Sunday, June 15, 2008

Another Day

So once more it’s my birthday, and things this time aren’t looking so bad. Yet a feature of my birthday has always been being alone. I don’t mean alone in a bad way, it’s just a state of mind I’m always in during this day. I think it’s a healthy thing sometimes. The things is, being alone gives you perspective… no, let me correct that, being alone gives you a perspective. Because you’ve always got a perspective whether you like it or not, and I don’t think that when you’re alone it’s any truer, it’s just different. It can lead you to something truer, but it in itself cannot be the absolute truth.

You see, if you can’t carry that perspective with you to when you’re with others, then it means nothing, then it was just in your head, an imagination. Tonight I decided that despite everything I will go out and celebrate. In a city I barely know and a city where I barely know anyone, alone is all I could have chosen. I went to a roof top bar and let me tell you the place was amazing. It was a bit like Sequoia meets Nomad, but with great service and great atmosphere and perfect audio levels.

Anyway, I was surrounded as you would imagine with shiny people and I enjoyed my drink watching all those people. It’s nice to watch people around you, but at the same time it was good to watch with someone. Why don’t I do this more often, I thought to myself, and it seemed clear, but if I can’t feel the same when I’m back with people I know, it doesn’t become real.

I love strangers, they’re so much easier to get along with and it’s much easier to have fun with them. There’s none of that dreaded history, especially if it’s bitter; everything said is new and interesting, and everything is not as yet misinterpreted. Sometimes I wish that I can have the closeness I have with people I already know with the novelty of strangers. It’s not that I don’t want to exchange deep genuine care but it’s that I also want that superficial kind that means nothing but can give you a tingly feeling of fulfillment.

But who am I kidding? I’ve stopped feeling that I needed that from anyone a long time ago. I sometimes think I’m immune to hurt and praise and yet I know they somehow scar my defenses ever so slightly, like a vibration you feel in a concrete building from a powerful thud a few floors above you.

The point is that our ideas while being alone have no meaning if they fail to work when scrutinized by reality. The reality is that it’s difficult to apply people to your ideas, they have their own. They can’t imagine being with you and enjoying a view, and they can’t imagine a scene that’s in your head.

People you know don’t have the ability to become strangers or do things your way or even reciprocate. People are never who you want them to be when you want them to be it. In my experience, people can be who you want them to be, but not necessarily at the time you want them to be it. You can almost always count on people saying something you’ve been dying to hear just after you’ve given up hope on them saying it and that something loses its power over you completely. You can usually count on them to change into what they were heading towards after too much time has passed for that to matter.

That’s the way with people, they can only become strangers, not when they’re close and you want a certain part of that stranger to deal with you, but rather when they actually do become strangers and their closeness means nothing to you anymore.

You can’t expect people to remember your birthday when you remember theirs, or to want to communicate when you want to. You can’t expect people to want to let it all go when you do, or to talk it out when you want to. All I’m saying is that all your expectations are your perspective when you’re alone, and while in them there’s lots of hope or bitterness or just plain anything you may want, there’s lack of reality or more accurately timing.

Timing is everything in this world. Opportunities mean nothing without timing. A lovely place with great atmosphere and with money to spare means nothing if it comes at a time when it can’t be shared. A great idea can’t make it into the world if it isn’t born at the right time, or presented at the correct time. I think Thomas Hardy once said it in Far from the Madding Crowd, that it’s better to see what opportunities present themselves at this time rather than have an opportunity that requires the right time, something of that sort anyway.

Anyway, an inopportune time to celebrate my birthday, but it seems fitting what I’ve decided last year, to celebrate the first good day nearest my birthday as my birthday. Of course this year isn’t half as bad as last year nor as melodramatic, but it’s just that for some odd reason, owing to how I’m built most likely, my birthday is surrounded by way too much contemplation.

I’ve wondered why people say Happy Birthday, why is it that this day out of all should be wished to be happy? Could it be that it is particularly because of the potential of this day not to be? Or is it because you owe yourself at least one day of happiness a year?

