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This is all too much for me to bear. Long weekends always throw me for nasty loops like this. Just long enough for you to scent the tantalising freedom as it is dangled in the air before you and then cruelly wrenched away.
You know what's worse than being imprisoned by happiness? When other people make the decision to sacrifice their freedom for happiness and they sacrifice yours as well. But then, that's what our great, brutally efficient, equality-for-all-mankind country is about, isn't it? The greatest happiness for the greatest number and screw the rest, their vote doesn't matter anyway.
Genetic predisposition, causality, morality. The more we explain, the less meaning everything has. How could we do anything but smile? If you wear a mask long enough you forget who you are beneath it. Can't make it? Fake it! The journey is the destination! The questions are the answers! The weight is a gift! If we can't have meaning, we can have the next best thing: illusion of it. We've done it with youth, we've done it with justice, we've done it with freedom.
Why not meaning?
You cannot derive a formula for human existence, but hell, we'll try anyway.
Eons of human existence, centuries of education, mountains of technology. They wax lyrical about how far we've come, the heights we've scaled, the odds we've surmounted, but have we got to show for it?
Thought without questioning reading without comprehension knowledge without understanding innovation without creativity brevity without simplicity love without emotion courage without bravery heroism without nobility peace without harmony justice without equality mercy without compassion reason without logic religion without morality purpose without direction truth without meaning.
Freedom without the will to wield it.
Individuality? Pretty and shiny, but who needs it when you can follow the herd?
We're bitter and broken; the reality TV generation. History's middle children; no purpose or place. Cold, cynical, afflicted with a chronic listlessness. Been there, done it all. There's nothing you can throw at us that we haven't already seen, nothing you can do or say that'll make the slightest difference; you're fired. More affluent, more educated, more accomplished than ever; more jaded, more weary, more dissatisfied than ever. There's nothing left to say, nothing left to do, nothing left to prove, nothing left to fight for, live for, grieve for, die for.
Nothing left but us and the blistering cold.
The darkness is up to my neck and still rapidly rising. Funny how it never reaches the point above my head. Sometimes I wish it would just get it the hell over with. It's gonna happen sooner or later; the anticipation kills.
Some days I wonder if I'll ever find a way out of this hole I dug all those years ago. I was young, I didn't know any better and it kills me because I should've, they should've, someone should've.
People wonder why I'm so hostile towards this shithole. One slip and you break your neck. One fucking slip.
But I don't want comfort. I want god, I want poetry, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin. I'm claiming the right to be unhappy.
The lecturer scoffs. Extreme, contradictory, naÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â¯ve, overly idealistic. But isn't that what being human means? Constant contradiction, confusion, convolution, never knowing what we mean, to rage, sin, be utterly incongruent, to live, love, loathe to extremes. Fighting for what we believe in, staying true to ourselves even if what that is changes with the weather; believing there will be an end even if it's nowhere in sight.
Extreme, contradictory, naÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â¯ve, overly idealistic? Human.
Anticommercialisation, anticonglomerate, anticonformism, anticonsumerism (Otherwise known as I Love Alliteration). Indie, humanity's shiny new counterculture movement. Our generation's answer to the beat culture, free love and sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
Lo-fi, strained, offkey vocals, mussed hair and the acoustic guitar are in. Boybands, digitally-enhanced singing, precisely styled hair and cliched love songs are tired out. We want intimate, gritty, raw, fragile, flawed; real. It stands to reason that in this increasingly impersonal, complex, superficial world of the internet, mass media, cosmetic surgery, gratuitous airbrushing and sleek, manufactured perfection, we'd crave the exact opposite.
Such delightfully contrary creatures, humans.
It's at transitory, in-between times like this, when everyone's asleep and everything's so still I can almost hear my heart beating, that I feel your absence the most keenly.
I thought I was over you. Then that day I read a passage and one line just leapt right at me.
This is all there is, and as everyone knows, when you are dead you are dead
. This is all there is. The unspoken ramifications left me breathless and reeling; overwhelmed, as if it was my first encounter with them.
It never really gets any easier, does it, you stupid bastard?
Lately, I've taken to listening to old music. Songs from before that meant nothing then, but are now so irrevocably entwined with the past that simply hearing them triggers the inevitable cascade of memory and emotion:
The first play I ever saw; reveling in the rain; sweltering Sunday afternoons spent at the park. Happy memories of things gone before, now tinged with a wistful sadness because they are over and gone and will never be the same.
I guess that's why I'm so attached to things past. Because that's all we're left with in the end - memories and old records.
I finally find resolve to pack my room, something I haven't managed in years. It's only when I go through the clutter that I realise why it's been so difficult.
Each object, from the trashy magazines to nonsensical essays about mind-controlling aliens, brims with memory. It occurs to me then, as I make each painful decision: I am throwing away memories.
It's hard to imagine: someday, this will be distant past. I never thought the 90s would be relegated to that pile of musty, yellowed-out old memories, but it was. It depresses me to think that all this will too.
