Only questions.

What gives a person the right to act superior to another? What gives them the right to act so selfishly that they wouldn’t think twice before stepping on shoulders to get forward? What gives them the right to cause endless hurt just because they’re hurt themselves?

Why do we have laws that protect such people and such behaviour? Why do we allow this superficial behaviour to exist and there’s not one thing anyone can do about it? Why build structures and regimes that empower these people who don’t have the right to be in power? Why have no accountability for actions? Why have no remorse and penance after walking away from destruction? Why do we turn so dead inside, we might as well be plastic? Why is there no just punishment for actions that cause harm and hurt? Why is there no payback without consequences? Why not say something to my face rather than hide behind a cowardly keyboard? Why not face the music? Why hide behind your false illusions of power and security?

Why are there so many questions? Why aren’t there any answers?

Lipstick and cigarettes

The drunken haze of last night washed over me repeatedly. Like waves at high tide. Surrounding me. Drowning me.

Gasping for air I breathed myself back to life. The haze continued. Memory failed me. I recalled nothing except my sense of regret. The whiskey glasses sat right where we left them, half drunk. The cigarettes lounged around the ash tray, discarded in haste, caressed with the touch of your lips with light lipstick stains.

You were nowhere to be seen. My clothes strewn about but yours nowhere to be found. The front door was unlocked. A small note lay on the kitchen counter top. You were gone. All that was left of you were the lipstick stained cigarettes.

Lowered expectations

I find that people generally tend to disappoint. But if you expect them to disappoint, they do quite well. So what needs to change? People? Or our expectations?

The path to happiness is following an expectation vs time curve where time tends to infinity and expectation tends towards zero. Lower the expectations, the happier you’ll be. And the sooner you reach that lower threshold limit of expectations, the sooner you’ll be happier. However, if you expect to be happier, you aren’t really following the curve are you? So I think we need a third axis which tends towards increasing magnitude of happiness. Now that is a variable and tends to fluctuate based on a wide variety of factors. Some days you just wake up wanting to superman punch someone in the face. No reason for it. No explanations. Sometimes our hormones create an imbalance. But I suppose that’s expected. So if you expect the unexpected you rule out the unpredictability of it all. Like a double negative.

So the curve now marks you on the time vs expectation vs happiness scale. Time doesn’t stop so it keeps on going. And we know from before that lower expectations equals more happiness. But we have also learnt that happiness is a variable and can’t be predicted. Now, how do you tame a variable? By throwing it into situations where the outcome can be predicted. For instance, alcohol makes me happy. However there’s a point of no return with alcohol where happiness suddenly turns the other way and leads to regret and bodily malfunction. people can make you happy too but only if you don’t expect it.

So, in conclusion, you expect the unexpected with yourself and you don’t expect anything from others. I suppose it all boils down to your own expectation of the world and figuring out how to deal with your variables. There’s something here. Needs more research. I might be on the cusp of a breakthrough. Maybe even a Nobel prize.

End of session. Returning brain function to normal.

What’s your hurry?

We all live hoping one day someone would look at us and see what we are made of. Someone who would understand and listen to our story and just hold on for a second. It’s a Herculean task to have someone stop and stick around for a while. Everyone is so busy running past each other. Like free ions in a lattice. Zooming past each other without so much as a hello or a goodbye.

Everything in the cosmos takes forever to occur. A massive rock called earth takes 365 days to go around a massive continuously exploding gas cluster. Everything took billions of years to transform and end up the way it is these days. Every day of our lives took an amalgamation of chance and luck and metamorphosis. And here we are in this beautiful end product where everything is in abundance. Yet people aren’t happy. More money, the economy needs to grow, we need more jobs, manufacturing needs to go up, our GDP is shit, we need to market this product so more people buy the shit they don’t need, work now, work from home, work all day, work in your sleep, I can’t do relationships, I’m only here for sex, I feel nothing inside, the emptiness grows, my friends have left me, everyone’s married, everyone is in debt, everyone smiles in photos but everyone is cringing inside.

WAIT!!

Slow down. Stay a while. What’s your hurry? The universe takes its own sweet time. Why can’t you?

