lamenting friendships

I think for the past few days I have been feeling a certain alienation from people. People are not logical. This is something I have learned both the easy way and the hard way. But, this is not a treatise glorifying emotions either. Emotions can be pretty messy and difficult to express so we use shorthands of violence, anger even lust and betrayal to compensate our lack of syntax and our lack of right verbs and nouns to talk about these things. It does not have to be English. It happens in every language. It happens pretty much in mainstream cultures. We are not really taught to cultivate language. We are taught to cultivate solutions and information. The latter is not a bad skill. It is also needed. However, emotion and logic going hand to hand makes more sense.

People can be brutally honest and hurt someone and that is a valid reason to critique emotions. You know why? Because unless someone is being a douchebag I don’t think we have enough of their life picture to be over exceedingly mean to them. Especially, if they are our friends and we posit some value onto them. Friends can demand things — it’s normal and it shouldn’t exceed a limit either. There are basics, we have our own etiquettes. I think what we don’t understand is that even when we are coldly logical it is a painful surgical procedure without anesthesia. We can logically tell people their shortcomings, or why we don’t like them but have no clue what their positionality is. Most of the time when we dislike people we are also subconsciously, but logically, trying to overcompensate for some lack in ourselves. We feel jealousy that they get it, or, anger that they not getting it reflects our own propensity for not getting it. Our lacking.

Going back to language and skills of deduction, the reason I skirted on emotions and logic is that people aren’t 2+2=4 nor are they (a+b)²= a²+2ab+b² nor are they (a+b)³=a³+3a²b+3ab²+b³ they can all of this and none of this on the same line. It is hard to accept that but it’s true. You can give your level best to people to have them turn on you at any given moment. I noticed why. People are either ungrateful, scared, jealous or insecure. And, when I say people I am not pushing me away from that. I am not putting myself on a pedestal because I am a person as well. I am sure that I also come across as brash, small minded and stupid at times. However, I think over the years, I have tried to be patient with people. The sad thing is, people are not necessarily patient with me. When there is a one sided dialogue on patience: meaning you are being patient and the other person is being mean or you are showing them they behaved badly and instead of being responsible they tell you what you said meant nothing and sums up nothing, it becomes pretty frustrating.

A good way of showing these sides of frustration is social media. People nowadays also abuse social media to make a point that they are disappointed or angry with you. When they unfriend or block you, it does become problematic. There is no way to contact them or tell them you are sorry. Usually, it also makes you feel like a creepy stranger when you were not. Even at times it makes you feel as though they are treating you as they would an abuser. It becomes really sad because when you haven’t been toxic with them or vitriolic with them it becomes an issue. I come also from times when stuff like this was hard to do because basically when you before had fights with friends you could be absent from each others’ lives for a while and then make it or break it with perspective. Nowadays, I think that also goes out the window. People get mad at you and make a statement about it which is hard to overlook and may add fuel to fire and make a hot mess.

The thing is we are not math problems or fragments of syntax or pixels on a screen or even a sum of hormones alone — we are people. We need to work on ourselves and others constantly and consistently. Yes, there can be fluxes but we are meant to fill them with other things. It is imperative we can be a bit more compassionate, open, loving and empathetic with people who deserve it. We gotten down our boundaries, how to be alert for creepy people, how to zone out in places we don’t need to be and we also got down how to be aggressive when required. However, we haven’t gotten down the other end. We need to master or even try to balance out both.

There is a reason I speak of balance in particular. We cannot always unleash our rage and jealousies on our friends who are not intending to hurt us or trying to make us feel low. This is one thing I tried to do. Stress and helplessly in today’s societies comes through work but also through social interactions. We are sometimes forced to be with people we don’t wanna be. We can’t always make a situation feel good even if we try. I get that, personally, I get that so much and I gotten angry and sometimes tell my Mom in a bit of a loud voice how tired I was of it all. Work can be brutal, horrible and also ungrateful. You can give your soul to a career, hours of excruciating brain and brawn power and not get a promotion or even have your pay reduced or even discourteously fired. But, I don’t think putting that on your real friends will actually help you in the long run. Rather, I think it would hurt you.

