Friday, May 18, 2007

Save the world, marry a robot

Technology is a powerful tool. The fall of paper, an item of the early twentieth century, followed by the subsequent rise of computers has led to better health care, greater education, more efficient data management and has made life a lot easier as a whole. However, it is this very useful tool - one that has boasted (and will continue to boast, for a while) the greatest contribution to the progress of the homo sapiens - that can lead to the demise of Mankind one bright sunny morning.

No, not because it facilitates the practice of cyber pedophilia; not because it generates nuclear weapons in the deserts of India, Pakistan or the United States. In fact, the evil impacts of technology on society have nothing to do with it. Evil can be damned through strong moderation, but it will pop up again, one way or the other, and get moderated yet again.

That leaves only the supposedly good effects of technology to carry the blame of sweeping the human race off the world. As portrayed by the movie "Idiocracy", natural selection will take its course in eliminating the intelligent over a span of five centuries or so, and we will go back to a time when the sword used to be stronger than the pen. However, natural selection is not "all natural". It is how the members of a particular species respond to a threat of extinction that matters. Unfortunately, it seems like the artillery in stock to fight such a gradual phenomenon is currently being highly misused.

Today, we live in a world where physique and visual aesthetics are given utmost importance. Research and brain cells are devoted to organ enhancements, silicone implants and hair care. While these are by no means useless investments, it seems that the most vital organ of the human body, i.e. the brain, is going neglected. Add to that universal remote controls, retractable sofas, butt scratching machines, and we are left with a world full of dumb people watching television all day with huge garbage disposal problems, no crop growth owing to the application of commercial drinks on the fields in place of water, and doctors, built by a smart guy some five centuries ago, that chug out some random crap after listening to patients' symptoms, just like in "Idiocracy".

The fact that smart and ambitious people prefer career over family life does not help either. Most smart couples look to build a foundation before engaging in uncapped copulation, whereas unprotected sex and lack of family planning is the everyday norm in relatively dumber households. Under these circumstances, intelligence being a heritable trait, the number of dumb people in the world is probably rapidly exceeding that of the more talented, and at this rate, the gap will simply grow further and further.

And therein lies the purpose of this post - to make the first step in saving Mankind (for the humor impaired, I do have a good couple of inches of a grin on my face as I write this). To all the smart people out there - REPRODUCE! Have kids. Don't worry about your career - you have a bigger mission to lose hair on. Have as many kids as you can feed! To the dumb ones - please use protection. Don't have kids. The world doesn't want you. If you think you're dumb, please do your potential kids, potential grandkids, their potential grandkids and my grandkids a favor. ;)

All good things have an element of evil attached to them, but (and as I have already mentioned), sometimes it can be the positives that cause greater harm. It is all about perception, i.e. how the individual, or society as a whole measures positiveness. Sometimes, what we think as beneficial to ourselves may just be hurting us.

Speaking of perceptions and evil, the individual's understanding of evil, too, might be quite skewed. How do we measure evil? In the days of slavery in America, African Americans were looked at as inferior human beings by Caucasians, and perhaps many from both races were driven to believe it solely due to their upbringing. Today, one would like to think that we know better. However, do we really?

I was watching "Blade Runner" today, a science fiction based in 2019 where humans have created robots that are not only a replication of themselves in terms of emotions, physique and everything else human, but are also intellectually superior in some cases. How would we deal with such a situation if it were to arise today? Would we look down upon them because we created them, or more bluntly, because they are just robots? Would we overlook the fact that they are as close to humans (probably even more human than human) as possible, that they too feel the emotions that we feel, that they too have the same physical abilities that we do, that they too have a brain, a pumping heart and a stream of blood navigating their entire body?

For example, it took us a long time to break the shackles of racism and accept slaves for what they are - humans. Interracial affairs and marriages are still not widely accepted in many communities. Then can we accept these robots for what they are (essentially, 99% human) right from the day that the very first one of them evolves? Will someone who dates a robot be looked down upon as a loser in this case?

