Monday, September 4, 2017

Homesick



Voices from outside the elevator were asking me to stay calm. I was as calm as the winter lake. I know what it's like to get stuck. It's a helpless situation where the mind does its best to rescue you. It transports your thoughts to more pleasant places which you associate with happiness. Sometimes it takes to you to a future spot which you have been waiting for, sometimes it takes you to the unresolved conflicts of the past.

None of this works though, when one's stuck. Reality of the situation is that your being is stuck in a spot where you are "helpless". The thoughts do nothing to work out the situation, they do calm you down a bit though.

The minimum acceptable size of an existing elevator cab, allowing for a single wheelchair passenger, is 0.95 m x 1.25 m. I am calm because my being got stuck already a while back. 16 years ago, to be precise.

Firefighters have this device called the PASS device, which is a safety device attached to them and it starts beeping if there is no movement from the firefighter for 30s. On that day at ground zero, September 11, 2001, I stood there listening to deafening sounds of 343 PASS devices. None of the fallen fighters would move anymore under the debris. The beeps went on till the batteries died too the next day. I was there.

That's where I am stuck. Every single moment I have lived has been like the thoughts I get when I am stuck in this elevator. These moments do not matter because by being is stuck. To be stuck helpless at a spot is an unfortunate happening, but I am not alone.

I was in a bus in Jordan when I met a soldier who had served in the Shatila Massacre.There was this traffic jam and we were stuck at a spot for four hours. Two of us sat side by side and were the only ones perfectly calm in the blistering heat. I could see it, I could see this man's calm was not ordinary, it comes when your being is stuck somewhere. I started talking to him.

He arrived at the slum after a few hours of the shooting, and the entire place had deafening shrill cries of the widows and the mothers. He says he stood there for what seemed like an hour. He got stuck at that spot.

The other day, I met an aged musician who spoke about his performance at an unnamed Rock and Roll festival where he performed his solo in front of 20,000 people. He says he sort of died there. He will never leave that spot, he can still hear the silence of the crowd for a few seconds and then the uproar

There's got to be some relation between the sounds and the phenomena of getting stuck. It's like all these sounds form a hound who sucks away and traps your soul through your ears. You can never leave the spot then

I am stuck in this elevator for an hour and a half now, and no matter how hard your mind tries to transport you away to different surreal places when you're stuck in an elevator, You have this extreme calling which gets you back to where you actually are. You keep getting back to this elevator and its sort of reassuring, because you feel alive and in the moment.

Not me. I need to get back to those deafening beeps to feel alive. In a strange way I felt envious of the soldier who lived a similar moment and got stuck there. I want to be at a spot where I find my true self. I want to be in my trap again.

Last birthday, I filled a basement parking of the mall with fireworks and set them off. All the cars started beeping together. I think they were less that 343, but then I felt at home standing there in that deafening parking lot.

They are saying it will be another 20 mins before they can open up the elevator, I am calm. I just need to think about what to do next. What to do next to get home, to be where I am stuck.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

#quixoticquagmires


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