Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Begrudged Relapse

Oh, the shame, the horror, the agony. 

I cannot show my face to you, my faithful 6 and a half readers. What will you think of me now. How can I continue to post here, in my purported adamant disregard for fads and frenzies, while unbeknownst to about 2 and a quarter of you, I have committed the ultimate sacrilege. I have about faced, gone against my most fundamental principles, and relapsed into the floundering depths of social reintegration. Yes, it is true. No, don't look at me, I beg you. 

My name is Eureka, and I am back on the dreaded Facebook. Albeit, grudgedly. But that does not excuse the act itself, far from it. It only compounds the hypocrisy of my crime. 

Forgive me dear readers, for I have sinned gravely. I have forsaken you, and betrayed your trust. I am worthless, petty, and to be pitied for succumbing to the temptation. 

Blame the human condition for requiring social interaction. Blame Egyptian youth for allowing it to encapsulate so-called socializing. Blame Obama for being so damn cool.

Better yet, blame my mother for calling me a hermit. 

Is it my fault that the best way to appease her is by regaining my currently ephemeral popularity? Thankfully, it isn't. It is my fault for abandoning my world in the first place. Blame graduation. Blame Mr. Boss Man. Blame Roonies for making fun of my being on Facebook.

Better yet, blame my mother for calling Facebook a degenerate waste of time. 

I told you, there's no pleasing that woman. 

Isn't rubbing her disdain for Facebook in her face fun? Bloft will love this. 

You know what pisses me off most about all this? My email account is going to be bombarded with Facebook notifications that I can't see during the day because the IT Geek Gods have blocked half the interwebbings. Snozboogers. 

But I digress.

My readers, my friends, my bloggingmen. I pray you find it in your heart to forgive my transgressions. 

If you cannot, check out Dixie and Daisy on my Facebook profile. That should be adequate compensation.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

White Flag

I am tired.

Tired of life, tired of routine, tired of monotony, tired of me. I am tired of waking up each morning wondering what happened to the day before. Wondering which day of the week it was, and praying for the speedy arrival of Thursday, 5 p.m., where I will finally do good on the promise I made myself a lifetime ago to do something interesting, something different, something exciting, something rewarding. I am tired of doing the same thing every work day, of reading the same websites in the same order, looking at the same figures, same multiples, same companies, same chemicals and projects. An endless stream of numbers, names, and symbols that mean nothing to me, and will never make enough sense to become more than a worker bee in a highly competitive hive. Tired of coming home to yet another unbending routine of chores, of tv shows, and sleep. Only to wake up and do it all again. Is this how my youth will pass me by? Is this what I will look back on when I am past the so-called age of folly? I disappoint myself before even reaching an age of remorse and reminiscence.

I am tired of my own monotony. I am tired of not having the motivation or drive or genuine desire to make the effort to change. I am tired of making promises of exercise, of intellectual stimulation, of social reintegration - all of which I know I will break even as I make them. I am tired of being disappointed in myself. If I so flippantly and regularly let myself down, how can I expect others to not do the same?

I am tired of waiting for the phone to ring. I am tired of believing you will call. I'm tired of you letting me down without even realizing it, because you're too self-absorbed and important to notice. I am tired of wishing you weren't so perfect and knowing I couldn't find better. I am tired of knowing you will be the one that got away. And I am tired of knowing there is nothing I can do about it without obliterating the last tiny shred of dignity I have left. I am tired of wondering what I did wrong; why you never even gave it a shot. I am tired of feeling unwanted, unattractive, unloved.

I am tired of the lingering perpetual depression permeating my family. I am tired of watching us battle for every breath, claw for every smile, struggle for every moment's peace of mind.

I am tired of having no real talent, no niche, no dream, no aspiration, no future in mind. I am tired of kidding myself, making a fool of myself every day when I pretend to be an intelligent, educated individual with something to offer. I have nothing to offer but a vacuous, unthinking, porous lump of calcified matter in my head. I have nothing to say, nothing to add, nothing to create.

I am tired of mourning for a country which does not want to help itself. I am tired of looking out the window to see a woman living in a small garbage dump on the roof of a semi-erect structure with her poultry, her sheep, and her laundry hanging on a line only to be dirtied by the pollution in our smoggy, car exhaust-ridden excuse for air. I am tired of knowing that the establishment does not want to improve her standard of living because it would mean risking a revolution. I am tired of knowing that the revolution these people so desperately need would inevitably mean my own displacement, impoverishment, or death. I am tired of being the rope being tugged between two opposing teams because at the end of the day, I will be the only loser.

I am tired of feeling lonely. I am tired of feeling like a failure. I am tired of all my what if's, why's, and how come's.

I am very tired.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


She soldiered on brusquely, constantly looking over her shoulder as if being chased by an unseen assailant. She had to keep moving, she had to keep her mind clear, fixed on its objective. She couldn't afford to loser her nerve now. Not after so many months of incubation, of fear, of meticulous planning. The stakes were too high, the consequences too great. She'd watched the leaves change as she waited for this moment. She smelled the flowers bloom when the package finally arrived. Backing out now was out of the question.

She fired several tuts in rapid succession at a man beating his donkey as she hurried passed. For all her 14 years, she still couldn't understand human cruelty. How malicious and violent towards creatures they depended on for their livelihood. Towards creatures offering purity and love in return. Weren't we all God's creatures in the end?

The package was held close to her chest, wrapped airtight in an innocuous black garbage bag. Her heart raced. It was a wonder its beats hadn't drowned out the roar of the traffic. The traffic. Hundreds of eyes glaring at her. Their glinting accusations merging into a river of blood, bile and milk as each car honked past.

