There’s No Word For What I Have

Uncertainty seeps into the fiber of my very being as I breathe the morning air.  I have no idea who I am, it’s a new day and I will morph into today’s character.  I play it well, because I’ve done it a thousand times over.  I feel nothing and I don’t know myself well enough to tell you anything and yet I have to pretend like I do because your pithy questions are exhorting answers from me.  How do you look at me and go, ”she has the answers?”  I know you don’t want me to lie, but you leave me no choice sometimes.

I’ve no idea what I have.  I just go a little crazy sometimes but that’s okay because we can’t have it all in life.  I’m proud of what I have and I think nothing is worth losing it for, I welcome the crazy with open arms because a modicum of happiness requires a lifetime of self-sacrifice.  I’m willing to do it, there’s nothing that’s worth this kind of life, this kind of wise.  Even my erstwhile teenage self would agree, she lived to this age without injury so ephemeral bouts of misery are nothing to lament over.

My heart is coaxed within a fortress of indifference that rarely ever flounders.  But when it does cave, I experience all sorts of contradicting emotions that barely make sense to me.  I mean, do you ever wonder why you cry?  Because I cry for no reason at all.  And I don’t want science to tell me that my hormones, or my chemical make-up or my cerebral wiring is responsible for that shit.  I am responsible for my own misery and I take full responsibility for it.  This is the only thing that I’ll ever plead guilty to.  This is just the way I am and I do not think, I am in any way, defective.  If anything, this extra dose of self-awareness makes up for all the perceived defects.

I don’t like people very much, even those who are close to me.  The more they open up to me, the more they make me want to run away.  Funnily enough, there’s a wellspring of purity in me that expresses an aversion to fake shit.  I don’t understand why people are inherently so hostile and petty to one another and I don’t want to be part of their mediocrity.  Early on, I learnt to focus on the world around me; the beauty of the universe and its deep mysteries, literature and music, movies and art.  I had no interest in their histrionics.  But I’m getting sucked into it, nonetheless.

What can I do, I’m just a tiny girl in an even tinier world.  I know I have an ugly soul and an even uglier perspective, but it doesn’t bother me at all.  Deep down, I’m a good person, I’m objective and realistic and I champion goodness above all.  It’s just that, I’m too familiar with the human condition to find the beauty in it.  It’s just not feasible, it’s preposterous to think of a human being that’s perfect because no one is perfect and yet, we’re supposed to accept those imperfections and love them as they are.  But I’m loath to say, I’m a perfectionist.

I make tons of mistakes whose significance will only hit me when it’s way too late to act upon them.  I’m not gullible but I trick my mind into being gullible at times, because the girl gotta live, you know.  I would say that I’m not guided by any sort of underlying moral principles but you’d think I’m a sociopath, which I’m not, I’m just sort of autistic.  But because I’m a girl, the autism doesn’t reveal itself too often.  Girls can be shy and reserved and depressed, I mean, who cares right.  I feel sad for autistic boys for whom there’s no respite from this awful disease, from the pitiless glare of the world.

I’m a discursive writer and a garrulous participant in motivational inner talk.  I’m self-effacing because I despise narcissism and I possess an iota of self-awareness that keeps me grounded.  I’m thankful for that.  I’m no better than the guy who sweeps the streets or a crackhead.  It would be stupid to compare myself to anyone at all, because the only thing the world hasn’t assigned a pecuniary value to is, the human self.  Okay yeah, we need money to be alive but isn’t it just beautiful that capitalism hasn’t yet destroyed the idea of the self?  You’d think that years of capitalism would culminate into the irrevocable destruction of the self, but I guess we still have a few years left.  A few years with a ticking bomb.

I feel numb but I’m not unhappy.  I am cold but I want to share the little warmth I have with the world.  I am stupid but blessed with an intelligence that I rarely ever use.  I am young but I feel so old inside that I might as well dig my own grave and hide.

Don’t take any of this seriously.  If anything, imagine the curve of a smile as I conclude this very ambiguous piece.  Everything is funny.

Everything.

 

 

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Is Selfishness A Virtue?

