The Story of a Thoughtless Mask

Darkness. Complete darkness. It is the time when the night lovingly gushes out the ambers of the dying day and as a farewell sigh sporadically kindles the stars on the dark sky. The moon majestically steps in to reign over a sea of silence. Everything is under the control of her imperturbable waxen beam. The nocturnal city puts on the veil of mystery. The perfect time to hide, to conceal, to disappear. Fear mingled with excitement propels the nomadic soul to start wondering upon the meaning of what has happened in his life.

Nothing! His life goes on separately from him as if there are two people stuck in one body: the robot and the thinker. The robot makes sure the vital organs of his body are kept in good health and working well. It goes like a Swiss watch. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. The task is not that difficult: a balanced diet, regular exercise, no smoking, no excess drinking, sex once a week, and nothing else. It is this nothingness that awakes the thinker. And it always does during the night when he can actually hide, conceal, disappear.

It does not happen often. It happens rarely. But once it happens it happens. It happens that he realizes that his life is but a mechanic boat that follows the same course every day. The route never changes, the stops never alter, the passengers stay the same. The same route, the same stops, the same people, and nothing else. Even the small river his boat is navigating annoys him with the stillness of its waters. And still waters run deep.

The scaring stillness protrudes every pore and makes his blood run still. The heart beat stills the rhythm of life and nothing else happens. Why has the blood stopped rushing? Why has he stopped to still it? Is this what he was looking for? A deafening silence that drums the mourning song of dust. Why keep everything in perfect order? To turn once to dust? And yet, everything he does is to stay still. The slight movement of his grey cells might destroy the seemingly perfect balance of his earthly life. And everything is better than chaos.

Why is he so much afraid of chaos? Everything was chaos at the beginning. It is chaos that produces beauty. It is chaos that gives birth to stars. It is chaos that makes you see the light. Light is imperceptible when somebody else has put the lights on for you. The fear to grope the dark in order to find the light keeps him still. And as long as he is still he won’t fail. And the light is on and it matters in no way that it might not be the light he wanted. It is bright, blinding and abiding. Rebel if he has ever been, rebel he cannot now remain. And he is still.

Historically anarchy has brought no good to humanity. He is part of humanity. A speck in the sand. An unimportant speck, but he is part of humanity. And if this speck starts questioning the balance is destroyed and humanity is lost for ever. So he is the saviour. Stillness will save the world and nothing else.

Unwanted anger creeps into his pulsating veins on the temples. They start thumping. The thumps cause headaches and headaches cause misbalance. If he loses his balance he is bound to fall. No he is not afraid of falling. Falling does not hurt, but hitting the cement does. He needed security so the cemented foundation of his stone house is indestructible. It has never crossed his mind that he could be the one to get hurt against the concrete of his castle.

Where did this abyss of insecurity come from in the first place? Why such a perversity for security? His childhood? No. His parents loved him and offered the protection he needed. He was loved. He was respected. He was taught to love and respect. And he was taught to question! His adolescence? No. His friends were anarchists, questioning what was right and what was wrong all the time. Everybody was trying everything everywhere. There was a continuous search for something they could not even properly articulate. But they were looking for it. Adulthood? He is an adult. Still adult. And he does nothing of the kind anymore. There is no one to love and respect. There is no one to teach to love and respect. And there is no search. Nothing!

And now he takes the part of the rebel without a cause. Isn’t it too late for that? The very thought of rebellion is unorthodox to him. Rebellion is just another form of chaos. And what is he to rebel against? His own stillness? There is absolutely nothing to rebel against!

He is still happy. Happily married. A happy family. Happy children. A happy dog. A happy man! Such a nonsense to rebel against nothing. In his youth (as if at thirty one is old), he rebelled a lot. In school he questioned his teachers’ rules, often disobeying and even more often getting detention. He and his friends would often spend the afternoons in their detention room. It was theirs indeed! It had become their home. They made so many plans inside. The band was the child of that room. Then the first song. The first thrill. The first kiss. The first cigarette. What a dare: smoking in the detention room! Every single remembrance echoes painfully in his brain. The echo sounds more like a thud hammering out the painful realization that nothing happens now.

He is impotent. The regular breath he hears next to him annoys him. Does she ever think like him? Does she ever feel like him? Does she ever stay awake like him? Does she care? Such a steady sleep. He envies her. He curses her. He hates her. Her swaying body to the music of the waves is what he still can remember without feeling bitter disappointment. She has the same body, he has a different life. She was crazy then too. Even crazier than he was. She wanted him, he wanted everything. Now she’s got him, he’s got nothing. Once a week he tries hard to imagine her face smiling in the rays of the sun when they fell into forgetfulness on that beach. So much light. He thought he would lose his eyesight. And no matter how hard he tries he cannot see the light again. Impotence is what he feels and nothing else.

He is so lonely. Loneliness has embraced him the moment he stopped dreaming. It is a faithful companion who never leaves him. It is here with him now. It is with him at work. It is with him in the most crowded party. It is with him when he eats. It is with him when he laughs. It is with him when he cries. It is with him when he thinks he loves. It is with him when he speaks. It is with him everywhere.

Gradually ager gives way to despair. Still in bed, he gasps for air. His healthy lungs, unaltered by the destructive powers of smoking and drinking seem to writhe inside. Still in bed, he tries to utter something. His brilliant elocution stops at the tip of his tongue. He can produce nothing!

So now the time to hate comes. He curses everything but then he stops as there is nothing to curse. Still nothing. Nobody has pushed him to make the decision he made. And he is tired of hating himself. Hatred gives wings to uncontrolled rage. And all this takes him to nowhere. He is furious. How he wishes she were awake right now. He does not want to talk to her. He just wrathfully wishes her to see his eyes. The eyes she loves. The eyes she cherishes. The eyes she thinks she knows. And she knows nothing.

There should be something! Nothing comes out of nothing. Think again! Maybe that time at the bar when they danced in the dark. He felt something then. What was it? It is so close. He will say it in a moment. It is…

Too late! The dawn is breaking its bloody rays that herald the new day. It is high time to put on the mask! Nobody can possibly see him like this. Nothing should change! Oh, no! He should change something. A change! He should see the doctor to change his sleeping pills. Again. And nothing else!

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