What You Write when You're in a Sleeper Car

Around 11 PM Thursday, November 25, 1999

Do you think it will matter one damn iota if I actually publish what a pain in the ass those two Indian guys were? Would my callous selfishness and downright meanness in the last few pages make it back to their eyes? There were some times I wanted to tell them to fuck off, only a minute later to use them as interpreter and guide. The night I spent at Tony's house was really sweet. He's Brahmin and his parents are teachers. We had dinner and watched TV and I did show-and-tell. I'd like to write a long description of his house and his parents but I'm just not up to it. Tony is a very nice guy also. He has the ability to listen and understand and that will make him successful no matter what he does.

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The passengers are going to sleep. I'm on the 6:15 overnight train to Ahmedabad. I have a confirmed ticket in my hand. It was secured, same day, by Pinky's uncle. It's what I wanted and what he promised - almost. I still have to manage to get from Ahmedabad to Bombay (9 more hours). I know which train to try to bribe my way onto and that's a start. We'll see.

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I gotta pull some magic outta my ass at 4:30 in the morning. At least it's my own ass I'm probing and not somebody else doing it for me. I'm so happy to be on my own. After I got the ticket, I went to Pinky's house and had a shower and a nap. I haven't showered for 2 days and I didn't think I'd get a chance to clean up before I left and I figured I'd have to haul my constipated bowels onto a 24 hour bus. You can imagine the mood swing that I had when I got the train ticket and took a shit and shower. Pinky finally delivers!

India is not stopping so that I can write it all down. Sorry to say that the best thoughts move through my head when I'm just about asleep and too tired to write. Stuff that I would chuck the last 5 pages of dreck for if I could just have it back. I'll be glad when I get back to Bombay and women stop yanking silk down over their faces every time I come near. That bugs the hell out of me. Mostly 'cause I know that it's not only to keep me from looking but also to keep women from communicating with men other than their husband and learning what a rotten deal they've gotten or how things work outside of their house. And speaking of that, I'm getting tired of people reminding me that I'm not married. Doncha think I know that? Yes, I'm "alone". I mean, the stuff they're thinking is not exactly what I'm troubled by. They're thinking I never get no lovin' but that aint true. They think I must starve without someone to cook my meals but that aint so. They think that I feel incomplete and that aint right. What I do feel is wasted. I feel like I'm a perfectly completed (for the most part) adult male that is ready to provide for others and can manage my share of affairs and who has much to offer, companionship-wise. (sorry for making this sound like a personal ad). So I'm kinda over-prepared, stocked to the rafters, on auto-pilot, ready to start my mission but I can't seem to decide on a course.

My inability to choose or my aversion to the decision, any decision, is my modus-operandi. It's the way I got my education, my location, and my vocation. I just refused to do all the things that were offered to me until I couldn't refuse and I ended up with something. I figured out in college that I hated a lot of shit and if I couldn't get excited about things enough to choose then I'd just refuse all the stuff I didn't like I'd hopefully end up with something left over. It may look like decision making on the outside but I know better. There's a quote from Slacker that goes something like, "Do I think today's youth are apathetic? Let me tell you something, apathy is not the same thing as withdrawing in disgust."

There's another dimension to it. It's a life-choice and it brings out the fear of being alive and the fear of death at once. The fear that I'll have to live with the choices I make and the fear that as I choose, I'm writing the one-hit-wonder song of my life. Each time I do something I've burned up a little bit of my precious life span and I can't (for the life of me) stomach the scrutiny of whether or not it was worthwhile. Ok, so that's why I'm not married, or maybe it's just 'cause I'm too ugly and my looks don't compensate for my disagreeable personality. I've only met one other person who I've wanted to marry and she said "no". But how do you explain that to some Indian guy who's been sheltered from the rigors of choice and "Relationships" and is going to be given a woman to fuck and make heirs and make food and clean. What's to choose? It's "Yes, I'll have a wife" or not.

So the question I have is, have I been given the same choice as an Indian guy or have I been subjected to a cruelly difficult and infinitely open problem? I'm only asking these stupidly intellectual questions about this because I'm hoping to tire my brain out to the extent that it will only be able to nod "yes" or "no" at some point. All I know is that it better happen soon 'cause I'm sick of being an eligible bachelor. I'm not saying choice sucks, it's just that if you aren't gonna be given a choice, don't fart around and get experienced in that area. You'll just end up with shopper's remorse. Do the damn arranged marriage when you're 19 and haven't had a lot of time in the sack. Otherwise, you got no chance in hell of making it work. Ok, so that's just a guess but it seems to make sense.

In response to my immediate situation, the lack of female companionship wouldn't be so bad but it seems there's no men here for me either. I mean, there's no one who's like me. There are 2 types of men in India, the kind that aren't' married yet and the kind that are. The first kind is so incredibly immature and flaky that they seem 10 years younger than they really are. They make stupid homosexual jokes and constantly clown and have never had to pay the rent. The second is the sober, breadwinner men who are married. As obnoxious as the momma's boys can be, I think the second are even worse. In order to get married, you have to have a job and so these guys are naturally more mature and responsible and adult but they get so lame. I guess the pressure of becoming head of a household and contributing to overpopulation is so huge that it smashes all the play out of them. Tough guys. Who needs them? Maybe the realm of male adults is so inhibited because that's where all the power is and they purposefully make it no fun to make it unattractive to the boys and wives. There really is no middle ground of single male adulthood in the Indian version of growing up.