Jonathan’s girlfriend’s brother had just died and he didn’t know what to say to her to comfort her.  The rudimentary ”there, there” might not be appropriate in this case, given how close they are and Jonathan felt a bit handicapped in this area.  He couldn’t bring himself to empathize with his grieving girlfriend, but he tried his hardest to lift her spirits.  Except that, he should have waited at least 3 weeks before trying to make her laugh.

This prompted a slew of introspective questions in his mind.  He couldn’t understand why his grasp on human interaction is so lopsided and centered around himself.  The concepts of guilt and grief are as alien to him as are the feelings themselves.  Whilst what he feels for his girlfriend has all the traits of romantic love, he wondered why he couldn’t feel her grief and provide his heartfelt support during such a tragic moment in her life.

The words ”nihilist” and ”indifference” were sloshing back and forth in his mind but deep inside, he knew he was none of those things.  He has very distinct idea about the type of life he wants to lead and his is not a disaffected way of being.  On the contrary, everything reverts back to his very being, his experiences and his opinions.  He just cannot comprehend the experiences of other people, no matter how hard he tries.

But he wanted to understand the catalyst of such a jarring hole in his personality.  Where did it come from?  Is it a pathology to be unable to focus on other people’s emotions and desires?  Is he at fault for being so self-centered and inured to other people’s expectations?  He tried various channels, to find the answers to his conundrum, including religion.  He was not interested in any particular path per se, he just wanted a decisive watershed moment to happen to him, from which he would conclude whether he was indeed debilitated by his coldness, or whether his way of being was just fine, albeit different.

He came across Ayn Rand, a writer and philosopher who expounded on the virtues on selfishness and self-interest.  Self-interest doesn’t mean that a person should disregard the well-being of others, simply put, it’s based on individualistic fulfillment.  In this era, altruism is touted as the utmost moralistic principle that guides the virtuous human being, without much else being said about it.  We just throw around these virtue-signalling words because of how perfectly they align with our norms, thusly providing a sense of security in being normal.  It all fell at one swell swoop for Jonathan.  He always viewed rectitude as a hokey way of being, a dire attempt at fitting in.

He wondered then, if his way of being would be at loggerheads with everyone else’s, because you see, those are questions that everyone asks themselves from time to time.  He concluded that him being the focus, doesn’t remove the focus from anyone else.  In fact, he is the sole observer to the vastness of the world and the universe, he is the only person who understands what it is like being him, he has lived through things that are endemic to his consciousness and memory.  So, it was a cinch- self interest is the sole motivator in his life and there’s nothing wrong with him.

Surely, he couldn’t understand the underlying emotions that guide people in their lives, he couldn’t emulate others in their humanistic proclivities but he could be himself and allow himself the true gamut of this worldly experience.  Suddenly, he didn’t feel hamstrung by his apathy; he felt empowered, emboldened and most importantly, at peace.

 

 

I Feel Like I Died That Day

The tube perforated the windshield and was hanging between us.  I was incredulous.  I really thought I was going to die.  Everything happened in slow-motion, the car would have rear ended the truck, had it not been for the large tubes it was carrying in its trunk.  The road was slippery, the result of hours of rainfall and we surely could not have anticipated it happening.  To us.  Two accidents.  The first one, so trivial.  The second one, kind of scary.  I mean, falling in love, is very scary, for someone like me.

It’s weird how a simple foray into quantum hell can awaken thousands of questions.  What if, I was already dead?  And, at what point did I actually die?  I’d like to think that I died that day because something else saw the light.  Love.  I know it’s corny, I usually hate reading about people’s schmaltzy love stories, and their corollary, the inevitable break-ups but I think it’s cool when it happens to me.  To this day, my corrupt soul was toying with concepts much larger than it could entertain, and it never occurred to me that one day, I might actually say it aloud-that I love someone.

It’s beyond me, and I cannot control it.  I must be dead for this to be happening to me.  As someone who’s always seen human beings as less than worthy, I started seeing the beauty of humanity in that one person alone.  That must be, what being in love feels like right?  It’s visceral but cerebral at the same time, part of me gets turned on by his intellect, the other part by everything else.  And that scares me, mostly.  How can someone blindly trust another human being?  And yet again, I feel like I would.  I do things to him that I would not normally do to other beings.  Spice.

