Waiting in Vain

By

Waiting in Vain
Rajul stresses about her apartment and wonders why she's still single.

I'm sitting here in my apartment in (almost) silence, touching up an article I need to get out of the way before I leave for dinner with a friend who's visiting the city. The sun is spilling through the window, taunting me a little, since I could be sprawled out with a book on the grass in the park today. Instead, I'm here stressing.

The lease to my overpriced apartment is expiring in September and my roommates and I are in a state of desperation, trying to find a better deal on another one in the same complex. There are some rotten complications, as there always are when it comes to moving in New York, and it's got me on edge. The feeling of mortality has come over me; I can be consumed at any moment, left without a roof over my head! So I sit here waiting for the leasing agent to call back with any news.

Okay, so that's a bit dramatic but still. I love my living situation; it's become a security blanky for me. I love everything about my building's location, my roommates, the proximity to the subway… My living situation is one thing in my life right now that I have under control. My career is flying in twenty different directions, and my summer fling count is not near where I wanted it to be by now, the dawn of a promisingly steamy August.

I let my eyes wander around my bedroom, to the Rastafarian tapestry that adorns the west wall of bedroom; I rest on a framed reproduction of a page from Marley's song book. The song makes me think about how we spend so much of our lives waiting for what we believe we deserve. A great apartment, the perfect love life, security of all sorts.

Suddenly, through the soft hum of the air conditioner, I hear a beat. And not just any beat, it's a classic old reggae riddim reverberating through the living room wall. I jump up and press my ear against the wall. Sure enough, someone is playing Marley's "Waiting in Vain" in the apartment right next to mine.

"Ya see in life, I know there's lots of grief / But your love is my relief / Tears in my eyes burn, tears in my eyes burn / While I'm waiting, while I'm waiting for my turn"

At this point, I'm intrigued. I've never met the next door neighbors, but know that most of the people that live in my building are senior citizens, not usually apt to turning the volume up on Marley tunes in the middle of the afternoon. My curiosity piquing, I open the front door a crack and peer out into the hall. Then I shut it quickly, realizing I'm dressed in my summer uniform—a white wife beater and green hot shorts reminiscent of those 70's rollerskaters.

I click my iPod onto its speakers and turn up the same track. When it fades out, I notice that my neighbor is playing it on repeat. Hmm, could someone else be caught in this waiting room of life with me? Just trying to mellow things out with a heavy dose of Marley?

A quote comes to mind—one I scrawled into my planner when it caught my eye on someone's Facebook page.

"We accept the love we think we deserve."

Does that explain why I'm still single? I won't over analyze that one. But I do believe I deserve one hell of an apartment. So I'll run that track back one more time...