(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan
September 15, 2018)
Find all parts of ‘Diary of a Cynical Suicide’ here
Shakespeare is right, ignorance is bliss. It is true the other way around too. Bliss is ignorance. Unfortunately, ignorance can’t be regrown from where it is once unrooted by the weeds of wisdom. And thus happiness too once lost, can’t be regained.
I don’t think of you
Stopped it when you cut the call
In anger but no, Nah,
You didn’t even feel that
Nothing that is what you feel
I don’t think of you
Because you don’t think of me.
I don’t need you, I need nothing
I don’t feel anything for you, I feel nothing
I write this song try to pass that time
When, no, not, nah
when I can’t help thinking about you
It is not that
I don’t know what it is
But it is not that
I don’t think about you
In fact, I don’t remember who you are
I am no romantic and do not hold any fancy ideas about my misery – it is a terrible thing and must be cured for sure if such a cure was possible. But I am alive and I am afraid of those mind doctors and other well-wishers who wish to reduce my misery to a chemical imbalance in my mind or a bad habit. I know they will probably manage to do so and thus cure me and I know it would be the right thing to do ….. And no, I don’t want it to happen. I see things clearly. Only a cynic sees things clearly. An artist on the other hand just looks at more beautiful aspects. I am cynic and though I don’t value truth a lot and I am too much of a coward to chose ignorance after knowing the truth.
Enough is enough. All art is, after all, rubbish. The things, universe, everything is ugly and all art is nothing but a miserable, pathetic effort to defy this. Every written word is another ugly stain on the already ugly world. I must not add to this clutter. How vain it is to presume that what I write is something special. I write because it passes time. But I also know it is a lot of rubbish. Before dying I will destroy all I have written. And thus the humanity won’t be worse off for the error of bringing me into existence.
I cry for the incompleteness I feel in myself. I wish, cry, scream for it but since this inadequacy, incompleteness (goodness, how terribly primitive are our languages when it comes to talking about things that matter!) Is not physical – no one understands me. How I long for an accident that could take away a limb from me and thus let me enjoy the taste of understanding – while, at the same, let me prove to myself by trial and success what I have already proven by trial and error, the futility of trying to be understood.
I got severe headaches. It seemed as if the whole world was falling apart about me. Needing help, I contacted people who I thought were friends, who had promised that they would be found when I need them. And of course, they were all busy. I realized that I was alone, that perhaps everyone was alone and a friend meant nothing. That whatever is the opposite of loneliness is just a myth, like friends.
It was a funny day today and the above realization was just the first as I saw my world come down. I left my home and walked on the road in burning sunlight of this late summer afternoon. I wonder where I was taking myself to. I guess nowhere, that in fact, I was going far from the crowd at home which was supposed to give me the illusion of a family.
But I found myself in the familiar ruins. The ruins of the palaces, there are three or four of them, are somewhere I often take myself to in such absent-minded pilgrimages. The king died, childless despite his several queens around time, perhaps, when I was sure. There were no homeless people there as I thought there would be before the first time I was there. Most of the place was closed. I roamed around in what sheltered place was open. I wondered what I was looking for in these ruins? I didn’t find joys in traveling or looking at ruins and considering them architectural beauties. To me, they were a disgusting use of land resource when millions were homeless. What I wanted in here? What pearls of wisdom could be dug out here which would help me find answers to unasked, understood, vague questions that torment me like this? Looking at those ruins with birdshit scattered all around inside them, I realized that this was what my life was becoming.
I realized I had come here to wait for death in peace, away from the crowd at home.
I came back home and tried to write. Passoa one wrote “if the heart could think, it would stop beating” and Rilke wrote, “how one longs to be near the sea”. What I won’t have given to be able to write like that?
As I tried writing, I realized how vain I was to think that I could follow in the footsteps of Dostovesky as I saw my dream of becoming a good writing burning in those letters. What you hold before your eyes in form of these notes is nothing more than those ashes.
Throwing diary to side table which it missed running to ground instead, and it deserved to lay torn there, I thought, I went to bed and slept through the evening and first half of night.
I woke at two in the night and realized my world had still finished falling apart.
As I was going out I saw a wooden ladder. It reminded me of ladders used to carry the dead to the place where they are out of pyre. For a moment, I had a euphoric illusion that I was dead before realizing the sad ridiculousness of thinking so.
I took myself back to those same ruins using light of my mobile. I sat outside them and let insects bit me as I looked around from my sitting place to find nothing. What was I thinking? That world would make sense late at night when no one was watching?
I remembered making a last miserable effort at holding my world together -quite unconsciously, as I discovered afterwards when I noticed how I had held out my hand as if trying to grip something. Yet again, in that moment, I had lost differentiation between what was real and what was merely in mind.
I don’t know how long I sat there and, it was when my mobile shut down of low battery, betraying me like the rest of the world, that I stood up to leave. I fell I dark and got an injury at the knee. I lay there in massive pain and thought for a moment that I had broken it.
I realised it didn’t matter to me in the least whether I lie here all night with broken knee or went back home. Even after I realised I could walk, I walked back, to be in bed before someone notices my absence, only to hide my half insanity from the world Till it matures and conquers my mind completely. But even that didn’t matter much to me. For I realized my world had all come down. Nothing mattered now. I could die or commit murder and it would be same. I might eat or not, might never have been born. And it won’t change. Nothing matters. Nothing ever mattered.
Friendship is often the last of illusions which are part of naiveté of children to be broken. You need the misery to know that those you once considered as friends were merely glorified acquittances.
I have mentioned in passing an observation which Celene had already captured in a simple sentence “sooner or later, the sadness of life captures everyone.” Perhaps here we must talk about prince Siddhartha, as an example, whose father, a king, ensures that he is sheltered from all suffering for several years. But even all vigilance and power of king proved inadequate to keep one single soul away from the suffering of the world.
You argue that there are some happy souls, you tell me to be stubbornly happy as, of course, many are trying to. But are there any really happy people? I will happily …. Okay not happily bit bravely bear all the griefs I must carry with my sorry existence if I was sure that I was promised that there will be at least one soul who will live a perfectly happy life because of me. But you know as much as me how impossible such a thing is.
When Vonnegut made the statement “all was good, nothing hurt.” as the epithet of one of his characters – it was a statement that filled us, well, at least me, with sadness because I knew that Vonnegut was just joking. He knew as much as Celene and me that no one can honestly claim for such an epithet.
All the same I wish to imagine a happy soul. When I imagine a happy soul, I imagine him or her as comfortably off as regards their basic needs – the food, clothing and shelter along with at least one of following qualities:
A. Being completely devoid of compassion
B. Completely devoid of any intelligence helped with being kept away from misery of all forms all life
C. A great ability of having opt-in ignorance
Because, you see, if one doesn’t suffer for oneself, one will suffer in compassion for others.
All this talk about happiness might make you think that I am a hedonist – well, sometimes I even convince myself but really I am not. While in a less than perfectly happy world, I will want to walk away from Omela (even if I was myself happy), in a happy world, I would be bored to death – figuritively (not that I am not close to it in this world).
Happiness, you see, is overrated. Entertainment is more important. That is why the politicians think masses are all about ‘bread and circuses’. I just wish this world was a bit more interesting.