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I flew to Chicago last Friday night
my great uncle was turning a hundred.
The plan was to fly-in Friday, party Saturday,
and fly out Sunday. No missed school.

The air felt colder in Chicago, the wind really bit,
and the sun seemed to be at an odd angle.
We stopped by the beach of a lake so large
that there were waves breaking on the beach.
The party was great. EVERYONE was there.

But then there was the choreography of luck.
I woke up sick Sunday morning - really sick -
deathly sick, you know the drill, weak
like my muscles were falling off my bones.
At 8am Charles called - I should have met him.
I couldn’t lift the phone - I poked the button.
“I’m not going anywhere,” I told him before falling back asleep.
KLUNK I heard my hotel room door open, it was Charles.
He came in looking like he expected a threat.

I could only open my eyes for a second.
“I’ve GOT it,” I told him, (not knowing what ‘it’ was)
“Get out, save yourself.”
So went Sunday and Monday - I didn’t eat or drink.
Charles canceled flights, extended hotel room bookings,
and the car rental. Finally, Tuesday morning, he said,
“I think you’d better try.” So somehow, we flew and we made it.

There was a famous football player across the aisle from me
He’s retired now, like all of my heroes - Brady, Manning.
He played for the Ravens, I’d hated the ravens, I’d hated him,
the way you hate someone just because they’re great
but they play for the other team. I didn’t tell him, and sadly,
I didn’t warn him that I might just throw up on him (I was masked).
Charles bought me one of those horseshoe pillows and I passed out.

Before I knew it I was back in the dorm.
Being sick and helpless, away from the comforts of home is the worst.
I’ll have to remember that - someday - If I’m a doctor.
Ashwin Kumar Aug 2023
Dear Urvashi, wish you a belated happy birthday!!
I've known you for less than a year
However, that doesn't take away the fact
That we've always shared a cordial relationship
Not just as colleagues
But also as good friends
Right from the day we met
I knew that we would get along
Like peas in a pod
As you told me recently
Our conversations have always been meaningful
Whether it be work or personal stuff
I've never felt dull or bored
While interacting with you
You understand me very well
I can be weird sometimes
But that has never bothered you
Because the only thing that truly matters to you
As far as a relationship is concerned
Is character
In fact, that's the way it should be
Also, I've always enjoyed working with you
You are very talented
And your communication skills are top-notch
Not to mention, you are super helpful
I am sure you will make us all proud
As far as your career is concerned
Of course, luck hasn't always been on your side
But you just need to believe in yourself
Stand in front of the mirror
Tell yourself "I can do it"
And you will do it
You also have a fun side
This was on display
When we had the team lunch at Canto
And the team dinner at TOIT
Oh boy, when you talk
You go on and on
As though nothing can stop you
And I feel so comfortable with you
That it almost seems
As though I'm talking to a family member
Finally, you are very sweet and caring
Something that I've particularly noticed
When it comes to your family
By the way, please give my regards to them
And hope you had a great time yesterday
Take care and may the Lord bless you
With loads of love, success, happiness and peace
Dedicated to my friend and ex-colleague Urvashi, whose birthday was yesterday.
Ashwin Kumar Aug 2023
Dear Nithya
Wish you a very very happy birthday!!
I am sure this birthday will be that much more special
Given the momentous event that is going to happen
An event that will change your life for the better
Well, I've known you since I was a kid
Though we haven't met frequently
Nor have we spoken a lot
But I've always been fond of you
You are a very nice person
Very warm, friendly and jovial by nature
You bring a lot of cheer
To everyone around you
Not a single moment with you
Can ever be called "boring"
You are so witty
That the Sorting Hat will scream "Ravenclaw!!"
The moment it touches your head
Also, you are very sensitive
And care deeply about your family, cousins and friends
We've had some great times
Whether it be India, US or Ireland
Coming to Ireland, you were an excellent tour guide
The incredible views of the Pacific Ocean from the Cliffs of Moher
Continue to give me goosebumps to this day
And Glendalough Upper Lake was nothing less than Paradise on Earth!!
Finally, I shall never forget the moment
When we had the finest Irish beer, at Temple Bar
Then, as far as US was concerned
The cruise on Lake Michigan was absolutely unforgettable
As were the views from Hancock Tower
Not to mention, the picnic we had at the Chicago Bean!!
Anyway, coming back to you
I hope you have a day to remember
Wish you loads of love, happiness and merriment
And may the Lord bless you!!
Poem dedicated to my cousin Nithya on her birthday
Anais Vionet Feb 2023
I’m chilling and doing homework tonight. Leaning into it.

