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Monday, June 05, 2006

From the outside...

I've been having some intensely out-of-body experiences in the last couple of days. The funny thing is, well, that it's not really something that's freaking me out.

To describe them in a sentence, I would have to say that they seem to be more like I'm aware of myself from outside of myself. For example, I realize that the last statement was a bit confusing, and all I can try and do is to try and get the next one correct. Alright, so that wasn't a very good example, but allow me to describe it in a little more detail.

So, I'm sitting at Cafe Coffee Day with Pradeep. We get there just after a series of brief rainshowers, so it's obvious that they've closed the outside seating area. Still, failing to find a place inside, we proceed to a relatively dry table and couple of chairs outdoors. Why do we sit outside? Well, it turns out that Pradeep machcha felt like smoking a hookah, which you can find at several of the Coffee Day outlets around Bangalore...thereby limiting our indoor seating opportunities even further. And we sit down to some apricot flavored tobacco, and the rest was poised to go up in smoke, ironically enough.

But that's when things got a little strange. Alright, maybe strange is a bit much in terms of describing what really happened, but for all intents and purposes it was like "spider sense". All of a sudden, I could hear what people around me were saying, and their movements as they walked around us seemed to be a little agitated. And then they were looking near the main entrance, like they were looking out for someone to show up and spoil their fun. And then they were whispering to each other and things were getting more and more hushed up with each sentence or comment. And all of this seemed to center around the hookah we were smoking. I looked around quickly, and sure enough, we were the only guys sitting outside in what was still potentially rainy weather, enjoying the good old water pipe. It was getting weirder by the second, and fever-pitched insanity was only a few breaths away, surely!

Not being able to contain myself any longer I decided to ask one of the guys, the hookah guy as it turns out, what exactly is going on. You see, in my head I thought this guy was going to get into trouble because he had opened up the outside for us, when it was closed to the public, or appeared to be so. Furthermore, he had fired up the good old water pipe for our perusal, and I wasn't sure if they had policies about things like this depending on the weather, or specific business hours for shisha smoking. Anyway, the only way to find out what had happened was to ask the guy.

"Excuse me. Hey, are you going to get into trouble for the hookah?"

"No sir, it's just that we don't have many flavors of tobacco, so they didn't want me to take out the hookah. That's all," was his reply.

Now I can't say that I didn't buy his arguement, but he mentioned to us that he had only three flavors when we first asked for the hookah. So why would having only three flavors be a problem now? And even while I was asking him stuff, or noticing all the hush-hushedness that was transpiring around me, I could feel myself perched on a nearby bench just observing everything as it was happening.

At first I put it down to paranoia. You know, like I was sitting there freaking out in my little skull about all the things that could have happened or the ways in which things could have turned out. But that wasn't it. There wasn't any tweaky eye movements or things of that sort to indicate that I was having withdrawal symptoms of some kind. And I have to admit that sitting in a particular place and observing yourself and the scene that surrounds you is a little loony. But if you've read anything on this blog before then that's something you already know...and you're getting comfortable with it, God forbid!

The next two days, or Saturday and Sunday to be specific, were the same. I'm talking to someone and I can feel myself looking at the scene from some position not too far away. I go to the shop and find that I'm correcting myself and some of the grandiose flailing of the arms lest I poke out an eye or slap someone unwittingly. Like a million different thought processes all at the same time...but nothing uncomfortable about it. And that's just the way it's been. A bit new no doubt, but I'm not complaining any.

And for those of you who are reading this and thinking, "What the hell is this guy on?" I have one thing to say. Nothing.That's right, I'm not on anything man...not at the moment, anyway.

Weirdo? So be it. ;-)
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