Tabula Rasa


It’s curious how the process of writing can take charge of one’s life. My day to day has been almost the same. It can start with Paul highlighting the subprime crisis, explaining to me the reason banks are crashing, and it can go on with a typical conversation with one of our guards.


“George, would you please check if we still have fish in the backroom freezer?” I ask.


“No fish at all, senhora!” he replies without even checking.


“Finished? Are we feeding an army here?” I protest, knowing the huge quantity JP usually supplies when he is at home.


“A battalion, at least!” George answers, making me smile.


It can even be a special day, the day before JP leaves for Doha, where he will be working as a diver supervisor for three months. The fact that he is leaving should arouse contradictory feelings in me: sadness, because of separation; and relief for the halt to his wild life. And when I talk wild life, I mean it! It’s enough to look at how most of his jeans end up after one of those famous weekends to understand that I am not being prude about it.


Maybe because I’ve been writing a novel and trying to live many lives that are not mine, my reactions towards my own existence are smothered and my mind has become a tabula rasa for real feelings. In the process, I am discovering how writing can be at the same time a rush and a pacifier.


(As I keep finding Andy and JP’s yucky jeans after specific weekends, I am starting to feel like a detective!)