Weird quirks I adopt when I’m hanging out with you
Yet quick beating heart
Such are the woes stricken onto me this hour
Such are the woes I shall soon banish
Dearest murderous cells
Is my body not nutritious enough
Is my psychology not worth damaging further
That you should force yourself into others lives
Like the second hand smoke that breathed life into you
Please do not leave me a perverse and corrupt man
But a humble servant of decency
Your wonderful laughter
Makes my heart beat faster
But in the most brilliant of ways
Mother always said you were greedy
She meant it as a compliment
So, why is it you decided to try to kill yourself
It wasn't out of excruciating passions...
No, not at all. In fact it was the very opposite. Fear reminded me that I was alive, if only for a little while. Those moments when you're preparing for a suicide are some of the most surreal and exhilarating moments. You're forced to feel sadness. You can't help but look back at everything you've done and think about how you got here. You feel like you truly own the skin that you're in. It doesn't feel so borrowed and temporary.
So why is it you haven't killed yourself
Precisely because of those moments I'm talking about. As sad as I am when preparing to kill myself, I can't help but also feel hopeful. A part of me wants to believe so badly that perhaps, I can feel all the time. That living won't just seem like a practice. That when I ride a bike, I'm not simply telling my body to operate this bike, but that I'm using my own feet and orientation to drive this machine so that I can get where I need to go. That I'm actively living rather than spectating this body imitate life.
Are you living now?
The definition of living for me always changes. Some days I feel like I'm really nailing it. Like yes, this right here, this is why I'm alive. Then other days I feel like a bystander and that my body just kinda does its own thing.
How about today?
Ha! Next question.
It was very quiet. The room had a suffocating stillness. The air laid unmoving in my peers’ lungs who were too afraid to let their breathes go. It seemed as if everyone was meditating on the inevitable mental hazing that was to come. The mood was somewhat familiar with me; an anxious anticipation for the inexorable.
The children didn’t seem “uncomfortable” like the ones in America, but hopeless: All indistinguishable from one another with the same white golf shirt and navy blue trousers. Their milk chocolate faces all seemed to melt together into a single pool of trepidation. Then the Teacher walked into the classroom, adamant in stature and absorbed in her own distinction. As she walked, she stopped mid-step as if something were awry. Then all the students stood up in unison, myself a half –second late, and said, “Good morning, teacher”. A drop of Indian dialect coloured the greeting. She then resumed her step without acknowledging the students and wrote the words “Function Notation” on the board. She then turned around to face the gray, dingy room and said in English, “What is a function?”
A million brown hands shot up, with accompanying mouths screaming Sahr, Sahr, all trying to look more eager than the other. She took several long, stretched out moments before choosing a student. She was torturing us. She pointed at a boy for no particular reason, and he shot up immediately to meet the challenge.
“A function is a relationship whose value is being dependable on upon other values”. I was impressed by this seemingly genius answer, but deemed it unsound because of the grammatical errors. The teacher did the same.
“What was that? Ikreshia! You are in fifth standard and you still speak English like a stupid! Ayoh ni evede a pou ano? Would you want me to talk in Malayalam?” The boy was mortified, more so than any American I’ve ever seen. He stood defeated, fully regretting his eagerness. She then turned to the class and said “Do you all talk like this stupid? No math today, English! Write down a sentence with the word dispute in cursive”. (At this point the boy who was standing felt it safe to sit back down, but she then shot him a dirty look and he jetted back up) All the children began to write in their brown notebooks, but a puzzled look began to pollute all their young faces.
“Does anyone have an answer?”
A brave soul then stood up and said “What does dispoot mean?”
The teacher looked at them all and a giant wave of anger swelled her face, but it was all released with a single condescending sigh.
“It is like Shovgamhi or an argument like Mahalia and I argued over a apple.”
I then raised my hand and without getting out of my seat said “It is AN apple Sahr”
She then took me to the front of the class, told me to kneel on a jackfruit (which is like a pineapple) and beat me with a rod used to close the window. Then the principal sent me home where my grandmother did the same.
It‘s been nearly ten years since this happened and I recently read an article about the failure of the American school system. It talked about how countries like China and India are producing the best students and future employees in the world. And major companies are outsourcing to these countries. I wasn’t surprised.
The eighth being selfishness