Since humans today do build machinery for satisfying their own needs, computers and robots are in fact playing similar roles to that of the 19th century slave. So to summarize, when we reach a stage of scientific development that enables us to create near humans, will it be viewed as performing evil if we use them for heavy work because they are, after all, robots? Or has God created us in a way that such a level of intellectuality is unreachable?

So save the world and marry a robot. Not necessarily in that order, and the two requests are not necessarily interdependent either. The first can be achieved merely by applying good reasoning and family planning, and the next will probably save humans a couple of hundred years of civil war and numerous civil rights acts, because in the end, both humans and robots will roam this planet in harmony anyways.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Early twenties hitting hard 2

The debris from the explosion have flown quite a distance, the stink of burnt human flesh still ripe in the air. They say the only assurance of survival during wartime is the sound of gunshots, but while distant death chants are being fired aplenty, being in the midst of an actual war makes them sound like inexperienced idiots yapping from the luxury of their living room sofas. The tanks are drawing closer every second as the two of us, stained in blood, dirt and mud, make a desperate crawl through the forest for survival; but the tanks are grinding in fast…the end is nigh…ghosts shouldn’t be white…oh no school’s over – I’m going to be bored now…

Sometimes I wonder what goes on under that dense clump of hair when I go to sleep at night. On one such occasion, as I woke up (once again) from the jaws of death, clearly disturbed by the goings on in my virtual world, realization dawned upon me. I realized that – God willing – while I’ll somehow get my buttocks saved in Dreamland over and over again down the years, there are other things that I will never experience again. I realized I would never learn to walk or talk again, I would never beam in pride after having gobbled up a large pizza for the first time in my life again, I would never wonder where babies come from again, and the list went on and on. Like a million hits per second.

To summarize, I realized I was twenty-one and a half. Holy Quackamoly! Where the heck did all those years go?!

Eight and a half years later, I’ll be thirty, and then forty, and then old. Bah, humbug!

And then I also realized I was sounding like my parents. I guess now I know why people wish they were back to childhood again. The innocence of youth is priceless, and the inexperience also prevents you from realizing that you’ve used the word “realize” too many times in your writing, and feel bad about it. Bah.

So I started off with a dream, and ended up here. So much for “flow”. However, I’ve never really enjoyed making an attempt to make my writing flow, because my thoughts never flow. My dreams never flow; neither do my nightmares. Back in high school, my English teacher had employed several adjectives to describe me in the light of my writing, most of them indicating her strong desire to wrap her fingers around my neck and strangle me until I was twice as dead as the average dead person. Although I had lived up to her expectations in the end, I told myself after high school that I was never going to do it again.

The fact that I will never again be a toddler with nothing to worry about, or a teenager just making his way past all the anxieties come adolescence, does bother me. However, flipping the coin, I also realize (dang! did it again) that there is so much more that I haven’t done yet, and so much to look forward to. I was on the subway with my mom one day, and a transvestite walked in. I noticed my mom stealing glances at him/her, so I thought she was thinking what I was thinking. When we got off the train and I asked her, she responded, “Yes, she has beautiful eyes, doesn’t she?”

“No, mom, she used to be a man. I mean she’s still a man”.

Back then, my mom was forty-four, and she had never seen a transvestite until that day. Albeit all my insistence, she would not accept that she had just seen one; the concept of a man acting like a woman and getting transplants was too alien for her. I wonder what explanation she would come up with if she had seen two guys kissing. “They are just brothers”. Oh no!

I personally don’t find anything wrong with someone being homosexual or some guy acting like a woman – whatever makes them happy. However, denial is a major tool for many people when they try to explain something that they regard as out of the ordinary, which is also ok – it’s really just human nature. Even then, whether in denial or not, the fact that my mom saw a transvestite for the first time in forty-four years opens a whole new basket of optimism for myself – it tells me that I too, have hope. The world offers a humongous reserve of surprises, home to not only transvestites and homosexuals, but also to stuff like mid-life crises, a full-time job, illegal kids and divorces. Not too sure why I mentioned a full-time job in the same sentence.

