The Vanity of It All

Gyrate, baby
Shake your body to this song of death
It’s rock music with dance beats
A collaboration you can’t deny
Let the riffs get under your skin
Wailing guitars over hellish vocals
With a groove you can’t ignore
Let your limbs lose control
And let the hair go wild
Look possessed
You were made for this moment;
Everything else is a dirty deception
This is your exorcism
I could be the priest you never asked for,
Or the demon.

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State of collapse 

The lines of dream and reality

Have been blurred beyond recognition 

A mist permanently wraps itself around me

Its icy fingers have a grip tighter than death

They simulate drowning; no, this is drowning 

Perfect dimensions don’t exist anymore

The (dis)order of anarchy is ruling 

Like mighty malevolent Gods towering over me

Acting like reminders; they have an all seeing eye

And I can’t escape this prison of pain

The slow burn of time and its gradual march 

Has never felt this focused, this twisted,

This vehement 

Mighty structures have collapsed

And I now have to search for meaning 

In their debris

A ton of words, faces, and feelings 

All of them lie wasted 

And a silent breeze keeps blowing 

Pushing in a direction far away from you.

A Pale Palimpsest

Rejected by your past
And now you have moved
To a point distant
From where you left off
A once seemingly final
And absolute place
A crippled soul lying in rot
And a newer one shabbily superimposed
And your eyes reflecting
The play of this two layered world
Of distortion and romance
Of confusion and ambition
Of damage and beauty
Of death and destiny
Complementing and contradicting
A war between two selves
Neither is true
And you will never fathom
The complexity
Or the impending disaster
The relative motion of both 
Caught in an ebb and flow
Inculcating and appropriating
Snippets along the way
Of left over spirits
And discarded feelings
And hand-me-down love 
Under the mercy
Of a vision
Of tomorrow.

End Times

Do you know what it feels like? It’s like losing a piece of a completed jigsaw puzzle. When you have seen with complete satisfaction what the whole looks like but now a small piece missing has rendered everything pointless. It’s like that one small void has taken over everything, spread like an infection. It’s just one empty space, just one gap in the beautiful picture, but it feels like it’s protruding like a tumor. It’s like watching your hand burn slowly, while a pail of water lies just there. The emptiness inside burns more than any fire, beginning at the heart and radiating outwards. Till it consumes you. Makes you a part of it. You collapse into your own core like a star at the end of its life. The limbs that would spring into action after seeing them now carry no emotion. It’s like a nail that snapped off a wall and the painting it held crashed to the floor.  When a cyclone destroys everything and smashes every castle you built and dreamt of living in but the factor of time continues, on and on and on and on and on. Everything remains the same. But you just lost a piece. And now the picture is ruined. But the most you can do is see the ruins and try to make sense of it. You try to rationalize the tragedy and see if it makes any sense, as a consolation, as an afterthought to all your depression, as a funeral for your guilt, but there’s no coffin for your past.

      ——

And it’s scary to think of abandoning this. It means you have to leave your artwork. Your creation. Something you both worked on. Because that’s how love works, like a painting. You two work together to express your vision, some like it deep and symbolic, others prefer minimalism, some like it wild and abstract, but abandoning each other is like abandoning your artwork in between. The hardest thing about ending, is starting again. Finding someone with the same vision as yours, who looks at the canvas with the same passion as you, the same perversion and destructive tendencies as you, every stroke of paint is as measured and precise as yours, the same amount of emotion going into it, and as you stand by admiring your work, holding each other’s hands, the painting seems perfect. Time stops. Will you find someone like that, again?

——

A part of your soul has died. A world far away from the real one has just crumbled. You have been jerked away from this heaven and pulled back to the painful reality of mundane existence. It’s like a high wearing off after your first smoke, the warm fuzziness giving way to your cold and rational self. Every interaction with other humans is fake and shallow. You suddenly realize how weak and helpless you are, and how much of life can be drained out of you in a few hours. And you’re obsessed with time. Time, the supreme driver of all reality keeps moving, indifferent to the reactions in your brain and the hormones in your system. Hope and expectations are evil at times like these. Because time doesn’t wait, it discards the inefficient.

RISE!