Last night one of our suitemates (Julia) turned 21 - she’s barable. Not that we get carded anywhere - I’ve never had trouble getting into clubs or ordering drinks - I mean never have I ever.

She had her birthday party at a place called Mory’s, in New Haven, which is very Yale themed. We ate dinner in the “captain’s room,” where every picture on the wall is a Yale team captain of some sort. They even have a whiffenpoof plaque. It’s so Yale-core it’s funny.

Have you ever heard of a drink called a “Singapore Sling?” Me neither, until last night. Then, somehow, there were undrinkable oceans of it. I had six of them, sitting at a bar and I felt nothing. Then I stood up and my bones seemed to liquify. Leong and Anna reeled me in.

I was hangin this morning though, I mean rocky-socks drunkover. My senses seemed sharper, my optical nerves dialed up all the way. The air seemed bright and I swear I could’ve heard the sun burning if people would’ve just stopped all that annoying breathing.

I had a biochemistry quiz at 9am and I can’t wait to see how I did. Later, at breakfast (I had a piece of toast), Peter felt free to offer his sensible, 26-year-old, bropinion. I said, “You’re so wise,” as I steel-eyed him, “I-guess-you-never.”

By the afternoon I was back on my toes. Almost every night my roommates and I sit around a low table in the common room of our suite, crossed legged, on cushions and do our homework. It’s less claustrophobic than sitting in our rooms alone and we usually have some music on, lowkey, in the background.
We’d just heard “Love Story,” by Taylor Swift.

“I like songs that make love sound easy.” I stated.
“Oh, because it IS easy,” Anna says sarcastically, “grab yourself a physicist and make a TikTok song.”

“Hey! I’ve got a beef with TikTok artists, I said. “At first, they release these stripped down, intimate, acoustic songs that feel personal, and then, if a song hits, they put out a new version that’s totally overproduced.”
“Right.” Leong agreed.  
“Oh, yeah,” Sophie said, putting her hair back out of her face with a comb, “and some artists' voices are suited to simple accompaniment and the newer versions just don’t hit as hard.”

“I think Phoebe Bridgers is an example of production done right.” Anna said. “Her material continues to sound intimate and stripped down even though it’s no longer just her and a guitar,”

“On Tiktok,” Lisa adds, “when a new song works, I feel a connection, like it could be me recording a song with my guitar - so, I support them.”

“Don’t get me wrong,” I updogged, “there’s a place for overproduction but sometimes the instruments don’t even sound real, like when they go all out electronic - then they lose me.”

“The big-music might drown-out the artistry we liked,” Anna opined, “but maybe that’s how they heard it, as songwriters, in their imagination, but they couldn’t afford it - the new version rectifies it.”
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge:Rectify: “correct something that’s wrong.”

Slang…
barable = drinking age
whiffenpoof = the most famous Yale choir
hangin = hungover
rocky-socks = really hungover
drunkover = still a little drunk but hungover
bropinion = when a guy gives you a "brotherly" opinion
I-guess-you-never = you're a f-ing hypocrite
updogg = supply a comment to an ongoing dialog
Eve Jul 2022
I always throw these really cool birthday parties
And I always invite a bunch of people
From Near and far
And have always made loads of effort into making it perfect;
The right venue, the correct menu,
For all the people old and new-
In whatever childish attempt to make myself feel like I am loved
To help myself to feel that I am loved,
But I can not recall the last time I had a birthday
Where I didn't wish that I wasn't born.