Then again, there’s the good stuff that comes with getting older. When I, along with some of my co-workers, almost got killed by a sheet of ice sliding off the roof of a four-level building the other day, one of my colleagues, twenty-fourish, went red and totally freaked out. “There’s so much that I want to do!” He may have been over-reacting, but it shows how huge the bundle of what life still has to offer is.

My boss, on the other hand, was calm – “Meh, happens to me everyday”. One word - experience.

So as I bask in the light and heat of a 100W bulb on a Saturday afternoon, reflecting on my early days and how cool it would have been to go back, I also see myself bitching about not being in my twenties twenty years from now (if I make it that far, that is). With the dawn of 2007, I guess my aim in life for the new-year would be to try and make the most of the advantage of being younger than the average forty year old, then.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Accents from the East, and Last Names from Polska

The tongue and the ears, two of the vitals of the human body, two of the five sense organs, have proved an unfaithful couple, creating together a source of embarrassment for me over the last few years. However, while it has been the incapability of these pieces to behave as one (read I) would have liked them to on certain occasions, sometimes I wonder if it should rather be the manager, namely the gray chunk that is responsible for coordination that should be blamed for its inability to bring those organs under its command.

The ears, albeit being subjected to cleaning on regular intervals, had failed – time and again – to respond to real-time requirements, and hence the lower jaw had dropped down, the eyes constricted and the brows bent to assume a wavy pattern on several occasions. These, combined with a sense of incompetence, had led to slight and temporary discomforts, which in turn had at one point piled up to a worrisome degree.

It is my inability to decipher the oriental accents – a trait, if you will, that I had to live with for a small period of time – that I am referring to. There have been too many occasions where I had stumped myself while in conversation with members of this Great race. It bothered me, and I would kick myself when alone. I would think of it as a disability, and would be chagrined for having to deal with it.

A familiar Dutchman had recently made an observation (something that had never occurred to me before) that countries that watch English TV produce accent free speakers. As an example, he pointed out to me the difference between the Dutch and the Spanish, and I chipped in with my encounter with two Spaniards on the subway and my knowledge of the contrasting Scandinavians. After adding all that up, he seemed to be right.

I love Asians. They have always been good to me. They are great people. And their women are simply awesome – by far the most beautiful of all races that have breathed the Earth’s pollution. Besides, if I am really going to spend a year in Shanghai and another in Tokyo one day, I said to myself, I’d really have to do better.

And I did. I became more intent, more analytical and more willing in my approach, until I overcame my disability one day. I woke up in the morning and a certain Chen sounded like he was speaking a language that I had heard all my life. This meant that neither Shanghai nor Tokyo would be much of a head-ache, except of course for the $85 water-melons that they sell in the latter, my sole reason for not having flown off to the vicinities of Fujiyama with a small budget and a signed letter of acceptance from one of the local universities.

So there goes the story of my lobes and their drums. Now we come to the home of the taste buds which has been a cause of concern for the second most popular common noun that is usually associated with it: pronunciation. My well-tanned face radiating a slightly reddish shade of embarrassment distinguishable even in a dimly lit room last night as I struggled to pronounce the last name of the Polish girl that I met at the pub was not a first. The fact that she herself was recovering from the embarrassment of having called me “Acid” (the music was too loud, so I don’t blame her; besides, I consider myself lucky if my name gets pronounced properly around here anyways) doesn’t serve as a comfort or an excuse either. I have had too many problems pronouncing Polish last names in the past; and they have almost ALWAYS been Polish. While I take great interest in the nation and her kids, this shortcoming bothers me quite a deal.

