(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan
September 8, 2018))
Find all parts of ‘Diary of a Cynical Suicide’ here
Apparently, I now have got a job. I look at people around me who have been working at this place for years – most of them angry at employers, yet no one leaves. Nine and half hours (it is 12 for labor) of work and another of transition in a day for six days a week – it seems as though their day revolves around work – which is keeping records of movements of things as dead as records. I, my self, have joined them. I, too, sit glued to a computer, gazing at things no one except machines should ever care about. I don’t like to work. I am just doing it to be finally self-sufficient. It seems that to earn living one must die a few hours every day (except on weekends). To stay human, one must become a machine for a certain number of hours every week. I don’t like these temporary deaths. I have always preferred more permanent solutions.
Now that I have a job, I have to put an alarm. The clock symbol which shows that alarm is on in my mobile states back at me every time I look at it, reminding me that I have to die again for nine and half hours tomorrow as well.
I look at bosses who since they earn far more can talk about having bought a tee which cost as much as a colleague of mine would make in a month. And I wonder whether the same word ‘humans’ can be used to describe the two sets of people. The dovish respect shown to him by my colleagues doesn’t help much. Then I look out of the window and think of labor who must work themselves out for twelve hours for a pay far less than what would buy the tee at end of the month. And I don’t know how to explain any of this
They keep asking me why is it so hard. What do I tell them? I need money. I need the job. And I know how to do the work. And yet… Why is it so much harder for me? I see people. They laugh, enjoy themselves when doing the same thing. Why is it so much harder for me? Why is it every day seems like a battle? Why is it I can’t even eat my breakfast even though I am hungry? Why is it I feel like crying? How is it, that going to work has become a nightmare in less than two days?
One of the reasons to get the work was that I needed a diversion away from these notes. But as you see, the work hasn’t helped at all. I don’t consider the life where I have to work on a job like this for the whole day living – but just a terrible way of dying.
Why do I publish these notes? It is not that someone can understand me through them. Though I try to be honest, I know that if I am myself when I write, I won’t be understood. If I try to be understood, the attempt to do so will turn me into a writer who isn’t me.
How many such notes do I want to write? I am publishing them in multiples of 25. A 100 seems a decent number. What will I do afterward? Perhaps actually die.
I am a one-winged bird whose life’s story is full of failed efforts to fly and grieving that followed, which in turn is followed by that useless hope of being able to fly which like a phoenix is repeatedly born of its own failures. I hope again only to be miserable in the failure of that hope.
I am Sisphyus who pushes the rock to the top of the mountain with the hope of finally achieving some meaning in life repeatedly only to see it fall down again and this world is my hell.
I write and rewrite my past and futures and find solace in them, for the misery of my present is too obvious in absence of that second wing.
Pain Letters – 1
I take a leaf from your book and write this letter with no wish to send it. I write because I must scream and can’t and blackening this paper is the best alternative I have. I don’t know anymore if it was your fault. I try not to think of all the hurtful things you say or did; I try to not think of all the times I imagined you secretly laughing at me. I manage to do this but then I must blame myself for ending this – for somebody must get the blame for this; the accident of fate or bad luck or different values aren’t enough; blaming it on them would be too cruel. They are nonexistent, to blame such things is to blame no one.
I write to you to tell you that you win. You are the beautiful, free spirit. You can’t be blamed for what you are – and especially when you are such an amazing person. This is the judgment coming from one person whose judgment I put everything else. I am the loser here in as much I am loser everywhere.
And the punishment for losing is missing you for the rest of my life. I learned my lesson, I am a bad lover. And I won’t ever let myself be attached to another person – this one, the lover in me that you befriended and sometimes loved, dies after writing this as his suicide note.
I don’t think you will come back but if you do, you won’t find him in me anymore. I gave him one chance and he failed to gain from it. Now he weeps in me and my throat is heavy in compassion. It is too unbearable, too pathetic and he must die.
For while living he will suffer. I am too broken to be compatible with humanity (and any delusions I had about it being otherwise are gone now) and he, the lover, will suffer and make me suffer as long as I am alone.
I try not to think of you and, more and more often, I am successful. I no longer love you. My soul no longer yearns to whisper your name – it yearns silently now wishing for something it doesn’t understand but for something it knows to no longer expect from you.
I must put in all my energy to stay away from you – for you too, though mostly for myself. For while you trashed my love as something you couldn’t take seriously, you cunningly didn’t throw away the ability to hurt me. And you can do it unconsciously, you won’t ever stop it, even now when you are no longer talking to me, I still want to scream to you to leave me alone. Perhaps even if the lover dies, you will still manage to hurt me. But lover must die still.
And with him must die my last wish for human contact. I will return to my books and bury myself in them – hoping to find a way to write books that I will consider the only meaningful part of my existence but that are mostly parts of my now blackened soul scattered on paper in so many letters – to serve as a fake consolatory gift for myself on the day I finally killed myself, because I can’t destroy myself completely and at once. Some part of me must last me even if only for a few days before the next person recycles the paper.
