Bittersweet Contentedness

She figured that it was a privilege to be bored. Most people could only dream of having nothing to do and yet there she was, miserable. No, not miserable, just terribly bored. She wanted to write, she really wanted to write but she had nothing to write about. A jog was what she needed, a light jog to get her energy up and mind awake.

            “I’m going out for a run!” She told her family as she walked out the door. She heard her father mutter, “Why does she bother staying in shape when she doesn’t have a boyfriend?”

            A boyfriend. Is that what she wanted? The idea was certainly appealing but she wrestled with the practicalities of a relationship. She just wasn’t ready to be there for someone in that intense and committed of a way. It would be nice to be held, though, and loved without a familial caveat. Would holding hands and sharing ice cream with a boy cure her of her boredom? Perhaps at first but then the days and the dates would just blend into each other again and then she would get bored of him. She just wasn’t ready.

            She ran slower and tried to absorb her surroundings. It was the same old park with the same old people on the same old Tuesday afternoon. It was a lovely park though, now that she had stopped to admire it. She stopped admiring things long ago around, the same time she came up with a medical term- bittersweet contentedness. Bittersweet contentedness- when the same old days would swirl into each other and form a massive gray spot in your life, and you just had to be content with it. Everybody experienced it, just in varying degrees. Some people run off to Europe to deal with it, others rush to start families. A mid-life crisis doesn’t arise from life suddenly becoming boring; it comes from the realization that you’ve been content with life for too many years.

            She looked up at the sky and it was such a beautiful blue, unlike the overcast days she was used to. She usually treated her theory of bittersweet contentedness casually, as if it were a force that she was only aware of. Now, looking at all the lovely average people under the blue sky, she realized that they all felt it too. She turned her heel and started to run back home, she knew what she had to write about.

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I feel like it’s time to make the obligatory self-humbling post. In all honesty, I’m extremely grateful for my 30 followers. It may not seem like a lot to some people, but the fact that 30 different people all enjoy my work astounds me. I hope to continue producing stories that you all enjoy and I also hope to really connect with my followers throughout the rest of my blogging career. Once again, thank you all so much!

The Man Behind Cthulhu

“That is not dead which can eternal lie,

And with strange aeons, even death may die”

                                                            -H.P. Lovecraft

            I wouldn’t say I’m H. P.  Lovecraft’s biggest fan. He was an awful and horrifically racist man (just search up the name of his cat), and in light of the recent MeToo movement it’s become harder to separate the art from the artist. Nevertheless, the artist’s life always explains the art, which is reflected well in Lovecraft’s short stories. Lovecraft was a disturbed, cynical man who was afraid of a world that wasn’t his New England home. This played a big part in the creation of his stories. Lovecraftian horror focuses on the unknown and unexplainable- because there was so much he didn’t know and couldn’t explain.  

From a pure literary perspective, Lovecraft’s stories do appeal to me. I still have yet to read them all but, from the ones I read, I fully understand why Lovecraft was a monumental figure in the Horror genre. Although a monster or cult of some kind is usually central to his plots, the main driving force is the reactions of outsiders. It’s as if the reader is trying to solve a mystery, but instead of a resolution we are just filled with existential dread.  He popularized Horror in a way so that you can relate on either an intellectual level (with the themes of dread) and an emotional level (with the terrifying deities).

            However, on a philosophical level my feelings towards Lovecraft’s stories are mixed. I am far too much of an optimist to see humans through Lovecraft’s gross and judgmental eyes, yet the feeling that everything is worthless and death is just around the corner hits close to home. Despite going out with friends, working out, and doing well in school (all things that should produce that desired serotonin), sometimes all I can do is contemplate on how nothing really matters and death is a never-ending stream of darkness.

            This view of death is neither new or revolutionary, but the fact that it’s so commonly known and accepted that we will die is rather disturbing. Lovecraft’s stories actively challenge you to think of death and your reaction to it- even if your views don’t align with his.

            As aforementioned, it’s difficult to talk about Lovecraft without mentioning how much of a horrible  person he was. To deny that he was a great author, however, would be a mistake. Instead of mindlessly praising Lovecraft, use his ideas to propel the genre of Cosmic Horror further.

Links to great Youtube videos that also cover this topic:

I can’t promise that I’ll love you forever

or even for a few more years.

I can’t promise that someone else won’t come along

and steal my heart.

I can’t promise that we’ll always be happy

or enjoy each other’s company.

But,

I can promise that I love you now,

I can promise that I love nobody else now,

I can promise that right now I’m happy.

