A Different Kind of Arrangement

He was from Bangalore. Quiet and a bit shy though I could tell he was trying to come off as open and friendly as best he could.

We talked a bit over dinner, and I asked him about his family – all who are still over in Bangalore.

“They must be so proud of you!” I exclaimed. “Thier son, off in America living the dream, working at a big tech company, strong and successful living in one of the most desired cities in the world.”

He smiled again down at his plate but quickly looked up at me as his shyness began to melt away- replaced with his honest reaction to the absurd suggestion that his parents must be proud of him.

“Well… not exactly,” He said with a chuckle.

We finished up dinner, and he asked me if I’d like to go with him up to the city to check out a party – Dracula themed. He told me that a co-worker of his was djing and he had bought two tickets hoping I would like to go with him. Why not, he seemed nice enough, harmless enough.

We walked two blocks down the street to where his shiny new black Audi A4 was parked and climbed in. It was immaculate inside and out. Once we were since he handed me an envelope with $160 inside. Slipped into my purse. Thank you. The whole way to the city he played dance music and top 40 songs and we talked a bit more about this and that. Nothing too note worthy or that I can very well remember. I did notice his driving – I felt very comfortable in the car with him. I liked the way he drove. He didn’t tailgate at all, which is something I cannot stand.

The party was interesting. I felt like I was dumped into a scene from the Adam’s Family. All around me were ladies in heavy black eye make up, long black dresses with fishnets and black head pieces. The men mostly looked as though they had just stepped out of Burning Man. Everyone walked slowly and deliberately and there was a creepy aura to the place, heightened by the fact that there was a strange women playing the piano and singing gruesome sounding songs while a crowd sat at tables around the stage watching with creepy smiles on their faces. That was one room. There was some sort of psychic   reader upstairs, and a bar in the room adjacent to the piano room. The whole place had a specific smell to it – a mix of plastic wig hair, too much make up, and cheap costume fabric. It smelled like one of those Halloween mega stores that start popping up all over town at the start of October. I wasn’t a fan. But I stayed a bit to be polite, and after an hour or so I told my new friend that I was ready to leave but was happy to call myself an uber home in case he wanted to stay. Fortunately, he was ready to leave as well and we headed back to his car.

On the drive back he started to open up a bit after I asked him about dating and how it’s been for him since coming to America. Sounded like his parents were really on his case…

“They always say, ‘when are you going to find a partner?'” He explained. Apparently 30 is too old to be single and he was under tremendous pressure to find a wife and start a family.  Turns out, they were set have him married in just four months time… unless of course, he could find his own wife. The desperation he must have been feeling hit me like a ton of bricks. This shy man from India makes his way to America, and he has been here for five years stuck somewhere between indian and American culture. And so he is trying everything to pick his own rather than fall victim to his parents Arrangement. I could tell the whole situation disturbed him greatly, and was the cause of much stress and anxiety for him.

“Do you know the girl? Do you get to meet her first?” I asked.

He looked grim. “Yes. I can talk to her, video messaging and all that. But I have not pursued it very much. I do not very much want to. There is no spark. I know how it will be… we will marry, and be together, but that is it.”

“It must be nice for her though – she must be excited. She gets a nice, successful husband, she gets to live here in America with you!” I offered, trying to lighten the mood.

“Yes! She gets everything. I get nothing.”

Wow. So he has four months. And when four months comes around, he will marry the girl from his hometown. He will go to India and marry her, and they will return together and begin their life together.

Maybe it’s not so bad. To start off with no spark? To lock yourself into an arranged marriage from the start. But the problem is he is too old. He knows too much.  He has lived… he has tasted America. And he doesn’t want to go back. But culture and tradition and pressure runs deep. Deeper than the freedom of America. Even so far from his family, he still feels the need to ignore his own desires in order to succumb to their wishes.

He wants what he wants, but he will accept what he gets. I wish him the best. I hope he finds what he is looking for, or even better, I hope when he meets this girl from Bangalore that he is set to marry – that the spark is there, and they both get what they have always wanted in a partner.

Haha. Yeah right. As if.

Sorry. I’m in a terrible mood. I just feel so down sometimes I can’t take it. I feel so down on everything. On men. On women. On myself. Whats the point? Whats the point of it all. Look where I am, look who I am. I keep thinking back to myself at 10 years old. So sweet, so shy, so curious and excited to grow up and live my own life. All on my own! My very own. And then I think back to myself at 16 years old. Already having my doubts… Already life dropping small hints here and there that it may not be all that I had hoped and dreamed…

21 years old. Life hit me over the back of my head with a frying pan in the middle of bumblefuck Wyoming. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the beginning of the end, before anything had even begun. I wasn’t ready, but he didn’t care. I didn’t want it but he didn’t care.

I just want to go back. I want to go back to 10 years old. Fuck take me back to 16 years old even. I’m only 26 and already I am begging for a do-over. Where the hell did I go so wrong?

I am hungry for love. I am hungry for loyalty. But I crave it from all of the wrong men. I crave love and acceptance only from those who are incapable of giving it to me. I go for the impossible. I go for the absolutes. Absolutely and totally unavailable. Am I really this cliche? Does it really just boil down to daddy issues?? Is it that simple and basic? I never felt like I missed out on a father. My mother was so good at being both… but was she? I never felt like I was missing him. But was I?

So I’m done for now. I’m done chasing my dream of ever lasting love. I’m taking a heart-break, because what else is there to do when your heart is broken and further more -never even fully formed to start.

We all have our ways. This is mine, for now at least. I might be alone for a while, but at least I’ll have some money in my savings account. And thats more than I would have if I were to spend my time with the types of fellows I usually go for. The ones who rob me blind yet still I go crawling back for more. Well it’s my turn now. I’m taking back the reins, and I’m steering clear of any man who might tempt me to give any part of myself to him.

My lover. My best friend. I’m not giving up…  but I’m done searching for you.

When you are ready, you come find me. Maybe I’ll be here, maybe I won’t.

Until then, I’ll keep writing. Because thats the only thing that seems to keep me some what grounded and remind me of who I used to be before I began losing hope.

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