 

 He walks alone on the streets
 Undeterred by rain and frost
 Gaze fixed straight ahead
 His eyes alone can reduce cities to dust
 No establishment is too big for him
 No rules could hold him back
 He walks with a rage unseen
 Following the stars in the sky
 Gods and Kings will collapse
 When the ocean inside his heart pours out
 The emptiness echoes within
 But when he speaks only fire comes out
 Behind his mask tears build up
 Anarchy is for lovers
 This one lost one up
 His palm itches to hold his comrade's
 They are one,in spirit
 But he is alone for now
 Ready with a gun to destroy order
 And release what society most fears,
 Freedom.

 

VOID

He lay back on the bed, his big belly protruding rather vulgarly into the space around him, looking outside the window at the garbage dump nearby. He wished the window had shades so he could avoid looking at the scene outside but rains had covered the glass with fog and it was getting thicker and denser by the minute. He let out another cloud of chemical smoke from his mouth and let his large body stretch and relax. A lot had happened in the life of the towns’ richest businessman in the last few months and he had managed to remain in the news quite frequently.

On the floor sat Rosy (what a cliché name, he always thought), the Eunuch hooker to whom the room belonged, she sat there reading a children’s book about alphabets though she was about 25 herself (Rosy preferred the female pronoun. Being a male meant less business). He was one of the few who actually knew where she lived, he was a frequent customer after all ,and one who did not want to be seen anywhere around the Red Light District.

‘You shouldn’t be sitting with a children’s book, it’s a turn off.’ He said with evident displeasure in his voice.

‘I am all but trying to learn how to read.’

He chuckled. ‘And what do you plan to read?’

‘Rene Descartes to begin with, maybe some Baruch Spinoza and some Voltaire as well. But they are the first ones to come to mind, I have a lot of other works on my wish list as well.’

He was dumbfounded. ‘What does any of that mean anything to you?’

‘It means a lot to all of us.’

‘Why should their thoughts mean anything to a lowly street whore?’

‘Ah, it is simply a matter of interest.’

He chuckled again. ‘And what interested you in them?’

‘A man. He would come here very often, the only other person who knew where I live.’

‘He came here to talk about that?’

‘He came here to talk about a lot of things. You see he was a man full of doubts, and this was his safe space.’

‘Quite a place he chose.’

‘I went to him first, to meet him when I first came to this area.’ She continued, ignoring him, ’I was going through hell and the brothel business was a nightmare. I felt disgraceful, dirty, and imprisoned. But I remember what he said to me after listening calmly to my grievances, words nobody had ever uttered before ‘you live and work in an island where you’re not bound by the chains of morality or expectations, you have the privilege to see the true side of humans on a daily basis, the side nobody reveals in public. You might be confined by your physical environment but you are truly free in thought and in word. Nothing you ever say or think will be blasphemous or judged. You are the symbol of depravity and that in itself means liberation. In thought and in word you are the freest soul.’’

‘That’s an interesting way to look at things’ he remarked.

‘Yes.’ Rosy said. ‘He asked me for my address and I at once gave it to him. He would come here very often and talk to me about the doubts that his life brought to his mind. Grave existential thoughts, the kind of doubts that might have had him removed from society and incurred the wrath of people.’

‘What? Why would that happen?’

‘He was a priest.’

He stared back with widened eyes.

‘Stuck in the wrong profession’ Rosy continued. ‘He had read Nietzsche and Voltaire and Spinoza and knew at once what he should have realized a long time ago. ‘A brothel might be a moral graveyard’ he would say, ‘but religion is an intellectual one.’ He lamented over the fact that people came to him to solve the riddles that troubled them, but his was a troubled soul that never could decide if it could continue living the way it did.’

‘That’s horrible.’

‘Indeed. He would talk to me about a lot of things, about society and its people. He was an intelligent man. He would come to share his feelings, never once did he even touch me. He spoke of you once, too.’

‘What did he say?’ He asked, sitting upright in a matter of seconds.

‘He told me about your recent marriage, that you had married the woman you had been cheating on your first wife with. He predicted the new marriage would fail as well, and as luck would have it, that’s when you started coming here.’ She smiled.

‘Ho…how did know that?’ He asked with a frown.