I talk today about personal experiences. I think I have faced a lot in the last two years that has made me pretty cynical about friendships. I realised the more older you grow up people look at friendship like a hierarchy or something that is just there. People have tried to use me and take me for granted. I don’t think I have ever made  a person feel so low that they questioned their self-worth. However, people do this all the time. After a while, it becomes like as though they are just angry at who I am and how I behave. Maybe, they hadn’t expected me to be successful or even able to write these things coherently in a blog. The fact that I surpassed their assumptions of me may make them feel pretty angry and unhappy. Perhaps, they liked me being in the gutter, or being miserable or even being hapless because that gave their lives “more meaning”? When you think about it people can think like that. They usually are taught life is a competition of living good, making successes and playing hard some game of attraction. When people fail in those areas it makes others overwhelmingly happy because then when they look at the mirror they can Other you. They can tell themselves they are not you.

I just don’t really ascribe to this way of thinking. Maybe, that’s why people don’t always value me and do not want to be my friend to begin with—

palm of a blue giant

a blue giant branched out in my palm
feeling me the force of love
pulsating in the corners of my smile
universalising my cure to frailty

each page then resounded a letter
that was me in the finest form
filled with peccadilloes but also purities
and the horse did not come to bring apocalypse
of a degeneration but a prince who was I
fighting with my sword and scimitar

an oasis branched out in my iris
a solar system of planets and stars
in the constellations of my all my deeds done
and all deeds to come
finding that I was bracketed as the moon
with the definition of suns

I glow because my luminosity
is the only one who I can proudly state was me.—

ennui-tonic

this import of aggression that ennui had made
worsted and winnowed into a fine parable
that only I can share; I who hold the bones
and the crosshairs of my skeletal affixations

this tire which is smoothened and crinkled by the night
whose gaze is not a penetration by a clitoral malady
and not a sufficeless prefix that pretends to bode well

there is a feeling, as I said in the last verse, an endless beginning
or a ending without any beginning. I am obsessed with ennui and boredom
because I do not know if life was an egg for me or already a chicken
whose paleontology I studied in some slaughterhouse on some heap
and made up crude names for its near-extinction. Yes, near extinction…

for we have domesticated life and the simulacra of domestication continues
you may say I too sometimes become manifestation of such a domestication
where culture restricts my sex to either so-called modesty or so-called openness

for the Venus De Milo is a nude without arms  and the Mona Lisa is always a
guesswork in progress. Caught between the Madonna and the Whore of Old
wondering which path I can take and knowing so forging my own takes more courage
it takes a certain kind of loyalty which is civil disobedience but there is Walden I can

retreat to feeling that there would be no taxation upon my sex and gender; even if I bide as a conscious gynandrous of sorts. I do not like to be bound as bondage portraits nor fixed as a saint. I want a messy me; getting tired of being a pendulous predictable.▬

a sort of dream imagery practice

edging out into convoluting fragments; eclipsing dust settles
the dream is a random wolf searching for its pack
it’s collection of fur; it slaughters nightmare wendigos
in this dream sitting in haunches looking at rabbits
and deers that make the mosaic of the palette
hungering is an option we all are baptised in
how we satiate divides and coalesces — my eyes are thickening like claws
and my mouth are fangs but also a herbivore’s girdle
what of the flowers who watch and match in the intensity of me
they record and they are also me
secretly they entice deathmatches; true gladiators of desire.▬

intimacy-issues

I am fond of long goodbyes
as though they were a long banquet
not equivalent to the portrayal of the last meal  because there was no betrayal for coins —-
no deceptive kiss on the cheek

I love the drippingness of sweet words
Hopes that could leap out and embrace
A resolution to a conversation that may have gone wrong; ebbed and flow bile in stead of black humours. The miasma of it churning out may be placated by the salts and coals and waters of a peaceable parting. A promising of next time affairs being gently etched and understandingly bitter but less acerbic in the end.

The sly judas is anti-intimacy
not everyone favours the long kiss
brevity is wit right or so they think
a peck on the cheek is fine; two makes the sweet couplet. But a pentameter is not necessarily short…. a sonnet requires the taste of stanzas. While I wait to encholate on the compositions of tongues and fingertips I get a spurt of half-line codes. Deception becomes the  perception. A perfunctory peck becomes as tragic as silver coins. Time is money. People have other things to do.

While I who wanted a banquet
Satiate with a diet of shorter, odder meals — I must patiently wait to meet my parallel, my paradox, eating to wait whilst everyone on queue perhaps ponders on the delicacies of mastication.—-

Not everyone will like you — Medium

via Not everyone will like you — Medium.