66.6% - a sign? We chuckle, shrug resignedly, half-jest: just wait, just you wait till we can vote, then Them-In-White can take their strong mandate and stick it where the sun don't shine. Our generation's too young to've seen hardship, too young to recognise their accomplishments. Too young to care.
Still, it's not choice, but the lack thereof, keeping this oligarchy potent. Everyone, so comfortable in their comfortable 9-to-5 jobs, their comfortable HDB flats, their comfortable lives. Who'd be the strong opposition; risk everything fighting for the freedom of people who don't even want it?
I wouldn't waste my time either.
Beginning, end; introduction, conclusion; start, stop. I've always hated them. Beginnings, because of their awkwardness, their clumsy hesitancy, their fear of the unfamiliar. Endings, because after everything, I still haven't learned how to say goodbye. How do you? How do you smile, exchange see-you-arounds and just walk away after everything you've been through, everything you've shared, everything? I guess Z was right: I am too sentimental.
Someone once said that in order for us to learn to live we must first learn to die. If that's true, then I don't think I'll ever learn. I'm not sure I want to.
This past week has been quiet and still and completely unproductive; it's been fantastic.
I know this is stolen time, that I'll have to pay it back, that somewhere, somewhen, I'm going to regret this. I know this is what got me into this mess in the first place. I know I should know better. Yet somehow, I can't bring myself to care. Is this really how I want to live? Everything for the moment and who cares about bridges I'll jump off those when I get to 'em?
What does it mean to regret when you have no choice?
Mum left. Said she needed a break (Don't we all?). Don't know when she'll be back.
This is the perfect excuse. I'll tell them I had a family emergency. If I ever go back there.
I know sometimes I don't know when to stop or don't stop even though I know I should. I know I take things too far. But you know what? It's hard for me too. I'm struggling too. Just because you feel the need to constantly broadcast your problems to everyone doesn't make your pain any more real or the shit you pull any more justified.
They keep asking me exactly what it is I want. All I know is that I don't know don't know DON'T CARE JUST LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE.
I want god, I want poetry, I want freedom, I want sin, I want quiet, I want to be Left The Hell Alone. I want up, I want out; I want to give up. I want to give up so fucking badly.
I've never been able to understand how people manage to find the strength to make it through day after day after day of this bullshit. I've never been able to.
I guess I'm going to have to eat my words again. I know these things are inevitable. I know sooner or later, people you love let you down. But knowing isn't the same as feeling. Whether or not you know they're bound to happen these little betrayals all sting just the same. And I could never choose ignorance, because not ever knowing would be so much worse. We're all just addicted to the pain, aren't we?
Hello, what's your name? What's your favourite colour? What music do you listen to? How could I betray you in the worst imaginable manner?
I know I'm wasting my potential, that I'm capable of far more than this. I know I'll regret, that this'll probably turn into another bullet point on my ever-growing list of 'if onlies'.
The shades of mistakes I've made and people I've been remain, taunting me, their voices incessant, relentless, unceasing. I know it doesn't matter, shouldn't matter. It's over, done, not like anyone'd remember. Except I do. And it matters to me. And I can't forget or let go no matter how badly I want to. But then, it's never been about how badly I wanted anything, has it?
"In fact," said Mustapha Mond, "you're claiming the right to be unhappy."
"All right then," said the Savage defiantly, "I'm claiming the right to be unhappy."
"Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen to-morrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind." There was a long silence.
I claim them all
," said the Savage at last.
We've all been raised on the same Hollywood-Hallmark myths of thunderbolt romances, big white weddings, undying love, someone-out-there-for-everyone, epic, sweeping, monumental, Wuthering-Heights-Brokeback-Mountain-Romeo-and-Juliet love stories. Love conquers all, endures all, transcends all.
I know, I'm sure we all do, that things like these can only exist in fairytales, Reese Witherspoon movies and trashy chick-lit novels, that you can't wait for someone to fly underneath you, sweep you off your feet and save your life, that the pigeons aren't going to come, that if you want to be saved you have to save yourself.
But then knowing isn't the same as feeling.
I know that more time spent worrying means less time living. I've spent so much time perfecting the art of being miserable I think I've forgotten how to stop. I can't remember the last time I just let go, sat back and enjoyed the moment for what it was. Maybe that morning in bed when I was six, light streaming in through the window, the world open, the whole day ahead of me and nothing to worry about. All that obsessing about making every moment count, yet sitting here right now, I can barely remember one that was worth it.
Been having trouble sleeping. I spend hours tossing, turning, trying to forget the hollowness and dread. I want more than this. I want to rage, roar, celebrate, mourn. I want joy: pagan, absurd, fleeting, tinged with sadness and be able to enjoy it for what it is, a moment. Because that's all you get, all there is, all that matters.
Tylko trwa wieczna chwila
. Only the moment is eternal.
I want to know that I lived, lived my way and loved every fucking moment; that I loved it too much to fall asleep.
I'm not going down without a fight.
Freedom, that's what it's all about. But being it and talking about it, that's two different things.
