Insomnia – Short narrative fiction ( Old)


” And never can a man be more disastrously in death than when death itself shall be deathless”

St Augustine

I watched life pass through me , minute by minute, second by second, I dwell upon the cause of my sleeplessness, my soul pouncing upon this dead still calm, rocking with motion eternal and surreal. The sounds scattered into the thick walls of rock and distember, I heard the occasional roar and hum pick up a tune as it passed into a state of symphonic delinquency, and then the loud long silence presumed its reign, the deathly stillness that opened the doors of one’s inner chambers with meaningless visions that seldom stopped their exotic dull nonsense.

The air was frugal, the heat stifling and the day as wide and open as ever, open as the grand canyon, as vast as the eternal length and infinitude of the sea, as always in my life I sit and dream, I announce to my dreams in a bum crazy voice, show me something new, show me a creed to bless my day, show me heaven’s golden floors and sing me poetry found in the drifting air waves and in the quiet shady branches where the souls of birds perch their soft toes. Why was there never a permanent high in which I could consume my soul…? All colorful gaiety stilled the moment my conscience reminded me in a zen mystic manner that everything was a deep cunning lie, whenever I met someone new, I would be joyous, victorious at having broken past the barrier of my own familiar circle, an unshakeable sense of ill fated destiny, and then as always they would somehow wreck themselves in fantastic fashion, wrack and ruin the manner of conversational flow in some blank black soulless goop that would grow with life and then with a sudden swift swoop be executed and die off in a brilliantly tragic manner, and then one retired inward into the comfort of his own soul in order to escape the unbearable sickness of it all, how much more of all this unwanted afflictions never ending afflictions did one have to endure…?

I as always was familiar with the eternal drift that rocked each soul, I did not seek to establish myself apart, I would have loved to, but I lack the courage to stand in the spotlight, the shadows were where I belonged, I allowed my mind and its joy to work with the painful torment of unsettling obscurity. I risked all my energies to remain hidden to the eye, a little attention to my art would add some much needed zeal to my restless heart, but I lacked in completeness the force of conviction to demand things, and henceforth life moved on and I chained to my own pathos rushed after it with all idealism and destructible naivete, but I was reminded time and time again that my dreams were to die, the dreamer dies a thousand deaths but yet his hidden soul is tethered to his hopes and faith that someday somehow something would change,

Like the fast moving trees over a big blue sky when a car has reached its sense of motion did my life speed, but even as it hurried away, day by day, I remember sitting sole on a great big silent table with my laptop running, my heart going down and my mind pulling itself up, I the center being eternally playing observer and fate torn between two realities so woven tight that one was never quite free from their cries and shouts, but I was the man of whispers, of secrets and long rich silences, how did I tolerate this all…? How did I tolerate such intense madness…? The answer was that I had no choice, I was trapped more so into the cunning psyche of the surrounding oppressive realism than with my own fragile yet lucid thoughts. I did harbor doubts, but I realized that I reacted more so out of losing my grip on what constituted my soul rather than truly feeling fearful of their voices and their taunts.

I wanted to feel something new everyday, I detested the familiar, but my wings were clipped, I no longer subscribed to my former way of life, I was a new man, a free man who had all God given Freedom to choose a manner and a way of living, but I was still the outsider, deep down in my heart, there were things that I wanted to explore, challenges that I wanted to overpower and overcome, I regularly spent time with my Fears, I set them down, I sat opposite to them, and I listened to them as they beat me down. I saw them assume voices, Faces of the past, I saw stories creep in, cirumstances forming, I saw my own rebellion lead me to the eternal undying flames, I dreamt of unsolicited dangerous affairs, but I repressed and bottled them all, I had a new story to write, but an overpowering
gloomy sense of despair and suffering crept in, death watched over my every move, my fears I could escape, but the force of death trapped me deeper and deeper into my own sense of hopelessness. I was doomed, i’d say without any meaning attached to them, every single day as I woke up I would heave a heavy deep breath, I had made it, I was alive, I had somehow won an unseen important battle.

