i do not usually write in the afternoon. i am now. some rules are meant to be broken, maybe. some rules are meant to never be followed. i sometimes wish i were one of those people who did not need rules. unfortunately, i have been told that rules are necessary for success, that in order to become somebody, i must first be in control of my mind and body. sometimes i wonder why i want to be a somebody at all.
what if i were a nobody? what if i were line breaks and spaces instead of words? silence between conversations, or sentences? what if i were to disappear? oh, but spaces and line breaks and silence can’t disappear. i had forgotten about that. some rules cannot be broken. otherwise, they would have had no meaning at all.
but who are we to decide what is meaningful and what is not? then again, it would be rather in our own favour if we were to assign a different meaning to different things. speaking of differences and sameness, i have seen (i might be wrong, though) that everybody’s definition of somebody is almost mostly the same. study hard, make money, buy a house, or houses, buy a car, buy more cars, buy a huge flat-screen television, or buy one of those curved ones, go to the opera, go to broadway shows, buy more houses, buy san francisco, buy las vegas, los angeles, buy new york city, go to starbucks for coffee, oh, and drink wine, drink lots of wine, and clink your glass with the lady’s, she’s in another of those sickly sequined scarlet dresses...beer is probably for the uninitiated. then only you will be a somebody. i don’t condemn their efforts to reach new highs (people have their reasons, i’d suppose)--i only do not like the idea that there can only be one somebody. what happens to the rest of them, who are they?
what are you until you are a somebody? what is wrong with being nobody? what is wrong with being just anybody, as long as you are doing what you love, and as long as you are happy (maybe not all the time, but that’s still fine)? i am tired already; why do i have to be ready, all the time? maybe we have forgotten what respite really is. maybe it is sad we need respite at all. or maybe it isn’t. i wouldn’t know; i’m not somebody. i am writing in lowercase so that i keep reminding myself that i am yet still a nobody. a nobody in the middle of nowhere, trying to justify her existence inside this universe using words (mostly plagiarized)—and pictures she has seen, movies she has watched (sometimes she wishes her life were like a movie; then she remembers some movies have sad endings), places she has been (although these have been but very few—no new york or california—just maryland and virginia, mostly their libraries). a nobody who keeps questioning her motives, her beliefs—and eventually she questions them so much that she doesn’t know if she can follow in anyone’s footsteps at all, and she is too apprehensive to clear some dirt from between two pink-and-white tiles and plant an apple seed there, because what if someone comes along and tells her her tree is worse than that other tree growing there on the other side of the road?
maybe somebody else thinks the same thing too, could there be a somebody one and a somebody two?
a somebody three and a somebody four? somebodies not afraid to knock on a closed door, unafraid of what they would find, a somebody six and a somebody five? a somebody seven and a somebody eight, not caring if they do the right thing a little late? what if i don’t have to be somebody? i could...i could be anybody.
I could be anybody, anybody at all. I could be a thirteen-year-old playing gully cricket with my friends, hoping our ball doesn’t hit somebody on the head—or worse, smash somebody’s window and then hit their head. I could be a sixteen-year-old trying to choose between literature and chemistry (yeah, it’s sad we have to do that, really—we need more time; I guess everybody thinks the same thing, though: everybody needs more time). I could be a twenty-year-old trying to make the most difficult choice in life ever. A thirty-year-old desperately searching for a boyfriend, or just someone to room with. A fifty-two-year-old tired of his desk job and regretting that one night he got drunk and called somebody. A single mom in America holding it all in, like a Ziploc bag full (about to burst) and every day, hoping to not scream her head off when her kids come home from school in the afternoon. A hungry kid in Africa crouched in the sand, with a vulture eyeing him: the photographer who took this picture killed himself.
I could be a scared little person typing words on a screen, trying really really hard to keep typing in lowercase as fast as I can (and failing, again). Occasionally the scared little person could stop and think if she was being overly verbose, or less self-explanatory, or anything other than what she wants to be (she doesn’t mind not being somebody, if things don’t work out well; here, well means in her favour—and not anybody else’s, which makes her a little sad). Anybody could be a somebody, and everyone could be anybody, even nobody. Scared Little Person does wonder sometimes if she is on the right road; she also wonders if all roads lead to the same pot of gold—or abyss—at the end of their paths. Maybe the tar would condense in a large ball of blackish goo, at the end.
Maybe the cobblestones would melt away into lava. Maybe Scared Little Person falls off the cliff made of gooey tar into the lava—and never comes back out again, obviously. Would it be painful? Would it be quick? Scared Little Person doesn’t want to know. Because Scared Little Person is, well, scared. Of pretty much everything. Of knowledge, taxes, the bad guys, guns, buses, high-speed trains, things that crush bones and draw blood, thought-trains, death, friendship, and love. Scared Little Person does wish she were not so anxious all the time, but since that is the only thing she knows how to do, she descends into the downward spiral again and again and...again, each time hoping she will snap out of it for good— but you know, the thing is, Scared Little Person is scared of snapping too.
It hurts, sometimes. Scratch that—always. Snapping is like drowning: you die, but it’s painful and your eyes roll back into your head, gross.
Scared Little Person doesn’t want to be scared. That’s why she wants to be somebody, so other scared little people won’t go through whatever she went through. Maybe someday, she’ll be somebody—until then, she’ll keep believing anybody can be somebody: even a nobody.