I’ve always been pretty stupid and impulsive and only death can explain this sudden u-turn-from me being so utterly devoid of human emotion to actually being able to feel genuine untarnished love for someone-because nothing else could have aligned my destiny so perfectly when I so unrelentingly fight against my natural instincts.  I must have died twice.  The first being the day of the accident, the second being that day when I successfully weaned off from a toxic relationship.  Both had the same intended result-they got me closer to him.

I know the concept of a soul-mate is so painstakingly wishy-washy but I’d like to believe there’s someone for everyone.  Even if, death is what it would take to bring them together.

 

People.

I don’t understand people.  So many of them don’t understand themselves and yet they want me to live my life by their rules.  I don’t know what goes on in their brain, what makes them think that the way they think is better than the way I think.  So many of them, lost in their own hubris.  And they don’t want out, no,  not ever.  It’s comfortable for them to continue what others started.  They can’t be bothered to sit down and cogitate.  And still, they want me to listen to their inanities.  But I believe, I’m a perfect bitch.

I prefer people who are honest about their insecurities.  I like them because they’re not lying to themselves or to me, even when they’re vociferously defending their cause.  I do not like people who blindly adhere to principles that were never their own.  They do it for expediency and emergency.  I find it so glib and unprincipled.  I have principles of my own, and they come from a more heartfelt place than theirs.  My principles tell me not to think too highly of myself, not to judge someone before I know their story and not to be a total cunt.  I must admit that I’ve failed to uphold that last one quite a few times, but that’s just because being a cunt to someone is a nebulous concept of its own.

I have feelings and it’s okay because I’m human.  But I think about those feelings too.  I try to ratiocinate their existence, to a certain extent at least.  I don’t want my fleeting feelings to rule me, that’s why it’s important for me to think about their origins.  At the very core of my being, is a deep-rooted mistrust for other beings.  I cannot help it, I’ve read history.  So sometimes, when I feel this way, I like to write it down.  Even if it’s unappealing.

Human Nature

I was misanthropic before I even knew what it was to be misanthropic.  I was young and a dilettante in life, I was rowing clumsily in the lake of wisdom, appropriating feelings that were never mine.  What did I have to be misanthropic about, then?  Sure, it made me feel special and different, and somewhat aware, but it never occurred to me to question the origins of my ersatz despair.  And I wonder, how many of us walk around with apocryphal pathologies that we trained our minds to believe.  How many of us have sacrificed real, unmitigated happiness because we deluded ourselves into believing something we never really felt?  But then again, how many of those schmaltzy feelings were later vindicated?

Depression is one of those feelings.  When you’ve hit rock bottom and you have nothing to look forward to, then yes, depression is a normal feeling.  It doesn’t need any explaining for a person to come to the obvious conclusion that certain situations in life leave us feeling utterly miserable.  And that’s completely normal.  But how can someone be depressed when they have myriads of stuff to look forward to?  That’s when it enters the realm of mental illness.  As does bipolarity.  How many of us have juggled differing personalities, as a result of being trapped in complex, diametrically opposed circumstances?  Whilst feelings of elation and misery are a juxtaposition, it doesn’t mean we cannot entertain both at the same time.

But many of us fake it, because we believe it to be true.  We feel placated by our desire to have something to label what we’re experiencing at a particular moment.  We feel vindicated without actually being vindicated.  But my opportune run-in with my deep-rooted fears helped me understand the drive behind general misanthropy.  I hated what had become of the human race, so morally depleted and consumed by their glib desires.  So utterly bereft of any substance or real direction.  Always at loggerheads with one another, one cutthroat religion battling another.  It was all fun and games until I realized that that’s not what misanthropy is about.  It’s normal to take one single glance at this cesspit and philosophize what I just did.

My real foray into misanthropy came at a cost.  Delving into my own arsenal of bitter emotions, I grappled with something that I couldn’t really situate.  The noble savage absconds from his primal abode to fight for the death, and he’s not really noble of course.  He’s consumed by irreverent motives, he endeavors to leave the battlefield without hearing a single plea for mercy.  Because he’s bludgeoned them all, and mercy isn’t something he understands.  He’s good when you know him, but he will still bludgeon you on that battlefield.  It’s a game, with distinct results at the end.  Either you, or him.  That’s when you know, misanthropy is a valid feeling.

