A Vitruvian Man (The Sibelius Chronicles)

It has been a terrible week, work-wise. Too much stress for too little reward. Making patents is not my favourite thing to do. Making powerpoints to convince management of the usefulness of what we do isn’t my favourite thing to do either. I am glad that the weekend is here.

Sibelius, though supposed to be working on a paper, was procrastinating and playing around with Garage Band on my computer. He ended up on previous recordings and found one from back in 2010. I had just returned from my daily swim when I found him cackling away to himself.

“What is it?” I asked, worried that he had somehow managed to find a drug dealer all by himself in Berkeley, during that short span of time when I had left him unmonitored to go get myself a decaf.

“You sound so young!” he giggled, and played the recording. And lo, there I was, all of twenty, waxing eloquent about my crush of the time, a handsome fellow, and drawing comparisons to Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man, in a bid to explain to my disbelieving audience of two why he was the perfect eye candy ever.

It was too late to salvage dignity. So I just set around to making a set of slides for the next big presentation. Sometimes, I wonder how I could have been so incredibly young, hopeful and naive. I had been, as much as I would like to deny it.

I hadn’t thought of that particular man in years. Curious, I looked him up on Facebook, to find that he was happily married with a kid. Those handsome shoulders I had admired, those proportions that had made think of the Vitruvian man, were all gone, and he was lumpy and balding, with a nondescript job at a nondescript place. His posts ranged from trivia about cricket matches to half-articulate reviews about Bollywood films. There were photos of a grand Indian wedding, of a cute baby, and of some honeymoon locale. Saddened, I closed the tab and returned to my presentation.

“What are you looking for? It is important to find the right set of qualities. It is also important to make sure you don’t end up alone.”

I enjoy like companionship. I suffer when it is not a good alignment of personalities or preferences. I want to build robots because I love doing that, to write books, to travel –  I haven’t done most of what I wish to do. I try explaining this, but it is difficult to explain, especially when life-trajectories are utterly different from the norm in the social group.

I am not bothered by the fear that I might have to settle in love, just because. I don’t think I will have to. Nobody really has to, these days. Often those who do, choose to, for various reasons.

My worries recently are more to do with what I need to do to get the opportunities I require to build robots, to write, to travel, to know the world’s workings. How do I get myself from where I am to where I need to be? I know what I want to do, but I don’t exactly know how I can get myself to a position where I can start doing all the preparation for that. It is a time of transition, of change, of choice, and everything is stagnant still and is likely to be so for a months to come. My thoughts these days are to do with risks and possibilities, and how I can try to break out of a long and vicious cycle where I had to deal with problems thanks to social or familial circumstances. Most of my grief was rooted in my half-arsed attempts at trying to conform to what was expected of me. Yet, it is frightening to step out of that path too. What is familiar is safe, despite its many flaws.