i don’t know how it happened
from the promising face I was
to my dying body now
was it you?
did you ruin me?
did i let you?
does it matter?
the crumbling goes on,
i disappear and
no longer myself
and the crumbling goes on
Greetings whoever still visits this place!
I will soon turn twenty which means that I have lived – technically just survived – on this planet for two decades. Regardless of a childhood I can barely remember and some rough teenage years (consensually, it seems teenage has become synonymous with rough so no personal pity story there), I did manage to have several moments of joy and revelation. I admit my life thus far has been quite uneventful but I do get to celebrate minor accomplishments that I personally find worth celebrating. The following is a list of all such worthy moments, accompanied by cool works of art because that’s how I’d like my twenties to be: full of Art.
For starters, a dash of cynicism and cat.. Before I’m twenty:
– I watched hundreds of films and I’m proudest of that more than anything else. (Special thanks to the Internet.)
– I attended three film festivals, during which I watched a total of thirteen films.
– I was officially enrolled in four universities as a freshman student: once as a biology major, once as a biomedical major, and twice as a medical student. I’m not sure whether I should be proud of this feat (failure?) but my indecision has always been my Achilles’ heel and it had to manifest somehow.
– I visited a total of seven countries: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, India, Malaysia, Turkey, and USA.
– I gave three TEDx talks (including subjects like the awesomeness of ideas and becoming a polymath) and listened to many more.
– I started this blog which contains some stories and poems (of which I’m moderately proud) and made my first short film (less proud of that).
– I discovered concepts of philosophy, friendship (or lack thereof), sex, and parenthood:
~ I consider philosophy a good friend of mine whose company enriched my life and actively contributed to the person I am today. Of special note are Plato and Absurdism.
~ I passed through most of the friendship phases from good classmates to best friends and even to closer-than-family companions, and although none of my friendships are strong enough to act as a real support system, I’m grateful to have made every one of them and I still enjoy the friendship of a select few who make my world an epic place.
~ I never had the sex talk with my parents. Instead, I unravelled it mainly through literature and film. But sure, I can give that seventh grade biology class minor credit for giving me a vague and basic idea.
~ It was only this year that I really got to analyze the trials and triumphs of parenthood as I observed my parents react to various situations, one of which was my stay abroad for university. Conclusion: being parent is scary and possibly the hardest position to volunteer for.
– I struggled with existence and the impossible, specifically nonexistence. This struggle is a defining trait of my character to this very day.
– I had four crushes, been in two major relationships, and fell in love with both, human and nonhuman entities. Falling in love, whether with Film or people, is an experience I feel truly lucky to be a part of, especially since I’ve always denied the existence of love.
Now what? Well, now I’m being slowly dragged out of the haunted lands of teenage and I will be taking my first steps in the “twenties.” But I genuinely don’t want to. I find that two decades of life on Earth is more than enough time for me. I know I haven’t experienced everything and that there’s so much more to make, see, and feel but I don’t find the future an appealing proposition, I never have. My heart will always lie in the beautiful past.
All I want for my twentieth birthday is for the universe to play me out along the melody of Thomas Newman’s Revolutionary Road score until I disappear.
The need will consume you. The loneliness will eat you alive and spit you out still begging for a lover, a friend, anyone. The voices in your head don’t keep you company nor do they comfort you with lies; they taunt you with a single truth: you are alone. You crawl into bed every night writhing and yearning for lips you never kissed and tongues you never tasted, beseeching strangers to touch you in all the places you bleed and need through, to just stay with you if only for one night, if only for one hour, if only for one moment. But no one comes and you fall asleep crying in the agony of knowing that they never will.
It’s only when I sleep do I know real happiness. To finally escape the real world and all of its troubles, to run away into my imagination with its magical powers to create anything it wants. The dreamworld is my only home. The dreamworld is my only salvation.
