It has always been there, I guess. Lurking and lingering behind the scenes of day to day living. Distractions are good. Distractions are safe. Distractions keep me sane. I used to self-diagnose depression – put a label on myself which didn’t necessarily have to be put in place. I guess it made things a bit more comfortable. Everyone gets depressed, and it fades. Labels keep me sane. But labels keep me preoccupied. So, am I depressed now? I don’t feel it as much as I used to. Those pangs of apathy. Are they even real now? Or just illusions – like when you hear your phone buzzing after it hadn’t been for a while. Phantom pangs. Is that what it is now? And I try harder to be normal. (Again with the labels.) Because depression is childish. It’s what you go through at puberty, then you snap out of it. It’s only ever meant to be a phase and nothing more. I’m supposed to be an adult now, mature and steady in my way. To be rocking, stumbling and disorientated is not acceptable. Stand up. Chest out. Walk straight. Be happy. Engage in your worldly activities. But, we all know we are not here for long. And I guess I’m constantly aware of this and constantly frustrated by this and constantly searching for something more. This. All this is not enough. But I don’t even know what it is.
Closure keeps me sane. Keeping it inside drives me crazy.
Have you ever experienced death,
In a dream?
Not just that you have died.
Have you ever experienced the transition
Between life and death.
Were you unwilling
Or did you accept it as a matter of fact,
that you are done here
that you are not leaving anything unfinished
that you are okay with death?
Death makes us human afterall.
The only crippling issue with death is fear
The fear of the unknown
but how many of us would be willing to leave everything behind
and face that fear.
It came as a surprise
but I was okay with it.
(On a sleep paralysis experience. Though I know what I experienced was probably trivial compared to what others have experienced but it was enlightening. The emotions and thoughts running through my mind when I thought that was it.)
It just feels wrong. To have so much envy, jealousy and dissatisfaction of others’ successes and triumphs. To feel that it is unfair that they have done so much, unknowingly to others. Part of it is just anger at myself for not living up to the dreams that I thought of for myself. Another part says that I wouldn’t feel so bad if I was somewhat part of it. Even if I was just a person with whom they shared that feeling of joy and achievement, the struggles along the way – I’d be fine just being that person. I guess in the end it all boils down to loneliness, doesn’t it? To feel alone.
It’s been described many times before, that amongst a swarming crowd of people, you still feel so alone. But I guess the sad thing is, I can’t even get myself to be in a crowd. Reminds me of that magnetic field experiment with the iron fillings you do at school. A majority of the iron fillings would comfortably be forced to follow a pattern, but there are a few that are just deserted. Seems like they’ve lost their power or something.
I’ve grown up hand in hand with impermanence and transience, and I guess at times I’d even say it makes me comfortable. To just not be committed to any one thing. But there are moments too when it all just seems too much. Memories are loose and can’t seem to be strapped down to the seat. Any minor bumps and they’d fly right out through the windshield. People drift on and pass you by. Sometimes you even drift away from your own self, you lose yourself, you forget.
And then of course, there is the need for acceptance. Is it a need or a desire – I don’t really know. But acceptance. And the natural proceeding step, appreciation.
Your self esteem is shaken as you wonder why it can be so easy for people to just forget you. One glance around, and you see that others manage to stick to each other. Years later, and they are still friends. Miles apart, they talk everyday. Not the case with me, I guess.
This self-pity won’t get me anywhere though.
He is flawed and it is as clear as day. Despite all his positive traits; his admirable career, bold choices and charismatic persona, I can’t help but to see his flaws. They are so stark. His insecurities increase the size of his ego and demand for attention, for approval from others and for material possession. His compulsion for obsession over the most mundane of things is disturbing. He can get absorbed so easily and forget the world around him. Though he preaches about life, his practice of it would not amount to perfect. Handheld devices distract him from family. He is constantly at war with himself: “why don’t my kids love me? Why are they so distant?”. He questions himself in the silence, in the dark that is only lit by the meagre screen of his phone. His children are fast asleep. The device he holds is clearly revolutionary as it comes with an invisible shield against conversation and interaction. The kids’ words bounce right off and intuitively find other places where it would be more welcome. This challenges his ego, the invisible shield gets upgraded, and it is an endless cycle.