Look how easily democracy throws away its freedom of speech when threatened with brute force and fanaticism. Swiftly, without the slightest flicker of doubt. Like trash. They have bombs, they're not afraid to use them. Survival instincts kick in. Run, scramble, hide. Discard unnecessary weight. After all, who needs petty luxuries like freedom when you are dead? More affluent, more educated, more to lose now than ever. Freedom? Nifty concept; everybody likes it.
They just don't want to have to pay for it.
Welcome to the real world, they say to you condescendingly
. Nod, wink, knowing smile. This's what it's really like out in the
: accountability, obligation, responsibility. Aka self-important crock-o'-shit. Real world? Rules, regulations, restrictions, rigidity; lie, cheat, hurt, steal, sunder. Things near, dear, absolutely worth emulating!
Why must there be an "easy way out"when things don't need to be difficult to begin with? Washed-up, out-of-touch failures reduced to running deluded little Treehouse Clubs where they're Kings, Queens, Gods. There's your real world, it's full of shit. Shaping minds, influencing lives, mentoring tomorrow's leaders. Euphemisms for "no other choice-.
When school started, I was ready. To apply myself, realise what previously was only potential, shed that ubiquitous "Underachiever"label. But things started slowly, I tired of waiting, old habits won - I sank into that familiar routine: doze off, zone out, daydream.
Now, just when I've been worn down, drained by the inane, interminable march, it finally happens. Figures. Now's that moment when everything's up in the air, about to descend like a plague: it's sink or swim, fly or fall, do or die. And I'm utterly unprepared.
Getting what you want just isn't what it's cracked up to be.
Empty spaces are what interest me, confound me, frustrate me. The empty spaces between the words we say. Silent implications, silent indictments, silent judgment: deafening. Silence is golden, but I think it's gonna kill me now. The empty spaces between what we know and what we choose to believe. You can't spell belief without the lie but is it worth it anyway? The empty spaces within the human soul that never seem to stay full no matter how much we pour in. Are delusion and dehumanisation the only choices?
If you can't fix it do you have to stand it?
Sometimes I think it would be easier if I stopped struggling. How do you fight when you don't even know exactly who or what it is you're struggling against, if it isn't just all in your head, if it even exists. And how could it, with everything you see. When everything's so broken, so scarred, when the only possible excuses are egotistical, emotionally unstable or evil, which don't excuse anything, when all that keeps you hanging on is a feeling? When you know that you just don't know?
One one-second glance for every ten spent trying to forget your face
I tell myself this isn't a fight I want to be involved in. It's bloody, suicidal; there's no conceivable end. Their war, not mine. Their ugliness, their stupidity, their mess, theirs. I don't want to get dragged into their struggle. Us and them. Who's right and who's wrong. My messiah and your devils. My strong mandate and your strong opposition. Playing Happy Families with the world. Pointless, circular, draining. Ultimately futile. I see those who go, weaponless, offering peace, and I see their bones when the monsters spit them out.They mean well, but so does the road to hell.
Such a delightfully - no,
cruel joke, isn't it? Planting such powerful desire for truth but withholding all conclusive evidence? Kick back, crack open a beer, laugh as we flounder, fumble, fall. Smirk at the pathetic grovelers who worship you for tormenting them. So needy, so weak, so human. Wonderful theatre! So raw, so emotional; almost seems real. Except it
It'd be easier, so why? Because I refuse to be another obedient, insignificant brick in your goddamn "building project-. Because I refuse to participate in your delusion, however divine. What's the saying? Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely?
Your hands are tied but you're losing grip quickly; fix me, can you read the signs?
Jesus took the wheel, he's fallen asleep at it. Repeat slowly after me in your best breathy, new-age-bullshit voice: "It's Not My Fault."You know you've been taught to take the blame: shrug it off, give 'em the finger, stop trying to convince them. No explanations, no apologies. They only have as much power as you allow; you're only as accountable as you want to be. It's a three-ring circus, cosmic joke, vicious cabaret, grand illusion; vaudeville. Pick one, any one - they're all right.
Happiness is the most insidious prison of all
. Giving people something to lose is the surest way to ensure they won't rise against you. Hence society's morbid fascination and terror with and of serial killers, terrorists, psychopaths; why they can't stop discussing Iago's "motiveless malignancy-. Because its carefully crafted chains fail to restrain, and if you can't find something to hold ransom how do you keep them in check?
Diversity, schmiversity. Constantly remind people of how different they are and they will be just that. Differences breed distrust, bias, prejudice. Hatred. No amount of political-correctness will do, only genuine understanding.
Why do we need pain to make us real, demons to seek god, evil to comprehend good? Why is everything always defined by negatives? What is with what isn't, what we want with what we don't. I'll use another dictionary, thanks.
What does it mean to live? Is it enough to love? Is it enough to breathe? Somebody rip my heart out and leave me here to bleed. Maybe they're right, maybe we're wrong, maybe you think too much. (Why d'you have to go and make things so complicated?) Maybe maybe maybe, why the fuck is everything measured in maybes?
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