In This Life…

#np Stankonia (Stanklove) – Outkast

It feels like the perfect night to write. Love is in the air, the cats outside are quiet (for once), and there’s a certain exuberance swirling and twirling around the room. It softly probes, prods, twists, and turns my consciousness. Begging me to pen my thoughts yet once again. Giving me motive to open my world to the readers that trickle down this dark, and dimly-lit alley. All peering into the darkness, hoping to one day peel the cover of night away. The night that always has me in its shadows, never to be seen by the naked eye. The blackness that now sits comfortably around me. The darkness we are now enveloped in, both you and I.

There’s a metallic trash bucket lying on the ground, old and rusty. Its lid is off, lying on one side of this by-way, its contents are strewn all over. Plastic paper-bags form a heap to one side of the two mighty walls that overlook this alley. Quite a gloomy presence they seem to have. Especially with the old, faded posters advertising strip-clubs and medicine-men still clinging onto them. There are no cats around, no rats either. Even so, it is the ideal haven for the vile creatures we call pests. Those opportunistic living entities that ever lie in wait for rubbish to rummage through, and for dark corners to hide in. High above, on one of the walls, there’s a light bulb struggling to keep up with these digital times. By its looks, you would imagine it was the bulb used by Thomas Edison on the day he invented the first commercially practical incandescent light. Maybe even a bulb once used to illuminate the dungeons in which slaves were held aboard slave ships. I mean, if the words ‘old’, ‘antique’, ‘prehistoric’, and ‘out-of-date’ were to have consensual sex together, the name they would give their child would still not define how badly beaten by age this bulb is.

But how about we move closer and see what lies in the midst of this mess, don’t you say? To help us form an understanding of the lives these creatures of the night lead. To see what this old, dim bulb shines over night after night with ceaseless resolve.

No? … You say you’re scared? … Did I get you right? … Oh, I see. You’d rather not ruin this perfect look you have on, huh? You’d rather not get your new linens stained. You’re more comfortable keeping up this facade of yours, am I right? Showing the world how perfect you are, how superb your life is, how clear your eyes are, how bright your smile is. Never for a moment being honest enough with your emotions to face the demons within. Well here’s a memo for your Royal Highness; something a wittle birdy I taw yesterday told me to pass on to people I know:

In this life, there will be struggle, there will be pain, there will be joy, there will be sorrow. There will be battles to face, and wars to be fought. You may decide to dwell on the victories, to dance and jive in the wake of success, but be warned. Take caution not to cloud your sense of judgement, or to live with an air of invincibility hovering around you. These are just but passing winds, and no strength can be attained from their gust. Just as a calm day can never power a windmill.

Be on the alert for days when you are down and in the dirt. When life feels meaningless to you, and the world seems to be taking a jolly piss on your mood. When you look at your life and wonder whether anything makes sense, whether anything will ever make sense. You’re in a hopeless relationship, or no relationship at all. Your friends seem to be happier, more successful, in working relationships, even welcoming newborns to the world. Everyday, you look at them, and feel like they’re growing further and further apart from you. To cap it all off, you’re unemployed, or stuck in a dead-end job, wondering what lies ahead.

Trifle and strife are all you know, all that seems to care about you. Your finances are in disarray, and your life ambitions seem like a distant haze. A mirage of sorts, for you have no clue about how to cope with this mess you seem stuck in. You have no idea about what direction your life will take, if ever you decided to leave all this behind you. If ever you decided to wake up, take a deep breath and let it all out. The pent-up emotions, the hidden struggles, the night-time worries.

Days like these, when your mind is a whirlpool of hopelessness and regret, are the best days to think through, and plan for, your life. To ready yourself for incoming insurgents, and impending wars. To brew in yourself a hope so potent it might make a housefly confident of landing dead centre at one of Heathrow Airport’s runways, and making it out alive. To lay down your muddle of thoughts and emotions, and sort through the jigsaw they bring forth. I mean, that’s what we are – problem solvers. From birth, up until now, we have always been strong enough to sort through our troubles and struggles. We just don’t take the time to see it.

We exit the comfort of our mothers wombs, and come into this world. Not knowing what lies ahead, or how to deal with it. And so at that point where these two worlds collide, and we say goodbye to the snuggly warmth we previously knew, our emotions get the better of us, and we cry. But still, we move on. We find that the cuddle of our mothers arms helps us deal with it – life. Age gets the better of us, and soon you want to reach for things outside your grasp. You want to get off the floor and soar for the skies – and so we learn the art of walking. It helps us deal with the inability to reach for those drawers we want to explore, or touch those toys that dangle above our heads each time we’re laid to rest.

It is in us, in you and I. The will to make good a bachelor’s lonely life, and clean up after yourself, even if there are harder things to deal with, like the voice of Canadian feminist and Non-Pubic Hair Activist – Justin Bieber. The bravery to look our real friends in the eyes, and tell them how you feel, what you’re truly going through. The strength to cope with a boss whose face you’ve replaced with an ass, or a job that’s hell-bent on making you see kingdom-come. The hope to believe that whether now, tomorrow, or next year – you will find the person of your dreams, and realize that he/she too has been looking for you.

Soon you will find that everybody, success or smiley faces notwithstanding, has overwhelming things to deal with – we just never want to be honest about them. That your “happy” friend is also dealing with the same stupid bosses, and dead-end job you moan about. That your soul-mate also had hopeless moments at one point. Wondering whether you two would ever meet, why it was taking you so long to find them, and even crying as it seemed you never would. Soon you will find that in this life, the same skies that shine over the next person, shine over you, and me. Its all about what we make of it.

So now, have you changed your mind about walking through this trashed alley-way? Are your linens too irreplaceable to serve a noble cause? I didn’t think so. As for me, my sleeves are already rolled up. I have to find out what good will come out of my mess. What outcome this self-employed life holds for me.

For now though, I have to first find the strength to deal with these damn utensils enjoying their stay in my kitchen sink. Because in this solitary life of mine, there are dirty dishes to wash.

Before you leave though, I’d like to clarify something: NO, that^mess^up^there^ is not my kitchen sink, even though terms and conditions apply _ somewhat _ but not as much.

#np Hungry – Common