But the children have flaws too. They are not able to see the apology which comes in material form. Or maybe they do, but do not accept that currency.
It is an endless cycle. But it continues escalating, never to return to ground.
I don’t know why, but it’s been hard to get my fingers back dancing on the keyboard. My mind begs for it to be done, but everything else works against it. I feel it though, inside. It’s begging for daylight. Abstract thoughts with a desperate desire to be turned into concrete words. I don’t really know why or when exactly it started, but it just keeps flooding my mind. Scenes and memories that are so minuscule and insignificant grow and fester inside me like a cancerous tumor.
A simple moment standing on an escalator as the world rushes past you.
The way the train sounds so much louder when there is no one you know around you, but the way that noise silences when you’re in the company of a friend.
The way my parents speak quietly to each other and laugh quietly with each other. The way they laugh ever so loudly at our unique humor few would understand.
Minuscule, and insignificant. They grow like cancer.
I have been feeling this deafening urge to write. To just write. It happens a lot in my mind. Words seem to swirl around and reassemble themselves where they feel most comfortable. But when it comes to the physical action of it all, I’m at a lost. Like a stuttering train running out of coal. It putters and coughs out sad, pathetic clouds of smoke. What is it that I want to write about? Why do I just end up writing about wanting to write? Perhaps I need a plan of some sort, a plot, at least. But no! That is not what the soul is asking for right now. Listen to the soul. Fulfill its desires. All it wants is to see words come out. To visibly see them appearing letter by letter. A letter may disappear, they may come out in the wrong order, and sometimes perhaps too many letters. But it’s okay. Let the words putter out. Maybe you’ll realize that the train isn’t coming to a stop after all. You just needed the time to enjoy the scenery. The moments.
I am reminded of Sumire, from Sputnik Sweetheart (Haruki Murakami). She writes to think. Despite my best efforts to not put myself in the books I read, Murakami so accurately described what words are to me. But then again, how many people must have felt the same way?
I hope I’ll write more. It’s a shame to think these thoughts won’t see the light of day. Not that I think they’ll be of any value to anyone in particular, but when your car’s full of fuel – you drive.
with the self and its abilities
a moment of pride and self-worth is the most impermanent
Whatever you’re good at,
there is definitely someone who’s better.
There will come a time, surely
will I just be happy, just see, not be plagued
by this constant paranoia and insecurity.
Self-worth, esteem and confidence non-existent.
Must learn to just not care.
“Okay sir, 8 ringgit sir, just 8 ringgit sir, please sir?”
He asks after almost losing his patience,
when I declined his offer of 10 ringgit to wash my shit stained car.
Sir, he calls me.
A sir who would say no to 10, but yes to 8.
He looked exhausted. When I handed him the money
he took it
and placed it in a tiny plastic bag in the basket of his bicycle
which carried his work equipment of pails of water and dirty cloths.
It seemed oddly arranged, my meeting with this man.
For a person who usually chooses escape, I now long
to be in the midst of it all.
I wish I could listen to every single person’s story and understand them and laugh and cry with them.
Tell me your stories.
Forgive me for all my shortcomings – especially my ignorance.
Tell me, please, sir?
Ground level diminishing
I fly away.
It felt like a perfect moment to die
Does that ever happen?
That everything just feels right,
that things come together and that maybe
you should just leave.
The radio was playing classic songs
“Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so lonely.”
“I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times.”
Dark outside, I flash by car lights
In a daze I somehow get to my destination.
What has happened to me?
I can’t stop saying I’m sorry.
I am patience, I am not
Light another one, sizzle, blow
watch it flow
a rush of deoxygenated blood to the head.
Dizzy, stumbling, thoughts that don’t make sense.
The quiet obsessions are the worst
No one takes notice, it doesn’t cease
I’ve lost my head.
It’s been a while
you’ve been appearing, swirling, rearranging
but never made into a tangible
Kept you inside, pushed you away
Didn’t need you, want you? still I come back
Nostalgia, the essence of you
Light you up, inhale, release.
It’s a choice, the thought is a choice.
Do you choose to think it is pretty
I choose to think it is prettier than before
Perhaps I’ve been fixated too long
Flooding of thoughts, sudden.
Must find distractions.