XXXVI. The Pretty Ugly -

I woke up at 3 AM in a daze and looked behind me- where the sole window in my dorm room is - only to find snow blanketing the ground.

My first thought was - it’s pretty… reminiscent of my childhood in New York when me waking up to snow would foreshadow a beautiful Northeastern brisk winter day. My mom would bake something warm and tasty and I could cuddle in the warmth and safety of my home, my happiness, and the peace of mind that the snow provided because it acted as a barrier between the outside world and my home- my abode.

Immediately after this mid-sleep thought, I cringed, dropped the elbow I was leaning my head on, and sank back under my cover where I continued to cringe and contract into a horrid sleep - the kind of sleep I have had every night for the past 3.5 years at my pretty ugly Ivy League college.

The snow is pretty ugly…

It’s a texture that is hard as a rock, but at the same time, is soft enough to stick onto your footwear - mocking you as you track it’s white dandruff-looking molecules wherever you go.

The most tragic part is that even though it is not snowing and you don’t have to use your umbrella, lest people think that you are socially awkward/an out-caste/ the counterpart to old ladies who use an umbrella on the most pleasant of summer days…

… the lingering snow whirls around, uninhibited, involuntary, inferior only to the wind.

As a result, wet rain-like drops are all around you.

It might as well be snowing. At least then I can use my umbrella without society singling us curly-haired persons out in a uniformly standardized disgust

I walk without a hat…

….because I never wear hats and  I just went up to my room again to fetch an umbrella in the case of rain, and I forgot my ID again, and I do not want to sign in and go up yet again.

So here I am, with my curly hair that reacts to all dampness by curling further.

I have just straightened the shortened bang-like pieces of hair on the front of my head and pinned them up just so - close to perfection or at least the perfection that enables me to walk out of my room knowing fully well that people will see me and not minding that people will see me.

The Pretty Ugly -

Apparently my hair is “interesting” and is of a “texture” in which me cutting it would not be conducive to anything but accentuating the texture.

Two different people had told me the above.

Exasperated by the fact that I have to remain politically correct, even though I have about a hundred come-back-ammo in my possession that I could easily let slide out from my brain to my vocal cords to the sound waves that hit their ears, I call my mother.

“They’re just jealous.”

Why on earth would I want to have the same hair as most: straight, fringe-like, fine pieces of a poor excuse for hair - it’s as if you’re perpetually  keratin-deficient.

Why would I want strands of white hair during my early twenties or have hair on places other than my head?

The Pretty Ugly -

Your twenties and college life are supposedly the primacy of a human’s life.

I beg to differ. The skin on my hands are perpetually cracked and bruised due to the constant typing and writing in air-conditioned study areas and no amount of cream will let them heal.

The Pretty Ugly -

Nowhere do I feel prettier than when I am away from the here and now - away from the nauseating falseness of everyone, away from their close-mindedness, away from the place where snow is no longer magical, away from this place where effort is equivalent to failure -

Oh but the Victorian-looking buildings are gorgeous - the winding collegiate campus is effervescent!

The pretty ugly -

Life cannot be so bifurcated, right?

Things can be pretty without being ugly and vice versa, hai na?

Some hours have passed and the book I have been reading provided me an answer to the question above:

“Feroz - husband and oppressor; lover and tormentor; victim and victimizer. No man had ever made her happier or more miserable… Feroz had held the keys to her happiness, but those keys had unlocked the gates of hell.”

                                                                                           -Thrity Umrigar

I don’t think this is the answer that I wanted -