Thursday, March 10, 2011

Death, and all his friends

“Oh shut UP, I’m serious! Goddamnit, could you for once have an objective dialogue on death without thinking I’m suicidal?” High time, he thought to himself. He’d tried the hardest ever to keep his cool.

It was slightly overcast, with faint signs of rain. It was the kind of weather where you didn’t want it to rain, for that would simply end the beauty of expectation. A book of short stories by R.K. Narayan lay on the table, half open.

“I just care about you, Dan. You scare the living crap outta me with these questions of yours, what the hell do you mean ‘right time to die’? Go catch some sleep!”

Dan had had enough of this. He had to go on talking about it. Someone would understand! “I mean come on, think about it. Attempted suicide is a crime. What justification is there to that? Once you’re an adult, why shouldn’t you be given a choice as to when you wish to terminate your life? Isn’t that messed up, on a scarily fundamental level? They talk about choice in everything else, they talk about freedom like you can buy it in dollar stores, and you don’t have the freedom to choose the point where your life ends? How does that make sense in your world?”

“And shouldn’t there be an optimum time to die? All these critical path theories of the world, they should apply to qualitative things too, right? Wasn’t there some lemma saying most things can be quantized?” He felt a lot lighter. The words were flowing now. He could feel the creases in his thought progression easing out. “Think about it this way. If you die a child, it’s still a bad thing. If you stay old for too long, you become a burden. Is there any time you can die without causing too much pain, or for that matter, without triggering a few sighs of relief around you?”

She looked at him her eyes misty with concern. “Look, Daniel. I have a very high regard for your thought process, you know that. Objective thinking is something you’re so adept at you should really read more about it and write about it too. But this is not a very happy road to go on, love. Think of happier things, will you?”

He broke once more. What was this world where a simple discussion couldn’t be had without assuming emotional involvement? He whacked the book off the table in exasperation.

“Daniel, thoughts don’t just come like that. It’s one of the many things you taught me yourself, it’s a process, remember? I know what you’ve read recently and it’s not coming from there – Douglas Adams and Narayan aren’t exactly promoters of a dystopian world.”

“So what you’re basically trying to tell me”, he was fuming now, “is that there cannot be had a discussion on death, or anything for that matter, without having some sort of attachment to it? Without the discussion stemming from personal feelings? Everyone who’s ever thought of death has killed themselves? Do you even hear yourself? What’s the sodding use of educating yourself so much, then?”

“Stop pretending. Honestly. You’re ALL the bloody same. All of you. Don’t care if you want, but don’t give me the goddamn HOPE that you do. I’m okay with living in a place where nobody cares, just don’t give me the delusions!”

She really was confused. Agreed, Daniel was quite the over-thinker, but it usually stuck to that, didn’t it? He was fiercely objective, and it never strayed to his emotions. This anger business wasn’t him, it wasn’t him at all.

“Where is all this coming from Danny? What are we even talking about? What does caring about you have anything to do with this? You really think I’m pretending to care about you? I’m sorry, but I really don’t think you understand me at all. What the fuck should I do to show that I really love you?”

Then it suddenly dawned upon Daniel. The sheer frivolity of having this discussion at all came and whacked him in the face.

“Yes I read too much into stuff I learn about. Yes, I make unnecessary conclusions, what’s your point?”

How on earth could he put that feeling into words? That place where being treasured was a happy feeling, how could he take someone there without them actually feeling it? How could he possibly tell her this, without offending her feelings? How could he tell her that if she did want to truly love him, she should try and understand him, not just tell him how much she loves him. How could he tell her that this objective discussion was so close to his heart, and her not understanding it hurt him more than so many things?

And all of a sudden, it all became clear. The world didn’t want to understand, it just wanted to go with the flow. The world didn’t want to truly love, it just wanted to lie and fool everyone else that it does. It doesn’t matter if you love, it just matters if you show you do. THIS was the flaw; this was the reason why he could never understand the world. The only thing that he knew, at that moment, is that he could never come to peace with others, and more importantly, with himself. This endless cycle would ensure that he could never be loved. He was alone. The only way out was giving up. The only way was helping the world in its cause to destroy him.

“Yeah, you’re right. I really should stop overanalyzing. Why the hell did I start thinking of death anyway! I’m sorry, I won’t talk about this kinda stuff again. Come, let’s go get coffee.”


Rover said...

Quick points I picked up

1. That sounds like Ayn Rand channelling a Nihilist.

2. Really? "Dan"? Really? I see you're about as good at names as I am.

3. You have NOone around you who you can sanely talk to about death and other such yummy things?

Saniya said...

Excellent piece of writing.I wouldn't say its dark, but sure is a refreshing change from mawkish blogposts doing their round.
Random suggestion, try writing something like this in a non-conversation format.

chepoo said...

hmm! like always, im short of words
i dont even know which smiley goes for this

Deboleena said...

WHERE is all this coming from JD? :D

(Sorry, couldn't resist. Really enjoyed reading this. Would love a sequel; as an internal monologue maybe)

JD said...

@Rover, It's fucked up that I take point one as a compliment, right?

@Saniya Point taken. Will try it out. Already have a couple of ideas in mind. Thanks :)

@PD The smiley, is always :). That's the idea of the post!

@Deboleena Why on earth aren't you on Sugar Magnolia? :P

mikami said...

Point 2: "Dan" isn't a very bad name.

"...a simple discussion couldn’t be had without assuming emotional involvement?"
+1 for the post. Really good read!

Sugar Magnolia said...

Because I've come to make peace with my schizophrenia. =) Besides, this profile is all whimsy. The other one's for more officious purposes.

JD said...

@Mikami, thank you! Your own blog is quite lovely too =)

@SugarMagnolia But then I love your whimsy side! That's how I first read you as!

abhi said...

Liked the writing a lot; been trying to experiment with a little dark writing myself but not close to this, I admit.
And yes, (again) "Dan"? ;)

Sunkissed said...

It's a very disturbing peace. Especially the last bit about love being nothing but a word. I could so totally relate with that.Attachments are so weird, love is also just an attachment, mostly useless. But I know why I couldn't agree with 'suicide' bit. Yes, we should have the right to decide when we want to end our life, but how can you forget that you didn't come to life by yourself. Someone else, your parents brought you to life. How can we, even as adults, then have the right to finish something that is not rightfully ours to finish? Isn't it as good as murder?

Anirudh said...

Hey wonderful post :)
I loved how it went, the introspection and the dawning conclusion :) . But I totally believe that expressing yourself the right way can make anyone understand anything , I'd rather look at this more positively you know .

Aayushi Mehta said...

I loved how this post just went on from one topic to another, all perfectly linked together, kind of like an insight into someone's mind.

I counted four brilliant ideas (in my opinion) it presented withing itself :D

First time visitor to you blog, great work!

akshay surendra said...

Would I be over-empathizing with the world at large to say I feel for this Dan fellow? Brilliant piece!
My dose of gyan from this: "Objectivity is just another level of emotion. So don't fret"