Dirty Martini - Prologue

Dirty Martini - Prologue

6 mins 22.7K 6 mins 22.7K

Are you feeling lonely?

Do you want to talk to me from the bottom of your heart?

A few people have asked me these questions. There was a time when I felt lonely. But now, I have forgotten what loneliness is.

Maybe sometimes, when I am bored or looking for immediate help and scroll through my 159 members strong contact list, and stand there having no inclination to call any of them, I have felt it.

When I entered the pub and asked for a table for one and invited the wondering, curious stare from the bartender, I felt a pang of loneliness.

But now, I am addicted to the peace and calm of being alone. There is something so soothing about solitude that I have no urgent wish to give it up and connect with people.

I wouldn’t deny that at times, it feels awkward to sit alone. I resort to scrolling through my mobile, though I have no new notifications – not even candy crush requests, even after I avail the pub’s free Wi-Fi. It is then that I get these crazy thoughts. If I had a lot of money, I would create a unique coffee shop – just for loners like me, filled with single seats and perfect spots to sit, gazing out the window. Now, that would have a lot of takers. I knew there were people out there who felt like me and would flock there.

Why is it considered so wrong to go out alone? If I walk along the beach stretch, some people suspect that I am suicidal. If I stare at a group of folks, they notice and think I’m jealous. Or, is it just me? Am I the one who feels the phantom stares when no one actually cares?

I wanted to scream at those with the probing stares. “Stop calling me a loser! The way I live life is my choice.” But I stop short, fearing being labelled a psychopath.


Is it wrong that loneliness makes me attentive? I have stopped looking and started observing. I stare at things with a smile, pondering at the layers of life and the complexities that come, manmade and destined. I look beneath the surface, searching for things that are not apparent to a mind clouded with other, stronger preoccupations.

Sometimes, when I sit alone amidst couples, munching popcorn and sipping cola, I sense their sympathising looks. They know I am alone, and they look at me like it’s a bad thing. Of course, I understand the empathy, but their concern is misplaced. I don’t know if I am hurt, but I am awkward.

The thing is, I can’t brush away this feeling that I am being watched, that I am different from all the others. Even when I tried to check-in on Facebook, it asked me ‘with?’, and I discarded the post. Loneliness was not just the silence around me; it was also the noise surrounding me. I feel the same when the room is empty like I would feel if it were full of people.

I am trying my best. I want to lift my grumpy soul. I am trying to fool myself that my life would change and be filled with adventure very soon. My life feels ludicrous now, at least when I see it through the eyes of others. I am trying to clamber out of this phase. But I guess I’m just stuck with it. When I visualize my life ahead, I don’t see it mapping out in any other way.

The flowchart of my life begins at the small rectangle called Start and stops abruptly. Though there are a few deviations, it is on an infinite loop to the same rectangle, no matter what the input.

Perks of being a computer engineer.

My life doesn’t even have a ‘C’ for ‘clear’. After the mess of these many days, I have boldly risen away everything mundane and decided to live life without complications. The people who chained me down to weights have been cut off from my life like the limbs of an octopus. My family, friends, love life and career inclusive. Oh, wait! That makes it only four? Sigh. I am a mess all over again!

I wanted to stop thinking. I am not doing it intentionally, but I seem to have no stop switch either. My mind constantly ponders over something, even when I light up a small cigarette. I am instantly conscious of the great people of Chennai, and their part-horrified, part-disgusted looks at a girl who smokes. I don’t have proper company to go to a pub. Too many experiences of getting stoned or ending up with a slimy snake around my legs, not to mention the tears, drunk phone calls to my ex and the repercussions, have kept me well away from that morbid scene.

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to change my way of life. I wanted to escape the monotonous runt and do something passionately. I asked a few people in my life if I sounded good while singing. Their sniggers led me to record my voice. I struck off dubbing / playback singing from my list after hearing that.

My cakes and cookies came out burnt, unlike those perfect Pinterest attempts. The paper that was supposed to be filled with masterpiece verses remained blank, like my mind. My gardening attempts resulted in yellowed and withered plants. Early morning sunrise/nature photographs turned out blurry.

After striking everything from the list, I thought for a day and found the one little thing I should have struck in the beginning. Passion.

I had to stop drinking those pints. Beer bloated me up and added unwelcomed puffiness to my face. I promised myself that I wouldn’t lose my size zero. My shape and the spattered freckles on my face made me cute. The greasy shine on my nose was an added attraction. The faces that cross me and turn for a better look gave me that badass attitude.

I have the distinction of being rude to people. I refuse flatly when things are not acceptable to me. It is easier for me to say a big NO, unlike most others. My unbelievably smooth accent is one thing that makes me sexier, and one I use to full advantage, as a defence mechanism, to tower over my opponents.

Clothes like tank t-shirts, tattered trousers, and baggy pants make me look extremely intimidating. With the cigarette, a red bull/beer, spouting words peppered with feminism, I can see the common people, with their halo of self-defined morality (that changes conveniently based on needs), coin a term for me that I don’t quite approve of – Bitch.

But there is something people don’t understand.

My loneliness is a choice, not a situation.

And whenever I ache, I do something. That one thing I shouldn’t be doing.

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