A recent photo I like, taken by a three year old
There are some children on stage, singing ‘We Don’t Need No Education’. I’m cracking up but my cousin doesn’t get the joke. Perhaps he’s never heard the Pink Floyd song in a more serious context. He’s asking me about girls. I tell him it’s all just a damned trick by your genes to get out of your body and leave you to die. Not the most useful advice I guess. I turn back to the stage. We’re watching my littlest cousin in a brief five minute cameo at a school play. I can’t understand a word they’re elocuting but it’s really quite adorable. I feel old sometimes. Sometimes I feel young. My body has hit some stasis, like refrigerated fruit. If you asked me for a number I guess I’d say 26.
In the past few years I’ve had my heart broken, broken a few, and – in all honesty – it still hurts. Like, a lot. It still hits me occasionally, a pressure on my chest so strong it feels like my eyes gon pop out. I don’t know where it comes from anymore, but a love song or an item of clothing can make me go mentally fetal. Rosebud, rosebud, nipples, eyes, teeth. I think it’s just my genes punishing me for tricking them. Selfish buggers.
Around my last birthday I planted the seeds of a phoenix. It grew in my heart, lit everything on fire, and left. Things are only now growing from the dirt. Broke up with a lovely and well-liked girl, in a bad way. I moved out of the place I was living, wrote off an entire wing of friends and now look upon Facebook with dread. Of course she’s still beautiful and of course I’m still a cad. What to do? Sometimes we have prior engagements. Sometimes we’re wrong, or maybe right, or right to be wrong, or at the wrong time. Something.
For a couple of months I had nobody, though I do remember the few that would call. With the loyalty of a dog taken in from the rain. Sometimes I’ve felt like one of those dogs in the street, standing back to back with their mate. The business is done, but the body won’t quite let you leave. For humans its the heart that latches, and those barbs really tear.
And in Colombo you truly cannot get away. I am now effectively a pariah in certain circles, not ’cause of those people, but I guess cause I choose to be. It’s inconvenient, but in those times you figure out who your friends are and, more importantly, who you are. When you have fuck-all to do on a Friday night and your phone doesn’t ring you have time to think. At first you’re thinking ‘fuck’, but the vulgarity passes. You realize that you could do with a hair-cut, maybe lose some weight, visit the children and old people that you love. And they’re always happy to see you, regardless of how soggy you feel inside. And then you find stuff to do, and people, and things settle, Masha’Allah.
I started meditating every day. Keeps me happy enough, though I have to work at it every day. Every day I close my eyes in the morning. I can feel the poison flow through my mind, a pastiche of pornography and pain. If I’m lucky it settles, if I’m blessed I get a few seconds of absolutely nothing. I open my eyes with my brain in neutral. Put the car in drive and the rage creeps in, cause God knows the Buddha never met a trishaw driver. But I do try every day, to be kind, to look at the leaves, to pay attention to children and listen to the stories old people tell. Which is, I guess, what it is.