I know you from somewhere don’t I? Somewhere recent. Let’s see now.. (of course, I knew, but the part has to be played). School. The film class wasn’t it. I’ve seen you at the lectures before. Yes, I live around here actually. And this is my companion. Just what are the odds. So you’re a Christian I see. And you come here every week? Do you live nearby then? Well, I should be going. It was very nice meeting you. I’ll see you at lecture again next week. Oh, the following week – there isn’t any next week. You have a blessed day.
My stomach is hurting; probably hurting because I detest the girl so much; so much that I just want to shout in her face, telling her to shut up, because everything she utters is completely nonsense, and I hate listening to nonsense, and more so being obliged to nod at nonsense, as if I were really capable of acknowledging nonsense; demeaning myself, making a mock of my learning, all because I am too polite. In fact, I should have just announced to everyone that I had enough of the girl’s nonsense, and that I would rather die than continue working with her. And how true it is; I would rather die than listen to her speak anymore – oh how her speaking makes me sick in stomach; I feel like throwing up now every time I hear her speak; it’s worse I think than hearing the high-pitched babbles of a disgruntled baby. I hate her, I absolutely hate her. It is because of her that my life is now so full of hatred. I had peace for a while, and I was so focused on whatever I was doing; I was living calmly and correctly – but she, the devil her tongue is, the mendicant her thoughts, had to ruin everything; everything I built up so patiently! How she frustrates me to the bones, and how my stomach hurts from the thought that I would have to face a few more times, talk with her even! Dear Lord, if you ever have pity on a poor man’s soul! I only wanted to live a happy, agreeable person; but she has turned me into a vile thing, and it has brought ruin to all my endeavours. I hate her, I hate her with a passion; I wish all the world for her to just shut up, and not pollute my thoughts with hers; how stupid I feel every time I have to listen to her.
first of all, i want to say again that i hate birthdays. had i an option, i would wish to never remember my birthday; i would let the day pass like any other day, and i would go on pursuing happiness, because after all that is the sole purpose of life. i hate birthdays because of all the expectations of happiness; i am supposed to feel happy, where in fact i do not. of what robs me repeatedly of my happiness i know too well. i am seldom happy. i am always in discontent. this morning, i felt stupid because i had thought that an assignment i wrote some days before was innovative, and the tutor said it was a topic written to deplorable prevalence. maybe i am not so smart after all; my thinking is special in no way. is that why i am unhappy? everyday i go out hopeful and return dispirited. is that why i am unhappy? am i supposed to be doing something more? am i not doing enough? i certainly feel like i can do a lot more. perhaps it is that which contrasts my failures in reality, so that i feel all the time a sort of despair. my dog makes me happiest, but there are days where even she cannot expel the joylessness. is this to be my life? a perpetual imagining of opportunities and destruction of the self? am i born to continuously self-destruct? is everything that i perceive of myself a lie? have i built my confidence out of lies; so that a little push at the top will send the entire edifice crashing? what is worst of all, my writing is no longer of the robust form it once was. it’s flaccid; limp, idiotic, garrulous, irritating – how strikingly i did fear writing in a manner that to others would appear irritating! worst, worst, is to write something that no one would read, not because of its poor content, but because of its repugnant style! this is the longest i have ever been not having a motivation to write, and not having that keen sense so crucial to eloquence.
i feel trapped most of the time; in what i do not know. may be i am not trapped, i don’t know either. in any case, that is how i feel most of the time. i am not particularly unhappy either. when instigated, i can
i think i need to relax a little more; there are just too many things on my mind. and when one struggles to concentrate on a task, one shall never be able to overcome that task; because overcoming requires tremendous effort. and if that task is insurmountable, one will need even more space in thought to deal with the failure.
i am dissatisfied with so many aspects of my life. yet, i hardly ever demonstrate. in fact, i demonstrate the opposite; that i am quite content with my life; that i have everything in order, or at least nothing so troubles me to the point of despair – where in fact so many things do! how i shall like to bury my face in the mud for a week.
if my essay returns with the comment that its banal, and which is very likely, i shall be most upset and begin feeling once again as exactly how i feel now.
i am trying everything to improve myself, and yet nothing comes of it. is life making a fool of me? am i destined for the circus, where others are for the podium, the seats high above, the stage of glamour and success?
what do i profess to love? nothing. and that is a very big problem.
Have I told you before that I absolutely hate working with stupid people? Yes, I do. And it’s even worse if their talkative, because then they’ll keep going on about some erroneous position, and whenever you would try to correct them or explain to them their error, they would go on babbling a reply that makes as little sense as did the preceding volumes of their utterances. What is more, the longer you hear them and try to make sense of what they are saying, the more stupid you become yourself. That is why I am careful to stop myself from listening every once in a while, and just submitting an attentive nod in the person’s direction whenever he or she seems to pause in expectation of acknowledgement. If there has been one bad thing about the studying of philosophy, it is that I have learnt to despise stupid people.
