The Journal #19: Alive

I wrote this after a usual long day in my apartment. I do not remember how many cups of coffee I had taken by that point but it seems safe to assume that double-digits were involved. The coffee was a French Roast from the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu.


I remember I told you once, I had a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde situation. There were two sides to me: two equally important parts. I don’t remember when they split, and I don’t know why they did. Do you remember that I told you about them some two or three years ago?

One of them was too diligent. He looked at the world as a problem to solve and people as some enigma to crack. He planned his days, made lists and counted his clothes. His system was iron-clad, robust, and he made sure he adhered to it every day. He would work too hard and exhaust himself. Everything was to be optimised, and everything was supposed to be in its right place, and everything was to be repeated. Repetition was freedom.

The other one was the free spirit. He talked in metaphor. He would lie down, watching the sky for hours, building stories as he looked at clouds and birds. He’d sip coffee, not to find a burst of energy but because he loved the aroma and the aftertaste. He would sit by himself, lost in thought, aloof. Everything was beautiful, and everything was to be experienced, and everything was to be expressed. Expression was liberty.

They both kept fighting to see which one of them was the real deal. That was until the last couple of years happened. That was when, for the first time, they both lost.

Everything came crashing down. No system worked. No art took hold. No list helped. No music was heard. Nothing did function. Nothing was felt. It was a crisis of epic proportions, not that I knew it at the time. Crises, unlike popular interpretations, don’t come all of a sudden. They’re lurking, slowly making themselves felt like part of a grander scheme over an extended amount of time. The crisis occurred, and when all was lost, something unexpected happened.

The inner war had ended. There was no fight for dominance. They had both given up. Perhaps, it was to save me. Perhaps, it was to protect themselves. I like to think we came to an understanding, the three of us. Now, they don’t take hold at will. Now, I don’t have to wait for them to take charge. I can switch at will. I can embrace art and the world and go back to checking things off my calendar the next second.

It seems, in all conflicts, there is a need for a middle ground: an event which tells both sides to look at the bigger picture. It was never about dominance but survival. Perhaps, when they saw it all crumbling down, they gave up. Perhaps, the mess arose because of their ongoing war for years in the first place.

Nonetheless, they’re not there anymore. There’s just me.

My situation is but a thing of the past, and it shall remain so forever. That is, perhaps, my most significant achievement in this irrelevant life — to have quelled a battle going on for years and yet invisible to everyone I ever met.

Dr Jekyll is dead, and so is Mr Hyde. There’s only me now, and it seems I’m alive.

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