My affair with Polish lasts began almost a year ago, when I let one sail way over the cross bar in an attempt to call a friend by his last name; and just like one starts to want and cherish something that he/she can’t get, my inability to play my tongue along the walls of my mouth to the proper Polska tune led to a grown interest in and love for Poland, her people and their names.

Partly as a remedy to such disabilities, and partly due to my own interest, I have decided to go multilingual. The goal is to master at least three different European languages and two Asian ones by 2010. If I’m lucky enough, maybe I’ll pick up either Cantonese or Mandarin and a Japanese language before my voyage to the east. Since Europe isn’t on my list as of yet (but it very well could be in a few years), the likes of French, Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch can wait, although living in a country as diverse as the ugly twin of the United States does make the entire process of learning a whole new language a piece of cake.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Natural Magentas

So what do you do when your boss books a meeting with you just so that no one else can book the same spot and confine him within a boardroom while the world cup soccer semi-finals are going on? Well, you recall how much you like pink, green and purple hair.

When my boss told me that the meeting on Wednesday was actually for watching the game, I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. What kind of a boss would do something like that? Pretty cool, I must say.

What I also did was check out the score of the game that was going on at that moment; and while browsing the triple “W”, came across a picture of a certain fan wrapped in an Italian jersey with the flag drawn on her cheek and her hair dyed pink. Her companion for the day – in Ukrainian attire – was green headed. I thought that was kind of neat.

So I spent the next couple of minutes thinking about my fascination for pink, green and purple heads. I am not entirely sure when or how I started to grow a liking for these colors, but I find them pretty funky when they are chosen by women to represent their hair dyes, especially when they have streaks rather than the same shade throughout. Another color that attracts me – though to a lesser extent – is red, mixed with blonde.

That night, as I lay awake in bed (yeah, I am really getting robbed of sleep lately), I wondered how it’d be like if those hues were natural. Well, doesn’t seem like a terrestrial phenomenon, does it? We would probably have to turn to our neighbors in and around the solar system in that case, I guess. No life in those places? Oh but there will be…there will be inhabitation in those foreign lands one day. And that day, in my humble opinion, is not too far away.

Just think about it – even two centuries ago, our ancestors were horse-backers, and here we are, ten scores and a couple of years later, cruising along at speeds unimaginable back then. Technology has advanced quite a bit over the years, and I can foresee Man losing His inter-planet flight virginity in a few decades.

At the rate the world is mixing, I agree with comedian Russell Peters that it will eventually become a breeding ground for beige people. I also believe that, several centuries after that happens, there will be a day that overpopulation and the extinction of resources will force the mass emigration of Homo Sapiens to alien bodies that are not viewable by the naked eye.

We know how climate and environment affect physical features in humans. What if the environment on those planets leads to great variations in the features of our descendants? Maybe it will lead to people with not only different hair color, but also different body structures and skin. Then there will be a day when traveling to Jupiter will be like catching a plane from Paris to New York. “Can you believe how much I gained after landing here?” a worried young woman will be overheard enquiring her fellow Earthling boyfriend over the phone at a hotel on the largest planet in the solar system.

Such improvements in communication systems can only lead to one thing – and that is more mixing: intergalactic to be precise. However, how much will emigration change the structure of humans? Will it also change genetic mappings? So much so that intergalactic mating will not produce desired results, or any result at all? I am not much of a biology guy and don’t have the answers, so these things keep me wondering.

Then there’s this other possibility. What if humans land on a planet in a distant galaxy to discover that it is already inhabited by a similar species? What happens if one of us falls for a woman with green antennae protruding out of her skull and vice versa? Surely mating will lead to nothing in that case. So will that be an end to diversity right there? Will diversity be restricted to within the borders of the earth’s atmosphere?

It’s been roughly a week since I watched “Superman Returns”, and I still wonder what the director was thinking. How could the insemination of Lois Lane by Clarke Kent have produced an asthmatic offspring with no resemblance to his parents? Isn’t it a lot like saying “Cat + Dog = Catdog”?