I don’t want anything unusual to happen on my birthday; I want it to be as any other day, indistinguishable and mundane. I want to forget my birthday, never remember it for the rest of my life, so that when someone asks me when it is, I’ll say that I don’t remember; and thus will I never have a need to celebrate a birthday – how tedious are such celebrations. I just want to continue doing what I’m doing without the need to break the routine; without the need to suddenly throw myself onto the table of importance, put a cake in front myself, blow the flame of the candlesticks, and tell myself: it was this day, such-and -such human-specified time ago, that I was born into the bosom of the world. What should this bear any importance to my life; I am concerned only with happiness, and birthday celebrations do not give me happiness; in fact, they frustrate me, I think they’re a waste of time. And I am frustrated now because I am aware that my birthday falls on next Thursday. Had I not noticed the date of the competition brief, which is on Wednesday, I would not have noticed that the next day would be my birthday. How silly a mistake! And now I shall like to forget it completely.
On funerals. What is the point of funerals? First, I thought it was for the dead; respecting the dead, as so many people would so quickly answer. But the dead need no respect – I certainly would not bother if my body were mutilated or if people cursed and tarnished my name, or said thank god he’s dead, he was never really a nice person anyway; I wouldn’t care about any of that because I’d be dead, and I’d have no feelings, and in fact, I wouldn’t be an ‘I’ at all. So I concluded that the purpose of a funeral was not to respect the dead. If anyone argued that it was for the dead, then they’re being superstitious, and I can only proffer them so much a laugh.
So if not for the dead, then for living. If a funeral for a dead person is for the persons still living who had concern for the dead person, what might those reasons be? For one, the living might want to see the deceased for the last time; before the hollow shell evaporates in the fire. But I thought, that can’t be either, for seeing the deceased will only making the living sad. The living will remember how life was for the deceased, and realise that all has sunk into an utter permanence and thence begin shuddering with sobs. That’s impractical; why would anyone want to pay for a service that brings them more upset? So I concluded that it wasn’t for the living, or more specifically, for the immediate family.
Then I observed what was happening at the funeral (actually, they call it ‘wake’, oops) – when I observed what was happening, I saw that people were coming in and going; friends of the deceased, cousins, relatives living far away who had heard the news and hurried back; friends of the immediate family, some old colleagues, some closer friends etc. Then I realised the true purpose of the wake. It was for gathering everyone who knew the deceased; and not just any gathering as might be casually arranged at someone’s house, but a gathering with an air of solemnity; so that the visitors can talk to the immediate family about the deceased and how good a person he was or how good a life he had lived – imagine trying to raise that up abruptly at a casual dinner! But not just for the immediate family, also for the visitors, the relatives, the friends, many of whom probably have not seen the deceased in a long time, and only had occasion to visit him when he had just taken leave. Imagine one of your close friends passing away, and his family refusing to hold a wake, so that you had nowhere to go to talk about or lament his death. Would you not feel uneasy?
Someone mimics the manner of speech of somebody else, and you say: hey, that’s actually pretty similar to the way he (the person whose manner is being subject to mimicry) speaks! Then that someone, now encouraged by your remark, lifts his chest confidently and says to you: if you like, I could let you hear what you sound like as well. You feel a little uneasy; but because to turn him down would be bad sport, you agree. He goes ahead and mimics your manner of speech – or at least try to. You immediately shake your head, scoffing: that’s definitely not how I sound like. He objects and insists that that is exactly how you sound like. One reason for you resisting his claim is that you being the original speaker, are aware of the nuances in your speaking – nuances which you pay attention to and which he failed to properly replicate. Another reason is that no one will ever want to admit to their manner of speaking being like that of a parody of their manner of speaking.
Dreamt yesterday that I was walking my dog along the busy stretch of road just outside the estate. And as I was walking, it suddenly occurred to me how my brother’s room was no longer furnished. His bed and toys and shelves of medicine had all been taken away; and I was wondering why that was so. Then somehow, my subconscious managed to piece together, using feeble logic, that he no longer was, and I began to feel terribly upset. I woke up still feeling upset; almost as if I had just learnt of his going, and felt for the first time the crushing permanence of his absence.
What must they be thinking of me at precise instant – that he has gone astray, that he needs talking to, that he needs advising and the occasional, courteous pushing in the right direction, that he needs an arm onto which he can hold and thence make his back to the mast? Oh no, certainly none of these, for he has only gone because he was bored. And what was more, he could not see how the others were enjoying themselves through those means they regularly undertook; such that whenever he was in their presence, he would laugh and be merry alongside their laughter and merriment, but inside, he was bored, utterly, utterly bored. Thus, he went away to seek other things with which to draw himself out of the boredom.
If on the seven seas, you see a boat rocking in a storm, never attempt to save it. Because if you do, and you do successfully, the people on the boat will scorn you; they will tell you that they were deliberately rocking the boat, and that your saving them – that is, by stopping the boat from rocking – was a foil to their plans, a foil to their destiny. That they be swallowed by the sea was their destiny. But you think to yourself, these fools; they would rather die to their destiny than resist on the side of life?