Recently I have realised that I do not write much about myself — myself as a physical, living being who is a part of this world. Instead, I talk about the abstract and the vague, ever-changing nature of a ‘self’. I dwell inside my own head to work out what it is that makes me who I am. While I do think about the physicality of life — the bodily pain and traumatically pivotal encounters from my childhood — they are only memories translated to me through hazy illusions of realism and distorted impressions of emotions and images. Sometimes these memories move, but only as glitches of corrupted film reels. More often, my memories are stagnant sun-faded polaroids.
Memories are abstract, too.
I still fail to grasp the importance of reality — most things which are of any significance happen inside my head. I forget days and people because I have abandoned them for daydreams and the future. I need to get out. Perhaps, it is just as important to feel the horrid texture of the carpet under the soles of my feet, to run my fingertips along the curve of the study desk, to observe the way dust seem to collect in hordes and masses on flat surfaces and forgotten corners in this foreign country. I have hated the sunlight for slanting through the windows most mornings because it is too warm and obtrusive. I have hated the obnoxious voices of intoxicated weed-smokers because they grate on my nerves during the nights. I have been annoyed with the fallen strands of my hair clogging the shower drain, with the heavy kitchen benches scraping across my skull. I have listened to the pipes clang like Morse code, as if this monstrous infrastructure which houses me is trying to send a message.
Of course, I notice the outside world. I do see my immediate surroundings and sometimes I dwell on them, but almost always, as an assault on my internal world. I do not notice the outside world to appreciate — I do not touch to feel or breathe to smell, and I do not walk to sightsee and ground myself to the earth and say, “I am a part of you.”
I have not lived to live. Instead, I live to think, to worry, to search for meaning, to frustrate myself with understanding, to philosophise, to make something for—myself. Even now, as I confess this, all with which I seem so concerned is me and no other. I am writing between the lines, “Now I must learn to see the world and appreciate it because I believe this is how I can progress.” I have not written, “I must appreciate the world because it is beautiful.”
Is this because I am a selfish human being with a putrid soul, and through my eyes I witness reality as a reflection of my own putridity?
If there is another answer, I have not found it.
Even so, I do not believe I am the only one. There must be people out there who feel this way — or at the very least, recognise a part of themselves in some aspects of my being. I want to confess my putridness for them — for you who grimace at the muddiness of your path after a drizzle, for you who avert yourself from the mundanity of nature and in the process fail to notice a single flower which has spread its white petals through the crack in the asphalt.
As I breathe and try to appreciate the air which flows into my lungs and unfurls my ribcage, all I pick up is the scent of horse manure from a hill some mile away.
Perhaps I should visit the horses sometimes.