Going back to Man’s population of other uninhabited heavenly bodies, I would like to believe that genetic mappings will still be consistent enough for inter-planetary breeding to be possible. What would be cooler than a couple of blue teenage girls gossiping about the cutest guy in class, who happens to be orange, and wears a triangular skull over his shoulders? Saturn, with all those gaseous rings circling her, would probably be an ideal honeymoon location, and a businessman’s day would begin with breakfast at his mansion in Andromeda, punctuated by lunch and meetings on the other end of some of the busiest black holes in the Universe, and end with dinner with the Prime Minister twenty thousand leagues under the Pacific Ocean.

So the bottom-line is, I love diversity. Too bad I won’t live to see most of the stuff that I have mentioned here; and too bad there won’t be natural pink heads during my time.

Dyes and artificial streaks it is for now, then.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Robbed of Sleep

Ever had one of those nights characterized by restless turning, a dry throat and random out-of-the-world thoughts? I’m sure everyone does once in a while. Well I had one approximately four weeks ago; except that the thoughts were not so out-of-the-world, but based a lot more on reality and yet quite scary at the same time.

However, as I enjoy the delicate feel of my pajamas on my skin, recovering from the most hilarious episode of “The Simpsons” that I have ever watched – ending in a typical Indian dance (the kind that usually features in films) with hundreds of Indian “extras” in the background and each one of the Simpsons playing the main roles – unable to decipher a single word being sung and yet managing to comprehend the hilarity of the entire scene courtesy to my faint acquaintance with Hindi films through friends, it is another night that lingers in my mind, one that was not quite as restless, but good enough, nevertheless, to keep me awake for the better part of the third of a day that I lay in bed.

Whew, now if that wasn’t the biggest sentence that I’ve ever typed. While “Footie Fever” was part of the reason – with England due to play their first game the very next morning – my lack of sleep was mainly caused by a certain lady going by the initials J.L. Impressed by what I have learnt so far, I’d definitely have asked her for coffee if I’d lived around New York or gone to college with her.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Namesake” kept me thinking that night. It kept me thinking about the characters, about the differences in the thought-processes of back-to-back generations, the first being immigrants from a rather conservative part of the world and the second struggling to cope with the same fact, being born as Americans to Indian parents. What impressed me the most was the author’s ability to see through the eyes of both parties and outline, to a great degree of accuracy, the daily lives of such people. Although monotonic at times, having read through two-thirds of the book, I can tell that she knows a LOT about cultures, religions, art, music and what not. The mere fact that the story is somewhat a reiteration of her own life does not stand as a solitary explanation either.

I wouldn’t deny that that being a Friday night had allowed me the luxury of cutting down on sleep, but I do find myself with my eyes glued to the book for an appreciable stretch of time every now and then.

I remember having sleeping problems as a kid. I’d stare at the ceiling hours on end, to finally fall asleep at the break of dawn when it’d already be time to kick the day off. My brain would get excited, the therapist would say, resulting in a state of mind from where going back would be close to impossible, and my sleep for the entire night subsequently destroyed. The key was to clear the mind – by power of will - of any thoughts that might be invading it. I had mastered the art pretty easily back then; but last Friday, I didn’t want to exert such authority on my thoughts. I was enjoying the way things were going, and the way I was struggling to fall asleep – a sensation that I had dreaded a long time ago.

Perhaps I was getting bored of falling asleep so easily every night, and thrilled by this sudden abnormality in what has turned out to be routine stuff.

As far as my memory can take me back, the first time that I had failed to go to sleep at total ease was when I was around five or six years old, sandwiched between mommy and daddy, staring at the reflection of street lights coming off the window panes. I had stared on for a long time, when suddenly I saw a body approaching me from above the bed, its eyes glaring down at me. We were staying over at an uncle’s place that night, and my scream had woken the whole apartment up. The next thing I remember is a group of people at the door, the lights turned on, my parents scampering on the bed in confusion, and my heart beating fast, not fully convinced about the disappearance of the ghost. I can still remember its face, and when I recall this incident today, I realize that it was anything but scary.

