I season my food like an Indian—
the country, not the reservation—
Is that racist?
I don’t mean to be—
I took a cultural awareness seminar at work.
Our company is outsourcing more jobs to India—
the country, not the reservation—
those of us still here
sit in lonely offices on empty hallways
from nine to five
while our co-workers race to catch crowded trains
in route to an office in Kolkata, India—
the country, not the reservation—
for graveyard shifts that cater to our every need.
They say Americans and Europeans are task oriented while
Indians like to build relationships first—
every email begins with Dear [Insert First Name Here] . . .
I always ask them how they’re doing
before a conference call.
Rajesh is getting over a cold.
Neha’s sister just got a job
at headquarters in Manchester.
She moves next month.
They are eternal procrastinators,
they can never finish an assignment on time.
I’ve settled to creating back-up schedules just for them.
Never ask them a Yes or No question
the answer is always: sure, sure . . .
we would surely do that [Insert First Name Here] . . .
I can relate—
my boyfriend’s always asking me to call him more,
visit him more,
fuck him more . . . sure, sure, I say, I would surely do that . . .
When I have the time.
Turnover is high in India—
the country, not the reservation—
I don’t blame them,
most of them are young; they shouldn’t spend their lives
sleeping the day away to work through the
night for a global corporation that only
employs them because they’re cheap—
especially with the number of festivals they have a year,
they should be out partying with family and friends.
I’ve tried to keep up with their holiday calendar—
I’m starting to think they’re making up days—
they know I’m not as strict as the other
task-oriented, American managers.
I guess I’m more Indian than I am American—
the country, not the—
you get it, right?
I’m drawing a blank for today’s poem. I was thinking about using this guy I’ve been crushing on for the past several months as inspiration. By the way, isn’t that pretty pathetic? A grown woman having a crush on her co-worker like she’s still in middle school. Seriously, why can’t I just walk up to him and ask him out? Has my fear of rejection grown that much since age 12? But I digress . . .
I’ve never been that great at love poems. They always take an eerie turn by the end—almost Poe-like—but I’ll give this one a try. Oh, and speaking of middle school, when I was 12, I did write a poem about a boy I had a crush one. He was an eighth-grader (I’ve always had a thing for older men for some reason). Not only did I write this puppy love, love poem about a boy I had no chance with, I also included his FULL name within the poem, AND I posted it on Poetry.com! What was I thinking?! Anyway, don’t bother to look for the poem now. The moment I saw it (10 years later), I took it down. Talk about embarrassing.
Needless to say, I will not be including this particular crush’s name in this poem. But if he were to happen upon this post (we are Facebook friends; I could conveniently share it when he’s online), I really hope it inspires him to ask me out. Here’s to middle school hoping.
You make my legs weak
my palms sweat
my feet tingle
my nipples harden at night
when I lay in bed
dreaming of you—
these are the clichés you search
for to describe a crush
I feel none of these things—
and the indescribable desire
to be near you.
Tell me how I should feel—
snatch me up in your arms
thrust me into your love poem
discard the clichés
show me the reality of passion
how it relates to pain
take control of my heart—
sweet nothings don’t affect me—
squeeze my heart in your fist
how should I love
where should I touch
Don’t just kiss me
take my lips in your mouth
suck them blue.
Give me a reason to
succumb to you.
Eh, like I said, I’m not really a love poet, but I guess this one will grow on me. By the way, this post is also part of JusJoJan. Check out more January jots here.
“These toilets do not flush automatically. Please turn around and flush your shit before you exit the stall, nasty bitches.”
That was the note I left on the door of the Ladies’ bathroom at Chipotle Grill the day I was fired. I guess I asked for it. The PG-13 language may have been unnecessary, but no one needs a reminder that Mexican food speeds up your bowel movement, especially the girl who’d been stuck doing clean-up duty ever since she laughed at the store manager in bed.
Javier had been looking for a reason to get rid of me for the past two months. When he asked me out, he claimed he knew how to separate business and pleasure. Maybe he could, but after our unsuccessful date, seeing my face was a constant reminder that he wasn’t as youthful and dynamic as he once was, and the permanent image of a limp noodle dangling in front of my face forced me to burst into a fit of giggles every time he walked by. He hated me. I knew it. I could see it in the smirk on his face when he told me to leave and never come back, not even to eat.
