No

The definitions of refusal vary, and you could find yourself lodged in one variation; inactive, inert, inept. Supposing that a dictionary entry of a single syllable can control your mannerisms is somewhat insulting, I agree, but then it wouldn’t make you feel any better being affected by “floccinaucinihilipilification” if we’re discussing length- No, not that either.

A dormant “no,” that was the one variation that claimed regal power over my limited edition of choice, and I, rather ironically, decided in a very dormant fashion that it was Fate, and dressed it as “what’s meant to be.”

Realisation in these types of personal conflicts isn’t held in a revolution square; you don’t spark an uprising and usurp yourself, neither can you manufacture flags to march with within the state you are. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t hold grudges against yourself for the feeble hierarchy you imposed, self-harm is an established phenomenon, after all. So, you settle for frustration, and subtly battle the dormancy into action. The “no” that leached your outdated conscience and transfixed you into inaction has turned against itself. “No” is now the finger you comfortably flip whenever Fate says you can’t have chocolate.

No

In Which I Get Sanctimonious

There are many facts I refuse to take for what they are. Stubbornly, I refuse to call that stubbornness, rather a shifted view into the arbitrary nature of the world, including, to a very minimal scope, how I carry myself.

Yes, I know, nobody has the time to stop and read about the musings of a not-so-amusing person, and I do miss being scriptfully prolific, yet I am in need for this to be brutally honest to myself and expectedly candid with you.

One fact, for example, is the multi-faceted nature of human beings. I cannot deny that outright, yes, but I cannot pretend that it is something I wholeheartedly accept if for the sole idea that too many paradoxes can be created by just this concept of human nature, and maintaining a balanced outlook, hell, even having a conscience that isn’t scarred beyond recognition seems impossible. If it is weakness or a utopian view infused with socialism I’ve read about but never experienced, I cannot decide, but I know it’s not my prescience and deep, Dostoevsky-ian look into the human soul that are deterring me from surrendering into the humanity of humans.

It is becoming alarmingly important to me that I am clear to myself, not to explore the wonders of what erupts within, but mostly to organise the lies in neatly folders under “How I Sell Myself.” Being an active person on social media, actual social life, being a writer and a well-loved person by family and friends, it is a given that a double life is led effortlessly by me. Even the overlap between the previous elements of my life is smoothly handled and presented with a short and direct backstory. The dilemma in which the multi-faceted nature of humanity puts me is the illusion that it’s no different than a double life, or rather the opposite. The confusion can easily occur despite a clear distinction between the two; a diplomacy of knowing what to say and where to say it merges these two aspects into a mass of brown, but telling your mother about how frustrating your day is and telling her how frustrating she can be are two entirely different things.

P.S. I love you, mother.

P.P.S This post is strangely not about my mother but she makes a great example every time.

In Which I Get Sanctimonious

On Loop

There are things one inevitably doubts: self, music, durability, and pain. Not that such doubt determines one’s sensibility, but rather one’s cynicism. I could be blinded by rose-tinted glasses beyond my first nature of scrutiny, but doubt now serves a distant purpose of safety; a measure of last resort I intend to keep irreparable. Knowing that I will regret this outlook by the time I’m 45 and stretch marks have conquered my body, I am now too drunk on Ramadanic sugary drinks to act of age, or maybe I have finally come to the point where I see no use in bitterness and self-reproach for the way(s) my mother raised me, the point commonly known as “happiness.”

A too hasty proclamation? Indeed. What’s wrong with haste, anyway? Fires up and wanes away, yes. Could drive you into a pit of hungry crocodiles, also yes. But what does it matter that you wane away if you get to ignite over, and over, and over again? (There’s also a semi-poetic answer to the crocodiles but all the interpretations lead to forbidden territories, and I want to spare you the image.)

Those who are happy are fools, not for their own fault but for a peripheral perspective of a shared reality revealed only to them in the fancy, pink glasses; much like those who actually read the book when everyone else watched the film. The details are too augmented in their vision that they can’t find a way out of the frame, not that they’re complaining, they’re merely living the story on loop.

On Loop

Yet

No apologies for my incompetence; I was never handed a manual. A table of contents would regularly require a cause-and-effect sequence, but who’s to say Time is as straight as your approach? I admit it is scarce that I find refuge in trouble, but greatness isn’t confined to endurance; not that I claim either, but benefit of the doubt is a universal right, and that, I claim.

I’m not a pillar, you’re not an arch; we’re not a model of timelessness, rather one of how time can screw one up, a lesson to be learnt. Don’t despair; it isn’t fit for the when. I’m not apologetic, and your allowance of reclusion stretches acres. A breakfast of silence builds a man; my boy, you’re not one yet.

Yet

Ash

“Look, it’s simple; books are just like films. By the time you’ve had so many bad ones, you know what you want. There is no wrong literature, you need the whole package. You’ve got to go with the flow.”

