Of late, I have no interest in living. I survive because suicide is the coward’s way out (or so they say.) I have no interest in anything, and my ambition fades in minutes. I’m depressed, and I’m very lonely. Depression doesn’t only entail feeling a profound sense of loss or grief. Sometimes you feel nothing. You’re empty inside, and purpose isn’t forthcoming. Gone are the days of my youth when naivety triumphed, and I found joy in the simplest things. I adapted to any circumstance back then. I played football on the streets, laughed with friends who lived nearby, climbed houses and irritated neighbors, despite the abuse my father dealt out at home.
These days, even things like bathing or brushing my teeth feel like a chore. I haven’t showered for weeks now. I’m smelly and haggard. My teeth are yellow and will soon fall off. I don’t eat meals on time, and my sleep cycle is fucked. I don’t want to wake up every morning. I would sleep for twenty-four hours if I could. I used to read regularly, but these days I’m unable to sit and let my mind work. Reading is a strain, and writing is a greater one. The only things I’m good at are smoking and farting. I mean, look at me! I’m 31-years-old; I don’t have a job or a girlfriend, I splurge on books I’ll never finish reading, I hate myself and have a non-existent sense of self, I despise company and yet feel lonely, I smoke until a bout of asthma kicks in, I hate social media, but I’m addicted to it, I’d rather fuck than watch porn, but I don’t have a choice. I’m a fucking mess.
I spend many nights thinking of ending it, but I know I won’t go that far. I’m a failure. I’ve spent the last eight years of my life, trying to be a writer, and look where that’s gotten me: Delusional, neurotic, impulsive and deranged. Nothing excites me anymore. Even if I were to travel to a beautiful mountain, I’ll find no peace or a sense of tranquility. I’m that disgruntled with my life. And it’s not like things are going to get better anytime soon. I only see more unhappiness on the horizon. More sorrow, more struggle, more madness and more destruction. And don’t give me that, “Your life is what you make it!” nonsense. For most people, that holds, but fate has hardwired some of us to self-destruction. We’re born with the genes of incompetence and irresponsibility that manifest when we hit adulthood. We’re misfits, losers, madmen, malingerers and complainers. Hell, we’re deadbeats, hobos, addicts and layabouts. We were never supposed to be in this world.
We in an era of motivational speakers, TED talks, Pentecostal word of mouth (or is word of faith?) ‘believe and it will be yours!’ hysteria, Joel Osteen, self-help books and maniacal optimism.
“Fake it until you make it!” A prophet of positivity cries. “You are what you think!” Another exclaims. “When you fall; fall forward!” Denzel Washington says, oozing confidence.
Facebook and Instagram only promote this by urging us to make ourselves brands and not people. On Facebook, you’re either the traveller, the political critic, the movie buff, the meme promoter, the life quote advocate or the bar hopper. On Instagram, you’re either the amateur photographer, the poetaster, the doodler or the family man/woman. Anyone who doesn’t conform to this finds themselves ostracized. Trust me, I know! I’ve written the most negative shit on Facebook, and I’ve paid for it dearly.
But why this fuzz about positivity? Why are people reducing themselves to mendicants of optimism? It’s for the elite anyway. Most of you will lead average lives with average jobs and average expectations, which doesn’t call for any celebration. And some of us will lead below-average lives with no jobs and no expectations. We’re the scum of the earth. The doggerels among society’s poems. And I’m here, the worst written, wordy, most humorless doggerel ever.
Hell, if I were a comic book character, I’ll be the sidekick’s sidekick. The unfunny, silly character with no superpowers who’ll vex the reader. Yeah, I’ll be the Jar Jar Binks of the comic book world. I’ll make the reader pray that they’ll kill me off in the next issue. Look at me! With moobs and an Indian policeman’s paunch. I waddle to the cigarette store where the vendor looks at me with contempt, and waddle back to my lonely apartment where I munch on Tacos or Burritos and intersperse it with smoking. And then, I complain about my arse burning when I take a shit!
Imagine if I were in a Western. I won’t be the good, the bad or the ugly. I’ll be the idiot who shoots himself in the balls. Imagine if I were in a sitcom. I’ll be the creep next door with a pornstache who flirts a little too aggressively because he’s desperate. Imagine if I were in an action flick. I’ll be the first guy the big shark or crocodile eats up. Imagine if I were a character in a novel. I’ll be the false protagonist in the prologue who doesn’t make it to the first chapter.
I’m disgusting. I want this all to end. I’m sick of typing out another nihilistic or quasi-nihilistic poem. I’m sick of writing about circus freaks wearing jockstraps, or showmen with dildos up their arses. I’m sick of it all. I’m so tired that I don’t even like music anymore. I can’t find a tune that sticks. I search futilely for a piece of music that mesmerizes the soul (ignore the hyperbole) but find nothing. Music used to be my go-to place when I was down. These days, I find it boring.
I’m an Indian hillbilly (not the hardworking sort.) I lack the twang, and I don’t like beer too much, but it’s just a matter of time before I put a shitter on the porch and sit on it with a porn magazine and cigarette. Damn! I’m filthy as hell, and I’m not as ashamed as I ought to be. I drink twelve cups of Joe each day and piss twenty times. There are times when I miss the toilet and wet my pants a little. I don’t bother changing because, hell, that’s the Indian hillbilly life!
If I were white, I’d be trailer park trash. A dirty bastard with an overgrown mullet who shoots rats and lives off food stamps. I’d be the welfare king of kings. I’m lucky that I come from a middle-class family, and that I don’t live in the challenging make it or break it West.
Look at me! So fucked up and thinking everything’s a damn joke. I don’t know what they’ll write as my epitaph. Maybe, “Here lies a loser who mooched off his parents for ‘intellectual growth,’ but he was as dumb as they come. P.S. He was also the dirtiest man alive,” or maybe they’ll etch a few lines from Creep by Radiohead.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)