There’s a void within me, slowly expanding, engulfing and eating me, bit by bit until I’m a cadaver, a hollow man, devoid of emotion, catatonic, a doggerel scribbled in the void — meaningless, useless, purposeless.
I’ve ambled along potholed roads with a ditch on either side, passed the ramshackle huts in India where the poor shit in the open, I’ve smoked the cheapest cigarettes with no filter and gazed at this crude, godforsaken land, asking the gods for a revolution, a pacifistic one of change and beauty, but then a stone fist smashed my nose in, rebuking me for my idealism.
I’ve sought a mystical union with the Lord, and for a while, I knew love and peace, but my Quixotism deconstructed me again. Perhaps I should have bowed at the Gibranian altar of swords and crucifixes and love laying you bare, stripping you and chastising you that you may know her and yourself and not the Corinthian one of blinding white light.
I’ve sought women, and embodying A.D.I.D.A.S (the Korn song, not the shoe) gave me epicurean pleasure. The hedonistic thrill of smoking pot with her and then unhooking her bra before placing breathy kisses down her neck and spine and then undoing her jeans and pulling them off. I was my god in those actualities with girlfriends or fantasies with women who caught my attention. I still hook up with someone from my past from time to time, but something’s missing. Maybe it’s a higher, superlunary greedy orgasm that I seek, and hell, I verge on blasphemy when I speak about seraph and seed, but the self-loathing brews within and I need a release. The pot feels shitty too.
I’ve sought mindfulness, and the four noble truths and the eightfold path but it’s too dogmatic and legalistic, just like every religion (even those that don’t claim to be) is. Not thinking and breathing I cannot do when seven streams of thought juxtapose, creating something like avant-garde jazz in my addled mind. I crave a minimalistic gentle uni-directional blue stream, but I get river rapids and steep waterfalls and floods of thought branching into every area of my consciousness and its antipodes. I’m drowning, the waters bursting my psychic lungs and there is no Dolphin coming to my rescue or seamen pulling me on deck.
I’ve sought the authoritarian and the existential psychiatrists. The former, yelling at me for being a 30-year-old Caulfield, urging me to come out of unemployment and ‘snap’ out of depression and find the conformists’ path of a ‘steady job’, a ‘steady income’, a steady fucking wife’, and ‘steady fucking kids’. The latter, wrestling with my deep-seated hurt like a patient in the ICU wrestling with death, trying to ‘purge’ my demons before prescribing a blue, white and red pill.
So, here I am in the throes of my dying youth, hoping, just hoping that it will never come to justifying a sacrificed passion like art for the sake of a castrated life.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)
Originally published in The Creative Cafe