-fir.m
abeautifulSky Dec 2021
An extra dose of all the good stuffs that I had yesterday
A cake with extra sprinkles on top
A coffee with a dust of cinnamon
Or a hug that is a little bit tighter.
Yup! another quick rotation around the sun. My day.
Anais Vionet Nov 2021
It’s Friday evening, (11-12-21) and Lisa’s Birthday. To celebrate, we’re going to see “A Night With Bill Maher” at the New York Comedy Festival (we’ll be socially distanced, in an opera box). He goes on at 8:30PM and my last class on Fridays ends at 05:25 (in New Haven CT). We had to hurry.

We have our bags and we’re hustling out the dorm gate loaded down like a couple of tourists. “We want to be on the island (NYC) by 7:30 for our dinner reservation.” Lisa said. I gave her a quizzical look, checking my watch, “It’s 6:18,” I said doubtfully, “we’ll NEVER..”  “Yeah, we will,” Lisa interrupts, “we’re taking a helicopter ride!” “Whaa.. REALLY??” I gasp. “Yeah,” Lisa grinned, “my dad arranged it, his treat.” “Thanks DAD,” I say, as we climb into our Uber.

An Uber off-loads us by a helicopter 15 minutes later (at Tweed Airport). I knew the blue and white grasshopper-looking whirligig didn’t have a mind - that it wasn’t capable of feelings or eagerness, but the blades were spinning and it seemed eager to escape earth - like a bug afraid of birds.

After we boarded, a guy in a yellow vest and helmet said - above the noise - “Buckle up!” and pointed to our seat belts. The “seat belt” was a harness that made an “X” across our bodies. Once the doors were closed it became surprisingly quiet. The cabin could hold four but we were alone, facing forward, Lisa seated next to me.

The earnest-looking pilot turned to us and said, “37 air minutes to the 34th street heliport,” but before he could close the little plexiglass door to our compartment, Lisa said, “Afghan takeoff please!” He nodded and closed the window, it got quieter still.

The pilot throttled up, the jet engines whined, the rotors became frantic and we lifted up into the air - just a few feet. I held tightly to my seat sitting perfectly still, as though the helicopter were a frightened animal I didn’t want to startle. “Relax,” Lisa said, with a BIG grin, “You’re going to LOVE this.” The helo rotated 180 degrees, “Woah,” I said.

“Wait for it,” she giggled. The back of the chopper suddenly rose, my body pressed forward, hard, against the harness. I went bug-eyed - about the time I thought the whole shaky contraption would roll forward end-over-end and we’d die in a fireball, we sprang into the air like a rollercoaster ride. When we lurched skyward, I had to fight the urge to hurl but Lisa roared with laughter.

After a moment we leveled out. “That wasn’t funny.” I said, still trembling and deadly serious. I opened a bottle of water, took a big swig and I felt myself relax a bit. “I almost threw up!” I wiped my hair away from my face. “I’m sorry,” Lisa said in a pouty, baby appeasing way. I glowered.

“Seriously,” she said, in a more reasonable voice, “I HAD to do it - I COULDN’T resist.” Unbuckling her harness she scooted over by me and took my hand. “It was a little mean, I know. I SWEAR, I’ll never, ever, EVER, trick you again.” She said, adding a girl scout salute that morphed into a pinky promise and we were suddenly whole again.

“I mean, it only works ONCE - and your FACE! - GOD!, I should have videoed that,” she laughed again - I just rolled my eyes and turned to look out into the darkness.

Maybe it was that take-off, but at first, all I could think of was falling to a watery death. I never get nervous on commercial flights, they feel like solid, white noise filled living rooms but this chopper was small and trembling, like an economy car or a hayride.