I plunged the sharp metal teeth of the fork into the deep blood red pieces of the papaya, as much as the silence inspired my soul in its journeys, the sight of normal regular people strangely hit me like a punch to the gut, I regularly lost all connections to my identity, I had to spend long hours to bring myself back into purpose, I learnt the meaning of deep cleansing breaths, I removed myself continually from all modes of communication, I was a rebel, the lone ranger, a lone wolf, I am an unfinished painting, a work of architecture under progress, an unwritten memoir, a serious intense psyche with all its subliminal joys lay deep inside a normal simple
heart, I was the tip of the iceberg, I regularly made it a point to desperately heighten my efforts to feel my soul’s search for that special someone unnamed, unseen and beyond reach, but then I destroyed all those feelings as I convinced myself that there was no such thing called love, love was a myth, a term that was used to convince people to co-exist alongside each other as the purpose of civilization was met through their seed and their existence, I regularly lost my Faith in God, I blamed God for all my own personal mistakes, but then i’d spend the rest of my time walking around with hideous unspeakable guilt, I visited my past and tried to
undo all my mistakes, I regularly dropped into a cocoon where I seldom felt any feeling, I pathologically dreamt up great big unfinished dreams, friends became strangers and strangers listened to my heart’s unspeakable sadness and they seldom judged, I lost myself in great big ancient mysterious lonely castles and I rode great big powerful horses. My repressions were demanding an audience with me, my sub conscious disturbances were asking me to spend more time in prayer, but I ran away from God, I grew more and more uneasy, something somewhere had popped, I was now in a woozy state of never ending unrest and discontent, and it never stopped.

I lost my faith in people, I dreamt of more powerful horses running with thunderous herculean roars, majestic and serious, completely breaking through vast mighty sheets of wind, what lay beneath all facades…? What propagated all illusions…? Why was madness so forceful and insincere…? Why was there such a loss of tenderness in these short wound streets of communal living..?

The winds seldom blew during the afternoon, I walked past the contained room with resting beams of light lying on the flat smooth floor, as I made my way into the deep interior room that led to the top floor through a short winding staircase that resembled a wavy finger, a vision of light being sucked away greeted me, the windows were much higher now, the floor elevated and the stairs led me to my sanctuary on the top floor. I entered into the room with fresh openness and mind control, I moved over to the window, the streets had grown during the past few years, they appeared a lot more dusty and worn down, they probably contributed those lost sense of just plain nothingness to the deeper interior of this small colony, maybe someone of a finer disposition could bring out the finer details of this docile place with its lack of objectivity, but I see only what is meant to be seen and I do not find any comfort with such knowledge, I dismiss them all and I long and dream of roads with tiny streams of distant ancient rivers, I dream of clearings and trees, companionable spaces with noble shadows and ancient bungalows filled with mystery, but in the end all I see are visions of complete stuck up indecent normality, and I do not like what I see, what I see horrifies me and creates a feeling so intent on mocking my private ambitions. A dear alcoholic friend of mine recently admitted that it had been three solid years before when he had made up his mind to share all his feelings with the outer world, and I realize that despite my heightened need to express feelings that seem distinct and original, I do not play that game of feelings with much balance, too many times I end up spilling my heart to cold emotionless strangers, and I had too many loose ends and seldom does a loner have the pleasure of fitting company… The landscape of this town feels rugged, there was the general air of paranoia and suspicion that most small towns thrive upon, it does seem charming in a way, occasionally elderly statesmen who lived right now with their proud family oriented sons would strut out on the streets with faces devoid of any certain features, they lacked soul… and they were trapped in the limits of their familial worries and concerns, but they dismissed it off and said… Listen young man… We all heard about your dreams and your visions… we heard about your talent too… but in this world a man needs to earn his living… A man needs to find work… Normal work with normal hours… a normal life is the cure they chant behind vacant frowning stares with driving disconnected anger… The elderly statesmen liked to plan random encounters on the street, the evenings were always the right time to walk around corners and pass open homes to see how the other half lived.

