her (Do not make that face, the only thing better than  Jessica Alba is Jessica Alba playing video games with me)…again, I meant girlfriend.

At this point I was falling into a bottomless pit of childlike excitement. In less than 45 seconds I had pictured myself in the Olympics, beating all the racers, forget the fact that they had skated professionally probably since they were toddlers while I had skated  for months (at least in my head I had) winning medals and becoming the greatest skater of all time.

A few moments later I was brought back to earth by an eleven year old girl who could not understand why this adult was behaving like a monkey on steroids at the sight of skates. After putting on her skates, she helped me put mine on amid my unnecessary attempts to “help”. I think one of the reasons why skates excited me so much was because the looked like Robocop’s boots, and touching the robot cop’s shoes was like touching an angel’s wings. She then helped me get on my feet and this is where my dreams came crashing down into a million shards of disappointment forming a loathing for skating and all things on wheels. For the first several minutes I could not move. I looked like a dinosaur giving piggy back rides.

“Form a ‘V’ with your feet and walk towards me.” She said. “How about I take this evil contraptions off and walk away from you?!” “What?” she asks, “nothing” I say as I try and walk towards her like a duck at a Texas show down. All of a sudden I can’t move since my brain is clogged with rumblings coming from my mouth, which I think were prayers. It finally hits me; the only thing between me and death is 6 tiny wheels. “I am going to die!” “I am going to die!”  “I am going to die!” the constant recital of the fact that I think I am going to die increasingly frustrates my pre-teen tutor. “Shut up and walk towards me!!!” she says, her voice sounding like a demon possessed can opener.

By the time she's frustrated I've moved from being bald to an afro

Okay, one leg at a time, just like walking and…I was walking!!! “You see, you can skate.” She says as she glides around me like a freaking dandelion in the freaking wind. 

“Soon you’ll be skating like me…” No, soon you’ll be standing next to my hospital bed with doctors debating on how to put a cast on my broken butt!

A few tries later and I’m almost skating. My tutor looks pleased but I am pretty sure there’s a difference between skating and removing gum from the soles of my shoes. A few minutes later another friend comes and I am more than glad to take off the skates. I hand them over to him. No sooner does he put them on than I start yelling… “Form a ‘V’ with your feet and walk towards me.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Graduate of the Year Award Winner

For someone who only four years ago did not know what an anecdote was or which part of the world Cyprus is, I think I have done considerably well. Well, am sure you might have an idea of what an anecdote is, on the other hand you may belong to the category of people who will definitely fall into a slight depression after they google the word and realize it is not what they were so convinced it was - a vegetable, and then start questioning everything they know and realize that most of their life has been a series of wrong definitions and lies. By now, thanks to google, you have also confirmed that Cyprus, with a capital 'C' is a country and not a glorified tropical fruit. I however cannot blame you, I mean not everyone...knows things.

For some of us, knowing things means seeking knowledge and so about four years ago, I joined university. With all these big dreams and potential I walked the streets on campus, and just like all the great world academicians in their first year, spent a great amount of time trying to find out where the bathrooms were. I really do not understand why these very important facilities are the most hard to find, I mean...they are more important than class rooms if you ask me.

 Another great task was finding people I would call friends. After serious research and a series of interesting experiences, I realized that the term University is derived from the words 'Universe' and 'Insanity' mix the two and you have 'University'. The level of weirdness on campus is incomparable. I would not be surprised if some people were raised by wolves! It was in university that I saw for the very first time a man with straightened hair covering his eyes and blaming it on his emotions. If you ask me, the only straight thing about him was...well, his hair.

 It was also in university that I discovered the word 'culture shock', and not because it was taught in class, but out of the shock I got from what people call culture. Wearing torn clothes with scruffy hair and 'loud' jewelry is not culture, it's called being misplaced. At least that's what I thought in my first year, before I got my first pair of torn Jeans, lost my comb in my second year and became a revolutionary conscious rebel and member of the poetry club.

Only in university could you find those revolutionary poetry clubs convinced that poetry is all we need to solve all of earth's problems and that taaaalllkkkiing lllliiike thiiiiiis... sounds cool. So some torn clothes, scruffy hair, crazy talk...I mean poetry, and retardedly slow speech and a rebel was born. You see university, it's all your fault. So much for being and institution of higher learning, how about and institute for high learners! Oh ya there was some 'highness' involved....

So all that, plus the annoying room mate who has unending stories about how his day was and how the government needs to solve all the problems including his sucky day, then throw in some propaganda and senseless rhetoric about how spinning backwards long enough would turn back time and you have a relatively normal campus life. So between fighting 'the system' and skipping classes I became a mini version of Che Guevara, with the lyrical prowess of Mos Def and consciousness of Common and the wisdom of is so easy to lie to yourself. Instead of all that I became the weird guy who dressed funny and wrote random words down with no grammatical structure whatsoever and called it poetry. At some point I became the unit for crazy where people would tell each other something like, "I think you are spending too much time with Ras." or "Are Okay? You seem to be pulling a Ras lately...I hope everything is Okay." Hey but at least I was popular.

Unfortunately exams do not care for popularity and so most of the times I found myself staring at the lecturer invigilating an exam, wanting to ask, "Okay, I've seen the worst that could happen, where's the real exam?" and then they'd give me the, "This is the exam" look and I would start wondering what would happen if I faked a stroke or bit off my thumb and then tell the lecturer how impossible it was to hold a pen without my thumb. So most of the time I found myself writing the lecturer a note at the bottom of the answer sheet, partly trying to fight the system by declaring how results did not determine who I was and partly kissing bum in an attempt blind the lecturer of the fact that I knew nothing.

Sadly, all great things have to come to an end.

I have been thinking of several phrases best suited for such an occasion, so after numerous attempts, this is what I came up with... I AM DONE WITH SCHOOL!!! YOU HEAR ME WORLD? DONE!!! D.O.N.E. DONE!!! Okay, I know I could have come up with a more creative string of words but you know what, I do not care. I do not care because no teacher or lecturer is going to look at my work condescendingly, dangling affirmation over my head like a sadist dangling crack cocaine in front of an addict's face. I do not care because I do not have to wake up every Monday morning trying to figure out if I had an assignment due that week or worse, an exam. Lastly, I do not care because I am a step closer to my dream of living in a room with an endless supply of potato crisps, unlimited internet and a comfy chair. Still I can't get rid of the nagging feeling that I have it all wrong.

In my head, I feel like Columbus after discovering America. I feel like a pioneer, a voyager a...enough with the corny nouns...I am freaking excited!!! I feel like a bee after some idiot stupidly shakes my hive and then is not smart enough to run away in time before I regain my composure. I feel like the world owes me an award for World's Greatest Graduate.

Even the voices in my head are excited. They are like, "dude, we should burn something" and am like "how about my old class notes?" and they reply, "We were thinking more of the part of the constitution that talks about school." and then I stop thinking before I get myself into trouble.

So,  I remain optimistic...after all, what's the worst that could happen?