One day, you find a yellow orchid in your room

But you don’t like orchids

A week later, the orchid starts flourishing

But you still don’t like orchids

Two weeks later you notice a golden reflection on its surface

You start disliking the orchid a little less

A month later, you bow to the orchid

For despite your dislike the orchid kept flourishing

And just like the orchid not everyone is going to like you

But as you continue flourishing many will admire you

I really loved this poem I saw in the Blogging platform Medium. I mean this was one of the best pieces I read today (though I didn’t read much today or any day, my reading is as daft and dry as  an iguana in a snowman outfit). I really know this does feel true. Not being liked is a case that is  considered quite important — two other stories seem to capture my attention focusing on likeability a) Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and maker of Facebook, has willingly become homeless to prove a point for likeability (he did it to have solidarity with homeless people) and b) NHS gets both critical feedback and admiration after Justin Bieber endorses for it. The second story has probably more to do with national health care than likeability but the NHS is a subject of much talked about criticism. If you ever lived in the UK or visited it for a long period of time you will know funding the NHS is a mammoth issue. And funding on it depends on likeability to an extent (I can be wrong but I feel rather than know it to be that way).  Zuckerberg’s act followed his own criticism. Some of it is unfair. Others like the one by Mike Goldsmith, actually shows a better response:

Mark Zuckerberg making himself homeless is like a bulldog making himself a vegetarian. Selling stock ,buying a tent and deciding to camp out is not being homeless. Being homeless is when you lose everything, not give it up. It’s when you are forced to face the harshest elements of life by circumstance , not by choice. Camping out on a sidewalk, eating in a soup kitchen by choice isone thing but doing it as your only means of survival,that’s quite something else

I am sure Mark means well, but if he really wants to do something he should abandon these optics and do something that will really make a difference. With his resources he should do something to address the circumstances that put most of his new found friends on the street in the first place. He has the means to create and fund opportunities that would help a lot of people find new meaning and purpose. He could be a force behind new sources of rehab, retraining and jobs. Unfortunately, this “Look at me” optic is not the way to go.

So mark, If you really want to help, get off the street and actually do something that will make a difference. Stop acting like the lost little boy with to many toys and act more like the captain of innovation that you are….

That does make sense actually. We do get derailed to actually want “likeability” and this actually affects who we are. Like many people don’t talk about their editing processes feeling that likeability is focused on some template of genius. And that is true, we are all inculcated to believe the genius requires no effort. And for a while  I believed that too. Actually, the genius might need more effort in many things and that, with her/his innate vision, is genius is usually born and borne. I will readily admit that I had to read the comments’ sections and also the main article to get the gist of what was happening in the Bieber article (the article by Williams is a bit vague if you ask me because I didn’t read the title properly but I also feel it paces on ambiguous  terms without announcing its ambiguity because it probably doesn’t know what to think about itself; it is a bit divided and that is fine). However, most people won’t mention that for likeability. I am not always going to put likeability in parenthesis because likeability and “likeability” are both concrete and also elusive phenomenon. Everyday likeability and the major form of “likeability” (as a collective or pouring into theme) is faced by all of us. We may not know it but many or some of our actions are based on likeability and “likeability” — though it is true that some social etiquette and politeness should be taught many people overburden themselves with it all the time leading to overall ungratefulness. And this is where “likeability” and likeability actually does fail.

Jonathan Franzen wrote an article of being liked saying it was for cowards. The article also mentions Donald Trump but it was written in 2011 (Trump’s recent comments are more on the extreme scale than on any likeability or “likeability” scale: that is another topic. It is one thing to be disliked by going your own way and another to be disliked for racism, totalitarianism, extremism, plutocracy and oligarchic need for control in human interests which become reduced and violated as your own interests), so, it is more on how consumer culture is based on wanting to be liked more and it has nothing to do with love. Love is an adaptation, poetry in progress and motion, love is also constructive criticism, helping you reach great heights — liking is more about satiating some immediate need and moving on. Though that is important too the main thing I gleaned and developed my own way from this article is that you can’t have either/or: one extreme corrupts the balance you have for yourself. We must do things we like but we must also be challenged and become finer, polished beings, so we require that love too, tough or soft, it’s a need and ultimately a want for us as humans.