She shook her head violently, trying to push the paranoia out of her head. Keep walking. Keep moving. March. March. Don't think. Her determination grew more steadfast with ever chant. Unconsciously, she gripped the package ever tighter; she only noticed when she gasped for breath, it had been pushing so tightly against her lungs. She had to be more careful. The package couldn't be bruised. It couldn't be disturbed.

Nervously, she eyed her passersby. Where they able to discern the contents of the package? Were those too glares of disapproval? Her worry quickly turned to scorn. Where were they to judge? Who were they to chastise, to invoke their honour as they stoned or slit her open? How could they know her circumstances? She was doing as best she could for everyone involved. Her conscience would be cleared tonight. Her conscience must be cleared tonight. No blame would be laid on her.

She glanced around her one last time and slipped into the dark, quieter alley she'd chosen a few months before. Close enough to the main street to be frequented, quiet enough for disturbances to be heard and hopefully heeded. The government-collected garbage cans lay sideways, overflowing. She chose the softest looking bag and shooed the cats away. Gingerly but rapidly, she placed the package in the midst of the rubbish and fled as fast as her feet could muster, back into the tide of Cairo's never-ending traffic.

But amidst and above all the sounds of the sleepless city, she could only hear the cries and wails of the package, as her blood congealed over his tiny body, attracting the cats' appetites, and the cold night breeze caused the bag to rustle over his mouth.

Her conscience did not clear that night.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Questioning Human Emotion in the Car

This is the train of thought I dabbled in (because we all know I am not conditioned to really think, just pretend to think - half-think if you will) on the way home from work today:

Today I was trying to figure out what feelings were. Why do we find it so important to feel, to have "real" emotions; why do these feelings make us human? Why do we place so much importance on how they make us different to other animals?

Not that I got any answers.

But to explain myself, consider this. If you went through life without much emotion - just the monotonous no feeling mode – wouldn’t you go crazy? Or at least think something was wrong with you in comparison to all the ‘normal’ people? We place a lot of our sense of normalcy on the ability to feel, the chemical changes in our brain. When those go wrong, we're labelled sociopaths, or psychologically unstable. An inability to empathise or experience emotion is deemed undesirable by society, by psychology.

But why? Why is "feeling" so important?

Each question leads to another.

Emotions are a focal point to every person. They almost dictate you to a certain extent. Why are feelings such an essential part to our being and humanity?

See what I mean?

Then I got Doolittle involved in my thoughts. She said that “Emotions may be an inconvenience, but no one can go through life without them. They are what we know, write about, read about, and feel on a daily basis. We have no choice. Someone who feels nothing is just an impossible idea.”

So I said: “people who are considered psychologically unwell are like that. People like psychopaths, serial killers, etc… they don't even need to be dangerous, they just don't feel the way we do.”

Doolittle: what do you mean? Of course they FEEL. I’d say they feel more than average amount of feeling. They do feel... It might not be the same, but the root of what they do comes down to simple feelings which are universal. Serial killers, people who are deemed psychologically unwell... I think they feel as much if not more than we do. They might do things which we would never be capable of, but the cause/reason for it is all about feelings/emotions. There is no way we can separate what we feel and what we do and how we are.

Then there are people who try to separate the two as much as possible. It’s like a scale. You and I belong on a kind of "emotionally restrained and protective" part of the spectrum. Then other people who can easily act on what they feel, people who you can see as being a certain way because of how they feel about things... they belong to another part of the spectrum.

Eureka: And at the end of the day, we are all dictated to varying extents by our emotions. Again, why is that the way we're wired? For example, why do we need to phrase our sentences with respect to the feelings of those we are speaking to? Isn’t that a form of limitation on expression?

Doolittle: It is. We are trained not to hurt people.

Eureka: Doesn't that pose as a form of violation of that fundamental right? 

Doolittle: In a way… There are just unspoken, unseen lines in the sand sort of thing. Limitations which we can’t change.

Eureka: So, once again, we are limiting ourselves because of emotion. We are dictated by it. Why do we need emotion?

Doolittle: We don’t need it. It’s a part of us/part of everything. It’s a thing we have zero control over. 

Eureka: Our hands are a part of us. Our noses  are a part of us. Blinking is a part of us. We do not obsess over there. They do not have a significant say in our lives. So why do we place feelings  on such a pedestal? When I have dry eyes, for example, or a broken finger, I do not lock myself in a roomand mourn my very existence. But when my feelings are hurt I’d rather lock myself up than face the world. They have a stronger influence than the rest of me. The human is conditioned to place their emotions on a higher level than their physical selves. And their perception of their physical self is  influenced by their emotions. 

Then we got sidetracked by the entry on Wikipedia for "Emotion," and how we liked to look everything up in reference books because we needed to know everything. Which lead to the importance of bibliographies, how tired we'd become of the same old Cairo night scene, Nabakov, and the first sex scenes we'd seen on television as children. 

Yes, we have a very eclectic shared stream of thought. Makes for more interesting conversations. 

But back to my original half-baked thought. What do you think about feelings? Are they as important as we make them seem to be?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Daddy's Dictums #1 (Aside from his one-liners)

Daddy, my hot Aunt, my mum and I are having lunch at Katameya Heights (a golf club we've been members of since its establishment 11 years ago) when, out of the blue, he looks at my aunt and says: 

"I wonder what you'd look like with a beard."


He turns to my mother and says:

"And I wonder what you'd look like without a beard."

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