Emptiness

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Hello. Been a while since I used this space.

Is it because I have nothing to say? Or has this void been filled by work? I get the occasional- what do you call it- synapse overload, especially after a particularly engaging conversation or a particularly heavy dose of caffeine. But, I’ve never seemed to be able to put together something coherent to say.

Maybe I really have nothing to say.

This past month has been characterised by emptiness. Look at all the synonyms I’ve already used. Soon I will run out, and there will be no more.

I come back every day, to an empty home. Not a single thing moved. Time stops every day and everything is as I left it when I left home. Perhaps a little colder, a little darker, a little drier, a little mustier.

My maid went back to her country for a month, and as a result, me and my dad have our meals outside, separate. I often come home late, after studying in school until nothing goes in anymore. Even when I have the time to sit down to have a good meal with my dad, I have nothing to talk about to him. My mind is constantly riddled with arguments and ideologies and cold, cold logic.

You know that musty smell you get when you leave a room unoccupied for a long while? A mixture of the smell of wood from the parquet floors, the wooly smell of fabric from the curtains, and the smell of curing leather- I smelt that every day. I lived in it. I spent my mornings staring into the space behind my windows, seeing the sun shine in and looking at the flecks of dust floating around, settling, settling. I never opened the windows- I would have to leave for school by the time any breeze came to visit.

I occupied myself in school. I did work, I meet my friends, I go for classes and lectures- all to escape this- this. I cannot even articulate this feeling. Its not a sad type of emptiness- sadness will fill the soul. It is just emptiness- devoid of happiness or sadness. And everything in between and around them. I wasn’t sad- oh no I wasn’t. I am perfectly fine with the way I was. But that was it. Fine, not content, just fine. Like a subdued “okay” or a “meh”. Emptiness.

Where was I?

Oh right, school. Yup, I thought school gave me the escape- it filled me. But with what? As I ploughed onward the endless corn field of readings, the emptiness that I was feeling at home slowly crept up to me, waiting for the opportune moment. Waiting.

And it struck. Sapping me of my energy in one fell swoop- in one instant. I just- in my mind, this gloom just hit me, like hot bitumen thrown onto cold marble.

I looked up from the impeccable lines of words on bleached parchment- and thought: What am I doing this for?

Yes, of course I know the standard answer- for my parents to have a good life by getting a good job and you know what fuck this.

But think deeper. The prescribed answer isn’t the goal. What is the present? If you took a cross-section of my life in the present, and look beyond the physical, but the mindset- what is it that keeps me going? I felt jaded. I was studying and working hard for something which I saw, to be really meaningless. This endless system- study, work, money, good life- never really ends. There is no goal. There is no goal. Good results, leading to good jobs, leading to good pay, leading to a good life. These are just knots in a string.

What Is the good life? You try to unknot this, and u find even smaller knots. A good life is having what you want, doing what you want and et cetera. What is “what you want”? Well, its like a Koch snowflake. You zoom in on a point, and it’s made up of more points- this goes on, and on and on.

My brain exploded and grey matter leaked out of my ears. I spent a few days thinking. Not rationalising, not feeling, not calculating, just thinking. Just keeping my in in that “baseline” buzz of thinking- keeping this though constantly floating in my conscious, free to be manipulated. I hoped something I see or feel will suddenly jolt the answer to me.

A friend asked me something along the lines of- what goal do you have in life? I told her I don’t have one. Doesn’t that make life meaningless? Well, you don’t need a goal to live life meaningfully.

Boom, my brain exploded again. Link link link. Synapses fired.

“You don’t need a goal to live life meaningfully.” Such heresy, such taboo, such an amazing idea. That is what my life is.

Emptiness doesn’t mean sadness. Emptiness doesn’t mean sadness. Emptiness is just emptiness. But that doesn’t mean emptiness need to be “filled”. Emptiness always has that negative connotation to it. Why? Why? Why can’t emptiness just be like that- empty?

You must be a little afraid of me now, poor reader. But. Trust me, I know where I’m going with this. I now know.

I live my life, empty.

Empty – so that if you take a cross section of my life now and looked at it, there is no goal. But what keeps me going? Nothing. Nothing keeps me going. It’s deeper than what I will try to articulate it next, but try and think of it emotionally as I you read it. No, try to think of it emotionlessly as you read. Not be neutral, not be in suspension between happy and sad- just read it as though you are experiencing it while detached from any emotion that may come.

You go about your life. You wake up to the same alarm, the same room the same smell the same breakfast the same train the same people the same bus the same building the same food the same laptop the same screen the same subject the same paper the same weather the same stairs the same road the same darkness the same bed.

Stop.

Now think. There will never be time, to feel. Just going through the routine everyday- the occasional bleep of emotion. That’s it. We never really ever get a chance to feel and emote unless we purposefully set aside time and effort. Emptiness.

And that’s okay.

Sorry if this is too David Lynch for you poor readers..

Emptiness just means I live my life without a care for what people think, or how people look at me. I means it doesn’t matter if I don’t live up to some “expectation”. Emptiness means I won’t be affected by the emotions of others.

Heresy!

But that’s me.

This little glimpse of my soul I just bared out to all you people- it’s scary, isn’t it. Scary because you kind of know what I’m on about, but you can’t identify with it much. But you can’t say you totally don’t identify with it. A bit of this emptiness is creeping, creeping up on you, waiting for that contact.

But it isn’t all bad. Hey- look at me, I live my life embracing this creep, and Look how I turned out.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Till next time.

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One thought on “Emptiness

  1. NIC

    I know that feeling. Minus the references to Koch snowflakes and David Lynch because well I’m just not as smart or well-versed as you. But that’s me mid-depression. Trying to please other people, trying to understand society and live by its rules, eventually I snapped just like that. Kinda felt nice, until you actually have a long holiday with nothing to distract you from your thoughts. Then you might just escalate into suicidal. That wasn’t fun.

    Don’t be that person, man. Find something to live for. It doesn’t have to be a life goal. It can be someone instead of something. Maybe a whole string of small, short-term goals, even.

    Set that time out to feel. It’s probably gonna be too much effort than it’s worth, for a while. But it does help, it really does.

    Have to say, though, this sort of emptiness makes even the smallest joys in life so beautiful. Used to be my day could be made if someone just held a cab door open for me. Pretty nice trade-off, for a by-product of emptiness. Teaches you to appreciate everything.

    Oh by the way. Sounds like it might be good for you (and/or your house) to maybe have someone over at your place every now and then. For meetings or small gatherings or study groups even. That, or invest in mosquito nets and stick them over your windows during the day. You don’t get to enjoy the breeze, but your room would at least.

    PS. Would love to be there to be a listening ear if you need it hey. Can’t promise that any smarts or wisdom will be accompanying me though. Wiseassery, I could try to coerce. Perverted uncomfortable jokes, definitely. 🙂

    Take care!

    (Apologies for unwarranted advice. Feel free to cuss at me.)

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