Once a thing is known it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten. And, in a way that bends time, so long as it is remembered, it will indicate the future. It is wiser, in every circumstance, to forget, to cultivate that art of forgetting. To remember is to face the enemy. The truth lies in remembering.
I write to forget. That is why I write. Writing is an exile's main occupation. When I feel swamped and depressed in my solitude and hidden by it, physically obscured by it, rendered invisible, writing is my way of piping up. Of reminding people that I am here. So I could forget the hardship of living and removed all the sadness that I feel for awhile. I can switch on a current that allows me to write so easily, with an aim to make people laugh, ponder and think. And people like that. And if I manage this well enough, they will fail to register my real message, which is a simple one. Look at me, look at me. That is why I try to use subterfuge and guile, and a bit of luck and good management my message will never be deciphered, and my reasons for delivering it in the manner that follows remain obscure.
Proud people bring sorrow upon themselves
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
A complete woman was probably not a very admirable creature. She was manipulative, used other people to get her own way, and worked within whatever system she was in. Good women always think it was their fault when someone else was being offensive. Bad women never took the blame for anything. They were totally unreasonable, totally unfair, very demanding and very beautiful. I believed all good fortune was a gift of the gods, and you did not win the favor of the ancient gods by being good, but by being bold. The world began to look promising once you decided to have it all for yourself. And how much healthier your decisions were once they became entirely selfish.
Mon cher ami, ever since I had known you, I felt strong, I felt energetic, I felt young. I thanked you for delivering me from the dread which possessed me for as long as I could remember. I breathed more deeply, slept more soundly, ate more heartily, freed from this weight. In return, I told you everything, for you loved to hear me. And I came to know how to make you laugh, it was an amusement and a diversion for you to hear me rattled on. I felt there was not enough time to show you the many facets of myself. We talked about all subjects under the sun. We discussed the merits, the pro and cons of western or Islamic civilizations, Darwinism, Bush administration and even the Taliban. We reflected upon our relationship and the fate that brought us together. My attitudes in general seemed to have undergone a change for the better, making me less sharp, more receptive. I felt myself sliding deliciously downwards into a miasma of kindliness. I found amusement in my daily routine, genuinely fascinated in human banality and oddness. I thought we were making progress towards a new kind of friendship. Yet now we barely talked, we became strangers to each other. We had become so civilized, so controlled, so expert in our concealment that we did not allow to reveal anything about ourselves and each other anymore. After so long, after so many transparent years, we had grown opaque to each other. I was aware, for the first time, you were an emotionally barren phenomenon, an unexpected visitor to my own life. You had stay true to your nature which I secretly admired and envied. With all the sharing and openness, you were still locked up securely in your own private world, allowing me no access. You had the ability to stagger on through a life exaggeratedly devoid of normal happiness, destined to be alone. The world had grown colder since we went our separate ways. I had become shrewd and watchful, mistrusting others, paying less attention to their words than the words they were not voicing. I also became wary, fearful and disbelieving. It took me awhile but now I understood that our paths were not meant to cross but to stay parallel..
I not only loved to drive but loved to be driven as well. Plenty of contemplation could be done during a particularly long and tiresome roadtrip. Reflections about God, one's existence, economic philosophy, the fate of mankind, lost and found loves, new and old friendships, or thoughts about human civilizations in general. As the greenness of vegetations started to materialize into masses of blurring and whizzing vignettes I pretended it was an interesting excursion to nowhere. It was better to travel hopefully than to arrive..
I wished Paris to be in autumn or winter perpetually. The dark and somber weather suited my black mood perfectly. The days were shorthened and the nights were lengthened. Winter made me daydreamed. Dreaming about possibilities and unfulfilled life. It also made me sleepy. I slept ravenously, craved for it as I freed my imagination from its usual restraints and thought of another life, other lives, yearning for those who were faraway, not wanting to wake. After a long night, which was always brief, I would stir awake with a sense of haplessness, even panic, as if the night had been impossibly short, too short to contain all the reflections I had reserved for those silent hours, in the hope of arriving at some resolution. It was not resolution of conflict. Simply some pointers to the way ahead although I did not have any difficult problems to solve. I was surprised to find the lights of offices to be switched on practically all day long. Every Parisien hurdled in solidarity. They were bundled in black and dark clothings hurrying home like cockroaches scurrying for their meaningless little lives. Every shop and every entertainment outlet were closed at 5pm. Everything was shut down except for those pathetic drinking holes were opened passed the curfewed hour. Oh my! This was so much fun...
The word missing has plenty of meanings. I miss you is a common utterance when one was away. I missed the land, le pays, as the french said, so much that I could not part with it, yet I left it anyway. Where was my loyalty, the fact that I loved my pays so much that I had to get away from it. The love was too much, it overwhelmed me, inundated me with cloying sweetness and sickness alike. The mixture of emotions was too strong and overpowering. So I had to leave to get away from such heaviness for a breath of fresh air. I wanted something ethereal and casual. A light salad and a perrier, s'il vous plait monsieur, I enjoyed my repas, paid my l'addition and off I went but not forgetting to say au revoir to the sully waiter.
Once I was lost in the Parisien crowd. I could not find any familiar faces in the ocean of tourists and natives alike. I lost my bearing in the midst of ambiguity. Where am I, I screamed on top of my lungs. Usually restrained by my own cautious choices, I amazed myself and yelled until I gone hoarse but no answer, only to be met with raised eye brows and half hearted smiles. I felt that my voice was coming from a long distance, from far back in my skull, as if it was travelling over territories which I had never glimpsed. I must have gone mad, events had conspired to shatter the gentle rhythm of my life, I muttered, as the crowd went its nonchalant ways, ignoring others who were crazy enough to visit this overpriced yet beautiful city.
When travelling you tried to retain your identity and maintain your personality. No matter how, you wanted to stay above the foreign environments. You were not affected by these externalities, I am above this, you said. However, somewhere in you brain, you had already given up. In your heart of hearts you knew you had blended in, giving up pieces and pieces of you until all of you became parts of a whole that you did not know anymore. Who am I, you questioned yourself again and again. At the end, when the day had blended into the twilight, when the outline of the trees had turned into a darkened shadow against the backdrop of the night, you realized that all resistances were futile. And you had became the very thing that you despised yet loved, the native.