Well, I know that for me, birth is somehow equivalent to life, and on a day like this I really have to think about what life means, and what living it is all about. It’s such an important day to split your life between past and future. It’s a day when you can say to yourself, look, you’ve been living, is that what you want to do in life? It’s a day when you can talk to a self that so lost in every day things that it has forgotten that it’s actually alive. This is all you get, these small moments that make up a life. I think we’re always waiting for the wrong things in life, waiting for life to start, though I know for sure that it is ongoing.

I’ve decided long ago to spend the least amount of my time doing things that I dislike doing. I don’t want to spend my time talking to someone who bores me, I don’t want to sacrifice my time to please another unless their pleasure pleases me. I will let things that I don’t feel like doing pass me by even if they’re things I want to do later. Opportunity cannot compensate for timing no matter what. That the things are an opportunity cannot make them enjoyable if the mood (i.e timing) isn’t right.

Lately, I’ve been losing myself in the unimportant things, the things you need to get by. But now I’ve left my other outing for a solitary drink to write this here. I really need to write it, not sure if it makes any sense, I’ve been hacking away at it continuously and the thoughts are connected a thread too thin to see for anyone but me and only me in the state that I’m in. I just want to write these thoughts and look at them and think about how silly they might have been or how true they were.

There’s not much to me is there? If these are my thoughts and I’ve written them all down… I guess that’s what I’m all about. I’ve been told that I attempt to be mysterious, and on some occasions that I am, but that’s what I’m thinking now, it’s raw and unedited. It’s my thoughts flowing directly from my brain, as fast as my fingers can type, translated in to words.

I think I’ve just taken a trip that goes nowhere inside my head. There are so many places I could have gone to, but for today, this was the trip. It’s meaningless perhaps to go around in these circles, trying to decipher life through a set of recycled words and recycled thoughts. I add nothing, but all that’s here is mine.

I’m going for a drink..

Back from the drink..

I didn’t enjoy it much. I had a drink in the hotel, and I was able to get in only because I’m a guest. That place is a nightclub with bouncers like those brutes you find in the Cairo Jazz Club. I don’t know how easy it would have been for me to get in if I were a visitor, but it seems that knowing someone is the way to go about it or at the very least have an attractive female by your side.

Isn’t it funny how we’re always evaluated and judged as we walk through life? The key to my room was also the key to my entrance, and it was the key to the really good treatment I got from the bouncer. I can understand a little of that lust for power, to have power over someone, to stand out and be recognized as someone with influence. Of course I had none, I was just an ordinary person with a room key.

How is it that people become important in life and do I want to be one of them? Glamour is fleeting, obscurity is forever. I like obscurity, and I’m not just saying that because I have no choice about it. I really think it’s valuable to hide in the crowd, not to be spotted, not to be monitored for every move.

It was really smoky in that night club. The dark atmosphere was Dostoevskian as that of a poor dark lost Russian brothel in the 1800s; the people from a cheap horror movie. They danced and drank to have fun. There was something hopeless in what I saw, very unlike the elegant rooftop bar I had been to earlier. The characters were all doomed and they did not even know it. It was as if I’d descended into a limbo.

I wonder if someone had looked at me and thought the same thing of me too. I wonder if someone things the same thing too, I’d like to meet them and exchange these odd and dark thoughts.

My birthday’s over, and I’ve gone over a lot of things, but I must return to my friends. I go through the list of friends in my life who have been close and most of them lost. Childhood friends are so easily lost, but my best friend even back then had been lost way before our childhood ended, and as time goes by, those closest drift farthest.

My friends, these will require another session altogether. I had decided to send each person a letter, a letter that he/she will never comprehend when they read it; a letter that I must write and should not be read by its alleged receiver. I should send it to my friends, those who exist and those who don’t, and to those who don’t even know I exist. I have letters to those whose hearts have been hardened, conscience killed, faith destroyed. I have letters to the merciless and the deaf and the blind. I have letters for everyone whose life or decisions have affected me.

It was a good birthday, I’m alive and not doing much of what I don’t want to do. That will suffice for now… until the next time I’m reminded I was born and I’m now alive.


Deeeeeee said...

Happy birthday?

Wael Eskandar said...


silent observer said...

I like this post

Mayo said...

With this post, you are successfully walking you way to be my favourite Gemini ever.

May the first good day nearest your birthday be close enough so you would celebrate a new year with a new prespective.