Thoughts of my little voice

The little voice, the slightly evil one, is speaking.
Though it’s late there’s still time. And it’s better to leave wondering about how great the future could have been, than to leave bitter about how terrible the past was.


The little voice is a young man now, and I don’t know if I can beat him in his prime and in my disciplined apathy.
I used to be a better debater. My most sensible argument was that difficulty is the price of greatness. Suffer now to rest later, and it’s better to have the last laugh.

But the voice is telling me a different narrative.
A man eating pebbles, and saving the cake he has for the end of the year. He wanted to earn the cake and be deserving of it. By the time he earned it, his stomach was so hardened; it craved nothing but pebbles. The cake, it was rotten and filled with bugs by then.

The plug is pulled on those who can’t experience life, but what about those who experience the worst of life?
No, they must live to preserve others. To give happiness, something they don’t have, to those who have hope. They spend the rest of their existence like that, mere objects.
The plug isn’t pulled when the patient is ready to die, but when the decision-maker feels less bothered by it.

The brave ones are in a better place, the cowardly keep waiting for something unknown at a time unknown.

If I die a miserable bitter old man, heaven will have to exist just before I die.

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Describe to me the taste of honey

Describe to me the taste of honey,
offered by the hand of your lover,
when the night is just beginning,
and the moon is just listening,
when that night is all there was and all there will be.

Describe to me the feeling of the wind,
as it moves through your lover’s hair,
as it slows and as it moves faster,
as you inhale and exhale,
as the sight of of your lover’s waving hair expresses more life than your dearest breath.

I’ll describe to you my drink, and my moonless night.

200ml of poison, that’s enough to swim in pain, but not drown.
Enough to remember, acknowledge, and forget.
And on another indeterminate night, we shall recall again.
“We will pay the price of those memories as if it has never been paid before” (1).

200ml of poison, as I remember and forget.
Human when my mind reproaches, and human when it forgives.
My utmost expression of life is enough poison to remind me that I feel.
Have I told you the worst of all things?

Doesn’t it make you a little bit sad to know that we will be dead and forgotten?
That our dead bodies offer no home for memories?
Isn’t it more crushing to those with memories of sipping honey from sweeter hands?
The grounds that we walked on will welcome others. We will lie beneath them, passed and irrelevant. The memories will live neither above the ground nor below it.

Give me a sip of honey, so that I might live miserably by choice.
The tally is many bitter moonless nights,
and it cannot be repaid, not in one life nor in many.

Even the flood can’t save a yellow plant, and even the honey can’t soften a bitter heart.
The lesser pain is in knowing what wasn’t, the greater is in knowing what won’t be.
But the consolation, the weakest consolation, is that the happy and the miserable are equal after death.

 

(1) Source: The idea of repaying the price of memories as if they haven’t been paid before is something Shakespeare mentioned in “The sonnets and a lover’s complaint”

A night darker than average

 

The night was darker than average, and in my dark room what I feared most was invisible.
My thoughts were summarizing all my memorable experiences. It was all tiring, both living them and recalling them.
I heard familiar voices outside discussing general matters.
Am I dead?
(“It’s just a chemical imbalance in the brain. When there’s something wrong with your stomach, you take medications. It isn’t different with the brain.”)

I cannot deny this evil feeling I am trying to keep hidden.
I am evil, inherently evil. I can see the big picture now; all these memories fit together. They’re telling me the truth. I am evil.
(“Remember to say: I am ALLOWING these thoughts to negatively affect me.”)

I am tired of living and recalling, and this is a reasonable time of the year to feel tired. This isn’t patience, it’s uselessness and wishful waiting. You were right, Steve, you were right all along.
(“Give the bad voice in your head a name. Call him Steve! Now whenever Steve is talking to you, catch him. Call him on it. Say it in your head: “Steve is talking to me again.”)

 

 

Irrational Fear

I have an irrational fear, and it’s not my fear of flights.
It’s the fear that only when I overcome my fear of flights that the plane would crash. At my last seconds, the confidence that I most recently acquired would begin to quickly dissipate, and I would regain my fear of flights just the second before impact.

I tried to tell myself that even if my plane crashed, wouldn’t that be a relief of at least a few things?
But as soon as the plane shakes I firmly confirm that I don’t wish to be relieved today. Maybe the next flight, or some time in the future. But if it isn’t urgent, then maybe it’s best to be relieved much much later by the natural cause of old age.