There was a TV screen that showed our altitude (9,000 feet and climbing) and airspeed indicator (140 knots) - I had to remind myself that trustworthy physics was at work somewhere behind this clippity-cloppity contraption our lives depended on.

The view of Long Island Sound, just after dusk, WAS amazing and soon I began to enjoy it. I counted 30 ships and barges lit up like birthday cakes against the watery darkness - and the approaching lights of New York City looked like a glittering tiara being worn by the horizon.

Ok, I thought, I have to write about this.
a scary first ride for me
Rafael Melendez Sep 2021
I'm planning something for you.
A big day, you were brought into the world.
I come home from work each day, with big plans for you.
It's always the little things though, the fact that I can remember when you were brought into this world, it matters, right?
We've been through a lot, the little things usually a cause to the effect. Sometimes I wish they didn't matter.
I've got big plans, but you can't even remember the year I was born.
Just little things, turning into big things.
Kyle Dal Santo Mar 2021
These are the events that occurred on October 2nd, 2015
these are the facts, the series of events from start to finish
sadly, it's my fault... she's just another excuse
love is meaningless without a hurt to give it life
without the pain of their absence, the sting of watching them go
she draws analogies to a virus I once had
she reopened the injuries of one before her
one that I blamed for too many of my disabilities
but let's stop there, another confession for another time
let's get back to this one
stay with me... I know it's a lot to take in

Well, it was my birthday, and I knew I'd be miserable
so I planned accordingly, what happened happened
I didn't know what to expect, so I expected the worst
something felt off that evening, we both felt it
sadly no one else did, they let us suffer
hell, they couldn't even remember my ******* birthday
what a moment, what a memory to share
when those whom you believe in most, stop believing in you
so I stumbled out without saying a word of goodbye
out into the night of my birth, wanting to die
then the phone rang, as it always did in my worst moments
but it wasn't them, it was you
seriously? did your ****-His-Life-Again radar just start pinging?
the most twisted thing, is she's not nearly as evil as she leads on
it's 70% *******, and I always knew it, its part of what I liked about her
she was covering up as much as I was, it was a secret that bonded and broke us
we were both ****** up, but for different reasons

Behind the scenes, the young damaged darling crept out
along came a spider, crawled up inside her, now her heart was a festering wound
try as I may I could never stop the bleeding
and the pain only numbs when she's hurting someone else
I was a closet *******, so we fit really well... at first
but I got tired of palming a blade in bed so, you know
I must've been pretty out of it for you to talk me into it
not the first time, not the last time either, just easier to forget
I had escaped you, I was free of your grasp
had moved on, found someone better for me
someone who didn't try to make me into something else
you never knew how to take no for an answer
once you smelled the blood on my tongue...
TRUST, you don't need to remind me of all the mistakes
I'm very aware of everyone you know about, and everyone you don't
but to taste you again, feel you again,
to feel what I once felt before
I was weak, and I wanted, I wanted to... Feel
we picked up right where we always left off, naked and angry
it was through you I learned the difference between *******, and making love
where I learned the difference between love and... whatever we were
I spent more time naked with you than any other person in my life
and not just the **** times
I shared everything with you, things I couldn't afford to give away
so EXCUSE ME if it's a little difficult to get over it
not that I'm not the guilty party here, but accessory much?
so once again you got the best of me
so good ******* riddance, pardon my bitterness
because I haven't found anyone better since
and it's starting to worry me that I never will
I guess that's the price of vengeance - a whole lot of anger, a whole lot of nothing
you were my most heartbreaking fourth quarter
and my heart breaks, because you won't say anything
I was a quick fix, an asset
and you'd just wipe away the blood, and walk away,
pretend it never happened
yet your name's still tattooed on my shoulder
I'll always love her, and I'll always hate her for that
and with that, another chapter closes, yet no end in sight.

you know what's ****** up? My mom reads these...
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