Still in San Diego

by Payel

Days 2&3:

Rainy nights, throbbing headaches, snoring dads. That’s what little trips are made of. A surprising amount of personal space is given up during this trip. We are all crammed into Tinni’s old 10 x 10 bedroom where Tinni’s dad currently has his office set up. My mom self-allocates the bed for herself and me, while the floor is designated for my dad and my brother, which they are both satisfied with. It takes me forever to fall asleep with my dad’s inconsistent snoring. Every time I get used to a certain snore pattern, my dad switches it up. Sometime in the middle of the night, I notice that my mom has completely usurped the blanket. The next morning, I wake up to find Tinni’s dad working at his table with his second laptop on the edge of the bed. I stay still for a while, eavesdropping on the parents’ conversations downstairs and watching the rain hit the window and decide that I should quietly check my privilege before going down for breakfast.

Yesterday and today have been indistinguishable from each other. Yesterday, we went to Ocean Beach, ate at Thai Bistro, and came home to laze around and watch old horror flicks. Today, we went to the mall, ate at an Indian Chaat place, and came home to laze around and nap. A few movies here and there, passing comments about weight and a whole lot of politically incorrect remarks later, here I am, still trying to count my blessings. But, it’s getting a little tiring to be at the age of 21 and still be restricted to go downtown at four in the afternoon. It’s getting a little tiring to be told where to enjoy my coffee and what to wear. It’s getting a little tiring to have such limited access to the wholesome freedom that I regularly take for granted.

After giving myself a mini pep talk about being excited about waking up in a different city, I sit up in the bed. I can’t romanticize this San Diego trip the same way I did the LA trip. That’s my issue. I came here with the wrong set of expectations. Had I come here with my friends, my expectations would be more appropriate. I stare at my brother who had been summoned to wake me up and struggle to find my glasses. Then I stare at the blurry figure that is Tinni’s dad and am frustrated all over again. I pointedly apologize as I get off the bed and am surprised by his sweet response. He is probably the one and only parent who tells me to sleep for as long as I want. That’s also probably because he makes very little effort to be selfless. Nonetheless, he asks me about school, and we have a strangely delightful conversation about circuits, which is something I never thought I’d ever be writing about.

It will be a New Year in three and a half hours, and I am currently waiting to pee out the last of the liquid in me before I get into the romper that is impossibly difficult to unzip. I have dropped my apathetic act and am ready to glam out for the new year. Surprisingly, I have no one to dress for as I am sure I will be surrounded by people I will have just met as I bring in the new year. But, I have weirdly adopted that thing where you dress for yourself. And I am quite happy about that. So, happy new year all!

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