When I was a kid, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be nothing. I tried to “feel” what it would be like if I have never existed. I imagined the closest thing to it is to be a cloud, or above clouds. What happens on Earth does not affect you, nothing affects you. You would be floating, but nothing ever happens, and you never die because you are nothing.
It’s not a perfect analogy, but every time I ride a plane and see clouds without being affected by the life that happens behind it, I feel very afraid.

I will just admit to myself that, for the time being, it is better to be something than to be nothing, and it’s better to be a living thing than a dead thing.
But after the plane lands, I might rethink.

To borrow the greatness of a mountain

I want to be good, you know? To have some value to someone.
Both by my own standards, and subjectively.

My story must be heard, an evidence that I have existed. And if I pass by a mountain, a great old mountain, I will engrave my name in it. I will borrow some of its greatness. The possibility will always remain that some passers will see the great mountain, and they might see my name engraved on it. They will know that I existed.

That’s the extent, isn’t? The limit.
Nothing is better than being remembered, and nothing is worse than being forgotten.

I have a feeling I will die thinking I was forgotten.
I would die the same way some wild animal dies in some of the world’s forests. A body without identity.
I would get eroded and withered, not like the summit of a mountain, but like some unremarkable rock.

The worst of the worst is that I will adapt to it, that it won’t bother me, that I will get used to that image of my silent forgotten dead body.
After all, I have become used to be forgotten in life. It shouldn’t be much harder to be forgotten in death. I wouldn’t even be there to endure its difficulty. All in all, isn’t my death easier than my life? Because I live to mourn being forgotten in life, but I wouldn’t be around to mourn over my corpse in the middle of the forest.

I am already getting used to it. In fact, I look forward to it.

I am tired, and mountains can never be tired. Even if I engraved my name, it will be weak and it will be eroded before anyone can see it. Even if I went up everyday, and engraved my name again to make sure it remains, I’ll die knowing I’ll be forgotten.

A day to remember: after 12AM

The first girl that I knew on a personal level had her first baby this year. We were around 7. She used to invite me to play. Her mom welcomed me, and her dad was rarely around.

I was reminded of another girl recently as well. Our mutual friends tried often to “recommend” us to each other, but she didn’t seem interested and I didn’t change anything. I learned later that she was actually interested in my older brother.
I was asleep, and I was awakened by her voice outside my door. She has been married for a few years now. She was asking her 2 year old son: “Do you want to call daddy?”

Her younger sister, all I remembered about her is that she always asked me questions and always listened while looking me in the eye.

Here we are today: the older isn’t married to my brother, and I am engaged to the younger sister.

There’s also Claire. The first time I was ready, and the first time I envisioned a future and a family of my own.

I don’t know why I find it appropriate or relevant to talk about girls on my birthday. Probably because I will most likely be married by my next birthday.

I don’t know why everyone else around my age is having kids, or getting married in the first place. My grandmother a few days ago was asking me to hurry and get married. She was suggesting that it should definitely be no later than next summer.

She is the only one of my grandparents remaining.

Her husband, who I hated after his death, died a long painful death. It was a medical error, and his leg had to be cut. I visited him. He was on a bed, he was saying in a very low voice: “I’m thirsty, give me water.” My grandmother explained it was against what the doctors said. He had to be given small quantities because of something in this throat, I think. Then, He said that it was too hot, and he asked me to lower the degree on the thermostat. My grandmother waved for me not to do it, and she also explained that it was for his health. She asked me to pretend I was doing it, but I didn’t pretend. He was still awake, and if I pretended to lower the thermostat he would notice and think I was treating him like a child. I couldn’t do it to him.

My other two grandparents had alzheimer since I was a child until they died. I remember they gave me candy every time I visited. The only interaction I remember, is that my grandmother, my father, and I were sitting in her room. My father teased me by saying I should close my open mouth or I’ll swallow a fly. She hugged me and said that I was her grandson and that it would be my father who will swallow a fly.

I see my place within this family, and among us all I cannot find a happy person. Every time I meet them, I stare in their eyes. I know that everyone can smile, but no one can hide misery from their eyes. I don’t know if happiness doesn’t exist, of if it means much less than I hoped.

But at the very least, happiness should be whatever is enough to justify the costs of living. I have no justification, and I lived only because as a human, or as an animal, I fear death. I lived for no reason, and next year I’ll marry for no reason.

