Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

Zindagee (Life)


Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Have you ever been sitting around a frozen yogurt shop trying to find the best pieces of Oreo bits you can to put on as a topping over your pistachio and wedding cake flavored yogurt, and had an existential crisis? Do you ever wonder about the meaning of life in these moments when you are doing the most mundane tasks and your life all of a sudden seems like it really is just about finding the perfect Reese’s Pieces bits to top the peanut butter sauce you put on your yogurt sundae?

You realize as you hog the chocolate toppings there is no purpose to your life and you should have just gone for the ice cream because you put enough toppings on there to fill Willy Wonka’s candy store.

Do you ever wonder what you are doing with your life as you monotonously chew on bits of fake chocolate chips they call Caribou Chips? I often think I’m writing in the wrong language like I should pick an Indian language. I often think I should eat real chocolate chips. I often think I’m in the wrong body, one that is much curvier than I would like.  But I’m here, not making the situation better by eating so much sugar. As you may have guessed. Maybe I’m lost at sea, but actually, I’m on land. I realize this is not Moby Dick, It’s just a blog, but I think you may get me.

Do you ever wonder what the point of life is as you try to sit on what they call ‘modern’ furniture that is basically really small plastic orange half ass chairs? NOT because you want to die, but seriously why are we alive?  And why is this furniture so low to the ground? We cannot just be alive to eat frozen fucking yogurt sitting on what ostensibly seems like kids toy furniture.  Is this a game, a dream, what is this? And by the way, who is running the show? It can’t be the lady behind the counter at the yogurt shop biting her light pink nails.

Do you think life can just be? Like maybe we just exist? Like sands through the hour glass, or like yogurt through the frozen yogurt dispenser?

I don’t know, that’s kind of stupid and pointless, I’m not a nihilist or an existentialist. If there is no meaning to life, I will make meaning. I should have had a kid. Who am I kidding? I’M A KID.

I was at this yogurt place which will remain unnamed, I kind of want to call it out, I’m such an idiot. I don’t have the guts to name this stupid useless chain of a yogurt shop. But what happened next was not really the establishment’s fault but more the employee’s.

So here’s the story: There was a heavy set black man wearing a nice leather jacket, khakis, and a gold chain. He was with a Hispanic woman buying yogurt in front of me, she was remotely pretty with rather full lips. He, by the way, didn’t resemble a thug. I’m not the most familiar with thugs, but I think I’d know one if I saw one.

The man bought both yogurts and the cashier distinctly and definitely asked to see his ID when he gave her his credit card. It was like eight dollars, total. I’ve bought 300 dollars worth of shit at Walmart and no one has ever asked to see my ID in this town. He did not seem visibly perturbed at all. He smiled at the cashier. Was I in a movie?

I went up to the counter next, this skinny girl with mousy hair took my credit card, mine was also eight dollars total. I have to watch those toppings, I can’t get enough of those cookie dough pieces. I wasn’t really paying attention until after I gave her my credit card. I noticed she never asked to see my ID. Me, I was eating double the amount of toppings of the both of them, I’m the suspect one.

I can’t be a good guy in this situation, card me. I’ve used my father’s credit card on more than one occasion in this town, and have never, ever, been caught. People are used to middle-class Indians in this town. I once used my friend’s member ship card to get into Lifetime Fitness, I clearly don’t look like my friend, but the man at the counter let me in because ‘you don’t look like you’re playing me.’ That guy behind the counter was Black.

What’s happening? What is going on if I can’t say something to the bitch at the yogurt store? She was like 17 or 20 or some immature age like that. I’m a proper woman, let’s be real, I’m middle aged.

I was supposed to do something at this moment. Please help me out here, what was I supposed to do? Cause a scene? Like the time they would not accept my blind father’s state ID because he didn’t have a driver’s license, at the grocery store. I caused a ruckus when I was sixteen, so much so the manager had to calm me down. Was I young then? Brave then?

Maybe I still had that fire under my ass. Where did it go? I stood there frozen as my yogurt melted.

Why was this different than the situation with my dad? Retrospectively I have no delusions that I’m Wonder Woman and I was going to swoop down to the mousy stupid kid at the yogurt counter and do a ‘Citizens Arrest.’ That I would put my fake handcuffs on her that I carry around to yogurt places in case there are spontaneous kinky sexual options on the menu.

I’m sorry, let’s be serious. I am not an actual kid. This little girl, this stupid, racist bitch was…wrong. I’m a teacher, a professor. Why could I not find the words? Why can I still not find the words to say something to her? I once told a Black professor of mine about a racist relative of mine who was White. My professor told me to try to understand the overall societal reason this relative was racist. My professor was not mad. I’m mad. I’m obviously not Rosa Parks mad. Would I have been more or less upset if I was Black?

The Black man and the Hispanic woman were long gone by the time I registered what was happening at the scene of the crime. A crime was committed, people. Someone’s decency and integrity were questioned because of the color of their skin.

They left, the Black guy never knew that I cared. Maybe he knew that everywhere he walks in this tid bit of a  suburban town, whether it be Somerset Mall, or fucking McDonald’s, people don’t trust him. Maybe he doesn’t even give a shit. He just wants to eat his yogurt with cookie dough pieces as a topping in peace.

I mean I say he doesn’t give a shit, but he does. He’s sick of this. What is this?

What’s the existential point of life? Fuck meaning. I know this is a delayed response. But I finally said something, to someone. Right here, this is how I say things. This is happening. My father said, “You should have called the police.” It’s not illegal to be racist I said. Wow repeat after me: It’s not illegal to be racist in this country. He wanted me to call the police?

The police….The police…

I didn’t know what to do, but as I learned in my Women’s Studies class at U of M, never trust a man with a gun.

What would you have done?


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One Response to Zindagee (Life)

  1. Facebook Comment:
    Kali Kelley:
    Probably fumed silently…just like you. I like to think I would have spoken up…said, “Did you need to see my ID? I noticed you asked the man before me for his?”
    But in reality…I would probably just filled the air with my thoughts. At least you wrote it down…put the thoughts into words for others to know them.
    My thoughts just swirl endlessly in my head…like a broken toilet.:)

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