Some people fascinate me.
Like the nerd I spent hours talking to today, about life and love and loneliness. Like the slightly overweight girl I watched for a slow five minutes whose eyes fought tears at mockery with such fervour. Like the silent girl I couldn’t quite understand but proceeded to rack my brain for a full sixteen minutes, only to fail at it more miserably than before. Like the blind old man I see everyday, seated at that dirty bus stop, a white cane resting on his left leg and his hands holding out a bag of homemade chips trying to sell it to the passersby. Like the impossibly beautiful girl who travelled halfway across the country to the suburbs to learn a little more about herself by living in dingy motels, eating undercooked food so she could help educate impoverished children who lived in worse conditions. Like the quiet boy in my class who is a closet poet. Like the nice old lady who gifted me a book she found beautiful because she felt I’d need something like that to light up my supposedly silent eyes.
Why do they do what they do?
What do they want that they destroy themselves so willingly to find?
I once listened to a distinguished someone glide up the dias, grab the microphone and broach the subject. All he managed to say was the old ‘The heart wants what the heart wants’ and the crowd applauded cheerfully, their eyes glistened with moisture, their hearts beat in unison to the sound of his garbled voice and I remember thinking at that instant that sometimes, the truth happens to be the most convincing lie. We hear what we want to hear, what we need to hear.
So why do we do the things we do? Why, really?
Why do we shamelessly want some things? Why do we regret wanting others? Why do our hearts beat furiously for the most melancholy tunes and stop thudding entirely when brilliance manifests itself in symphonies? Why do our eyes well up for the happiest happenings when swallowed tears lodge in the base of our throats, threatening to spill on our most depressing days?
Why are we who we are? Why do we become what we become? Why does it matter what we take with us when we’re all headed towards the same oblivion?
Why do we fight peace and shush the music when silence begs to whisper goodbye? Why make ourselves everything we once found appalling, paste our eyes shut and follow the clutter piously? Then, when the charade falls apart, we crumble, we crumble and crumble some more hoping with each time the pieces would find their way back, hoping that someone would stitch up the cuts the splinters left on your skin, hoping that at some point the pain would bang against numbed doors.
We’re all oddities, fighting our demons within the same spaces, within the same realms, hoping that what we are and what we have is enough to defeat everything our beings are threatening to become. We’re entities struggling to survive, learning to breathe underwater and swoop into the clouds, drink in the madness and bask in the chaos. We cry out, monsters and seraphs alike, our voices tear through our closed throats praying to be lodged somewhere in the space, hoping to be heard, hoping to be remembered long after we’re gone.
So why do we do the things we do?
Maybe because we’re always searching for something; something to calm our raging hearts, something to whisper courage when fear ravages our senses, something to keep us warm when we’re left with cold sheets and wet pillowcases, something to make us feel a little more whole.