And I had been inside their houses, those spaces where the walls felt more real than the floors, and the flow of talk was held to a minimum as people ran out of things to say and meditated on their status in life… There were the portraits hanging on the walls… Mostly black and white, belonging to another time, a stare into the hall with eyes , dead and un-flickering… The oracle who saw through the other dimensions, portrait of souls departed staring through time captured in a frame, living through the eternal perfume of memory ….. The inward chambers were simple and solely functional, reflective of the middle class temperament, engineered to hold one through all the stages of life, the walls were stained with the spills of television’s masochistic debauchery, the air held memories too, all the nuances of uttered phrases and words, reactive memoirs held in the firm cloak of the air breathed in, the entire sum of what one felt and what one was , was held together in those spaces… The objects had long since lost their appeal, they merely lived in one’s vision as a part of one’s visual background… I could create a story if I wanted to, but for the most part, people simply lived and then ceased to… The colony boasted of nobody new… There was a wide chasm that seemed erected between two neighbors… Nobody new had moved in the past ten years, everyone’s life underneath was the same, and it was cleverly disguised to appear as something else… There were no tales of ghosts, a distant relative who suffered from demonic possession, a fatal tale of murder… These were fears that were reinforced through one’s mortality during the long compressed nights… There was a deep fear that someday somebody would die and it would hit one like a painful blow… Reminding one that were much larger things to life than mere existence.

I wandered around all day with a million infinite feelings, some I understood, some I passed away, and some I wrestled with, I stare out into the day and this old town and I ask myself what makes me so different…? I am continuously searching my mind and my heart for the right words, the exact feeling that I wish to write and write about with complete abandonment, a strange symphony I seek of these rushing lines called roads,a wild ecstasy I wish to settle upon the core of my gut, any cracks in the cold concrete of my being through which the breath of being enters in through life calling out, I dreamt of freedom, and then I remembered my core feelings towards my spiritual committment…I dreamt of fame and then I talked to rid myself out of such inner convictions… I was not going to elevate my mind to a level where I existed with all the people who had always fascinated me, I was still very much a member of planet earth. I became an expert at picking up on life in this colony, I feasted on the tiniest insignificant details with great flourish, whenever people laughed, I wondered what tickled their comical bone, what satirical tidbit drove their guffaws and their united laughter, I tended to watch people’s facial expressions in a reverent silent spot, who were these animals I wondered…? Did they ever exceed their thought life…? What were their opinions regarding Salvation…? What did they think about the intellectual nature of thoughts…? What did they really think about me…? I watched them walk in the heat of midday, proper steps and bounds, there was never anything imperfect about the entire picture, and I grew more and more consumed by this mindless charade, day after day I probed their charade, wondering if there was something conspiratorial about the entire thing… During the nights I sat beside the window awaiting the knife that would finally kill me… During my midnight talks with the foggy mirror with dried soapy stains I awaited a bullet to hit me in my brains, my end was near, I would at last rid myself of the anxiety of the final blow and take it when my courage was the most threatened… A legacy and a story of bravery would follow me… It would not be a heroic tale, but a tale of towns who had lost their core identity and now floated on the surface of predestined construction and upheaval… No wonder nobody smiled much in these places… Even my religiously guarded nights which were important stretches of silence filled with all the moods of peace and wisdom were knifed in every now and then by fast moving sounds that disappeared as suddenly as they had entered in. I anticipated the apocalypse anytime soon, the end of the world was near and I could feel it.

There was a time when each corner would have a burst of sunshine, but now these roads have become but dry parched thirsty remains, all the children had grown up and left the nest to settle a few miles away, the cycle was at its stage of mental recovery, but a few young families did have children young and impressible. There is a family with 2 grown kids, one of them was in college, the other was working somewhere, they were from the hills of ootacamund, they were missionaries…I liked the Father, he was simple, humble and silent, qualities that I greatly admire and respect… His two sons sported stares and looks now, they did not possess that same gentleness that I had encountered when they were young, they were on a mission to make people notice whatever they possessed… Most young men in this colony presented that odd flavor of excessive show, I wonder what drives such impetus for self appeal..? The little kids who remained, were often haughty and seldom naughty, they were constantly engaged in flowing psychobabble, I lost count of the times when I could not pick up on whatever it was that they discussed… They seemed to possess such worries… I wondered what changed their inner minds that much… They spoke in precocious mannerisms, seldom were they mild and innocent, they seemed pretty determined to get their way. They wove complex patterns with their bicycles which they drove with a look that seemed to say that this was the most important ride of their lives, they were going to create history, all the extension of older dominant personalities would be diminished, and the spotlight was to be firmly cast on their budding growth and development, and history would remember these stunning favored children who held in their hearts the cure for all of civilization’s discontent and poverty. They were occupying a deadly disease that could make their free flowing thoughts a swamp, they were aware of pride in some abstract manner and firmly expressed it without realizing the heavy price that one had to pay for it much later on. But this was the small town, sure in the evenings, the warm sun would drop and slither to a far southern corner, filling the skies with all sorts of majestic hues, a powerful image that brought to mind the sharp rounding corners turns that the children’s bicycles would take with tinkering bells that rung in emphasis as they sped of in a childish dream.

