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Thursday, March 10, 2011

permanent midnght

A few weeks ago I went and bought a copy of the Gilmore Girls. This is the beginning of a ritual I have faithfully followed for 3 years now. Before anyone says anything about the lack of masculinity involved in that particular purchase I will share some of the priceless wit that goes into the production of that television show.

[Richard hears from his mother at Friday night dinner.]
Emily: [So] you were on the phone…
Richard: Long distance.
Lorelai: God?
Richard: London.
Lorelai: God lives in London?
Richard: My mother lives in London.
Lorelai: Your mother is God?
Richard: Lorelai…
Lorelai: So, God is a woman.
Richard: Lorelai…
Lorelai: And a relative! That's so cool. I am gonna totally ask for favors.
Richard: Make her stop.
Rory: Oh, that I could.
Lorelai: I still can't get over that I'm related to God. It's gonna make getting Madonna tickets so much easier.

I knew I needed to laugh in the coming weeks and each successive season has been an ally of mine when I have to face that bane of student life, the archenemy of everything sacred. I had to do exams. And to do those exams I had to read a tree load of papers. I have found over the years that people not doing law never understand why I have to read so much or so hard. Sure part of it is just me, I have that peculiar genetic mix that drives me to books when I need to do a paper and it’s possible that I do more than I have to. But, there was one unit this semester where I had to cram over a hundred case names, all of them relating to different complicated and highly sophisticated principles; it was here that I learned the term circulus inextribulus meaning a vicious logical circle of the chicken and egg type. And all this came together with the aspect of internationalism so each of those cases had at least 2 nationalities, the average was probably 3, and there was a spectre of an admonishment from the lecture who “loves her authorities.” So for the last couple of weeks whenever someone said “you don’t have to read for law, it’s just a matter of application and how well you argue!” a gun purchase seemed imminent. Not that I’d shoot them, I’d never talk my way out of that, not even that I’d actually buy a gun but am sure that at some point after those observations someone somewhere in the world bought a gun and I understood why they did so.

When it began as with all these things it seemed impossible to get through all that slog and it seemed improbable that actually doing so would help. A dark cloud descended over my life and the world seemed to pass me by. The servant’s quarter in the house seems to be the only place that is sufficiently apart from all the noises of life that invade the air. There’s always someone watching TV or listening to radio or talking and laughing. Unfortunately for me I wasn’t blessed with that mental shutter some people have that; ability to block out the noise with nothing more than force of will. I have to block it out with doors and windows and endless pleas. And the pleas were endless. I must have asked people to keep down the volume hundreds of times, it’s times like this when you notice how popular a particular spot in a house can be. That window outside the sq was permanently occupied it was as busy as an A, I think that makes more sense cos if a bee actually was so busy why the lackluster grade?

I think those pleas were the worst part of it. They made me feel so selfish and angry at the same time. I was constantly in a state of conflict. How self-centered was I being asking all these people to live their lives at a volume less than what gave them colour. I would berate myself for this and sit there and take it for a couple of minutes and when I couldn’t stand it anymore I would ask with a tinge of frustration in my voice, a tinge that turned into a tan and then became my voice. I would ask them to keep the silence and then I would be so angry that I had to ask. They could see how tired I was all the time. The flash in my eyes went out and I couldn’t contribute to conversation anymore. I couldn’t make them laugh and I had fallen into myself. They could see how hard i was working and I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t just sacrifice this small action and close the door behind them or talk elsewhere. This conflict was terrible and it confronted me every day.

And the thoughts. For some reason concentrating on something and trying to keep at bay thoughts of all else is the bringing of these thoughts to the foreground. I thought about life and relationships past and I thought about the fact that noone ever gets closure. Only the person who ends things understands their reason, everyone else is left flailing in the wind like an unclosed door, forever on a hinge never completely shut off, but only kind of open, then I’d get pissed as I realized that yet another person had left a door open and sound was sneaking in and robbing me of the attention I needed.

Another thing that happened is that I fell into myself. It happens when am reading for a paper. I gain this Nazi-like discipline where the whole day is divided into a series of hours and the timetable is followed without change or compassion. I retreat from the real world and enter a universe filled with papers and notes, filled with my handwriting and printed handouts, filled with past papers and predictions, filled with stress and strain. The world goes on and the sun rises and sets, the weeks turn and people enjoy their weekends but I feel like I have entered a really long dark stretch, a kind of permanent midnight. And I can’t talk to anyone at home cos am angry with them and they are with me-though they probably have more reason. And all my classmates are a part of the world that I hate so much. And I don’t see my other friends cos they are a distraction. And it’s all so black.

Then time begins to play with me dividing itself into ever smaller and more insurmountable portions. When previously a week was nearly nothing, a kick-off to the next, now a day seemed to yawn into the abyss. Every second could be felt stretching itself into something it was not supposed to be, time was grotesque, unfamiliar and so very long like I had regressed into childhood. The only thing that passed was sleep. It felt like I would blink and be awake with yet another day ahead. I would drag myself out of bed eager for the time I would be getting back in.

And the harder I pushed myself the worse it was, there’s a Bruce lee quote “there are no limits. There are plateaus and you must not stay there; you must go beyond them and if it kills you, it kills you.” He would have been so proud. This week I had 4 papers in 3 days. On the day I had 2, one was the aforementioned paper(I even write like a lawyer now) the other was a ghost of papers past, a second year re-sit come from the grave of failures to have a visit. I was ran ragged, I could feel the fibres splitting from my skin. And i thought to myself, this can’t be healthy.

But everything ends, even endings and as I write this I am past all this. I am going to get superbly drunk today.