If my life was a work of art, then it shall be a painting I imagine in my mind of a man – young, but not youthful, stressed and in shabby clothes. In painting, this man looks at another painting – hanging on a wall. This painting within the painting is not detailed (intentionally for the content is irrelevant) – it seems like a landscape but you can’t be sure. The young man looks at this painting – his hand is outstretched, he wants to touch the painting. The act is in desperation, a longing – seeing the painting wasn’t enough for him, touching won’t be enough, he wants to get engulfed by the painting.
He longs for what sees in painting, and he knows there is no returning to it. The painting is his Mirror of Erised. The melancholy he must feel, wishes to feel for he keeps on returning to look at the painting. This desire for melancholy one gets when one looks at what one longs for – that is what is how I define my own existence. I long for just such painting or something of sorts, though I no longer know what that painting has. The young man doesn’t know what it is that he longs for, nothing in the painting is familiar to him. He longs for something and the landscape seems to be reminding him that he is missing something – only he is too clueless as to what it could be. The act of watching painting makes him miserable, the whole act of watching it is ‘an exercise in melancholy’ (which is the title of painting) but he must watch it. He really must.
The assumption that the world is fair is a sort of childish virginity. The first time the world takes it is the first time it screws you.
The cognition which arises out of the loss of this virginity has resulted in so many childish ideas – god, karma etc which I would love to refute if they weren’t just so cute.
Life is a non-zero sum game, we are all dealt with unequal cards and, in this game of poker too, one must have to chance of getting out of the game any time one wants.
Often I yearn for a button switching which I can die and come back to life as much as I want – so that I can die a little and know what it feels like. I wish to have Lazarus’s memories of the underworld or that of a phoenix from the times when he was just ashes of its old self. Even if coming back to life is not an option, a simple switch for spontaneous death will do. Anything that makes killing oneself as easy as easy as it is thinking about it.
I strongly need to feel something – something happy and distracting. The great tragedy of life is that it is not one long series of orgasms.
That is why I must die – the weird brain function that feels like a high – as shown in House MD. That is what I want. To die a little – for it is perhaps only in those last few moments that one truly lives.
When I told about this yearning to a friend, she said if there was a switch – everyone would have used it. Perhaps of temptation, perhaps of a genuine wish to die. Either way, I do hope she realizes what it tells about the worth of human life.
I can’t live with this substandard world, either I must destroy it or die myself. Dying is easy – and thus appeals to my lazy nature.
Sometimes I think I want to die because I ain’t living in any real sense and that I need someone – hopefully, a sexy blonde in mini skirt and just out of teens to teach me how to. If that is the case, I am no more than a male sleeping beauty waiting for true love’s first kiss.
It is not true that I do not want to live. I want to – I want to live alone but I also want to live partying and being with a new woman every few days and, at the same time, I want to live forever with a single woman I live and, at this same moment, I want to live the life of a social activist sacrificing all he has for welfare but I also want to be insanely and rudely rich and I also want to read all the books of the world but also want to have a TARDIS. It is an absurd choice I have to make at every step which drives me to want to kill myself. I want to have everything and not having to choose.
Humanity is like an alchemist who wakes up every morning with a new hope of making gold of lead of his life and spends hours working hard only to despair as he sees all his efforts and hopes vanish. Brokenhearted he returns every night, and failing to sleep in the bed of hopelessness, he invents new hopes and ideas that, he already knows, will fail – but he forces himself to believe in their success in giving him the media’s touch anyway just in order to get through the night and the day after. Hope makes us all pathetic. I, too, am a Scherzade who must tell the dictator inside me a new story to survive another day.
Pain Letters- 2
It is detestable – the fact that I should miss you when you go on hurting and insulting me like this and yet I can’t get you out of my mind. I feel a strong desire to contact you again, it comes to me like an enduring agony. I try to divert myself by looking for distractions but so often am rendered motionless by this unbearable pain. It takes all my energy not to send you another email begging you to come – I know you won’t, and even if you did, you won’t be yourself I know about. I know you would insult me all over again and I will have to regret it for days to come. I have become pathetic and detestable in my own eyes and so I can’t blame you for feeling repelled by me. And after all, it is other you I long for who is no longer there, perhaps never. My whole existence has become a the longing for something that never existed and it is worse than being nothing which is what I would be when I die.
I scream my cry for help here and now cleverly knowing no one will come to rescue me since no one reads all that I write here. And having made enough calls for help, I now go and kill myself – since 100 is as good a number as any to stop and if it is not enough than a thousand notes won’t be enough either. I shall plan this last installment to time after my death. Bye, you who aren’t reading it or are reading it out of empty curiosity. It is time for my exit.
Copyright – Sidharth Vardhan