Them

“It is a fool’s prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.”

-Shakespeare, in Sandman #19

There are things that are better left unsaid, as there is great wisdom in knowing when to be silent. But today, let me be a fool…

Some nights, I sit in front of my computer. I open MSN and Facebook and all those other cyber-social whatnots that I have (actually MSN and Facebook are just about it) and I look for People. It’s not that I have things to talk to Them about. It’s not that I have a burning issue on my mind that I simply have to share with someone about it (although this does happen fairly often). It’s not even as simple as the fact that I take comfort in knowing that They are there for me to talk to should I need to (but I must admit, I do take comfort in that fact).

No. It’s something less noble, less ideal, less warm. It is simply a neurotic desire to know that: alright They are all here They didn’t go out without me. It’s ok even if I’m home, bored and wondering what to do because all of Them are at home too. It is a shallow and selfish justification that – if my life is not exciting and I’m stuck at home not going out with friends or doing some other hip activity, it’s fine because Theirs are just like that too. I’m a part of Them, after all.

So when I don’t see these People online, the stupid inescapable truth is that I feel. I feel a little lost, a little hurt and a little lonely. No that’s a lie. I feel damned lonely. And the loneliness wells up like the void that amputees experience after their surgery – that there is something that should be there in that space, that emptiness. Except there isn’t.

And the thing is, emptiness is like cancer. It infects every fiber of your being. So those feelings seep through me (like the way mould creeps across stale bread), lobotomizing every thought and action. I try to ignore them and rationalize to myself that I’m being an insufferable, weak and insecure fool, but I’ve come to realize that a void can’t be ignored. A hole is a hole no matter how much you adorn it. Holes can only be filled.

So I lift my legs onto my chair and I huddle my knees close together, hoping that I can contain it all, but knowing deep down that it hurts and that the pain isn’t going away any time soon. Every few minutes, I go back to check if They have come home and my heart gives a little leap when I see a change in my contact lists, like the way my dogs rush out when they hear the slightest disturbance. But they trudge back in again, tail between their legs when they realize it’s not Who they’ve been waiting for.

At times, I wonder where They’ve gone and how come They’re not back home yet. Then I begin to imagine. I see Them gathered in my vision, talking and chatting animatedly, hurting all the while with their bliss and completeness. I hear the peals of laughter echo in my mind, mocking in all its honest joy. I sense the palpable camaraderie in my delusion, bitter with warmth. And then some dark sliver of me thinks to myself: I’m not a part… I’m apart.

But there are times when I actually know where They went. There are even times when I could have joined Them but somehow, I’m just not there. And yet, those stupid insecure feelings of rejection and loneliness persist in haunting me, like that stupid bitch that sat forever on the photographer in Shutter.  And all the time, I know (yes, I truly do) that I shouldn’t be feeling this way, because the reality is that I am neither unloved nor uncared for. Yet, I feel – strongly, deeply, foolishly.

Occasionally, I use this wellspring of angst and attempt to mold it into something beautiful, like this maybe. But pride is scant consolation for loneliness and emptiness. Egos are, after all, hollow.

I do not know why I write this. Perhaps it is an outlet for darker emotions that have remained hidden for too long. Perhaps it is an exoneration of guilt and shame through confession. Perhaps it is to show others that I too, feel, in retort to those that say I think too much (and I know this hardly contradicts that). Perhaps it is some feeble attempt at consolation; that this silver lining is the result of those dark clouds. Perhaps it is a matter of pride to let you all know that if I am a fool, it is with full knowledge and free will that I choose to be one.

Perhaps, it is a pursuit of authenticity. Perhaps, it is just a desire to speak the truth. Or perhaps, I truly do not know myself.

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About Mel

I dreamt I was a whale. https://melvynfoo.wordpress.com/about-mel/