It’s depressing to know that after 24 years of living I am either ignorant or knowing of a very unpleasant truth.

How old am I?

It’s frustrating, to have so much to say but to not be able to say it accurately.

But let me try.
I don’t anymore think it would be unfortunate to die.
I know my birthday is coming up soon, but am I 23 or am I becoming 23?

Either way, I think I have lived for too long. I wish I died when I was 18, when I was hateful and angry towards everyone but myself.
I remember my 18th birthday. At midnight, the early moments of being 18, I was chatting online with a female friend. She told me I would remember her whenever I thought of my 18th birthday. Well, it’s funny that I only thought of my 18th birthday when I’m about to become 24 (or 23) years old.

I partially agree that you become wiser as you age. I say that as I acknowledge that my 18 years old tried his best. With all the hate I have towards my life, I still admit that my 18 years old self really tried his best. Which leads me to the painful realization: It couldn’t really have been otherwise. When I look in the mirror, I don’t hate what I did, I hate what I am.

It must be difficult to hear for my 18 years old self, but I wish I was someone else, someone who could have been otherwise. I still mourn every loss my 18 year old self had, but in addition I mourn the losses between then and now.

Could I be considered a terminally injured soldier on the battlefield, asking: please let it end?

 

Three Words (2/3)

“Why don’t you go inside and eat with others?” That’s what my uncle asked. He saw my habit of eating on the stairs outside because I wanted to be by myself.
Even in college, the many times I ate on the stairs of buildings.

“He’s always like that, even at home.” My father used to tell people, sometimes even those we meet for the first time. As if something was so visibly wrong that he had to explain.
I started writing only after I have read so much in middle school. When I hid everyday in the individual cubicles in the library.
At the hospital, where we woke up at 6 and went to bed at 6, I revisited my favorite hobby of reading.

The more I remember of my past, the more likely it seems. Things have a better explanation now.

Things like the girl whose shoulder I burned with a wire hanger trying to approach her when I was 10 years old (funny that we were visiting my grandparents at the time).
Things like molesting another student in elementary school when I didn’t even know much.
Things that were only tolerable because I was “gifted”. It was the reason I was allowed in society, the excuse for my life.

 

Today, my thick folder of transcripts and acknowledgments shares the room with many empty medication bottles. Nothing gives me more pride and more humiliation than seeing my name written as the recipient of praise and pity.

How sickening to live as an average of two extremes.

Three Words (1/3)

He died in a car, but not in a car accident, and he made amends soon before it. Not many people ask more about it.

His younger brother, the cool uncle that played video games with me, quit his job and lives with my grandmother. Every time we visit, he shows up with long ungroomed hair and yellow teeth. It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes of talking with him to know he isn’t completely sane.

Their father, my grandfather, has died a few years ago. I remembered something he said and it frightened me today.

We were three sitting, my grandfather, my father, and I. I was about 14-16 years old. They were talking for a while, then they stopped.

My grandfather stared at me for a moment, then he looked towards my father and said in a low voice: “the kid, his mind is not right.” My father looked at him but said nothing.

I fear that history tells me that there are two possible outcomes. Which of my uncles lives are less pitiful?

See you next time

I stayed one day more than I originally planned, but at the end of the day, it felt short. I think if I stayed there for as long as I live it would still feel short.
What has an end is short.

I have read that the last step of growth is accepting your mistakes, and I might have grown. If I didn’t do every mistake that I have done, I wouldn’t be me. Even if I was reincarnated many times, I will still commit every one of them again. This self, this entity, it could only exist here today as a result of exactly the life that I have lived.

Maybe I think I have grown because I visit home every few months. To them, nothing in the house changes. But to me, I am able to see how they all keep growing, and I am also reminded of how I grew.
The walls. The dusty books that I have once read. My trophies and awards that stopped as a certain date as if I disappeared.
And, though I try, I cannot ignore noticing our growth in our faces and bodies.

Growth, or getting closer to ending the short journey, is the only reason I think I should come back here to stay. But I also remember every reason I had as a teenager to be independent. Many of those reasons are still valid today.

At the end of this short day, I think I have to apologize to just one person. My dear sister, of two years or younger. I’ve been away for so long that I recognize you better from your picture. I have no excuse but to say that I wish the future would be long, and that I hope you will live long and know that I love you.