The Backgammon

17 Aug. 15
Dear Sam,

  I am feeling quite guilty to write to you after so long. But do not ever think that I forgot you even for a second. That is just not a possibility. You see my life is pretty complicated; sometimes I make it so, other times it just happens. I always think I’d write to you more frequently but I am either busy doing too many things at once or nothing at all. But anyway, here I am. I just finished watching a horror movie ‘Ouija’ by myself in my apartment. I kept the lights on just in case. I don’t know what it is about fear that fascinates me. I sort of want to scare myself. Like yesterday, I went out with few friends, well one friend (kinda!) and two of his friends to Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast.

  It was Sunday with perfect cloudy weather, just the kind I like. I played my music on the way, clicked many pictures of the clouds and few selfies, made videos of lip syncing with the songs. These are some of the simple things that I find great joy in. After struggling to find a parking space which I find pretty weird given how deserted this country is, we went to an Arabian Sheesha lounge. In just a few minutes I started feeling pretty bored. Those people I was with were disasters in striking a real conversation. For me, the art of conversation is really important. I can’t stand the company of people who lack this art. I just hate small, meaningless, trashy talks. I am not judging people who do it, just saying it’s not for me. I like it when people ask me questions that make me think and reflect. I love it when people ask me about myself, show interest in knowing me, my views and perception about life, world, death, movies or any other random stuff. And I like to do the same. I want stories. Constantly. It’s like a drug to me, it’s my obsession. For me, I am a story-in-progress, people are stories, and I believe the most mundane of things that are happening around which we don’t even notice can be turned into interesting stories to share over coffee or wine if you just know the right way. Everything you ever did has become a story, you only have to weave it into right words and put it out there and you’ll find people like me who would give a crap about that story. I like to know what people’s passions are, what things they truly relish and regret, why they do what they do, and what is it they really wanna do and why are they not doing it. I want to know who’s their favourite superhero or supervillain.

  There is so much to talk about in the world, so when you sit in the front yard of an incredibly decorated Middle-Eastern Lounge, facing the majestic Pacific Ocean under a breathtaking sky full of snowlike clouds, smoking a double-apple sheesha and you have nothing interesting to talk about… that is not fucking acceptable to me. It is outrageously not acceptable to me! So I simply looked around to spot anything interesting going on while silently nibbling a Turkish pastry called Baklava. So there it was, two guys playing an odd looking board game inside the lounge. I had never seen that game before. It just piqued my interest and I went over to ask them what it was. Apparently, that was one of the world’s oldest two-player Egyptian board game known to mankind which can be traced back to 14th Century. It’s called Backgammon. I found it fascinating and asked the guys to teach me how to play. It took me a little over half an hour and you can call it beginner’s luck or whatever, but I beat the guy who taught me. His other friend and girlfriend laughed hysterically at him for losing to an amateur.

  I had a really salty Falafel Kebab after that, smoked some Sheesha with my friends and creeped them out by talking about the ‘art of dying’. I want to die in style. I want it to be epic. I want it to be one kickass story. My last story! That is however after I have lived all that I want to. But somehow my views came off as pretty weird to those people and one of them even asked me to see him later in the week so he can counsel me. To which I told him that if a professional psychologist and a psychiatrist weren’t able to help me much, I really doubt he’d be of any serious help. I swear I spooked him ahhaha but I enjoy doing this to people.

  Weren’t we talking about how I like to scare myself? Oh well, I go around the whole story. I could have just told you how I went to this creepy, ugly haunted house in Surfers Paradise yesterday but I needed a background story to tell you. After we left Arabsque, the Sheesha lounge, we were taking a walk and I got super excited about going to this themed haunted house place called Draculas. All of my friends refused so I had to drag one of them, the one who offered me his counselling services. God that was awesome! There were different levels inside the haunted house and I totally nailed it! They gave me a wrist band which says ‘I Survived’ which is coincidentally my life story. I also bought two horror wine glasses, they are held in sharp nailed, dark grey claws. And I bought the cutest creepiest soft toy, Bitey. He is a zombie pet with scary yellow eyes, purple ears, red blood scar on forehead, sharp black claws, teeth and hard whiskers. Also he has a cute-curly tail. Such an adorable creepy cuddler! Later, I also wanted to go for a crazy sling-shot ride which was just across our car park. It would throw you in air with a shooting speed, you’d go 360 degrees a couple of times and then come back. Everybody said, ‘Next time!’ in a tone you’d use for a kid who is nagging you to let her play for five more minutes.

  I woke up after midday today. I was supposed to do so much of uni work. But I just didn’t. I don’t know why. For most of the day I was in my bed. I still am and now it’s 12:10 am. To be honest, I started writing to you because I was feeling pretty lonely. I actually have no friends here at the moment. I don’t know if I should be surprised at that because sometimes I classify myself as a very outgoing, social girl who makes friends everywhere she goes and then I think of myself as an absolute loner. This is the thing about me, I am a constant paradox. But today, I was feeling very lonely, I wanted to have a real conversation with someone, anyone. I wanted someone to come visit me and hear about the things I am currently doing and my future plans, the way my flatmate Courtney was sharing to her boyfriend and parents who came to visit her tonight. They seemed happy. She was reading a piece of assignment or speech to them that she had written. Her room was so clean and organized, maybe because she knew her family’s going to visit her. Mine is a complete mess right now. And I ate stupid ready-to-make noodles for dinner with a cup of vanilla latte. I really lack people in my life right now and I am completely coming off as some desperate person in need of friends and real people to talk to.

  My life from outside always seems to be so awesomely put together. And there are moments when I believe the same. For instance, when I listen to my favourite songs or recite my favourite poetry by Dorothy Parker. I need to really go. I have so many assignments due. I promise to write to you soon again. Mm maybe not promise because I know I said something similar last time and you didn’t hear from me for over two months.

Just know you are very dear to me.

Love always,

Scarlett Xx

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