Jun 21, 2011

The Actor.

Insofar as I play the madman my adoration of the role is becoming unbecoming; yet what continually lures me to it is how my consciousness shines through my insanity. All the world's a stage: there are more roles to play than just the morally good man. Still I must not lose sight from the experience—it is merely a character which serves me, not around.

How reliable then are these words? How well do we think we know people, or even ourselves? My brother came to me one day and asked, "What is your favourite food?" I fumbled for a reply over a simple-enough question. I have never thought to ask nor answer to myself such things thinking I know myself well enough, but what does it mean to know? We then engaged in a discussion about how we tend not to pose these important questions to ourselves and to our parents and siblings and relatives and friends and new acquaintances; we treat familiarity as a sign of knowledge or are only asking, "What have you been up to lately?" or, "How are you doing?"—questions which never go so far as to penetrate to the heart of a person and then deeper. Even then no man would give a reply so honest as to say: "I'm not doing well; in fact, I have recently been thinking about suicide."

As infinite as the stars seem so are the combinations of the elements in a person; perchance I may meet him again; yet these things are too large for us to comprehend, the way the Fates weave our threads. So in Singapore when the sun goes down and I bide by the embankment along Esplanade Park contemplating the glimmering golden sea carry with it the dreams of all the people coming and going, and somewhere someone must be thinking of some other, I know she will carry mine too to heaven. But as the final rays blaze the skies red before dissolving into the darkening night, and in the city the people go about their usual lives while the yellow streetlights come on one by one, I turn away and begin my journey home, and nobody, nobody knows what is going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old.1

1   So in Singapore...forlorn rags of growing old: Inspired by the closing words of Jack Kerouac's On The Road, used to a similar effect.

No comments:

Post a Comment