Saturday, July 30, 2011
I am at the coffee house. I need to feel normal again. I need to see real people doing most ordinary stuff. That will help. I find a small table for two in the corner. It seemed perfect for someone like me whose only purpose there is sit and watch people. Watching others has always been a real satisfaction to me. Strangers help me regain normality. Without them I lose sense of reality. Three guys on the table across are chatting loudly. One of them is talking less than the others, but looks interested. On my right is a couple holding hands. A girl in her early twenties enters. She is wearing a short blue dress, and is looking happy. She stops for a few seconds and scans the room quickly, barely moving her eyes. She looks beautiful I realized. As she was about to turn and leave, one of the three guys calls her name. She puts a fake smile and walks towards him. She passes by my table and I saw closely that she is not as beautiful as I thought at first. Some people look better motionless. She is one of those. She will look stunning when she dies, I thought. Suddenly, the thought that all those people are not real, occurred to me. They could all be figments of my imagination. I think that if I move and reach out to that girl with my hand, she will fade away. Nothing in this coffee house seems real anymore. I need a sign, anything that defies science to know for sure, maybe a man who walks through the wall, or a lamp standing upside down from the floor up, or a rabbit in a costume ordering coffee. Nothing of that happens. Everything looks ordinary, just not real. Not to me. I pause. A sort of nothingness invades my mind. I pause. “je pense donc je suis”, is the best thing that has ever been thought, I decide. I pay my bill, is this a real bill? Is this real money? It doesn’t matter. I sip the last residues in my coffee and leave.
I am at home, the whiteness of the walls start to weigh heavy on my chest. I decide to leave but my feet refuse to obey my mind’s orders. My body is numb. Nothing moves inside me. Maybe that’s what happens when we die. Our consciousness is still alive, some people call it soul, but our body no longer responds. Am I dead? I want to move my hand to remove the doubt, but my body remains stiff, unresponsive. Am I rehearsing the moment of my death and relishing it? Even my eyes stopped moving. You know someone is dead when you look in their eyes. You cannot mistake that emptiness that looks back at you. The whiteness of the wall filled my eyes with void. They just stare without seeing. Whiteness, rather than blackness, is void. I used to wonder what blind people see. I imagine that inside them, behind those outer eyes, there are other eyes, thousands of other seeing eyes, eyes of a whole audience, staring at a theater’s curtain that never opens. I always had this image until one day a blind guy was asked this question on TV. What do you see? he was strangely faced with answering. He said: I don’t know what ‘seeing’ means. But I thought: what does ‘not seeing’ mean? Now, I am the blind. I freak out. I want to see. I shake off the numbness in my eyes and I look. Everything around me starts to feel alive. The old radio by my side is about to jump up and start walking around the room. I can almost see it floating at the level of my eyes and say: enough of that crap. The green plant at the far end of the room is moving its leaves. Is it dancing? The small useless decorations are loosely roaming in the air. The room is no longer empty. I am no longer alone. The ground is slowly moving. It is circling around me clockwise. The painting on the wall behind me is suddenly in front of me. The people in it start jumping out and filling the room. Suddenly, I hear music, and couples start embracing and dancing. One couple has stumbled on my plant. Where am I? The whiteness is fading. The room is gradually being filled with colors, as if someone is painting the scene at that right moment. I am part of the scene. I am part of the crowd. No, I am the tip of a painter’s stroke, a marginal persona in the background. I jump and without thinking, I open the door and slam it behind me.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Have you ever been bored? I don't think you realize what boredom is unless you have experienced that state of mind where you are standing in a busy street and you pause for a second and imagine, maybe wish, that an earthquake hits that exact spot so that you can watch. No I am not a psychopath. But most people would relate to the famous quote attributed to Stalin: the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is statistics. The death of millions is also mere News. In journalism, they teach you to tell the human story, to find that mother holding the little hand of her 6 year old child- better if you mention his age- found dead under the rubble of their home and end your news report with the voice of the father saying: he wanted to become a doctor. Or better, why not look in hospitals for that 15 year old kid who lost a leg and he would say I will never be able to play football again. That's how news become tragedy, otherwise what difference does it make to know if a hundred thousands or a one million were killed in an earthquake? Put the tragedy on the side, you will see that a very blur line separates news from fiction. Get real bored and witness the evil cells of your brain in action. In this sense, all humans are tamed sociopaths. Artists know that creativity is unleashing your darkest thoughts and emotions, setting free that beast that you always knew lives there underneath you layers of righteousness. Boredom is that drill that unearths a mass grave within your soul. Creative thinking is evil thinking, I believe. Some people tell you that they write out of an inner drive to express. Truth is they write because writing makes them feel alive. Creativity is only a result of boredom, and so is creation. I tend to believe, that if God exists, he must have created this world because he was bored.