“Well, if you’re so convinced, why don’t you deal with the flow yourself? I’m about done with you and with this situation.”

“Have you lost your walnut? There will be no flow-mo. It’ll wash up before your wife regrets another day with you. Might as well shag it in your sister’s wedding while blowing into a vuvuzela.”

“It’s not a vuvuzela you’d be blowing.”

He utters a single syllable of laughter, “that’s just about the only smart thing you’ve said all night.”

“Yeah, well, I’m aiming for the jackpot: figuring out a way to get rid of you and your catastrophes.”

“Ooooh, 4-syllable words. I’m impressed. Almost too impressed to miss your indication that this is all my fault.”

“Indication? Weird. It felt more like a declaration.”

“ ‘Declaration.’ You are so American, you basically shit Bruce Springsteen songs.”

“Jealous, princess?”

“More like sorry but not actually sorry because I’ve already exerted all my apologetic energy on the fact that you are a human being.”

“And here I thought you would have a conscience and be sorry about what you’ve done.”

“What I’ve done? Oh, of course, of course, because I was the one who clubbed his head gracefully to his demise.”

“You’re the one that told him his daughter looked like a sex change gone wrong! While she was there! At her birthday celebration!”

“You’re the one who told him if he had any dignity, he’d put her down!”

“It’s not my fault he’s sensitive,” he said in dismissal.

“Neither it is your fault that he has a circulatory system, right?”

“You know it.”

“Are you actually made of bricks? Does sarcasm just disintegrate when it hits you?”

“Bricks! That’s it! We don’t have to wash him down the current!”

“You mean ‘it’, the body. ‘He’ is past tense.”

“Shut it, Semantic-Romantic. We burn him. We build something like a barbeque grill, fill it with wood, let it shine, and here’s your roast.”

“Setting your disturbing Redneck lifestyle aside for a second to reflect on the mass of consolidated shit that is the essence, you’re going to ignite this man to the afterlife?  Wait, wait, wait, does fire operate differently in America? Does it not light? Is it not the World’s number 1 cause of smoke there?  Or do you just not have the concept of darkness or the sense of smell? Because if that’s the case, I’ve got to admit, you are one incredible species.”

“We’re definitely superior, we’ve got a “plan” concept over there, it has time involved, which will pass until the daylight so we can burn him. As for the smell, Coco Chanel, he’s flesh. Folks will think some nice, old family is having a barbeque.”

“God, I can almost smell your craving for his flesh. And sadly not metaphorically.”

“Can you shut your hole for at least 5 seconds in respect for this man? Or are you too much of an asshole you can’t stop talking shit? We may be dead human skin but the man’s a major.”

“How do you know that? Oh, God! Have you stalked him? This is premeditated murder! You’re human skin gone wild!”

“Calm your tits, they’re already poking my eyes out. I checked his wallet; Major Tom something. Well, Major, rest wherever the hell you want to rest.”

“Probably not the best obituary.”

“He’s burning, so…”

And so they waited the night out, and a portion of the sunlight until the sun was high enough. They assembled their bricks and laid their cadaver in a nest of hay, wood, and cheap gasoline. The flame took hold of Major Tom until he was nothing but grey.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Paying him respect.”

“By putting him in a jar. Oh, was he your honey?”

“An urn.”

“And you’ll display that on your mantel piece with all pride and dignity, showing the missus that you’re Mr Manly McManaman, right? Then you’ll write a little Blues song, and it’ll catch on in the South, and since you all are bloodthirsty maniacs no one will bother to charge you. Ah, the sweet life of the homicidal.”

“I’ve got a plan. A Southern plan.”

________________

A couple walk into a funeral home in search for the perfect urn. They’re a little too unremorseful to be there, but they try their best to show remorse.

“Which one do you think he deserves? I mean, they’re all urns but one has to have character.”

“Well, he’s not actually going in it, is he? It’s just symbolic. Something in his memory.”

“What about this one?”

“Too neoclassical. He wasn’t that kind of man.”

She picks up a blue-ish urn and struggles with the weight, “I think this one would do, though it’s heavier than what I had anticipated it to weigh. Let me have a look- Oh! Look, there’s sample ash in it. What do you know? Retail people are actually keen to service. What do you think? Good enough for Uncle Tom?”

Ash

Alphie by The Coast

It was a Friday like any other; the salty air resisted the rigidity of winter, picking up whatever survived of the humidity slain by December in its trail. The coastal town stood in a fixed point of reminiscence for the liveliness of their summer nights, or, in more honest terms, the money they brought. It may be that the plus-10,000 population of this rustic haven romanticise their existence by default, but if you’re fed cool breeze and crystal blue in place of bitter coffee and fume, there’s no escaping the theatrics.

