On good nights, I can think of the future without flinching as if I have crushed the stars of fortune and constellations of fate as if I learned cartography before I learned to dream. The map of the future is planned and scaled, pinned with rusted rose gold push pins on the corkboard of my heart.
When I am a cluttered mess, I look at it, admiring the aesthetic of what I want to do with this life, the map reflects in my eyes, the light and dark academia, artistic vibes in the language of 0′s and 1′s, the ordered bullet list of the goals I want to accomplish, the relationships I want to nurture, the stories I want to knit and the person I want to be. It all exists in the chambers of my heart, a continuously moving hologram, a work in progress, weaving in soft-spins, the objectives of my existence like caterpillar silk.
On bad nights, I don’t know what I want, I don’t understand the purpose of my existence so I do something that every great cartographer does, look at other maps, look at the lives of other people. Read the works of the greatest professors, look up how society tells me to act.
This research gears my heart into overdrive. I am breathless yet still breathing, adrenaline rushing yet the melatonin still flowing in my veins like a silent sea.
I am contained and uncontained at the same time. They say the best way to cage a person is to never tell them they are in a cage but what if you are drifting in and out of the conscious, aware and unaware at the same time that how claustrophobic cages are. The society has developed a cage called normality and I am stuck in it, it is a for-else loop with hypnosis. I am ensnared in it so deep that I forget its a cage and I try to make the snare my world.
Here are five nominal signs of normality:
- Using Times New Roman with 12 pt to justify your academic excellence because did your teachers not teach you this?
- An academic degree from a reputed college is equally proportionate to a purpose in life.
- Art is defined, use the trend, is it pastels or watercolors? Characters or Landscapes? Abstract or Realistic? Do what looks good look on college applications.
- Accept that equality and human rights are mad and lunatic ideas, where is the superiority, the hierarchy? The power of domination? I am not sure you are normal.
- File down your sexuality to be acceptable. We accept you because we have no choice its an amended right supposedly. So living is the right you get in public but in private, it is a terrible terrible sin.
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My subscription expired when I saw the world in its rosy-fingered and saffron-robed dawns. I saw how clouds are epitaphs of wine-dark seas and how humans breed hypocrisy more than they breed hatred. So, I stuck out like a sore thumb, a smeared lipstick, an empty perfume bottle and suddenly “I was different”.
But, remember how the best way is to keep someone in a cage is to not tell them. I was in the cage of yet another societal construct.
They said, “I was different and it was a gift,” I believed it. It was “more unique and fun”, “more original” but being different is such a cliche, it is in every other book and every other movie because normality does not get you consumerism and content. However, I have a bad habit of wearing my heart on sleeves for cliches. Every sunset, fairy lights, pastels, garden gnomes and bonfires, lyrics in diaries, overworn winter clothes, bad art, and words that roll my tongue made me different.
I carried the weight of being different, I became so good at carrying the weight of being different but it seemed like everyone was trying to fit in the molds of normality and still trying to be different. I saw the cage and I planned the prison-break because being different infiltrates heroism into you according to American mass entertainment.
So, I decided to be conscious. I tried so hard to be conscious, to break out of the cage of what people think, and to stop worrying about what the professors tell me about my own damn map.
I like to think that the jailbreak was a success. When I came out, I looked at the mirror, tattered and bruised with cuts and dried icky blood and I saw myself. “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” The mirror mocks.
I slowly healed from the prison trauma and I fell in love with poetry because poetry never judged me for healing wrong.
But the map of the future does not exist anymore because are we even sure the future will exist from now on? It has been a bad night for a long time, I guess.
Now, I am no longer normal and no longer different, I am just existing. I keep on existing in a million different agonies. In a tattered ruin of this world, I exist. Even though my bed is a casket on days, I exist. I exist even when my heart refuses to stop spinning silky dreams. I exist now. I don’t care about normal and different anymore because I am simply focused on existing. I exist. I am. I am. I am.
But do I really not care about what people think? Ha, I fooled you. I am a hypocrite. HUMANITY BREEDS HYPOCRISY.
In another lifetime, I may be a cloud scribbling an epitaph of a wine-dark sea. In this lifetime, I am human. I am. I am. I am.
//”Cartography & Claustrophobic Cages”// Enigma
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