However, I have been informed by my parents of several other all-nighters that I’d pulled as an infant, and how they’d try in vain to make me doze off; and when they themselves would finally close their eyes in the morning, I’d wake up, needing either a meal or a diaper change. They also talk about this one night when I had watched Chucky-1 at a party, and come home scared and unable to sleep. I faintly remember the course of events that night, a lot of it due to that being the closest thing that I can remember to a first date. Nusrat was my first crush (according to my parents; I, however, argue that it was Mahreen – 2/3 years older than me), and I still remember how we had cuddled up on the carpet as we watched the movie with two pairs of terrified eyes, surrounded by a bunch of grown-ups who were completely indifferent to the horrifying ongoings on television. I was four, and she was three, and none of us understood why on earth the adults were ok with what they were seeing.

I wonder whatever happened to those two ladies. I also wonder what happened to that blonde that I drew a picture of a princess for on my second year of school (the one before kindergarten). She had rejected the picture, referring to it as “ugly”, advising me to present it to someone not as good-looking as her, breaking my tiny little heart in the process. Of course, I had forgotten about it when I had woken up after my afternoon nap the same day.

So I guess going a night or two without sleep isn’t bad, unless it’s something that’s happening on a regular basis. Note that I am only talking about the ones that are involuntarily spent sleepless, and not the ones where you have to work your rear off for a school project. I wouldn’t really mind thinking about random stuff through an entire eight hours or so in bed on a weekend; after all, that is the only part of the day when you surely don’t have a life, and can devote all your energy to your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Footie Fever

Ah…finally in the mood to type again. I just feel like typing away – crap, mostly – but I realize I don’t really have much to blabber about. I mean I know I want to type crap, but there’s no crap to type up.

So let’s see…what’s cooking? Oh – the FIFA World Cup! Now that’s something I’ve been looking forward to for QUITE some time. “Footie Fever” is what I call it (I'll change the title from "Utter Crap" to that once I'm done), “Footie” being a colloquial English term for the game, and needless to say, I am rooting for Her Majesty’s boots this time. Next in my list come the Dutchmen, and then – surprisingly enough – the Czechs. I have a knack for backing teams that I don’t believe to have much of a chance to make it all the way, be it soccer or any other sport. Same here – I don’t expect any of my teams to win the trophy; those Brazilians are definitely going to take it home for the sixth time with another “Sambasque” display.

However, these three teams do have a strong chance on paper. Czech Republic and the Netherlands are ranked two and three in the world respectively, and England has a pretty strong side going into the competition. But this is the World Cup, so anything that gets written on paper stays on paper – except for anything about that chunk of gold going back to the banks of the Amazon.

I was chatting with this Czech bloke the other day. The guy works at this English bar and knows nothing about soccer. Pretty sad, eh? I say so because while all his customers will be hyped up about the big tourney, he will have to sit around and do his homework. Apparently that’s what his wife’s been trying to get him do for the last couple of months, so I’m happy for the good lady.

Talking about English bars/pubs – those are the places that I will be targeting over the next month or so. I have heard that an English pub is the place to be when there’s a soccer game on. Those blokes get drunk like dog poo and simply go crazy. Here is my chance to check it out.

Then again, this is going to be the worst soccer world cup ever – at least for me. I will be missing a hell lot of matches because most of the games are during the day, and I will be at work during the entire duration of all three (or two, depending on the fixture) games on weekdays; besides, I’m not sure if people (that includes my friends too) would really like to drag their buttocks to the pub at 9 a.m. (or ANY time for that matter) on a weekend. So even if I do make it to a pub before an England game on a weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised if the only ones accompanying me are the bartender and a stray dog.

