Some men on the wall are laughing at me and I don’t know if they’re laughing at my incompetence, or laughing at the way I have been formed or the form I have taken. Every night the laugh at me, and even as I watch them laughing, they continue to laugh at me with a nonchalance both hearty and unwavering. And till this night I wonder why they laugh at me. If I asked them why they are always laughing at me, I get no reply; they are too busy in their laughter; for just as the ox was made to plough, they were made to laugh and mock poor, incompetent persons. Perhaps I shall never understand why they are laughing at me, and even at my grave I shall be wondering all the same.

Today, I witness a thousand opportunities pass me by, and dear old time would not let me have them back. That is why I am unhappy tonight, and why nothing feels pleasurable; and neither would I permit myself to anything presenting itself as a cure. A thousand opportunities, and I wonder why it was that I did not have the heart or will to seize just one of them; just one of them would have made my day so much more endurable! But then I might return home, away from the brief flutter of happiness, from the illimitable excitement of a vernal friendship – I might return home and recall that in the large game of life, I still have gotten nowhere and am going nowhere. And how quickly shall I be conducted back into the quagmire.

An acquaintance came up to me this afternoon at the plaza. He had come to ask if I was interested in purchasing tickets for an upcoming dance performance. He is a dancer himself and also happened to be charge of promoting the event. I told him I’d consider it, and immediately, he knew that I was never going to purchase any. Maybe I should have told him the truth; that I am beginning to find enjoyment in fewer and fewer things, and dance was something had long evaporated.

There was a particularly clever and pretty girl in my evening class just now. The class was on systems and models; the kinds that engineers use to instruct the politicians on how to go about their plans. At one point the professor had asked what the effect of medicine was. It was a simple question and so very quickly, I thought to myself: it kills off the germs in the body. But the girl spoke out even before I had completed my thought: the medicine either inhibits or promotes the secretion of certain chemicals in the body, in order that the system might regain balance and the person feel better. I felt incredibly embarrassed. The module was on systems, and she had smartly and rightly made a connection between what was being taught and the answer to the question. Whereas I, stupid I, had fashioned a plain and stupid answer for which I would have been ridiculed the world.


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