Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Outsider

Who are you that you sit apart from the world, mind wandering through distant realms? Who are you that no one talks to you when they pass by? Who are you who gazes but never sees? Who are you that you can talk to strangers but never to your own friends?

Are you missing something in your life that you do not engage with the world the way you ought? Are you afraid of something? Are you waiting for something? Are you sure you're going to find it? Are the answers to your unasked questions waiting just around the corner?

Do you want to know the truth? Do you think you can handle what life has to throw at you? Do you believe that everything that happens to you is everyone else's fault? Do you really? Do you think you can escape it by burying yourself in books and images of beautiful things? Do you think immersing yourself in someone else's creation is going to subdue your own urge to create? Do you think it's going to subdue you're desire to destroy? Do you think people are going to be able to hear you when you don't say a word?

Is there something you can do for yourself? Is there somewhere you can go? Is there something you can see which can inspire you to drag yourself from the tumult of shadow that you've thrown yourself into? Is there something worth living for?

The truth is, you are lonely, so you sit apart because you find that no matter where you go, no place every feels like home. People talk to you, but soon they lose contact, because you never encouraged it, you never reached out. Sitting in your shell of a self, you wait for others to try find you, but you never want to start the journey to find them. You would rather sit alone than be with them. You watch as everything passes by, but your eyes are glazed over, watching the world but not noting anything that happens. The only time you observe the detail is when you have a pencil in your hand and the blank page of a sketchbook before you. And even then, it is only you and your subject, nothing else matters because nothing else exists. And when someone talks to you, you smile and laugh and play along with the conversation, because they are there for the moment; a stranger who has stopped to talk. And you know, within the next few minutes, or hours, whatever it may be, that person will walk out of your life and you will never see them again. You think this wonderful; it is all moment and never relationship. You never could maintain relationships. You always rather watch them crumble to dust. It's much more poetic to be on the fringes.

You miss many things in your life. You do engage with the world, just not the way others do. People think it strange that you prefer not to be with other people, that you feel nothing for their pain, feel nothing for their joy. But they do not move you; never has a person in your life brought you to tears for their kindness or for their beauty, instead the smallest of things, like the final raindrop clinging to the tip of a leaf are what make the tears roll down your face. You live your life in the overlooked moments, in the inbetween. You are afraid that people will only hurt you, for so far, that's all you've ever experienced at another's hands. You are afraid that should you allow yourself to feel for another, something will happen and you will be left behind, another notch in a piece of wood, tiny and meaningless. If you're going to let someone mean the world to you, the only thing you want in return is for you to mean the world to them, and you fear that is never going to happen, so you don't let it get that far. Though you question it sometimes, you're never going to let yourself bring down the barrier long enough to find out the answers that no one knows you're looking for.

You don't think that your shoulders are strong enough to bear the pain that life will inevitably hurl at you with a vengeance for all the years you staved it off; you may never have been truly happy, but you were not depressed for the most part either. Sometimes you blame the loneliness on other people, after all, is it not they who overlook you? But you understand that it is your fault as much as theirs. They only react to your actions, or rather, your lack thereof. So to keep the thoughts of that loneliness at bay, you keep yourself occupied in books, in other worlds where people always overcome their problems, where they are always tough, where they always find what they are looking for, where they always live happily ever after. And you lose yourself in beautiful things: in art, in photography, in the things which touch your soul. Because they are the things which keep you bound to reality, however meagrely. All the while you never speak to anyone, a mere presence, and no one knows how you weep when you want to create but things never come out as you envisaged, and how you long to destroy, and you weep because it goes against propriety and you feel you shall burst at the seams for keeping it in all the time. You don't want them to care, so you don't tell them.

Of course you could be the cure for everything you feel is wrong. There are things you can do, people you can see, or talk to, or be with, but you feel that they don't have a permanent place for you in their lives. And so you don't bother. The things which inspire you shall continue to inspire you, but you shall bear no fruits of that inspiration, merely riding the wave until it breaks against the shore of reality. Of course, you say, there are things worth living for. But nothing worth fighting for. Nothing worth dying for. And that makes all the difference in the world.

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