Perish.

What a quaint little house, I thought. I walked past it on my way from nowhere in particular heading where my wandering feet would take me. It was one of those days which wasn’t going to be remembered for being remarkable. More so for the peace and the sense of soothing calmness it brought over me. My thoughts wavered unpredictably like horses in the rain. I heard every sound, the crunching leaves, the snapping twigs, the whispers in the trees. I was aware of every scent that danced with my senses. The freshly cut grass, the hint of sumptuous wet earth, the smoke emanating from cold houses. I saw everything. The lovers walking hand in hand, a sense of ease and procrastination in their step. The cold winter air turning each breath into a foggy mist but it lay hapless in discouraging them from getting lost in each other’s eyes.

And then my eyes chanced upon this quaint little house. I wondered what stories spawned from this humble abode. What secrets it held tightly in its bosom and what scandals were witnessed by its walls. It was empty now, heading steadily towards its slow inevitable perish.

I felt like the house myself. Keeper of secrets, a vault locked with memories, a stern protector of what’s inside lest someone finds the right keys and gains access to what lies within. The keys were lost though and I remained locked like an abandoned house much like this one, living out the remainder of my pointless unremarkable existence averting my gaze from the perils of society. I did have Love once. Now I wanted nothing to do with it. Neither it with me.

I was now the old abandoned house, heading steadily towards my own slow inevitable perish.

With great power…

I was working with the fitter the other day. Minor welding job but the location was a bit dicey. It was inside the exhaust line above the exhaust gas boiler. Think of it as a giant exhaust pipe for an engine. A sootblower had come loose and needed to be welded.

While working we took a short break because the inside was about 50 degrees even after ventilating it for an entire night. The fitter, covered in sweat, looked at me, smiled and said “the previous fitter remembers you always. He said this second engineer gave me a life and a livelihood.” I never thought of it that way.

He was a good fitter and did good work, worked hard and I was more than happy with the end result. The company originally hired fitters from an agency in India but now wanted their own contracted fitters. My recommendation and appraisal for this man gave him a permanent contract with Maersk. He got married later; I got an invite too but it was way too far so I didn’t go.

Never really took it that seriously. Never realised that my words have the power to make a life. They have given a family a source of income, a job with dignity and respect and a man with a means to provide for his loved ones. It felt odd. To have such a power or influence over a fellow human being’s life. And why? What gives me the right? Why is it this way and not the other way around?

We all like to complain about things but fail to realise how easily it could’ve been a lot lot worse. Every action has invisible ripples that can affect a lot of people. We just don’t know.

These immortal words echo in my head as I write this: with great power comes great responsibility. I always thought of this line as something from a superhero movie. Just that. Only now do I understand it’s gravitas.

Jolt

3:33 AM. I can’t sleep. I lie awake. It’s been hours. That star hasn’t moved at all. I move the blinds and there it is. But this can’t be my reality. I must be fast asleep. I can’t tell the difference anymore.

I jolt myself and I find myself sitting at one of the ship’s computers. I have accidentally deleted the ship’s hard drive. I stare in shock. No one has seen me. Text appears on the screen saying “what have you done?”

I jolt again and I find myself looking at someone getting robbed. I can’t see any faces. Just neon red eyes and black masks. They finish mugging and look at me. They look at me, laugh and walk away. I have nothing to offer.

I jolt again and I’m driving my car. Sitting next to me is an attractive girl but she wouldn’t stop talking. Why won’t she stop talking? I don’t know what she’s saying. I can’t be bothered. It’ll be better if I drive into a tree instead. I pick a tree and pick up the pace. Foot hard down on the throttle. She finally stopped talking.

I jolt right before impact and I’m alone in the world. I missed the last spaceship out of the planet. Everyone has left. I’m the only one left behind in the cloud of white smoke. It’s a blizzard of white. Everywhere you see. But I don’t feel lonely. I prefer it actually. I always wanted a place of my own.

I jolt again and I’m wide awake. I can’t sleep. I move the blinds but the star has gone.

3:34 AM. It’s going to be a long night.