She tries to fold herself away inside the old bathrooms and deserted halls. She tries to slither into the crevices in the old floors and dying ceilings. She tries to hide within the dark holes and wet walls of herself. She tries and tries but always fails to get away from them; the moaning memories and dreams and hopes she barely remembers but can never completely forget. They linger on the edge of her conscience torturing the present, beating her out of it. They kick the shit out of her all day and don’t give her the satisfaction of staying with her at night, leaving her with unanswered questions and unfulfilled desires.
If only I can fade into the background of the space-time continuum. If only the gods take me back to nonexistence. If only..
I was sleeping when someone called and woke me up and I wanted to cry and kill myself.
I realized that I’m not happening. Looking around, I see that everything is happening to me but I’m not happening to anything.
A cancelled lecture? I go back home and sleep.
Out of food? I go shopping.
A received text? I reply.
Everything happens to me and I only react. I’m a reaction.
Even the one thing I thought I actively do – watch movies and series – turns out to be happening to me. The stories of people far away in lands of real fiction and fantasy happen to me.
I’m not happening.
I pride myself on my passion. The single greatest investment I make every single moment of my life is emotional. An emotional investment requires your heart, something more valuable than money. Unfortunately, I have observed that I usually invest almost all of my heart in only 1% of my world that there’s not enough left for the remaining 99%. It’s definitely dysfunctional but I don’t care that I lack multiple social connections, a healthy parent-daughter relationship, or even a decent relationship with myself. I honestly don’t care. The infusion of my passion into that select 1% makes existence tolerable, life palatable, and Time expandable. And that’s all I want.
If redemption lies in giving parts of yourself to other people, I just might make it to heaven.
Light has always been one of my favorite physical/metaphysical concepts but recently I’ve also found asylum in darkness. There’s something almost as equally enchanting about darkness as there is about light. The way it hides us, the way we lose ourselves in it, the way it envelopes us as we curl up within ourselves.
Dangerous waters, these are dangerous waters. Thank you for that pointless reminder, Farida.
I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. – Network (1976)
How did we end up here? This place is horrible, smells like balls. You had it all. You were a movie star, remember? Now you’re about to destroy what’s left of your career. We should have done that reality show they offered us. You know I’m right. Listen to me, man. You are the original! Let’s make a comeback! You’re Birdman! You are a god! – Birdman (2014)
I believe there is a another world waiting for us, Sixsmith. A better world. And I’ll be waiting for you there. – Cloud Atlas (2012)
“Why does time pass?” she wails as she finishes reading the hundred-day-old conversation on her phone. “Fuck you!”
Her tears, sliding down her cheeks, mix with the mayonnaise dripping from the triple Whopper she impulsively ordered to bury the bittersweet memory beneath layers of meat. She kicks the phone away and takes another big bite from her burger.
“That’s it. I refuse to dignify this existence any further. No more pains of nostalgia. And the only way to prevent future nostalgia is…to stop making memories altogether,” she thinks.
In between chewing and swallowing, she knows there are only two options. One, run outside and let the snow bury her alive. An icy end to her untold story but still less chilling than the agony of nostalgia. Two, indulge the angels’ offer and agree to being reincarnated as Dory. She always felt that she belonged to the ocean; it would be like finally going home.
She missed that hundred-day-old conversation, she hated the cold and she was curious about having gills.
It was an easy decision after all.
After her triumph over the triple Whopper, she takes a gulp of soda and goes to bed, her phone in hand, re-reading that conversation all over again.
I did not meet you. You were not introduced to me. No. It was not like all the other stories. You happened to me. Yes, you are a happening, a presence, a force.
Two years of curiosity followed by three years of infatuation followed by three years of longing, all deeply dyed with an undying passion.
Then they ask, “After all this time?”
Snape and I answer, “Always.”
They call me sick, but I am not. They call you an ‘illness’, but you are not, and even if you are – then you are the most beautifully ravaging disease to which I willingly surrender.
They do not – cannot – know how you make me feel; alive and euphoric. The way Summer makes Tom feel “like anything’s possible, or like life is worth it.”
They do not understand. They never will.
