Some days I write a ton,
Some days nothing at all,
but on all days,
A man sits behind his computer to write the story of a boy.
This man behind his computer, he becomes the God who plots out the boy’s tragic life. Every line that he types, every line that is meant to evoke sympathy from his reader, the boy lives it. The boy lives the man’s words, the boy suffers by them and the boy curses his unchanging destiny.
The boy is alone. And this isolation, the man calls the boy’s pathos.
In less than a dozen strokes of the man’s keyboard, the boy is ripped from his home at a young age. At such an age that he won’t remember what home is when he has left it.
He is taken from his mother’s home, to the land of his father. His father who, by an afterthought of the man behind the computer, is afflicted with a promiscuity that can’t be cured. His father who breeds bastard after bastard into the care of whoever will take them.
And that is how the boy has come to be alone.
He is in the land of his father, but he can only look upon the face of his father after a tremendous journey. The boy is alone, because the boy feels alone.
He is in the care of his father’s sister, a woman he has come to call Ma. The woman is not the boy’s mother. Every time the boy lets his guard down and allows himself to feel in place, he is reminded that he is not to the woman what her own children are to her.
The boy is alone.
The thing about tragedies on page is that, soon, the reader becomes indifferent to the despair of a character. And so, for this reason, the man behind the keyboard doubles down on the boy’s pathos and types out another paragraph.
The boy lies on his mattress on the floor and tears fill his eyes. However, not a single drop rolls down his cheeks. Not a single drop leaves his eyes. From his birth, all that has been written for him is isolation and tragedy.
And the death of his mother is only the newest page.
I feel our humanity is in direct defiance of our spirituality, because make no mistake, being human is in itself evolution. We grow, and we challenge the natural order. Why shouldn’t we cook what we kill? Why shouldn’t we create these machines that do the work we were entrusted with? Why shouldn’t we soar through the skies even though we weren’t designed to? And why should we draw the line? Where should we?
Why shouldn’t we alter what we are physically? What we are emotionally, sexually, and biologically? We have challenged the natural order since we could think; those very laws of physics that bind the earth. Why can we not challenge social constructs we created several epochs ago, even if they are steeped in spiritualism? Why indulge patriarchy, heteronormativity and gender fixation? Why shouldn’t our society evolve, when gravity, fire and light now bend to our designs?
On the other hand,
Spiritual texts cannot overemphasise the fact that the essence of being human is as much about not doing as it is about doing. Since our creation we’ve had the ability to do; to eat the fruit, to tell a lie, to kill, and yet we were challenged not to. That is source of all conflict. Desire versus restraint, or in this time; what we think… feel that we are, versus what has been preached to us.
“We must establish that trade deal with the city of Florence!” the stout, bald man slams his fist onto the long oval-shaped table his council is seated around.
“Yes, we must!” another, much taller and older man, with grey hairs at either side of his otherwise hairless scalp, agrees. “That, my friend goes without question. The issue is how we go about that.”
A third man at the table stands. “Yes, indeed. The city of Florence is only interested in one resource at the moment, and it is one we have never been quite affluent in.”
“We are all aware of what it is that Florence wants. It is what every city of her status and development wants. In order to get what we want, we must bring Dollaritium to the table.”
The men at the oval-shaped table all concur, and an academic shows up to draw a contract to be sent to the city of Florence.
“…but Sire,” the academic addresses the head of the table, Lord Dickus. “Our country has no Dollaritium, how are we supposed to honour our end of the deal?”
“Simple, my unimaginative scholar, we must present the appearance of Dollaritium wealth,”
Later that day…
“Oh yes! Yes, yes, yes!” the woman lying on her back, on top of the bed moans.
A heat engulfs the room, and the man on top of her lets out one grunt after another, sweat dripping off his chest onto hers.
Minutes pass, and soon the pair is lying next to one another, panting. The man turns to the woman, “There’s something I have to tell you,” he says, “I’m broke, Florence.”
Do you believe in urban legends?
Well, I didn’t either. Now, let me tell you the story one. I’d heard the rumours; the underground racing league. Of course, the rumours were easier to swallow before they told you, it was Tro Tros that were racing.
You’ve heard the warnings, ‘Do not get into a Tro Tro alone at night’, well…
DO NOT GET INTO A TRO TRO ALONE AT NIGHT!
BANG! BANG! BANG! Sudddednly, against the body of the Tro Tro, startling me, even through the bass pumping into my ears. I yank my earphones out, fear numbing the would-be sharp pain in my ears. Here I am, sitting in the first row of seats, right behind the driver. I’m alone in the car but the driver, while the mate yells ‘Lapaz, Kasoa’ violating the quiet of 1AM night. Then all of a sudden, there’s a rough dirt-haired person outside my window. His face is dust brown on black; mechanical dirt on dark skin. And his clothes, dirty as well; greasy rags he barely fills out. He makes eye contact–
He appears to know the driver, and I feel a momentary relief. I stay focused as they exchange words in a language I don’t understand. The driver hands him a wad of cash, thick enough to buy anyone a smile. Their conversation wraps up, and I pick up one word; Shiashie.
The driver hits the horn in quickening succession and the mate returns to us, without any other passengers. Red flags start going up, but it’s late and there’s a place I need to be.