I engaged my thoughts in the divisive yet powerful areas of metaphysical imagery, I tried to imitate all the great artists by attempting to bring some method of subliminal artistry to change the manner in which I visited in regularity my immediate surroundings, I did so out of an impulsive need to escape the firm stoic silence and eerie stillness that was loud even as the noises of civilization raged on. I felt as though beneath the surface their psyches were deeply threatened by the advent of the others, all day they thought about acquiring some abstract emotional strength that they could use to firmly assert their place in this small colony. Their houses were painted in flat monotonous tones, the presence of natural light made them appear sour and indignant, fluffed up , excessively powdered damsels with drab attitudes that affected one’s personal feelings. I lost myself in complex thoughts that usually possessed a sinister inward theme that I had reinforced since time immemorial. I made it a point to visit the epic blunders of my brief impulsive and free spirited past, I walked willingly into mental graves, opening them and mourning with desperate sobs the loss of my innocence and common sense, I was a ruffian, a common mongrel and an uncouth human being now, I did not possess deeper sincerity towards concern, I merely existed as a normal block of human functioning. I was a cell, a cell that lived amidst other unhappy dissatisfied cells, I prayed in desperation for the salvation of my soul, for the grace of the Holy of Holies, I was completely oblivious of the heavenly drama that was being played through me, I desired people to call me a beautiful sad fire filled with all sorts of implied meanings. He was a well observed secret, I wanted them to say.

I slowly began to lose my sense of decency, of basic courtesy, the way I saw it, it was all a big messed up life anyway, I was continually on the search for ‘ in the moment’ spontaneous epiphanies, there was nothing wrong with what I saw except that I desired something that I could not have, and I was weary of seeing the same old story every single day of the week, I sit here watching the trucks, the motorists, the fast auto drivers speed me by, I watch as they disappear into a fantastic time bubble, I drink in the rich inner silence offered when one parts the inner world of thought and the outer world of perpetual activity, of unstoppable relentless motions and of actions, eternal and ceaseless. The local dialogue and the mindset that was free of simplicity and integrity had little to offer me, they either saw me as a threat or as a desperate wannabe, I was neither and I did not wish to tell them of that valuable fact, since people love to dwell with their miserable self centered illusions, I was a loner, and I preferred much the company of my mind and my soul alone, I did not detest people, I wanted to find a way entirely my own.

I was always on the look for that which I could never find, maybe it was intellectual friendships, a sense of community, comradeship, heavy literary books, exciting attractions, revolutionary ideas and spiritual places. Maybe I would grow tired of what I wished for, but I held on to them, they were coming, I’d tell myself. I believed in gathering an exquisite inner library and cultivating some fine tastes, the gathering of these resources would give me company on some sunny august afternoon, the whole of my life was a journey waiting to happen. A journey that would soon pass away for I had no escape from this place, I was trapped and there was no escape.  I lived the life of the symbolic and the ephemeral, transcendence allowed a few brief moments of peace and solitude, before the next riddle arose and sunk my minds and its moods to the labor to find meaning. So in parting I wish to say a prayer for all such fellow sufferers in the patronage of meaning, grace to all the unknown sufferers and social misfits in all the free world, I wish to sink now into a study of universal themes and forget all about my own misery.




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