I was reading Thich Nhat Hanh this morning because Christianity never worked for me and I can’t grasp the essence of Hinduism.

I was reading his exposition of the four noble truths and the eightfold path. I was reading him because the positive existentialism of Viktor Frankl only gave me a momentary catharsis and nihilism is something I so desperately want to escape from.

So, the four noble truths involve acknowledging your suffering; delving deeper into the cause of your suffering; knowing there’s a path to eliminating your suffering and transforming it into joy using the eightfold path.

I seem to go up to stage three and regress each time I try. I guess there’s a beauty in being fucking miserable because happiness is an overrated clichéd product in this society of greed, hate, and materialism.

I mean look around you. Everything is transient, and purpose is ephemeral. And don’t give me a lecture about absolute and relative truth when all we do is breathe, eat, drink, smoke, work, fuck, shit and die. Maybe I sound like an adult Holden Caulfield, but I stopped giving a damn a while ago.

My friends, there are no Edenesque getaways with trees of life or whatever and even if you were to find one, you’ll find a Cherub with a flaming sword embodying the wrath of Yahweh guarding it.

So here you are, stuck in a Kafkaesque, surreal actuality which actualizes the clichéd, The truth is stranger than fiction, idiom. Here you are where everyone turns on you, or you turn on everyone else.

I could write pages and pages about the women I’ve slept with, giving them an allure; making them my muses or whatever using sonnets (both Petrarchan and Shakespearean) but there will never come a time for those recollections or sensual fabrications of memory.

I’ve measured out my life in coffee spoons, and yeah, I’m a postmodern Prufrock, riddled with angst, sexual tension and never finding solace in anything.

So, I guess I’m just going to write about cigarettes since I’m the fatalist who’s an insipid Bukowski, selling his rhymes for free; addicted to his misery and wallowing in his self-pity and depravity.

I’m smoking 555’s by the way. Don’t you just love smoking? I mean, the rush, the release and the satisfaction are often better than sex.

So, here’s to a life without meaning and one with cancer. Can I get an Amen?

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

15 responses

  1. Well – you might hate me – but I laughed! And Amen! Some of those things on your list I’ve never done… like die, and a couple of others…
    Do I dare
    Disturb the universe?…
    I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
    Nitin – you know I’m a fan – and this was bloody good,,,

  2. I’d laugh as well, were it not for an underlying frustration and pain in the words you regurgitated and flung at the page with frustration and reckless emotions of defeat.
    Rose glasses don’t work for me, either, when the world so clearly stinks -and I don’t even have that bad of a life. It’s just the observations I have of what is actually going on.
    The only solace here is that the world has been, and seems to always be, sucky. Within our own sphere of influence, however, it can suck less. Some practices and supportive help (and even medications at the worst times) can help with what is really the lens of our dark minds.
    In personal experience, I have yet to find a calm position of faith, either. A blogger I follow recently posted a video discussing The Space Between (or somesuch). Between faith and absolute non-faith; in limbo and never finding The Answer. *sigh*

    • I think you should laugh Chelsea. It’s the best we can do sometimes in the face of defeat. Yes I wrote this and poured out my deepest angst but I was chuckling while I wrote it. What the hell? I might as well go down laughing. Medication and mindfulness works to certain degree for me although mindfulness is sometimes hard and Buddhism can be dogmatic and unrealistic. I was wondering if you’d like to write for the literati mafia. If you’re interested please contact me and we can discuss things. A lot of our artists struggle with similar issues.

      • Thanks, Nitin. I can understand the wry acceptance, but also felt concern.
        I saw your Sunday prompt thing and will consider it. I need to be in the right mindset. :)

      • Please do, but this isn’t for the prompt. It’s to be a full time writer on the blog. Or I think you’ve understood me and my OCD I tell you!!!

  3. though religions fascinate me
    i never could embrace
    the structure
    and found myself lured away
    by my pagan roots
    barefoot & witchy
    the world makes no more sense
    but i can find reason
    & even hope
    in a thunderstorm.
    (i liked the pall malls & lucky strikes myself–chesterfields when i could find them)

    • I love that. Yeah religions fascinate me too. But I find them too doctrine oriented. Even Buddhism has its share of doctrines. I understand the middle way but you don’t have to be so dogmatic about it. I’m not a pagan though. Just a wandering agnostic but we can share a lucky strike! If only I got them here.

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