Have you ever thought to be in pain, to be broken is a luxury?
Sit down and I will tell you a story.
Here, where I was born, people are not always sad. There used to be a poet, but people said he was crazy. I heard from the kids at my age that he withdrew to some far-flung corner of the world and since then no one has seen him back. No one in this village wanted to be a poet, yet every night, adults gather, sitting on the rush mat, complaining about the unproductive harvest this year, or telling this story from the nearby village of a girl who ran away with her lover. Isn’t it the same thing they say as the poet’s?
You learn more about the world when you grow up in an impoverished background. Or to be honest, you must not be irresponsible and also take into consideration an array of factors before you come to any decisions, even the smallest ones. Probably that accounts for the fact that poor kids seem to be more sympathetic and mature than other peers? I don’t know. The thing I know is that from a very young age, all I was told and taught was that I have to study hard, work hard so that I could – hopefully – have a chance of happiness later in life. Everything else is useless.
I see my parents waking early each morning, working hard 10 hours a day and coming back home looking weary, and, a lot older. Oftentime when the sun sets, I would bike to the make-shift market nearby to help my mom re-shelf the clothes she sells. She would tell me about how the sales have gone down, and how people aren’t interested in buying things sold in the markets anymore. After finishing, I recalled, there was a quietness at that moment. The quietness of my mother’s sighs. The quietness the flies made in the dirty corners of the market. The quietness when people rush towards their home when the sun was slowly throwing the dark above this, too, quiet countryside.
But yet, for the impoverished like us, we have no luxury, to be heartbroken.
I’m not sure I know how I feel about this, I don’t know if I should be sad, or pitiful, or hilarious because everything is yet so absurd to be true. The right to be sad, is that even a thing?
People have been caught in the ever-going spirals that they don’t even know the state they are in, let alone how to get out. Life in this age has become an entrapment for the foolish. For the poor when 24 hours a day are not enough to prevent ourselves from starvation, from the very basis to maintain the being, how can we make room and time for sadness to infiltrate our souls, soak the sorrow that’s painfully, always there and cry out when you know nobody is going to hear?
“To torture yourself like this is a luxury”. Anyone who has seen “Miss Julie” must find this sentence familiar to them.
There are days when I was sorrow stricken, needless the reasons. I feel like the ending of the world is drawing near, and even if it were to happen, I can just lie there on the floor, letting myself be crushed. Though, “wake up and work” is all that I hear. Though “when your parents are out struggling to work, you lie here and be — sad. Are you human anymore?”
Nights, I would sit by the window looking up at the moon. I stole my dad’s half-smoke pack of cigarettes. Probably, that’s why I came to love the darkness so much. Cause nights are when dreams – become, when I live with my greatest desire and burn it like ashes. I feel alive surrounded by the mysterious yet stimulating black-out. Even the loudest people during days go to sleep, quiet as the kids. And here I am, one by one, facing the entire world, facing reality, facing my very existence.
Do you hear the poets that cry themselves to sleep
The writers crawling begging, to find the meaning
Scattered all over the floor
Have you heard of the lover
Who runs to the very end of the world
Finding the dead body of his other half, soaked in the dead sea
Have you heard of the bird that’s scared to fly
Flowers too shy to shed
If only I could
Tell you these stories all day
Matters or not.
Why do we have to work ourselves till death
Just to realize you much we have missed?
And the right to be sad, it’s been a thing for me all my life.