I have some Pakistani guy friends who on the surface appear to be educated, polished, but now and then, let slip such sexist remarks that I can’t help balk at. I’ve been told to not wear sleeveless clothing, that there’s a problem with my makeup, my breasts, my butt and how all of these are just so out there.
I’m always curious to know what it means when the people, or let’s be real, the Internet diagnoses two people as ‘mismatched.’ I mean, there are definitely things that don’t work well together: apples and oranges, hot cheese on ice cream or like, me and pigeons.
But I’m learning that maybe, maybe this isn’t the time for anyone new. It seems alright to learn more about the person I thought I knew.
I’ve kissed a boy in my garden, under the pitch black mantle of night, and giggled with my sister all night afterwards. I’ve had my heart broken and put back together in the arms of this city. This has been my Lahore.
I met someone for the first time recently; I had been apprehensive and worried about what I would say. I dreaded an awkward silence and fumbling for words to make small talk with. Would we talk about the weather? Even fierce thunderstorms become glamour-less if you discuss them over and over.
When I think of first love, I don’t think of him. I don’t think about the soft bridge of his nose, or the way his eyes slanted away from each other in small, sloppy angles that I could only see if I was close enough. I don’t remember the contours of his face, or the…
I never said it was because my parents were worried I would be murdered or kidnapped; I just shook my head and said, sorry I have a family dinner to get to or maybe next time? I have to finish up some homework. I didn’t want them to think my parents were insane, or you know, heavens forbid, uncool.
Was it just like, “Oh, Katniss is about to get her period, get the sparkly tampons that also shoot fire and put on a show…” I don’t know.
Aunties don’t like our butts, they don’t like our boobs, and they don’t like our blemishes. A well endowed girl is vulgar, a well made up one is a slut, and tanned girls have no marriageable prospects.
Dating tips invariably end with warnings that say: “He/she doesn’t have to be the one!”, “Just have fun while you’re in it!”, “Don’t date someone who lives close by, because when it ends, it’ll be much harder to get over!”, “If they hold you back, leave them immediately!” and more and more. Stupid, stupid.
They started smiling, their eyes clearly roving up and down down on my person. While this was clearly ogling, it didn’t bother me as much as what I did next.
(Our) Blood runs through cracks in the sidewalks and drips drips drips into the sewers below, mixing with the mulch that is later recycled for tap water. Do you know what you’re drinking?