I closed my eyes for a second and there I was, standing in an empty, bare room. A canvas that had suddenly been occupied by streams and films of my incoherent thoughts and once-lived dreams. Everything was whirling and swirling in front of me like a labyrinth that hindered my breath and burdened my heart into a perplexed collapse from the overwhelmingness of it all. Everything that I had ever thought of was intimidatingly making its way on the walls of a room that was now a cage I couldn’t escape from. I was trapped. You don’t quite realise how much you’ve lived until you see yourself on the floor and almost drowning in the chaos that your own life has brought upon you. I yearned for someone to shake me back to reality, for it was the first time that I had ever sought an escape through the real world. All my life I had rendered the world we live in as lethal and had found safety in my own head. Until it suddenly backfired. I found myself slowly integrating in the colours of the walls of the room, unnoticeably disappearing with the thoughts that have forever been consuming me. Is it true? Is it true that one can lose himself by no one other than himself? Suicide can come in all forms and intensities and what I was witnessing was a vanquish of my very existence. In attempt to fight back, I tried to voluntarily take over. I failed, I tried again. I failed. I was still a background of a background of something that has become a lot bigger than myself. I have empowered my thoughts so vastly that they have succeeded to take the lead. I finally became silenced. And as soon as I gave in to my silencing, I found my eyes opening to the world again. My eyes glittered with relief that I am no longer bullied by the hideaway that I had once created to entertain me, to shelter me, to protect me. But the much-anticipated breeze of anxiety had again started to take over and there . . . I was afraid of both worlds again. I had no where to run. I had no where to hide. I was haunted. And before I could admit to myself that this is it, that this is everyone’s biggest fear, I let the melancholy burst into salt-water streaming down from my eyes and washing away all the hopes that had once given me a second chance for a life I never wanted.
Some time between spring and summer, the birds find their way between the branches of the blossomed trees for the damp shade of the dewed leaves that have been yearning and loathing the heat of the sun all at once. And while they gently flutter their wings, they bring upon the scented breeze of the fading spring and the dry glitter of the summer’s birth. As I watch, smell, listen to the melody of it all, I halt to wonder whether all this order just merely happens. Is it love that has found its way through the wings of the birds, the petals of the flowers, the dew of the leaves, the broken, tapered branches of the trees, or is it just a mere coincidence that has been brought upon by Mother Nature. And even though I’d like to believe in the majesty of love, I hush the thought in my head, as I have witnessed so much pain caused by love that it can not be possible that love can give rise to something so beautiful.
Getting dorky grades is not uncool. Reading a book is not uncool. Drinking a soft drink at a club is not uncool. Being a virgin is not uncool. Wearing a hijab is not uncool. Sticking to your religious and moral boundaries is not uncool. Going out with your parents is not uncool. Smiling randomly to strangers is not uncool. Writing cheesy love posts is not uncool. Being a wallflower is not uncool. Being different is not uncool. Being who you truly are is not uncool. However, narrowed mindedness is uncool. Bigotry is uncool. Uptightness is uncool. Self-righteousness is uncool. Arrogance is uncool. Racism is uncool. Islamophobia is uncool. Homophobia is uncool. Hate is uncool. Misogyny is uncool. Pointing fingers relentlessly is uncool. Being an elitist twat is uncool. Playing God is uncool. Calling people uncool is uncool.
“Be tough,” they’d say in their most scornful of talks. They think they know how everything works. How when you’re battling an invisible war, they can see right through it. How when you can barely open your eyes, they expect you to be wide awake. They smile and smirk and you hear the ring of two glass cups joyfully at meet. They’re okay and they expect you to be just fine. To be tough. To be resilient. To fight with your dimples and teeth exhibited to the crowd. “Be tough.” But they haven’t met the enemy. They haven’t slept a day with the weight of thoughts drowning them in their sleep. They haven’t taken a ride in the arteries of a person fighting anxiety. They haven’t. They haven’t. They haven’t. But they think you should be tough. They think you should be okay. They think you should move on. They think they know what you deserve. Hush. They reckon you are accustomed to what true quietness is, to what hearing the hums and jiggle of morning birds without a precedent insomnia of suffocating monologues is. They reckon they know you. When you don’t even know yourself.
And suddenly, before you are aware of it, you blend into the wallpaper that is their sad and empty life. You are the blue of the sea, the red of the sun, the black of the night and the white of the moon. You are no longer your own colour. You are no longer the waves of the sea, the flames of the sun, the mist of the night and the light of the moon. You are their petty words. You are “being tough”.
I’ve talked to people about you,
Mostly those I do not know.
I’ve talked to people about you,
Mostly strangers on the road.
I’ve talked to people about you,
And so little do you know
That I’ve talked to people about you,
Because I’m lost without a home.
Living with anxiety is like living
with a knife in your chest.
A knife cutting through you every
time you wander in your thoughts
or try to recall a dream, a memory,
a lost love.
Most people I meet believe they’re so immensely liberated. “We drink because we can, we smoke because we can, and we fuck because we can. Nobody, whatever hierarchy of being, could tell us otherwise.” The ultimate bourgeois of so called freedom. But most of the time, you can sense the blatant bullshit. Most of the time, you can see right through them. You can see how sadly chained up they are by their society.
The thought that I might live all my life in a perfectly damaging illusion scares me. To live delusively believing that my mind is functioning the way it should, and my life is circulating around the proper interests, is why I have spared an hour of elaborative thought. I remember quite well that, once upon a time, there was an open space, crystal clear waters, where you would dive and adventure and self-interpret. But now the tides have managed to own you, and it’s dangerous to go swimming on your own. Individuality has become vague and clustering has become visible. Tomorrow isn’t a mystery and the future isn’t interesting. The world has stopped spinning and has syncronised with your own very pace. Everything is so uniform. Does it not scare you too?
History has taught us that slavery is only physical, that as long as you are not monetarily valued, you are a free man. We look at our wrists and we see them embraced by watches, gold, and diamonds, and we see no tangible chains. But there is heaviness in our heads. We are not handcuffed, but rather thought-cuffed. Our thoughts are just another unnecessary instrument to a homogenous tune at the back of all of our heads.
One time, I read a statement on a billboard that interrupted the dull music in my head: “Great minds do not think alike, they think differently. The key is to think differently.” I smiled because my head was quiet for once. It echoed for quite some time. The key is to think differently. It struck me though; that to think differently requires much more effort than one could anticipate. It’s like your society has successfully vacuumed every last unique spark out there; that the only solution is to go to the desert and start adopting a guru-like lifestyle and start a life of self-discovery. Funny that we’ve reached a point where we can be identified by the people we surround ourselves with and the music we listen to. It would be rather cosmic if each one of us radiated a different light. It would be astronomical if we were more of a spectrum, than a united beam.
It’s important to stop, think and reevaluate everything. Discover what, for so long, has been brushed under the rugs in our heads. Don’t we all just long for people made of different substances. Substances you can learn from, substances you can fall in love with, and substances you can hate and resent. If anything, I hope I may never be a victim of society. I’ve noticed that one can learn a lot more from strangers. And even though it’s dangerous and life threatening to give in to strangers, it’s a lot more dangerous to give in to a suppressed society that can keep you unnoticeably numb and your head heavy and cuffed.