Soon, we’re on the road and my anxiety blends into the comforting vibrations of a Tro Tro on empty road. Then,
We don’t stop as there’s no passengers to pick up at the bus stop. We just cruise past Shiashie, and the last of my doubts begin to fade. Who knows? I could even fall asleep when we pick up someone else. I’m fixing my earphones in when–
Before I can take a look behind us, a green 205 Tro Tro pulls up on my side of the car. It’s mate sticks his head out of his mate-side window and smiles in our general direction. As the Tro Tro pulls ahead of us, the mate maintains his expression, an unusually wide smile that would almost look stupid if it wasn’t so creepy. The driver of the Tro Tro that I’m in, turns around and gives his mate funny eyes with a smirk,
All of a sudden, our car picks up speed, chasing the green 205. What is happening? As we approach the N1, I feel a change in transmission when the driver reaches for the bald-topped gear once again. The Tro Tro pulls back for a half-moment and then we’re moving even faster. The wind is battering my eyes now, through the small slit in the windows. What is this? What is this excitement?
We’re gaining on the green one now. A disembodied torso sticking out of it’s mate-side window turns to face us; the clown-faced mate is still smiling, the look on his face almost looks carved in stone; unflinching even against the violent winds created by our absurd speed. He doesn’t go back in, but their car continues to pick up speed.
Still, they can’t escape us. We’re side by side now. The smiling mate stares intently at our driver as each of the two Tro Tros tries to pull ahead of the other. There’s a glance in my direction, he notices me and chills run down my spine.
Stop it. Stop it! Their car starts leaning in our direction, almost making contact. It gets even closer. The mate shoves his head back in, then there’s contact between our two tro tros and I hear the screeching of metal against metal. I smell burning paint, and there’s sparks flying. There’s a nudge from the other car, and ours wobbles but we quickly find balance. Soon we’re pushing back as well.
Screech. Shout. Wobble. Before I’m able to understand what’s happening the other car is spinning front first, trying to find center; I see a flash of the familiar smiling face before
Their car smashes into the thin concrete wall separating the ‘to’ and ‘from’ lanes of the N1. Glass bursts out of the windows of the green tro tro before it finally stops. There’s smoke coming out of its bonnet, with little hints of a fire.
I get to my destination, and I get down, narcotized against all feeling. Even the warmth running down my legs, from between the soaked crotch-area of my trousers.
How long have I been standing here?
You are not alone, and more importantly neither am I. I’ve always been inclined to self-analysis, therefore me making this “discovery” greatly expanded the dimensions of my thought. I want to share this so-called discovery, because for me it came with a wave of empowerment.
You are not alone.
Sometimes, it takes someone telling you what you are– who you are, in order for you to notice it yourself. Even if we don’t take note of them manually, we all have certain patterns of behavioural or emotional reactions to various scenarios, stimuli, and to people.
The nuances of these reactions may differ, depending on the nurturing of the individual; nurturing here referring to the culmination of prejudices that an individual has acquired as a result of their socialisation. These prejudices include belief systems, morals and general preferences.
What I mean to say is, how stimuli is perceived by an individual is subjective, but the individual’s reaction to the stimulus is generally not– not as much as you would think anyway. This brings us to my discovery; that I am not alone. I took an online personality test arbitrarily; because a girl I like sent it to me.
After being typed by the test, and being told my tendencies in interaction, my interest was piqued. After having my behaviours, my thought processes, and my very emotions reduced to a theoretical scientific model, I came to the realisation that I am not this way by my own choosing, and I am certainly not the only that is this way.
Now, mind you, ‘this way’ may be entirely different for you, but this Myers-Briggs method of personality typing is an aggregation of behaviours that recur in people, and the psychological causalities of those behaviours.
Basically, you’re likely to react in a certain way to certain things, depending on your personality type. You’re even likely to feel a certain way about certain things depending on your type. The things falling under this very broad net include the pacing of your social interactions, the degree of comfort you feel outdoors versus indoors, the very energy you exude; your vibe.
There are types that have friction between them simply because of the degree of variation in the mental processes they need to carry out in order to function, and feel like themselves. And vice versa, there are types that have more coherent relations because of their compatible– energy seems like an oversimplification, but yes, their compatible energy.
People make the mistake of clumping behavioural indicator and determinant sciences together. Speak of personality identification is clumped in with astrology and its kin. I do not mean to speak against astrology, or for it for that matter, but I feel we’ve all had that moment where we couldn’t explain the things we felt, or we couldn’t understand why we were inclined to take a certain action.
For me, understanding my personality type answered a lot of questions.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, you are not alone. You probably aren’t special, but that’s okay. Your personality is just as much a facet of who you are, as your environment and the things you’ve been exposed to. In order to grow, it can’t hurt to have a view of the whole spectrum.
Here’s the test if I managed to convince you; https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
The theme is dirt and concrete–
A filter puts flowers in your hair, but you choose the pout on your lips.
You look like something out of a Disney movie.
Toeing the line between your desires, and your innocence.
For how many seconds, can you maintain this facade of perfection?
Halting your followers’ revolt.
You repeat rehearsed movements; a hair flick, a nod to the song,
Then three, two, one; a smile you know will drive them mad.
But sometimes, you want to show them you’re bad;
You’re not always in the box they put you in; the good girl,
You’re not always fragile, delicate.
So you do it; you show them the sex you’re capable of;
A little cleavage you pretend you don’t notice,
And you’re still their princess.
You swear too, but that’s okay,
It’s just lyrics to a song you love.
You try to live up to yourself.
And this is what beauty has to be in a time of Snapchat.