And talking about craze - I was born in a country where people are nuts about soccer. They don’t usually follow the European leagues – or any league for that matter – but go cuckoo when the world cup comes around the corner. So much so that there have been occasions when people have killed themselves either because a famous player was banned for taking drugs, or because their favourite team didn’t win. I personally think that people like these deserve a well-calculated free kick in the most vulnerable part of their abdomen, and told to get a life.

Anyways, I am planning on reading “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri, an Indian writer from West Bengal. I have been told that the book is about families migrating to the western world, and the kind of cultural shock that they encounter. Should be an interesting read. So off I go to bed with my paperback.

Early twenties hitting hard

He’s been sending me all the wrong signs from up there recently.

When: approximately seven days ago. Where: A subway station in Toronto. I was humming (my usual morning tune) my way up the escalator when I came across this young lady with a stroller. As I was waiting for the train, the occupant – a toddler, obviously – made my day with a warm smile. Being the kid-lover that I am, I smiled back, and was tempted to play with her, but the train arrived and we parted.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about that smile. She was so damn cute - like a furry little kitten or something. Ok maybe not a kitten (I don’t really like ‘em that much) – but you get the picture.

Approximately three minutes later, I came across another kid reaching out in the hope that I’d take him up in my arms, and about eight hours later another one that was screaming his heart out at me in enthusiasm, not realizing that no matter how much he did that, he wouldn’t be able to get the message through unless he picked up a few real words from the older kid standing next to him.

Not that this doesn’t happen a lot; I mean I know I’m popular with kids, but a 100% hit ratio accompanied by unbounded enthusiasm? That too thrice in the space of a third of a day? Now that’s awesome, isn’t it?

I wouldn’t have complained had that been it, but my dreams over the past week or so have also been dominated by kids. I have done everything starting from saving a baby’s life (superman is what they called me) to watching one grow up in front of my eyes during my eight-hour resting periods over the last couple of days.

See, I don’t believe in signs. Well at least I didn’t. Maybe signs exist only when you want them to; and perhaps their meanings depend a lot on how the individual interprets them. But when a random forty-year-old woman on the subway says she reckons I’d make a good daddy, if that’s not a sign then I don’t know what is.

Ok. Maybe she was just trying to hit on me; or maybe she said that because her child seemed to like me a lot. I mean I don’t know. I misinterpret women all the time – including my mom. Maybe there is no sign. Maybe things are like they always have been. Maybe it’s just that I want a kid so badly that I’m blaming it all on Him.

Yeah that’s right – I want a kid. I love kids. I get all corny when it comes to kids.

I remember telling a friend about how I wanted a cute little baby girl over dinner one night. He threw weird looks at me; obviously that didn’t mean much since he’s mentality is of a screwed up nature, and his thoughts are usually X-rated. The point is, I’ve wanted a kid for a long time now. Now more than ever.

However, I can’t have one. If you’re thinking it’s because I’m still too young and still in school and all that crap, let me rephrase: I can’t have one…EVER! See I’m going through this early-twenties crisis where the words “responsibility”, “marriage” and “kids” are freaking me out. I woke up one morning around two weeks ago and realized that I’d never be ready for any of those. I mean think about it. Spending the rest of my life with the same person? No privacy, no say in family matters, no control over the remote control? Or my wallet for that matter?

My mom says I should get married at 24. I told her I couldn’t. She said she’d give me a three-year extension if needed. I told her I couldn’t. She gave up.

Well maybe it’ll all work out. Maybe I’ll be ready in a few years or a decade or so; but until then - please God my good man - don’t send down those eerie hints.

Then again, when those innocent and yet curious eyes follow me all the way to Union station, when those toothless grins emit cute baby noises, I feel an ant-bite somewhere behind that shirt-pocket of mine. If only I didn’t have to be married or be a cofounder to have one of those.

So I’m waiting for that day when I hop on the train and see this guy wearing a sweatshirt saying “I graduated from college and adopted a kid” standing in the corner with a baby in a stroller in front of him. Yeah God, now that’s like a good buddy.