Mrs. Cold

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Sitting on my palatial double bed, I feel like the time has come again when there's nothing left to do but to start writing. I thought about what I wanted to write about when I was on a bus on my way to the Highlands from Edinburgh. The very thought was provoked by a song by Kings of Convenience called Mrs. Cold, given to me by my sister Nissa. It then occurred to me that I am this Mrs. Cold.

The trip did me well I suppose despite its shortcomings towards the end. While listening to the bus driver's modest account of Scotland's history and scandalous folklores intertwined with cheesy jokes - but to be welcomed by dispassionate silence and drowsiness - I was leaping, to the extent that one could "leap" at 8 am in the morning, heavy-headed from lack of sleep, at the quaint assembly of the countryside, its hilly muddy road wayfaring beneath the hulking mountains, rivulets merrily escaping the river like small kids playing Tag and the flaming red of fallen leaves contrasting the silvery sky under a mist-wrapped sun. It was all so effortlessly done - trees stumbling upon another, canon-like explosions of birds into the air, the dark water bodies that mushroomed on the vast acres of savage green, and the flawless reflection of mountains emanating from shallow waters constructing a parallel world beneath. Anyone can easily write an ode to nature when they're in Edinburgh - probably a better one than Sophocles' too. For many times that day I was grateful for the silent company of mother nature. I can't imagine any person, other than Nabokov or Clemens, to be able to offer me such magnificent comfort. I felt like my presence was cloistered and magnified like the girl in the latest Cornetto ice cream commercial.


My friend in Edinburgh asked me the night before what was it like to live alone - which is much different than to be alone. I'm always hesitant to answer the question that comes so very often in conversations with my high school friends. Before I answer this I think it's fair if I establish a distinction between Alone, Lonely and Loner. Alone is being the last one picked out for sport teams. Lonely is coming to a party late and everyone was already drunk. Loner is choosing to stay home on a Saturday night and struggling to find reasons for doing so. A single in a bus full of couples doing weekend travels to re-spark magic in their 30-week old relationships, I was trying to place myself under one of the categories. I decided that I was all three of them together. Now although living alone posits a profound mental burden that may or may not be healthy, I personally can't imagine living otherwise. That's the best answer I can come up with for the moment unfortunately. (Any suggestions for a better one is welcome. I shall reward the person with the best answer with a dozen of assorted Krispy Kreme.) Facebook friends dismiss the need of having real friends, quality take-outs that furnish serviettes and plastic utensils conveniently save trips to local restaurants while books have become the major attraction of my days.


This decision was followed by a remorseful contemplation of failure(s) in so-called romance. I never chose to be single but I certainly chose to stay home to wikipedia Osama bin Ladin and read historical analysis of the Lebanese Civil War, which I now realize is a major obstruction to finding romance. I'm convinced that my date would end within the first 20 minutes with an acrimonious argument on utilitarianism, if I do ever have one. Everyone loves that rush of euphoria when thinking of a loved one, even if that means one has to mentally air-brush the other person's facial features or exaggerate on his virtues. "He held the door open for me for the longest time. I think he's going to propose tomorrow." "He consumes breath mints. Isn't that thoughtful? One day, he'll make a great father of my children." But on the discovery of the same person's negative attribute I always encounter the same incredulous chorus: "I can't BELIEVE I fell for that person! What was I thinking? I can't stand that disgusting (insert your favorite body part). Is that a wart on his eyebrow?" We all miss out on the little details at first few glance until a just and thorough inspection is done. This is my explanation to the ephemeral nature of crushes: You simply didn't know the other person that well and assumed that things will be alright. When there's so little information available about the person, your brain draws from the Prince Charming mold so well encarved by Walt Disney fairy tales. An attractive tall guy with a perfect set of white teeth does not guarantee that he has great sense of humor. The same goes for intelligence that does not guarantee the absence of that conceited douchebag-ness.

Now where does all this leave our tough act Mrs. Cold? Still acting tough, I suppose, substituting deep psychological needs with yet another book on Middle East, listening to songs of anti-remorse and heartbreaks. Until one day she sits down to dinner and life as she knows it ends. Then comes question of self-pity and subscription to e-harmony newsletters.





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