Ode To A Great Being

There was something in his eyes that screamed he needed help.  His aura was so bright you could never look away.  I got to know him at his peak and ever since, I count myself lucky I did.  He was unlike the other men I had loved before him.  He was simple, pure and beautiful inside and out.  He radiated goodness and vulnerability but most people didn’t get it.  He wanted the world to flourish and he embraced his enemies, but most people would shun this.  I wanted to be his forever because I was young and carefree like him.  I wanted to intertwine my vulnerabilities with his because I thought he wanted it as well.  As we grew older, I started to feel younger.  Being with him was the antidote to the eons of misery and melancholy that had been my music.  Being with him was like nothing else in this world.

I saw him for who he was, a child trapped in a man’s body.  A mind so curious and invigorated that it would rarely sleep.  A touch so unassuming and risky that it made me yearn to be touched by him.  He wasn’t just different from other men, he was different from other humans.  His speech was mellifluous and sotto voce.  He would speak pithy words in a gentle tone.  He would present his points without seeking to undermine his opponent’s words.  He would hold forth about love and camaraderie more than he cared to complain about things.  He saw people as secondary and consciousness as primary.  His ideas were the floodgates and his aura the deluge of perfection.  But he wasn’t at peace.

We hold our vulnerabilities in the palm of our hands, always looking around us for the one who would snatch them from our grip and release them into the chasm of oblivion.  He never deigned to resort to such a thing.  He bottled them up inside his very being, until they consumed him.  Every day he escaped in his dreams but when he came back to life, he felt deceived.  He sought refuge in man-made ecstasies.  His was such a gentle soul that he could never be happy in a world like this.  He would let the high consume him, and at the very end, it consumed the whole of him.

I do not care for the terse analogies.  I do not care for the fake apologies.  And I certainly do not care for meaningless paeans.  His vulnerabilities made him human and his mistakes reinforced his humanity.  In this endless absurdity that we call life, he could never get over everyday injustices.  He was an empath and he let the energy take away his life.

This post is a celebration of his goodness.  Rest in peace.

 

I

I’m a force to be reckoned with.  I’m a bright spot in a wasteland.  I’m a star that shines bright in the desert.  I am unsmoteable.

That’s how it begins every day.  I wake up with ideas brimming in my head, bad ideas mostly.  I tell myself that I will not waste this day, it’s very rare that I do honestly.  I understand that this day isn’t a given, it could end right then, it could be my last day.  I philosophize that this day is nothing, just a random point in time, time that’s bendable, time that’s mine to spend, like money.  I love how people automatically think about entitlement when it comes to personal possessions, but not when it’s about their own time.  I’m entitled to my time and this gives me the leisure to plan out my life the way I see fit.  I do not want to be part of a patina of lies.  I’m too much of an old soul to give a damn.

I, I can’t tell you how much I need you, because I do need you.  I don’t need you because of those other things though, I need you because I like you.  People don’t like people very often, and that is the bane of humanity.  The inclement traits evolution never really wiped out.  They don’t seem to wane either, they seem to be getting stronger even.  But what am I supposed to do about it?  Why do I feel like I need to bear the brunt of it?  I’m a good person I suppose, that’s how I know it.

I’m not going to pretend otherwise.  I feel good in my bones, despite the initial wretchedness that tormented my soul for a while.  That wretchedness was part of my senescence, at least the beginning of it.  I didn’t know how to live because I wasn’t raised for it.  I was raised to be like you, and I didn’t like it.  My soul was at loggerheads with my mind and my spirit weakened gradually.  But something happened, like it always does, to untether me from the frigid bonds of normalcy.  I don’t like being normal, normal is a burden, normal isn’t natural.

People are afraid of living because they are afraid of dying.  The endless streams of possibilities and coincidences do not appeal to them because the obverse scares them shitless.  I can only speak for those who aren’t afraid of living, because we’re the people who will never off ourselves when the tides turn and shit gets real.  We’re the people that find joy in the tiniest of things.  We’re the people who smile at beggars and pout at capitalists.  We’re the people that make love like we mean it.  We’re the people that find people objectively intriguing and we’re not afraid to get to know hordes of them.  In short, we’re kind of cool.