By the inner borders of the town, overlooking as much blue as possible and feeling as little of it as can be, lived a man of tender nature, hardened by his home town and sweetened by the roads that led him here. They call him the Alpha Senior Citizen, when in fact he only regarded himself a resident, but in romantic coastal views, no one takes personal image into consideration. Alpha Senior Citizen, or Alphie, knew where he stood in the public’s opinion; how highly he soared in the eyes of the teenagers and how lowly he sank in the eyes of their mothers. In his mind a wall is reserved to count the prayers the mothers make for his departure or early demise much like the wall he designated for his countdown until freedom back in the days of the war.

It was as clear as the blue sea why teens, male and female alike, loved Alphie’s presence; his loneliness to them was a living, breathing triumph over societal norms of relationships, familial and otherwise, and in his brown eyes they saw a defiance to their blues and greens; a rebellion so engrained in him that it took biological form. But Alphie was only alone, and merely a resident. Similarly, the clarity of the blue sea was seen in the mothers’ distaste for him. Alphie’s dark eyes only reflected the darkness of his intentions. Alphie’s voice was only this warm because it speaks in the voice of hell. Alphie wants to drive their children away because he doesn’t want to be alone in his loneliness. But Alphie wasn’t lonely, he was only alone, and he was only a resident.

The fathers of the town were the true hopeless romantics. They celebrated the coastal spirit with every new haul out of the waves, and found meaning in all the grains of sand they brought home. And so they took it upon themselves to adorn Alphie with all the adjectives they couldn’t put before their names, and came to the conclusion that Alphie was lonely, and the generosity the sea lent them for the winter got them to pity him. But Alphie wasn’t lonely, he was only alone, and he was only a resident.

On that Friday, the Friday like any other Friday, Alphie wore his Argentinian brown shoes, his embroidered handkerchief, and his knowing smile to the town hall meeting. At least when the sun is down, the town can’t see the blueness of the sea, and subsequently compare his spirit to the colour. It was a shame that he couldn’t wear another smile or at least pack one just in case, because this Friday he knows that his residency wouldn’t matter, and how to the town he’s one and to the nation he’s none, and he knows how easy it is to be beaten when one, and how invincible you are when none.

The wind didn’t change for Alphie, there was no sweetness in the air, and the humidity lurked around his collar. Alphie was a resident, and the blue sea owed nothing for a child of the land. He knew better than to romanticise a geographical lord; instead, he offered his sincerest respect. When Alphie was about to enter the town hall, a child was rushing to get to the town hall before his mother, and in his way broke a little pot of a basil plant decorating the windowsill. Before Alphie could give a knowing smile, the smell of the land from the pot engulfed him in a moment of transfixed reminiscence like that of the town and he was instantly transported to a time when time was homely, and earth was vast.

Alphie looked away, into the sea, but there was no blue to respect and no waves to greet. He looked down at the child and his mother who were now picking up the clay shards, and nodded knowingly. He only had one smile left in him for this town, and he decided to give it to the bitter mothers and the sympathetic fathers through the window with the little tokens of earth on it.

Alphie gave his smile and turned on his heel to earth, to land, to ground, to dirt, dust, and plant. With the concerned fathers and the mothers who were thankful to the sea vapour that carried their prayers to the heavens on his tail, Alphie looked back, lifted his hat in gratitude, then turned and headed back to citizenship, back to where optimism is despair and he’s not allowed to feel it, to where no one holds an opinion of him, where he is none, where he is a part of a system, where his smiles come in shades, where being alone is not a measure of contentment.

Alphie is arriving back, to the homeland.

 

 

Alphie by The Coast

Here

It is statistically established –or I could be bullshitting my way through, as it is my disposition to do so- that idiocy is proportionate to poor emotional scheming.  An overflow of emotion, joyous or otherwise, is destined by any means to create a rather ridiculous contortion of your face, which in turn is bound to profile you as an idiot: a temporary one, or a chronic invalid, depending on how recurrent your self-evaluation is.

I don’t suppose it is any fair of me to ask you to catalogue yourself in either book, and it isn’t exactly flattering that I claim the moral high ground when I am knee deep in the principle gutter, and, in all fairness and no supposition, the ground is shifting beneath my feet leaving me enough stability to surmount to something, anything, but nothing more- I am too cheap to lend you any of that.

Exponential idiocy, I think you can call it; the inevitable effect of the staggeringly tactless going about humanity.  It catches on like an airborne virus, knocking down friends and loved ones one by one, bestowing emotional luggage upon departure, but all your eyes can see is the romance of it, and I refuse to be regarded a hopeless romantic, even if my shabby prayers are for me to be one.

So I stand stubborn and pensive, armoured in every strap of leather and every scrap of cloth I could find asking you to adorn me with a flower, a bow, a kiss upon the forehead, because this luggage needs to depart with sincerity of farewell and sensitivity of touch before it arrives back here, back to your state of Chronic Invalidity.

Here