Monday, April 23, 2007

I, Frust

Functional Robotic Unit Skilled in Troubleshooting

Get Your Cyborg Name

This obviously means
a) this whole get your cyborg name thing is a scam, since I've never been any good at anything useful, let alone a skill as vast and as universal as troubleshooting
b) I don't know myself well enough
or, most likely,
c) Frust is not my real name.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Let It Bleed

Literature corrupts. Ditto with movies. Books and movies have given me a lot of happiness and many hours of feeling that I’m doing something worthwhile with some of my time over the last few years in particular, and the past in general. However, more than anything else, they’ve also been responsible for my increasing alienation from the value systems of my parents and their generation. At the same time, I’m not completely at ease with the value systems I find believable in B&M.
Some of the issues that bring out this conflict most clearly are my attitudes towards drugs, alcohol and sex. After having seen so many actors do lines of coke in films and having read about so many characters doing drugs in books, I find it easy and not in the least shocking when I see it on screen or read about it, or increasingly, hear about some friend of a friend (usually comfortably anonymous) having done hard drugs. It’s probably a part of growing up to stop viewing things in black and white and start accepting several things but what most accelerates this acceptance of things that I had absolutely no doubt I’d never do or condone is not just the frequent reference to them. It’s the incredibly casual way, the blasé-ness of it all, that changes you. It’s not too hard to keep your head when everyone else seems to be losing theirs around you. What causes change in people is when they question the very basis of their principles because no one else is doing drugs because they want to be cool; they’re doing it for no reason at all, just like that. We’ve grown up knowing that we shouldn’t do drugs (and I keep saying drugs although we can apply the same logic to smoking or drinking and more) just because they’re cool. We should fight the temptation that our friends will give us saying we’re not men if we’re too scared to even try. One can handle that. Even if I try drugs, I know I am only ‘experimenting’, because after all, what other time will I get to experiment? But when people are doing it like it’s the most natural thing in the world, and not making any efforts to recruit others, when there is no element of rebellion, when no one’s making a statement, that’s when your values implode. You don’t know who’s right any more. Perhaps your parents just didn’t know. Perhaps those public service messages were all wrong. Perhaps you’re just this person who doesn’t place himself in the way of interesting things. Perhaps nothing will ever happen to you.
I just don’t know what I think any more. Am I okay with certain kinds of behaviour, some of which I do too? Am I okay with my friends (say) doing drugs but not my family? Am I okay with my girlfriend smoking but not my wife? Do I apply different standards to men and women? Am I wrong if I do? Do more developed societies apply equal standards? Am I a chauvinist? Is it the society, my middle class-ness, my immaturity, my nature or just my sex? Will I change? With place? With time? With experience? With introspection? Should I change? Am I too nice? Am I too insensitive? Am I too proud? Do I compromise too much? Do I give up too easily? Will that change? Do I say ‘perhaps’, ‘I think’, ‘maybe’ too much? How much is too much? Do I reveal too much? Do I keep people at a distance? Am I too selfish? Do I not do things for people I don’t know?
Sometimes I think about putting my fist through glass, hearing the satisfying loud crash of the double paneled window before I feel the glass that sliced through my skin a moment ago. I see my arm drawing back. I see my bloody fist. I see myself pulling out shards of glass from my knuckles, each pull drawing fresh crimson blood. My blood. Blood that I haven’t seen for so much time except when I brush my teeth and my gums sometime bleed. Blood that’s salty. Blood that has come out before, when I was much younger. It never hurts as much as it seems, just like a bus is never as packed as it looks from the outside. I have too much blood. Women lose so much every month. They must feel nauseatingly female when they feel the blood run down their thighs, or do they wear a pad with the first trickle? Or does it gush out, leaving no option but to let it bleed? Perhaps they mark dates on a secret calendar. But why secret? Women bleed, we know it, they know we know, and of course they know. Perhaps they mark big fat crosses in red felt pens. Do I have to lose blood to feel alive?
Am I wrong, am I wrong, am I wrong?
I must be. I have to be.

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