One day, pride will drive him to start taking Viagra, or whatever other male enhancement drugs they have out these days. If that happens, I feel sorry for the girl who will eventually fall victim to his advances (always an ass grab during lunch rush) and sleep with him after the first date (always a cheesy movie and dinner at another Chipotle). I had sex with a guy who popped a Viagra pill once. He said he only took it because he was curious to see what would happen, but we both knew the true reason was that he wasn’t good enough in bed to keep me, and he’d hoped the drug would help. It did, for about five minutes, then he couldn’t stop. I think the warning, “please see a doctor if your erection lasts longer than four hours,” is a message more so for the woman involved than it is for the man taking the pill.
This is what my life has come to. Getting fired from a menial job at a fast food Mexican restaurant, and sex with men who lack physical confidence and stamina and need a pharmaceutical boost to assist them. The sad thing is I’m not ashamed at all. I just hope those nasty bitches got my note.
This fiction piece is part of JusJoJan. By the way, am I the only one sticking to the sex prompt for this week? 😀 Haha!
I’ve kissed more boys
than I can count
and loved less.
My feelings intensify and
fade like the seasons.
Do not mention marriage in the summer
and never children in the snow.
Laugh at my jokes and I’ll
pretend your confessions of
undying infatuation don’t amuse me.
My heart has belonged to one man only—
old enough to be my daddy.
He loved me roughly and
told me I’d be his when
I turn thirty.
So I wait for him,
continue kissing my boys
and stealing their hearts
to keep me company
until my daddy comes home.
These are all creative fiction pieces, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy them! 😉 )
This revelation made me wonder: is my writer’s aesthetic sex? I would hope not. I would like to say that my writing is diverse, that it cover an array of topics, including but not exclusive to sex. But as Shan Jeniah said in her JusJoJan post, our primitive sex drive is at the root of all that we are. Everything ever done, including art, was done for the sake of sex. So maybe it’s not such a bad thing that I write about sex a little too often than I should. It’s all a part of our natural, animalistic instincts, right? As long as there’s a pretty awesome story behind it, who cares if there’s a little raunchiness?
Who ever said that sex in books was awkward anyway? If that were true, erotica wouldn’t be such a booming business. Readers loved it so much, Fifty Shades of Grey (a book I still haven’t read) was made into a movie (which I will more than likely watch before I read the book because that seems to be the habit as of late). Sex sells, people, and although I’d rather you love my plotlines and the characters I create, it’s ok for you to enjoy the subtle sexiness of it too. Come on, you know you want to.
I had a dream about my ex last night. Not the crazy one, but my high school sweetheart. The one who got away. Although, I wouldn’t call him that either. We were bad for each other. We fought all the time, and I know for a fact that he cheated on me with the girl he’s dating now. Still, I can’t deny that I loved him like crazy. And the sex was amazing. Graduation night is one night I’ll never forget. Doesn’t that sound so cliché? The best sex I’ve ever had came on graduation night? I guess that’s when most girls get knocked up. Or is the prom night?
I don’t know why he was at my house in my dream. Dreams never offer an explanation. They just give you the broader picture. Leave you hanging with that one compelling image buried in your mind, causing you to question every aspect of reality the moment you wake up.
I was lying in bed when he casually walked into my room and asked if he could spend the night because he couldn’t find a ride home. I didn’t offer to drive him home or protest the inconvenience. I just got my air mattress from the closet and let him sleep on the floor.
Graduation night, we had sex on an air mattress. He and his mom and had just moved and hadn’t yet bought any furniture for the new house. She was on late shift at the emergency clinic, so we had an empty house and one air mattress all to ourselves. We ran around the house naked, spanking each other with damp towels and drinking apple juice. When we finally settled on the mattress, he planted a sloppy, wet kiss on my neck that made the bottoms of my feet tingle. I didn’t want the night to end.
I wonder if I was thinking about that night in my dream as I lay in bed, the only man I ever truly loved a couple feet away. I wonder if the memory of what we used to be motivated me to get out of bed and join him on the floor. I wonder if flashbacks of us being young and stupid and enjoying every second of it led me to kiss him sloppily on the neck, and then the lips. Maybe that’s why I climbed on top of him and travelled back in time to a place where we didn’t worry about infidelity, or gossip, whether or not we were right for each other, or if things were meant to be. A place where we could wave so long to the pretenses and just be two people enjoying the company we brought on one insignificant air mattress.
I woke up smelling his cologne this morning. Maybe he washere. Maybe he had the same dream. Maybe he woke up smelling me too.