She asked me to describe happiness. I stared blankly at the hand puppets on the shelf; there’s a princess, a prince, a dinosaur and one more. “Feeding stray cats” I thought, but shook my head instead.
“Can you describe depression then?” I could feel her gaze on my clenched fists.
“Have you ever drowned before? I should say almost drowned I guess”
I tried to figure out the strange hand puppet, is it a bear? maybe a Pokémon?
“It’s like drowning in the depths of the ocean where not even a ray of sunlight passes through. A cold, pitch black darkness. A deafening silence. An inexplicable pain. A never ending loneliness…
My mind constantly screams at me to swim but I’m paralysed; unable to live, unable to die I simply exist in that continuous state of suffering. The world continues to pass me by but I’m stuck, being dragged further down by my own weight…
From time to time tiny lights pass by, like shooting stars in a pitch black sky and I’m momentarily distracted from the pain. I guess those are fleeting moments of happiness…
I’m caught in a war between empathy and apathy; I either feel too much or none at all. I want to live & I want to die…”
I walked over to the shelf and examined the mysterious puppet. It was a moose.
Somehow I never seem to have a pen or paper with me when I’m struck with these thoughts, In a matter of seconds the thought is gone. While stuck in a traffic jam I wondered where all these people are headed, like a sudden awareness of my surroundings and these strangers passing by- on with their own life and reality.
Tick a person just passed away. Tock a child was born. I wouldn’t know. The world is rather fascinating at times we are merely particles of stardust in this perennial universe. Some of us live and disappear without a trace. Some of us manages to leave their mark in this world like Chester Bennington, I remember mentally screaming out the lyrics of ‘In the end’ and ‘Numb’ during my childhood but fact is I never knew his name until today, eventhough they helped me through some tough times. I wish I could have saved him from the hell he was drowning in- I wish I could have helped him. I wish. I wish.
If there is one truth in this world, one certainty, that is death. A wise man once said “we took a loan on death”, yet we dream, we plan, we hope for a future we don’t even know would exist. The next second I could die yet I have a head full of dreams and a heart full of passion.
What would you change if you knew your time was coming to an end? Would you sell off everything you worked so hard to earn and travel? Would you pick up your Bible or Quran and indulge yourself in good deeds? Would you actually start living instead of existing?
I have seven unread books collecting dust on my shelf. I just bought three more. As I I sit here watching the world pass me by, I’ve realized one thing, humans are most beautiful when they don’t know they’re being watched. Like the lady walking with her granddaughter singing ‘can’t help falling in love’ or the family of four sitting across from me on a bench smiling. They are so beautiful.
I guess once in a while, even a person like me is allowed to enjoy simple moments like this while eating a slice of (dry) nutella cake, sipping an Iced Americano in the company of a great book; The unbearable lightness of being by Milan Kundera.