Categories
Creative Writing Horror

Campfire In The Sky

She never expected this: flesh giving away to a knife.

What she really didn’t expect was that knife to be held by her husband.

(A few minutes later, a complementary thought walked unbidden to her mind: I guess he got his pound of flesh.)

Who would have thought that there were thoughts of murder marinating in his office room.

Hatred came whistling through in the shape of a knife thrust.

Gone were the days when he used to tilt his heart in her direction.

He used to say: I can be polite or compassionate or I can tell you the truth. But the truth is neither.

That was a truffle of truth she failed to bite.

Dutiful as ever, she obeyed his command to bleed to death.

As she turned her eyes to the night sky so she could be spared his face, she thought she saw a star winking in the dark as she bled her last.

But what it really was were two angels around a campfire looking down from the heavens at her.

Just two angels enjoying the warmth of a fire in a cold sky with no inkling of a desire to help.

Categories
Creative Writing Love

+1

I needed a +1 for life.

Not a Lebanon.

But a Sweden.

I just wanted your No Uncertain Terms to be Certain enough.

You just wanted me to believe your lies long enough so I couldn’t focus on your real moves.

I didn’t want the demons of your trauma to follow you towards me.

I didn’t want your curled-lip cruelty.

We were both on a flight to destination Sadness.

I realized too late that I had bought a one-way ticket.

You’ll never know what a heart of a widow is like.

But now it’s easy to forget you with every post my new beloved makes.

Every newsfeed I subscribed to has washed you away.

Categories
Creative Writing Horror

Summer

August came and went, but she’ll always remember August, because of what he said:

Give me a kiss and I’ll give you a smile.

Tell me something sweet, and I’ll buy you something nice.

You cover your face like the moon behind a shimmer of clouds.

Tell me you love me, and I’ll see you come around.

Darling, didn’t you know that I’ll pick two stars and put them in your eyes.

If only you’ll be a little less stubborn and learn to offer up a smile.

Three months passed, and it was turning out to be the greatest love story ever told.

They promised each other with the stink of sex between them:

Let’s both hold hands and write this story — our story — together.

Months went past but even as her stomach grew and she grew beautiful still, the theatre of life dimmed.

That’s when she opened her mouth, and an angel with a terrible secret whispered out aloud:

Do you know this little secret I’m about to drop softly into your ear, my love?

Street lights wept as she told him of early dementia. The days passed by, and he saw how thoughts, questions, and sanity itself fell away in her mind.

The only thought that remained in that fine sieve of her brain was a terrifying question:

Who am I?

He thought:

Relationships end because one person loves the other person a little less.

And he slipped a knife through with just a hint of a secret gasp, and she felt the skin, flesh and sinew parting with sympathetic and painful reluctance.

She thought with a last painful breath as the darkness came:

As you can see, even monsters were babies once.

When the world came to see her rest, she heard his Mama admonish him:

What are you doing?

He said with a surprised jolt:

Nothing Ma.

But she saw him as did the red-breasted robin nearby, spitting with glee, spitting with relief, right where she lay, right here among the leaves.

Categories
Life

A Concept Called Happiness

As someone who is at the tail-end of the millennial generation (as per Nielsen Media Research), I’ve seen my share of colleagues, friends, family and acquaintances succumb to mental illness and/or deaths of despair. And, more often than not, it has to do with this nebulous pursuit of this concept called happiness.

Throughout my life, happiness was always defined with a smile or a laugh. But no one spoke of the demons lurking underneath such cheerfulness. Such were the times that I grew up in that happiness was defined as relief — relief that you didn’t die during an LTTE-inspired bomb blast or a JVP-instigated machete attack.

Happiness was being with family and having enough food to eat. It meant there was a secure household, a roof over your head, and an education that could possibly be a one-way ticket to the West. Why the West? Because the basic necessities were not even present then where I lived. Today, thanks to globalization, more people are dying of obesity than war.

Yet the context has changed today. In the 80s and 90s, we found respite in the arms of the church, and the promise of a better tomorrow, along with the chance that one day Jesus will come, and rapture us to walk on streets of gold. Today, the definition of happiness is one which resides within yourself. Happiness is a biological event, and just like hacking your hormones to ensure productivity, we can hack it with a smile or a Prozac or two.

My conclusion is this — Happiness is a Decision. You see, sometimes we are the authors of our own destruction. We give the devil too much credit for our own mistakes. Don’t listen to, or rather, don’t believe the tyrant in your head. He/she is a false god. For someone who lived a very epicurean life, lived through a war, joblessness, bare minimum in terms of food, there is a certain joy present in the mundane.

Some Definitions of Happiness

I suggest you listen to this great podcast by Dr. Laurie Santos about work and job crafting. Humanity has moved from one context to another. We lived through the agricultural revolution and are now in the technological revolution where our lives are all about swiping right. Today, we are trying to find our life’s meaning in a world inundated with pixels and data bombs. We are searching to fulfill our Self-Actualization Needs.

It’s all about the creative life, yo!

Growing up in my generation, the only two types of needs that were satiated were the Safety and Physiological aspects. They were only partly satisfied what with the issue concerning the social-political upheaval of the time.

Achieve Ikigai: it is your reason for living

Ikigai makes sense to me, and while we were taught that Happiness is equal to your Passion, there is more to the whole idea as well. Carl Jung simplifies the whole concept of happiness, which is shown below, and his list has a great degree of similarity with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Ikigai as well.

  1. Good physical and mental health.
  2. Good personal and intimate relationships, such as those of marriage, the family, and friendships.
  3. The faculty for perceiving beauty in art and nature.
  4. Reasonable standards of living and satisfactory work.
  5. A philosophic or religious point of view capable of coping successfully with the vicissitudes of life.

Following most of the narratives throughout the decades, we were compelled to aim to achieve happiness. Happiness was defined as the perfect marriage, the perfect job, and, it was aligned to success. But, as Jordan Peterson states happiness is rare and rather we should aim to have a meaningful life, and be resilient in the process.

My Conclusion

The Stoics and the Greeks all had their definitions when it comes to this concept called happiness. Here is mine — My perspective is that happiness is a decision, but it’s an ambitious state of being. Rather what we should aim for is a state that is far easier to achieve, and that is Contentment with a dose of Peace of Mind. And, you will realize that achieving such a level of bliss is usually just a simple thought that needs to be entertained over a fragrant cuppa Joe.