We are gathered here to mourn this showy pretense we call a ‘New Year’, or ‘2018’, and celebrate with false euphoria, only seemingly increasing dopamine levels, exchanging ‘hugs’ or ‘hearts’ or ‘cuddles’ or ‘emoticons’ or ‘virtual E-Cards’ or ‘Hallmark Cards,’ the last, if you’re old-fashioned for a day, and decide that it’s worth the effort to drag yourself to that rustic bookstore that Kindle has replaced, and then go on and on about the smell of books, and the flavor of nouns and verbs jumping from the page straight to your heart or mind, tantalizing and enlightening you. So we, here, have enough experiential insight to know that it’s better to wish you a happy pre-New Year’s day and a tragic post-New Year’s day, because I guess we’re slightly sadistic watching you, using our mind’s eye to see you make your resolutions. I will…I will…I will…and then watch with a smug grin as each thing you tick off is stricken off the very next day, and you’re left hopeless. Then you’ll perhaps resort to stringing pills together like poetic alliteration (uncannily, unyieldingly, unbendingly) and think you’ll sleep easy, but wake up stupid and walk around in a stupor and perhaps never recover. Or, you’ll decide to take that machismo path; go to a bar, shoot some tequila and shake your head, and then walk straight out while people look at you in wonder increasing your false-ego, before heading for a gutter and puking your guts out. Or, you’ll feel the loneliness seeping from the sidewalks and buildings and the muted-ashen weather, and yes the inspiration for the last sentence is from a book by J.M. Coetzee called ‘Youth’, and you’ll find it on page 52 and the context is about a dreamer with vaguely erotic, unrealistic expectations, finding himself losing grip as life catches up. And yes, that’s just the micro-context, but the macro-context with the jargon of theory is best left to the critics. And yes, I’m making a point here: Do not quote without context. Anyhow, I’m going off tangent, and letting my straight path of consciousness take an unnecessary turn, and so, I’ll get back. You could also decide to take to cough syrup and an antispasmodic, the low-high, I think it’s called a ‘downer’, but what do I know, before you fight more muscle spasms and wheezing. Anyhow, whatever you do is your prerogative, we’re busy shedding fake-tears for you with all the fake-warmth the universe or cosmos can provide, and writing ‘2018’ on a ripped off sheet from a notebook and placing it in a miniature coffin, and burying it both literally and figuratively. Please do feel the need to share your experiences of plotting excuses, breaking promises, or other morbid realities with us. We are not the stars and cannot shine our light, or the split moon with its cadence, or the sun with its exotic warmth, but we’ll listen and switch off.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2017)