Awkward glances and smiles did little to alleviate the screaming silence. She just stared at the outside world through the grimy window pane. I noticed her break into a smile now and then; memories I had no place in. I breathed in every single detail – the braided hair, the mole on her chin, the back of her neck and the rather odd looking pair of glasses she held on to.

I asked her how far along she was with her graduate school applications. She went on about about how difficult her day job made it to devote enough time to anything else; about how adulthood made childhood dreams seem naive. Time, we both agreed, was a commodity in short supply. She, like me was going through a crisis of sorts. But then again, my life had been one crisis after another ever since I turned twelve. She sullenly mused on how our parents had it easier; competition was less fierce and expectations weren’t so unreasonable.

Nothing brings two people together like shared angst. From there, conversation became easier. We flitted across politics, inflation and the recession. We shared a cigarette as we delved into the macabre.

As smoke gracefully escaped her lips, I was engulfed by sudden sadness. This would soon be over too. Another connection would be lost thanks to the inherent randomness of life. I knew then that this would be an encounter that I would later romanticize; I would invariably project my idealism onto this mediocre moment. Infatuation does that. Nonetheless, we bonded. Conversation was never sparse. She was well read and we debated on the nuances of Eco’s Semiotics and Kafka’s predicament. The subtleties of cinema were not lost on her either. She seemed to eagerly await her turn as I delivered a rather pedantic rant on the French New Wave. I can be a pretentious prick but she seemed to lap up the bourgeois pseudo intellectual display.

I could not let this slip away. Carpe mundum. As I worked through lines in my head wondering what the appropriate way to ask her out would be, she gently touched my hand and smiled.

‘You shouldn’t think so much.’

‘Well, what do you propose I do?’

‘You look like the kind of person who’d know by now.’

‘You have me figured out, don’t you?’

‘Of course, you’re a Libra right?’

And it was over before it had even begun.


9 Responses to “Sign”

  1. 1 Swen

    🙂 . Cant help but smile.

  2. A girl who is well read, intelligent and beautiful (assumption made from your longing reminiscence of the back of her neck) is a believer in astrology !?!?

    I feel the pain brother. Isn’t it better than being a theist though?

  3. Dude, give yourself (and her) a break. 🙂

    p.s. are you?

  4. Beautiful. Elegantly written! Enjoyed.

  5. 5 Pink Imp

    “Nothing brings two people together like shared angst.”

    I like this line. Its so succinct and profound!

  6. Ouch… ouch… ouch…

  7. Oh, btw, I watched the Vincent Price “House on Haunted Hill”… I actually think it’s scarier than the new one. And, in spite of the now laughable special effects, it’s not bad.

  8. 8 Ravenent

    I also highly recommend Price\’s House of Wax (how I wish someone would encase Jaume Collet-Serra and Paris Hilton in wax!), The Fly and its sequel (the Cronenberg-directed Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis 1986 version was icky but not half bad though it wasn\’t a faithful remake), and The Last Man on Earth (co-scripted by Richard Matheson based on his novel I Am Legend).

  9. Cancerian-right?

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