What a pretty picture painted by society’s traps, these fucking phones attached to our hands like life depends on them, failing to see what’s right in front of us, and maybe that’s the point, to consume fake love, fleeting lust, and endless emptiness.
Awareness doesn’t stop the actions, cause everyone’s there, on the same sick cycle carousel looking for mirages of hope that someone will care, stick around and be in tune to the one that catches their attention, pursue friendship and love without distraction, but it’s there, like a monkey on the back of a cocaine addict, to woo away the weak, something’s better, list still long, seeking perfection when it doesn’t exist. Intrigue, the new puppy love.
Should’ve been a pick-up line, “How are things, any new emergencies, any first world problems still pressing? We have air, water, health, and that’s what matters”. Yes, it fucking matters, those in power making it more difficult to meet those needs; baselines of human existence, and what of connection? It doesn’t change chronic loneliness in the equation, the pressure to be someone other than who we are, a beacon of hope and ray of light, unfucking ourselves from our past traumas. They exist, they’re there, taking many forms, if I can’t speak with my voice to say what they are, what’s the point? I need connection, validation, I’m not meant to self-soothe like an infant crying in their crib who wants to be held a little longer, until they fall asleep next to their mother’s breast; or a loving father who doesn’t quiet the tears, won’t walk away because he’s fearful of how to handle them. Tears, I’ve cried many when in the presence of men; of joy, hope, fear, overwhelming sex. Each one of them walked, not knowing what to say, “We’ll talk about this another day”, but that day doesn’t come, they’re more interested in the storm passing so they can think again with their dicks and come inside me instead.
I notice I’m rocking back and forth, memories flooding of all the hope, squashed in mere moments as I reflect on my choice in these matters. I’ve been as strong as I feel my guts can take, feel the weight of the madness, deflection, we don’t communicate with our hearts and souls, smooth sailing is the mantra, good vibes too, when all it really means is “painted smiles wanted and no complaints”. I’ve stuck my head in the sand, can’t possibly take it all in, the world and its tragedies never ending, but if I would make a difference, it would be by hearing the voices of those perpetually ghosted, mine included in boxed screams and whispers, and yes, even love.
Blueberry sunsets frozen on screens and romances inspired by hyperbolic clickbait. The buzz and the feed; eyes lost in transition, swiping people like they’re pieces of meat. We’re ever knowing more, but also ever seeing less. The songbird loses her charm when a lover wakes after his one-night stand, dresses and leaves forsaking intimacy, and embraces polyamory. We’re broken with guilt, but still look for salvation in cheap sex.
Life goes on, people move on, self-medicated and booze-ridden with pouchy folds under eyes, blackened with insomnia’s despair. Friendship reduced to use, crush and toss, or ‘elevated’ to elitist cliques, and love? What about it? It doesn’t exist anymore. We’ve abdicated it with a pornographic mutiny and placed voyeurism on the throne. I often wish I didn’t exist because eventually it gets to all of us – this façade of together forever and xoxos, which is such a far cry from real commitment and continuity. I’m sick of these, ‘awws,’ which are simply paws and friend zones and stereotypes. They’re all foolish ideas of what relationships are, and bland simulacrums of cheesy Rom-Coms.
We’ve conditioned ourselves to hate baggage. All these ‘motivational speakers’ and ‘life gurus’ tell us we’ll become what we think and we’re willing to pay them big money for one session. Everybody’s eager to embrace happiness and think ‘positive’ thoughts, but the truth is that though we’re thinking positively or pretending to, our core shows itself each time we pop a pill, or sleep with a woman for the pure sensual gratification. If love took the form of a person, she’d be sacrificed in the most brutal way, putting torture devices to shame. They’ll hang, draw and quarter her. And it’s not like we don’t do that already even though she exists in the metaphysical realm. We hang her each time we squeeze all affection out of someone and make them dependent on us through deceitful, manipulative ways. We then draw her through sordid streets, fastening her to the horses of our malice, each time we suddenly cut ties with that person, tearing them inside. Finally, we quarter her, when we go back to them, win them back, only to repeat the cycle again. And this is natural to most people except a few souls who give up on everything.
Am I one of those souls? I’ve seen too much. People have hurt me enough and though acceptance is integral I find myself teetering between it and solitude. I want out. I want something idyllic even if it’s a delusion, because dreams at least offer a semblance of solace. I’ll take my cup of coffee and my cigarettes and my books. The women in my life have left enough scars, and I’m not one for using people, although there was a time when I was just as twisted as the people I condemn. But I’ve made my mistakes and learned from my crimes. And so, I sit with my back against a wall, lost in thought – the thousand-yard stare embodying the loss of catharsis and hope, but also embodying the loss of anger and hate.
I’m the sassy emo girl, he thinks it’s sexy, wishes I was okay with casual while sending me vacant emojis with hearts that mean nothing, then when called upon it, a black heart instead, “you love it,” he says.
Won’t matter what I say, it will all be endearing, no evidence that my depth is making a dent, he has tunnel vision, and that’s all I’m good for, an Amy Lee role play to check off his list.
Sadness is sexy, just more vulnerable prey for those who wish to manipulate, but now I’m awake, more than before, and if some new version of me is created, sees lies from eagle vision before they can hurt, rejects the ones who miss me, they’re sorry for leaving me like all men before, I’ll jump ship in my imagination and hide where I am now, spilling words that give little comfort, only some elusive strength to keep my voice from turning into muted surrender.
In the end, it’s just one big fucking drama with Zannis feigning normalcy, and intuitive, genuinely creative souls stereotyped as lunatics howling at the moon. ‘I need to think before I post something on Facebook because I’m scared about how I’m perceived,’ says everybody except those few vagabonds who stay true to themselves. Since when has how people perceive you become the norm, the standard you use to measure yourself? It reeks of superficiality and is insipid. But try voicing yourself, go on, and watch as they ostracize you; sever the umbilical cord that connects you to society, just because you didn’t conform.
But say you rebelled in such a way that you started counter-culture, and it grew like Grunge rocked Seattle in the early 90’s, all those ‘friends’ you lost will come back, and all those beautiful women who said, ‘You were never on my list,’ will beg for a chance to suck your cock.
It’s a pretty picture that society paints indeed, filled with cool kids getting Kurt Cobain tattoos, and millennials romanticizing depression, oh, so very theatrically, slitting their wrists because of relationship ‘issues.’ So, I guess I’m giving all you duplicitous, hypocritical bastards a swansong that’s really a middle finger and finding my own.
© Nitin Lalit Murali and Emily Cloward (2018)
This is another collaboration between the very talented Emily and I. She’s amazing to work with and is also a really nice person. We decided to go for a raw, punchy, to-the-bone aesthetic this time. Please follow her. You’ll find her heartfelt poetry at Words Unspoken