Tea-sha: Perceived? More like perish-in-your-sleep

Art of writer's silhouette with a red background and two text bubbles next to her
(Aylish Turner | Daily Trojan)

It’s a bright, sunny morning in Southern California. You wake up ready to conquer another day — wind in your hair, a new pair of footwear. 

Let’s be real: You wake up and drag your perpetually tired, sleep deprived self as your alarm rings for … Oh, who can keep track anymore? The weight of your everlasting responsibility and continuous existence falling on you. 

But you pair that cute top you got on sale with your favorite high waist flare jeans and, suddenly, the world feels like a better place. The eye bags and raccoon-like dark circles are no match for the floating feeling of a flawless fit. Maybe this day won’t be bad after all, you tell yourself. 

Sashaying into USC Village ready to earn your due and, perhaps, get a blueberry matcha latte too — you stop in your tracks. A weighted blanket (not the good kind) of self-doubt creeps into your mind. The feeling of being perceived.

You feel like you’re drowning. Your head keeps coming up to the surface only to be pushed down again. What could be worse than feeling like a plethora of strangers are simultaneously, telepathically communicating about you? 

Your best impression of a mysterious persona — cool clothes and an oversized pair of sunglasses — are no match for the X-ray vision these strangers seem to possess. One glance and they instantly know about that one time in third grade when you ate a piece of chalk to prove how much of a badass you are. 

The best course of action would be to leave of course: immediately and inconspicuously. But could that lead to further questions? Most likely an admission of defeat. Definitely more perceiving.

You stand your ground — not because you want to, but because you have to. Drawing the least amount of attention to yourself and blending into the background is the best bet. Now would be the best time for the ground to swallow you whole. 

Head held high and matcha safely secured, you are ready to face your demons. Popeye and spinach are nothing compared to you and matcha. Slamming the door with a bang, you stomp outside, only to slip in your own self-doubt and spill your matcha all over yourself. 

Bated breath. Not a single glance or blink of an eye. No one has been looking in your direction at any point. They couldn’t care less. As you stare hopelessly, you see the same madness you felt within reflected in their eyes. 

But if everyone is feeling perceived, who is doing the perceiving? 

Everyone is so self-absorbed with how they’re being seen by others that they have no time to see anyone else. Between classes, jobs, social life, sleep deprivation, hydration and feeling self-conscious — there is simply no room to add perceiving to the list. And, let’s face it, the act of walking across USC Village and buying yourself a matcha latte is not even worth talking about unless it’s your bank account doing the talking.       

So the next time you walk around USC Village or campus feeling perceived, think instead of how we’re all slowly marching toward our deaths — one step closer with each step we take. The thought will give you such a ridiculous expression, you might actually give someone something worth perceiving.               

Twesha Dikshit is a senior writing tongue-in-cheek satire on everyday life, the world around us and our daily march toward death. Her column, “Tea-sha,” runs every other Monday.