The Half-Metaphoriacl Meteor, and the Mornings After
by Saanya Ali
It’s been a lot of mornings since I was hit by that metaphorical meteor.
The metaphorical part being in it’s space-like origins, rather than the very literal pain caused when
struck by it. I measure the time since that day in mornings for an amalgamation of partial
reasons...or explanations rather...maybe excuses is a better word.
Firstly, it happened in the morning.
From the photographs it really could have been any time of day, seeing as the sun had been tipped
off and knew not to show up, leaving the sky a hungover sort of grey. It was one of those first
grade food colouring mixed in glue type numbers, that some fat, substitute, Mrs. Frizzle teaches
you to make as an activity that resembles science.
Picturing it yet?
It came hurling through the sky in purple.
Harold’s crayon kind of purple.
The kind of purple that’s never really found in nature, which makes sense, considering that nature
was nowhere to be found about twenty stops north of the only garden we’ve got. One that’s got
more city slickers cheering for baskets than ones made of wicker. But see, as logic has it, all that’s
left for one to do after a quarter million dollars worth of SparkNotes and 600 expired meal swipes,
is gather with 16,975 strangers and the tiger parents who spawned them, in a colosseum built for
men in tight white trousers to hit things and run in circles while spitting out bird food.
Yeah, me neither.
And now you think I’m crazy.
It’s ok though, because I probably am, but see, if I’m crazy, then you’re crazy too, because you’re
all sitting in silence picturing a purple ball from space hurl through the sky and crash on 161st St.
But no matter, because that space ball went and landed in a crowd of too many twenty-somethings
looking like a tour group headed for a Barney convention and exploded in a terrifying mess of
soggy rented cardboard hats.
Now you’ve caught on.
Unless, of course, you’re as obtuse as the angles that I liberal artfully avoided learning about, and
I’m lost between my own mixed metaphors before ever reaching the second point about my
Because the mornings are when I really feel it.
They’re when those metaphorical stitches need their ointment, and my very non-metaphorical ears
start to ring. They’re when my vertebrae sorta crunch into place as I sit up to silence my generic
Arctic Impala alarm just uncomfortably enough to remind myself that I’ve been sleeping on the
mattress rejects of every estranged family member and distant—we should tooootally get back in
touch— friend for about fifteen EasyJet stops. They’re when I sit on the corner of my barely-flated
mattress, rub my eyes, and realize that my cushy, Princess and the DC, body wasn’t made for this
sorta roughing it.
And now you think I’m a brat.
But it’s ok, because I probably am, but see, you can empathize with that crunchy back feeling I’m
talking about, so you can let the fact that you might be a brat too, keep you up at night, the way I
The mornings are when I look in the mirror at the creases between my brows which are almost as
crumpled as the clothes in the backpack that I’ve been living out of since I evacuated the site of
the infamous explosion and nearly as wrinkled as my newfound understanding of what actually
constitutes a meal, and remember the life altering events of that fateful day.
The day everything changed.
The site of the half-metaphorical meteor.
A too tight cap over hair I had straightened at 4am.
The catalyst for my unnecessarily complicated mornings.
On the same page?
Every morning henceforth...
Yes, I used the word henceforth. I paid a lot of tuition to pretentiously, albeit incorrectly, use the
words henceforth and insofar as, whensoever I choose.
So, every morning HENCEFORTH, has been plagued by chronic confusion.
Indigestion and indecision.
Depression and double shot Nespressos.
Ten countries, no answers, and a whole lotta wonders why.
A desperate hand blindly grasping for a life raft and finding one, only to realize that every ice cap
is bound to melt before September.
And now it’s September.
And the Labour Day sales are starting.
And the stores are filling with pencils and planners that I don’t get to buy for the first time since I
learned to tie my shoes with the bunny ears, and the back to school banners don’t apply to me.
And it’s really rather rude, considering that you already know I’m a brat, and certain that the world
must revolve around myself. But I’ve got no banners.
All I’ve got are options.
And mornings to mull over them, and afternoons to stress about them, and nights to sweat them
out onto sheets that aren’t mine while I surf spare mattresses when I was only ever half-competent
at boogie boarding.
Now it’s September and all I’ve got are Informational Interviews.
Emails asking for employment costumed in words of Advice or Guidance. Meetings with strangers
telling me bullshit about the world being my oyster, despite being allergic to shellfish, and that
these are the best days of my life, though I am prone to waking up crying, so if this is as good as
it gets, that’s pretty damn sad.
But it’s ok. They don’t know about my mornings the way you do.
They don’t remember what it feels like to be hit by a metaphorical meteor.
They chiropracted the crunch out of their spine years ago because they didn’t double major in
philosophy and film and have the kind of jobs that pay enough for one of those fancy doctors.
They just see my smiles and my small talk and my spontaneous stories that are worded just right
because I practiced that exact spontaneity in the mirror for precisely 6.3hrs the night before and
none of the scared hiding behind the crooked teeth that my braces never fixed.
And now you want to see my teeth. But listen, I can confidently assure you that if you could see
them, you’d wish you hadn’t.
So, I could tell you about how I had braces until my junior year of high school, and was a notorious
teacher’s pet with a stick so far up my ass, I didn’t know it was there, and how I wasn’t kissed
until I was 18 because I gave prude a whole new meaning.
Or I could tell you about how the gaps between my teeth left eaves the perfect size to store these
metaphors just so I could spit them out to you today.
But I’m not done with the story of my post meteor months, and I’ve dragged this on for more pages
than you have enough put-on pity for, and you now regret ever caring about my sorry orthodontics.
So allow me to skip to the worst part.
The worst part of it all is that, somehow, everyone else is figuring it out, and I just don’t get it.
They’re applying and interviewing and moving and more than just moving, they’re actually going
Doing something other than sitting in foreign coffeeshops writing about their mornings and their
metaphorically crunchy spines.
How do they know how to walk in heels?
How did they learn to pay taxes? Who taught them that you should always keep eggs in the house
even if you don’t like them?
How come they actually finish the things they start without chickening out half way through? Who
convinced them that they’re opinions are relevant and that they are far enough past incompetent to
Aren’t they scared of fucking it all up too?
These aren’t rhetorical questions.
Please answer me.
Honestly, I’ll get on my knees. I’ll beg.
That’s not situationally appropriate, you say?
I’ll rip my pantyhose?
It’s ok. I’m not wearing any.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, give me a job.
Or maybe that’s asking for too much...
Give me a chance.
How about a swift kick in the ass towards whatever career path I’m supposed to be marching,
preferably not one requiring heels or hose?
Because really all I want is some sort of direction after that damn meteor left me uptown,
disoriented, and disillusioned.
That and to have my mornings back...
About the Author
Saanya Ali is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker. Born in Switzerland, to South Asian parents, growing up in the United States, and traveling to over 50 countries in her first 22 years, she grew up watching the world through airplane windows. Her cross cultural background and unbridled curiosity continues to inform all that she does and creates. A graduate from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in Mixed Media Storytelling, Photography, and Film, she has worked on over a dozen short films and music videos, TV shows including NBC’s Blindspot, photographed events for Twitter and red carpets for SxSW, and worked on the social media team for Webby Award winning start up, Well&Good.
From the editor:
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