Love is unpredictable, I can’t say we will always be together.

However, I’m willing to take the risk,

are you?

Ideas Inspired by Bandersnatch

Image promoting Netflix’s Bandersnatch. Source: https://www.heavenofhorror.com/reviews/black-mirror-bandersnatch-netflix/

I just finished watching (playing) Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch. This is neither a review nor dissection of the film/game, but rather some thoughts that it inspired in me. Over a week ago, my friend asked me about the idea of living in a simulation. Perhaps he wanted a long and insightful conversation, but my response was cursory. I told him that if I found out that we all lived in a simulation; it wouldn’t affect me in any way. If the theory were true then that means we would have been living in a simulation all of our lives, what difference would it make if we were aware of it?

            After finishing Bandersnatch, that conversation came back to mind. It didn’t come in the form of an existential crisis, but rather a collection of passive thoughts. Could it be possible? Are we truly being controlled? For what purpose though, why would anyone want to control anyone as mundane as me? It’s almost inherently narcissistic to assume that anybody would care enough to make our decisions for us. The thought of a lack of free will could almost be reassuring. If our choices don’t matter, then why worry? Everything will sort itself out in the end. Perhaps this is why religion is so comforting to many. God is our programmer and we are merely pixels on His grand computer.

            I’m rather impassive to it all. If someone were controlling me then I hope they make some interesting decisions soon since my life is rather dull. I am an outsider to this whole idea of living in a simulation; perhaps if someone explained the theory in great detail then I would get a more visceral response. However, this rhetoric of the government controlling us and having a lack of free will is so overdone and hackneyed at this point that I can’t help but remain blasé.

            The only time this topic has gotten the appropriate response from me was when I watched The Truman Show.  The “programmer” was just a man who worked in the entertainment industry. He wanted to do something unique and groundbreaking, even if it meant deceiving someone for their entire life. It wasn’t a computer or the government, it was just a producer obsessed with an average man. The Truman Show brought a more personal twist to the idea of a lack of free will. The system isn’t always out to get you, it could just be your fellow man playing with you like a marionette.

            Despite not rousing a huge shock in me, I did enjoy the storytelling of Bandersnatch. It’s far from a masterpiece but it’s a good prototype for the future of game-and-film fusions.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all my wonderful followers! Although many wouldn’t boast about having 15 followers, I’m eternally grateful for all of you! Just knowing that there are 15 people who admire and like my work really validates my dreams of one day doing this professionally.

I’m following all of your blogs as well, and all of you are equally amazing writers. I hope 2019 brings us closer as a community.

2018 wasn’t personally an amazing year for me yet I’m still grateful considering this is the year that I finally pushed myself to take my writing seriously. Even though I’m progressing slowly, it’s been entirely worth it.

For 2019: I want to work on my novel, finish my first year of college, and get better acquainted with all of you. Please tell me about the highlights of your 2018 and your aspirations for 2019. Happy Holidays!

A Hollow Heart

That was how it felt to have a hollow heart. When I heard his painful words of indirect rejection that proved he belonged to another, I didn’t feel sad. I smiled for him to mask the pain, so he wouldn’t feel awkward, so perhaps I could trick myself into believing I was happy. I didn’t feel happy. I didn’t feel anything.

            Instead, this all-too-familiar numbness consumed my entire body. I didn’t want to cry or move. I just wanted to stay static until I could maybe forget about him, forget about my foolish feelings. However, I knew I could never forget about him. Remnants of his kindness and my adoration for him would forever be etched into my mind. I also knew that I would see him again, although he would be walking hand-in-hand with another in my mind.

            “It’s okay.” my mind whispered, perhaps afraid he would hear. “You should be used to this by now, don’t show weakness.”

            So I didn’t. We just walked around, inches apart, and I had to learn to be content with the fact that nothing would ever happen. I could have cried but that wouldn’t have changed anything. I could have never spoken to him again but I would have missed him terribly.  I could have prayed that they would break-up but I didn’t want them to. I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I didn’t want him anymore yet I couldn’t shake off my feelings altogether.

            We just kept walking, and talking, and laughing. I almost treated our day together as practice for when I would get rejected again in the future. I tried to stay optimistic, I tried to hold onto the idea that my prince was just around the corner. However, as hard as I clung onto that hope, I knew if my prince existed then he was around a corner that was miles away.

            “It’ll be okay, it’ll be okay.” I kept repeating over and over again in my head. It would be okay, I knew deep down that it would. In a few days or weeks, I would be over him. I will have found someone else to adore. I will have refilled my hollow heart only for it to be shattered again someday.