But what if it is something to fax home about? I remember David Mitchell (whom I kind of admired before he went off and got married and become one of them) was once quipped by one of the guests on his TV show thusly: “After the show let’s get you a girlfriend,” to which he responded: “Not only do I have to cope with that putdown, also the loneliness.” It seems to me that the world has played a cruel trick on us, the lonely fringes of society. To be alone and unloved is a truly horrible thing, and daily the loneliness seers into my intestines like hellish tongues of fire. But to compound that we are marginalised and alienated by society itself. Words like ‘sad’ and ‘lonely’, words that represent the fundamental pains of being human, have become pejoratives, bandied about to kick us down further. A ‘sad, sad man’ isn’t someone to be pitied or cared for, but to be derided and avoided, pushed away to the margins. Well, I am sad and lonely, and my soul quakes for knowing it, and I will spill my guts for you all tonight.
Sometimes I wish that I were a psychopath. It would be so wonderful just not to care. I can’t begin to imagine how peaceful that emotional emptiness must be. A clear night sky, void of moon and stars, and of lightning bolts and thunder clouds. Just sweet, sweet oblivion. Because, though I’m sad and lonely, and more than a little wretched, most of all I am tired. Tired of being alone in a world of couples, tired of being a dreg at the bottom of the cup of mankind, tired of being in love and unloved. Tired of being. And everyday, as I trip the pavements and my thoughts perambulate, I find that Pontius Pilate’s words have become the leitmotif of my internal monologue: “Oh gods, my gods, poison, bring me poison!” Suicide is the coward’s way out, so the people say, but who thrust this life upon me that I can’t thrust it right back?
They say that long, long ago, before any of us really were, we had a proto-existence in a particle world called ʕālam al-dharr, nothing so much as souls coalescing in the void, and there we were given a choice. The seminal question was put to us: “To be, or not to be?” And I have no doubt that, despite all my suicidal rantings and aspirations to oblivion, given that choice again I would choose to be every time. That is the answer.
What it comes down to is the human heart. It seems that even if life is an unending continuum of emotional evisceration, it’s still somehow worth living, that even that pain has some kind of existential value. I can almost figure myself as some great work of fiction, my sorrows stretched out across the pages in the name of art. I am Ahab, I am Werther; I am even, much to my disgust, Svidrigailov. Time and again literature throws up these characters who believe so completely in the infallibility of their hearts that they stumble down the paths of self-destruction. I am no different. I will continue defiantly being, until my heart is finally burnt to ashes by my fiery soul. My heart, now treacherously keeping me alive, pumping blood and hope through my veins. My heart, full to bursting with hatred and bitterness and love. My heart, pure as falling snow and torn to pieces by the gale.
The image is taken from Kishimoto Masashi's Naruto, chapter ninety-seven