Strawberries

meditation_defunked“A being which exists before it can be defined by any conception of it is human reality”
– Heidegger.

Reality is a female. Reality – of self– decaf/short/syrup/lait. That exists before it can be conceived – and then she is on YouTube. You can google all her gods – there are so many of them! Each has a Facebook page, and we come out at the coffee shop next morning to love each other again. Not that we were together last night; even though she was sitting so naively by my side… calm as pristine water, just on the edge of a fall.

Reality of self is 100% recyclable and 40% post-consumer fiber.

So, I rip off the print. I keep sipping on her heartache. Am I her heartache?

Reality speaks of travelling. She loves attention. Dressing up nice. Visiting places where they sing melodies of your soul in a language you don’t get.

You slowly drift towards the point of ennui.

Is there any inference, any desire, any dream? You keep wrestling motionlessly with the stone-bricks of now. We discuss the now. The ego. Reality of self is a philosophy major throwing up by the 3:00 AM bus stop near Booth. Reality needs a ride home.

We speak about circles and zeros; why’s vs. how’s… and annoy the crap out of a monkey. They work two jobs these days. They grow beard and play in a band… we didn’t know.

So she asks – “Tell me – who the hell are you?”
“I am a bubble man! Don’t you read my poetry?”
“No. What is a bubble?”
“A bubble is where I put values on things and chase them. There is no comfort without value.”
“Why do you glide from one bubble to another?”
“Values glide. They take me with them.”
“What is depression?”
“The space between two adjacent bubbles.”
“Why is it so?”
“For you don’t find anything meaningful when you are not in a bubble. You can’t help but risk some form of sweeping generalization about some aspects of existence to allow motivation to give way to anything at all. Motivation breeds meaning. Meaning breeds motivation. The happy cycle!”
“What is denial?”
“When a bubble bursts, it suddenly gives birth to another bubble; or a whole universe of tiny little bubbles. They are there – but do I choose to see them when I need to see them? May be. May be not.”
“Are you a simple man?”
“I am as simple as the bubble.”
“Make sure you eat strawberries. They are good for you. They are good for your heart, your eyes, your immunity.”

(Immunity!…I don’t think reality took me seriously… ..
Does she ever take me seriously?)

“You know – it’s about “adapting to a better story”. You might think you have a choice, but you really don’t.”

“What if I differ with your definition of being a fu*k up?”

“Sure – just be positive about yours.”

Then she starts talking about optimism. “Optimism is like mass production of Halloween spider web. It has its roots in fear, but it’s actually fun…. This monstrous ship – riding the waves of information…. Information teases analytics… Analytics teases conclusion… Conclusion teases death. You are on board that ship. Do not judge.”

I think to myself, is she getting serious now? I realize I have not spoken to her yet after all. I can barely make eye contact! Does she think I’m a weirdo?

I tell myself to face up.

She goes on…. “If hope is where it begins, why on earth are you still writing this piece? I sure don’t see any hope in here! It’s cynical, impulsive, irrational— a worthless piece of junk. Throw it out. Accept me. Learn to value ‘truth’…”

“But isn’t truth a tree with many axils? Truth is the scale and you are the bud! You become a new branch with scars, as your scales fall off – truth is born again. Don’t you see?”
“Yes.”
“So why do I need to accept you? I am already a bud in your tree.”
“Are you trying to be clever?”
“I am trying to be free.”
“You are never free until you buckle up and accept.”
“I thought you knew what love is.”
“Don’t be so confident about what you think you know.”
“O yeah? Alright, angel – what is love?”
“Love is the Über-bubble.”
“Ha ha ha :))”
“What’s funny?”
“Such a modernist cliché! Romantics have chewed that gum good. All they have left for us is its cold dead polymer.”
“Doesn’t mean you can’t be hopeful! It should still exist, especially to keep somebody like you honest.”
“Don’t be lame. And by the way, are you not discarding my bubble theory after all?”
“I’m only talking in signs your dumb brain can dig. I don’t need to accept you.”
“So – Über bubble! You mean all my simple bubbles are floating about within this big fat outer bubble that I can’t get out of..”

“Yes and No. Poetry gets you out of that big fat bubble too. You step out to see it, so you can write it. Your blood flows differently, your neurons fire differently. You belong to no one. You are selfishly faithful only to your verses. Catch is – the trip is short lived. You can’t stay outside the uber-bubble for too long, ‘cos it makes you want to kill.”

“Well, nice going.. but why be so impersonal? Try a dose of Sylvia Plath. Besides, I’d likely counter you by saying poetry is just another one of my regular bubbles too. What makes it look special is that it keeps dying– and when it lives, no other bubble is more visible to all the rest of my bubbles as this one. I really don’t need a bigger illusion than this.”

“Sounds like you have a problem with love.”

“It’s just that your version of love won’t sell as good as sex. Love is a trap set up carefully by free-trade.”

“Love doesn’t need a household to survive. It’s you who needs one. Don’t blame your psychosocial dysfunction on love.”

“You are getting obtuse.”

“Sure. So, where do we stand– you are not ready to accept reality because you can’t love her.”

“Why would I? Is she an angel I can’t deconstruct?”

“You are judging.”

“Happily.”

“Have you ever given a thought about your self-made cage?”

“I am rational only when I need to be.”

“Come out and dance with your friends. Giggle with them. Kiss them. Drink them. Swim in them. You are a child who never grew up. So, never grow up. Don’t fool yourself in the name of purpose.”

“I don’t need a purpose, but there is no hope.”

“Your friends didn’t make you hopeless, did they?”

“Fear did.”

“You don’t need it.”

“Greed did.”

“You don’t need it.”

“Meaning did.”

“Lose it.”

“Okay.. then what?”

“Then I will stab you to death.”

And Oh! How easily she gets used to her liberation made up of derbies of a dream. How easily she looks at all this mess as a 7-topping pizza!

“So let us toast on good health and grow some balls” she said. “You must drink till morning light. You must forsake your monkeys and play the fool if you are to gamble with the being you’ve bet on. Safe plays the aged child. Take a risk. Break. Let the vampire come and suck some blood out of your throat.”

Her dance is slowly shifting tempo, as she starts to step in perfect rhythm with a self-proclaimed rapist. She tightens her coil around him and glares at me over his shoulder.

And I look into her eyes – amidst these streets of wandering filth and her love for small business, her love for flower and ingenuity, she curves out a horoscope on the hips of her own debauch. On the sweet melancholy dripping from all speakers by the empty patios, when streets are closing in on the face of a town swiveling in divine drunkenness, when every sidewalk is filled with eyes we have taken out and thrown away…. LO!! It’s the ultimate cliché! It’s the battered throwaway freak begging for change, by that glistening designer store, for a few more cents he needs to fix his B string.

The clichéd rain falls on his broken guitar…. on our deserted eyes… on her strawberries! Rain keeps slowly blurring out the lips and breasts of her eerie naked manikins on the other side.

“There is nothing to seek. Do not seek. Let all your knowledge drain out into the gutter” she says.

“I am standing in the gutter, you see.. I sure can’t wear these shoes anymore…
They’re hosed.”

“..Take them off”

About author

Mesbah Alam Arghya
Mesbah Alam Arghya 1 posts

He began publishing poetry in Bangladesh from the late nineties. Contributed to several online and printed magazines in Bangladesh, India and USA. He is the author of four volumes of poetry. Playing Tabla is his favorite pastime.

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