As some short stories on depression show in Medium that liking, even for a gift, after a point fails. I put in part of the story down below:

“Karen! Guess what?” he asks excitedly.

I look at him to acknowledge his question.

“I got you an iPhone 5 instead of 4!”

I consider this. I consider him –– his face lit up in excitement and anticipation of my reaction. I feel nothing.

“Pretty cool, right?” he says as he hands me the box.

I take the box from him and shimmy it open to reveal the iPhone nestled in itspackaging. As I lift it from its shell and examine the polished design, I think about how I should be grateful.

“Thank you, daddy,” I say because it is the right thing to say. But I still feel nothing. It takes a Herculean effort to force the corners of my mouth up.

Thoughts wander aimlessly through my mind. I think about how my dad is trying so hard to make me happy. I think about how disappointed my lack of reaction must be. I think about how if I felt any emotion, I would feel guilty for being unable to show him happiness. Guilty for not having accepted his gift with more grace and grandeur.

The pain in this piece is obvious. After a point likeability can fail. To a person suffering depression liking, likeability and “likeability” fails big time. Because there are times, like when is depressed or suffering from depression, no gift can really cheer you up.

Well, likeability and “likeability” in themselves can be complicated issues but no matter how complicated the complex in you has a greater chance fate and faith to win. Because we were all made to be uniques in and with and within a collective. So, we are born into a middle-ground many a times. Unless, you truly want extremity or it is dished out on via circumstances, I don’t think you have to worry on it being your identity too much though another reality is it is hard not to worry too much either. We just have to find frequencies that work for us.

The orchid at the beginning of the poem may have blossomed elsewhere or change its pot and dirt; but as long as its reached this state it’s fine even if no one admired it immediately for it or at all. The thing is some honest things won’t be admired either but you can choose if that is something you can live without being appreciated for: whether you can or cannot doesn’t also determine your worth; you may be living a different life and may have different needs. When I was younger I read the dialogue between Jane Eyre and Helen Burns pertaining to this likeability and “likeability” (the novel itself tracing a lot around it) — I suspected that Burns was wrong when she thought Eyre’s humiliation publicly in their boarding school should not matter as long as God still loved her. I wasn’t wrong in thinking Helen Burns was wrong but I was wrong in thinking she totally was. Burns is not totally wrong. To her, this sort of humiliation did not matter, she was older than Eyre and probably had faced this form of torment previously, she has known that people can be stupid and hypocritical and cruel. But she is wrong to seem desensitised to it and not understanding Jane Eyre’s younger self’s need of acceptance and also how justice needed to be served there which only honesty and truth could help prevail in it. Yet, at the same time Jane Eyre should know that getting their aproval should not be her end goal. Both have right arguments in that debate. It was the frequency, the extent of each voice in it, that needed to be understood and possess a corrected pitch.

I would like to conclude with someone’s poem, who is at the moment, my favourite poet on the internet:

If there’s a tic in your toc

It wasn’t me – I am afraid

Of its –  r.a.p.i.d.n.e.s.s

Especially when running

So very – f.u.c.k.i.n.g – late

This poem by Mari Sanchez Cayuso is called Time. Someone in the comments stated that the use of expletives helps the piece. I agreed. If Mari was only vouching for likeability and “likeability” alone she may have exempted from it (though the young adult phenomenon of doing anything one wants is actually more with the grain than against it – that is also a separate topic; I just hinted on it). Yet, this piece is  hers and honesty and truth on her conditions and beings is always why I loved and liked Mari’s poems. I guess, in her own way, she has shown a great balance in her for both things.

without the drink

 

trickling down, a droplet of absurdity
parenthesis entity — that is me
I am a creature sublime to oddities
artefacts can behold me and I beholden
the seas of chaos, calamity and serenity;

surprised aren’t you when my mouth glides
on tongue and I produce a kiss of words
in sobriety, I mated with soberness and it was
sombre, there is a seriousness in the sexiness
of some abstinence and some less inhibitions (a hybrid)
I am caught in tongues, who are not carcera to cheeks

it feels in the midst of conversations I am the phantom
I do not glow with the iridescence of being high
yet I am a novelty of loosened limbs and tongue
without the bottle — I am still an engaged firefly of sorts

trying to talk to everyone … —