‘’What do you think makes the mistress so appealing?’ he asked me once and upon my admittance of ignorance he said ‘it’s the fact that she is the forbidden fruit. It is only desirable when it is sinful, the moment the wife is gone and the mistress is yours legally and morally, the pleasure disappears as well.’ When I told him you had started visiting me he had said ‘let’s hope he isn’t foolish enough to marry you as well’’

‘Does he still come here?’ He asked after a few moments of silence.

‘He died two weeks ago…’

‘What happened?’

‘…I was present at his funeral, but I left as soon as people started pouring in.’ she continued.

‘I don’t think anyone would have known you.’

‘I still remember the last time he came here’ again, ignoring him completely, ‘I had told him about all the pondering I had done over his words, about my life and my state of liberation. ‘Good’ he had said ‘contemplation is the beginning of any intellectual journey and also what keeps it alive’. I had remarked how glad I was that God made me this way because I wasn’t confined by gender roles either. He gave me a weak smile, but then his face turned grave and serious and for the first time I noticed how old he had become. ‘I don’t think God cares.’ He had said. And then he left, forever.’

 

 

A Play Of Words And Faces

“So what kind of music are you into?”

“Metal and some Hard Rock.”

I heard a patronizing chuckle.

“So you are one of those types. Is that why you had long hair?”

It was just another one of those get-to-know-each-other conversations where the person puts in very little effort to hide the fact that they are classifying you. Putting you into categories where you seem fit, based on assumptions that leave you wondering if there exist rumors about you that you aren’t aware of, or is this person really THAT delusional?

I have been a helpless victim (Did you just say victim? That’s weakness. Are you sure you don’t suffer from a Victimhood Complex? Are you sure you aren’t in need of some psychiatric help?) of these conversations and many more, ones where I am made into things I wasn’t aware I was. Dealing with this identity crisis for me has been far too complex and almost always unsuccessful.

When people do get the categories correct (Oh, you’re an atheist!), it’s the negative connotations that come along which are irritating. Being an atheist doesn’t imply I’m nihilist or angry and frustrated. Although going through bad life experiences, death of a loved one for example, is the reason some people turn into a Godless state; most others are atheists for purely logical and rational reasons. Some others reject the existence of God in favor of an even more supreme absolute; humanity. I guess atheists get a bad rep for deliberately choosing to stay away from the perceived majoritarian beliefs and lifestyles.

“I am afraid of speaking to atheists.”

“Why?”

“I always feel they might make me one of them.”

The immediate consequences of these assumptions are never good for either of us. I can’t count the number of times I have been told I’m unpredictable which has always come as a surprise since I lead a pretty mundane and consistent routine and thought pattern. Maybe the unpredictability doesn’t lie in my actions but in the fallibility of your baseless assumptions about me. No relationship, or conversation for that matter, can happen without a certain amount of trust. Trust comes with consistency. False judgements create a distorted sense of this consistency.

People would generally react to this situation by ‘sucking up’ to people which can be a total suppression of the individuals true identity. An obliteration of individuality. It can lead them to behave in ways they never would just to seek the approval of a group. While this can be positive reform in some cases, it ultimately leads to a suffocating effect where the individual feels like they are no longer in control of who they are. ‘Lost’, ’empty’, ‘confused’, and ‘insecure’ become regular states of the mind.

My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

I’m standing on a stage
Of fear and self doubt
It’s a hollow play
But they’ll clap anyway

“My Body Is A Cage” by Peter Gabriel
(originally by Arcade Fire)

 

How do I deal with this? I generally try my level best to not be judgemental towards people and give them a fair chance to reveal themselves. When I do encounter people who I feel are judging me in disagreeable ways, my response is either in silence or when the situation is appropriate enough, I like to play along with the statement and make a really offensive and/or silly joke about that particular stereotype. Not only does it take away the awkwardness but also manages to give the person some food for thought. Let them be aware that there might be a lot more to you than what meets the eye, you just might be the most perfect person for them if they hadn’t been looking at you through a fractured piece of glass.

“So, are you in a relationship?” She asked after a long period of silence. I didn’t know how much information she had gathered about me in the course of this conversation. I didn’t actually want to know. I didn’t want to know what she thought of me. Somehow it just seemed too irrelevant even though we had been around each other for a considerable amount of time now.

“No”

“Do you think you’ll find someone?”

“I guess I’m weird enough to find a real special one.”