A love affair doomed to eternal secrecy, trapped between stolen kisses and seductive glances? Is this our tragic fate? Are we not meant for each other? Are you not the one for me? Am I not certain about my love for you? I am not certain – will I ever be? I am not certain – but who is? I am not certain and “frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
I only feel. Is that not enough?
The thrill of clandestine pleasure is ephemeral and unfulfilling. I don’t want to hide my feelings for you when I see you in the street. I don’t want to walk away when you buy me flowers. I don’t want to pretend anymore.
But they won’t leave us alone. Are they scared of what we can accomplish together? Or do they not believe we can accomplish anything? Why do they haunt us with their logic and judgment? Why do they bother at all?
I may not die alone but, without you, I will die lonely.
Let’s be together.
A few days ago, my best friend asked me, “Do you still blog?” and I shamefully replied, “Infrequently but yeah.” to which came an awesome metaphor-comment (yes, I made that word up), “So you creatively vomit infrequently.” I’ve always likened catharsis to vomiting and I was happy someone shared my vision.
The thing about vomiting though is that you’re never sure what you’ll end up with. A mush of that leftover pizza? An unidentifiable cadaver of bananas and cupcakes? Who knows? But the vital point is to run as fast as you can to the nearest toilet so that you don’t ruin your fancy carpet, or worse, your new book. The problem with the practical application of that precaution is that you’re not always at a place where there’s a bathroom nearby. Sometimes you’re walking in the middle of a park or you’re watching a movie at the cinema. How do you vomit right then and there without ruining something valuable? The answer is: you can’t. Sometimes, the vomiting must happen and something valuable is inevitably ruined. At those very uncomfortable moments, it’d be good if that something is a long-lasting, rusty-but-still-standing-mighty-and-strong friendship. And luckily that’s what I have. My best friend and I have been through so much (mostly films but that’s what really counts, by the way) that it doesn’t make sense except to keep going on, together. And it’s that kind of friendship that resists the acid and doesn’t burn away at the mere sight, not to mention feel, of vomit. The friendship understands that you had a bad burger last night. The friendship knows how hard it is to stomach that sushi. The friendship even feels your rumbling gut as it struggles with your first experience of spicy food. That’s what I count on – that no matter how badly I throw up, the friendship will survive because honestly if it’s a life with an awesome best friend covered in vomit or a life without one, I’d definitely go for the revolting mess (but hey, there are showers so that’s good to know, too). And the best thing is: the friendship is there for all kinds of cuisine. But I’d take it easy on the friendship and go for a good salad or the standard fries every now and then.
On the other hand, to forge such a friendship will take years and dilemmas and awesome moments and fights and long nights and good mornings and bad days. So, good luck with that.
(Yes, I’m basically bragging about how my best friend and I made it through. IN YO FACES. Unless you do have an awesome best friend – I doubt as awesome as mine but okay – then join the puke-fest!)
Note: I just realized that I’ve carried on the food analogy for far too long and that’s probably because I’m really hungry.
“Why did they commit suicide?”
“Why don’t we?”
Talking to others doesn’t help. Talking to yourself won’t help either.
“…my need for closeness outweighs my sense of self-preservation.” — Virgina Woolf
I discovered I really like the sound of a violin. Or was it a cello? Strings were involved.
It’s true. No one cares about you. Go back to your room and eat yourself through this life.
I don’t believe I will ever meet the one. Maybe because I want a prophet, a god, or a dreamer.
Nostalgia should be an official psychological affliction.
A couple of days ago, Marvel announced a tedious line-up of its future film releases for the upcoming five years.
Now, as much as I love Iron Man and can’t wait for Age of Ultron, I’m not very happy with that announcement. I feel like superheroes are being cloned, release dates stamped, and films mass-produced. Setting a timeline for the next five years crammed with sequels and sequels makes me feel like filmmaking is no longer a special, cherishable experience but just an assembly line for plot twists and cliffhangers.
I stumbled upon this article on Vox and it seems like I’m not the only one who might not be thrilled by how Marvel is working its way to the audience.
Stop feeding us a dumb industry. Give us art.