meditations on gratitude

I walked to her apartment, which is a few blocks away from my home. When I arrived, her roommate was lounging on the dark purple chaise, near the window, the blinds were closed and the air conditioner was on, the room was cool.

This feels so nice, I said. The cool air.

My friend was in the kitchen and when I entered the kitchen, she handed me a plate full of food, a big slice of homemade vegetarian pizza and a handful of salt and vinegar chips. She handed me half a glass of Stone IPA, and said she split her last one with me.

* * *

I wash the half split toor dhal in a bowl. As I wash the pale yellow lentils in the white ceramic bowl, the water turns a murky yellow. As I wash them, I massage my hands and close my eyes. I feel the small beads smooth the tension, the tension I did not know existed in my hands.

* * *

My roommate lent me a fan, which is always on, because my room is so warm. Right now, the fan is on the mattress, which my mother bought me as a surprise, as a gift. The fan blows cool air on my bare skin, I’m wearing a bikini. These days I work from home, sitting on a black office chair, at a makeshift desk. These days a lavender candle is on my desk and the candle fills the room with its calming scent.

* * *

I looked at his wall and the frames were in a cluster, a well organized cluster.

Did a friend do that for you? I asked.

Yes.

Do you thank them, thank them profusely? I asked. They looked so pretty, so beautifully done. They really made his wall look nice, I thought.

He answered, I said thank you. I didn’t thank them profusely. They didn’t discover the solution to cancer.

Poor you, I said as I kissed him right above his collarbone. You don’t know a thing about gratitude.

I know about gratitude.

No, I said. You don’t.

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