The most terrible form of cruelty – abandonment

April 9, 2014

There are many forms of pain that one may experience through the course of a lifetime. But the most acute I imagine has to be the sense of abandonment. As when one is cast into this state then one is virtually marooned in one’s own skull – it is like being the only human being on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere or finding oneself like Will Smith wandering the desolation of an empty city….this man goes to the pier everyday…he transmits a message of hope…but it is not clear whether he does it because he believes that there might be others out there or that it is simply an act that he must continue doing to remain human.

He wanders the wasteland of the city with his only companion….a dog. He’s always armed with a semi automatic and he’s always mindful of that those who lurk in the shadows are out to snuff out his fragile life…he’s outnumbered, but he has a mission….a mission of hope perhaps…but it is not clear whether he continues with the routine as it is the only link to his happy past or that by doing so, he can someone believe that he’s still alive.

I wonder what goes thru the mind of this man as he wanders through the remnants of a once populated city. All around him there are reminders of what life used to be….he sees a half broken bridge…yes, it’s Brooklyn bridge…and soon the images of his family begins to be projected in the movie theatre in his mind’s eye. He remembers the sights, smells and sounds of once being alive with the living and for that brief moment, he remembers what it was like before….then his alarm shakes him out of his reverie, either that or he just got spat out like a seed into the world that he is in now…it’s time to return back to his safe house…the sun would be set soon and the monsters will be out.


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‘You don’t have to be the only man to stand in the infinity of the Russian steppes to feel abandoned. No you don’t. You could just as well feel the same in the churning sea of humanity…there you are marinating in a swirl of souls with all their fervent hopes and dreams and yet…you’re like a hermetically sealed diver’s watch…nothing can ever get in…then again nothing can get out as well.

It’s as if you’re watching the world go by thru bullet proof glass. You know the sort that’s so thick that it’s slightly greenish and even warps whatever is on the other side…this feeling of terminal loneliness clings to you like seaweed….it’s permeates your very soul like a scent and it’s always there.

From time to time, the world may jolt you out of your reverie, but most of the time, it’s just this way…the litany where the road just stretches out before you like a thin line right into the horizon….I once rode a motorcycle across Russia all by myself….I thought it would be fun to see an empire crumble and die from within…it was the year when the Berlin wall came right down and East Germans were glued to their TV screens to a very fuckable Vanna White striding up and down in sequins in that series that mesmerised the entire communist bloc… the wheel of fortune….latter on I realised it was a CIA covert plan to seed the idea of capitalism to undermine the communism.

It was a crazy period. I rode thru Russia till the tires gave right out…. continued on horseback….slept mainly in abandoned buildings and underneath bridges….by the fortieth day or was it sixtieth…I can’t remember…I must have lost count..who cares…..either that or the whole idea of just going on just became so powerful that was the only thing that really mattered then…then one day, I found myself standing before the infinity of the Russian steppes….my horse had just keeled over and died…I had traded my watch for a AK 47 earlier in Kursk….. I lived mainly by hunting small game, it was tough as the firing pin was bengkok, so sometimes it fired…at other times it was just make so much noise and scared off everything….I just had to make do without a meal. No one bothered me…no one even asked me for my papers….no one cared, the soviet union was melting away like a snow man and I saw it’s grand demise as it crumbled from within…..I had a front row seat.

Everyone just wanted to get drunk…everyone except me, who just wanted to go right on….right on into infinity, like a solitary space ship cutting through the darkness of space…that was how the Russian steppes was to me…it just went on and on like one of those those soap operas with no beginning or end – it’s just there…has always been there…for so long that the stars even grew up right before you every week on TV…there’s no end, no beginning…it just goes right on.

I knew I was too far gone the day when a couple of brigands on horseback saw me coming down the road and they just rode away as fast as they could…they probably thought I was a cannibal. I barely looked human. Had made a hat out of remnants of my underwear with bits of rabbit fur, sliced off a piece of rubber from a tire to resole my shoes and used the inner tube as a water bottle… I just walked mostly…..at times I worked enough for a horse…I remember the nights, it was cold…but it was the silence that really gnawed at me…so silent… that I would sometimes let loose a round and just hear it pierced the silence just long enough to remind me that there was something else besides the perpetual howl of the silent winds….the winds, they never stop howling in the steppes. They say it can literally drive a man stark raving mad. There are tales of men in the marauding armies of Genghis Khan who ate their own flesh on the seventieth day, the Ukrainians even have a name for this illness it’s called hysteria Siberiana…The Roma, they call it ‘chamasomis,’ I think it means the country of the end of time…as for the Cossacks, they just call it, ‘Garonne’ – hell. No their caravans don’t dare to go near the Steppes…in their map, it’s terra incognito….a place where you can go right in, but can never ever come out….not in one piece at least.

Yes there are some places on this planet that can just eat and spit your bones out…the steppes has to be one of them I reckon…the other probably the Tundra followed closely by the Khyber past… But I didn’t care very much for all that or maybe I just didn’t know better. All I wanted to do was to go right on and on till I reached the other side…and that was what I did… go right on till somewhere in my head I cross that mythical line of no return…I don’t know how long I walked, it seemed like years…then, one day I came across a flat and long stripe that scarred the eternity of the steppes….I remembered looking at this strange thing before me… as I searched my mind to remember what it was….but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t recall. I knew it had to be man made as it was straight and flat….it reminded me of the occasional straight as an arrow vapour trails of jets that pencilled across the paraffin blue skies of the steppes….. it’s unusual symmetry and form frightened me…I put my hand on it like a hot stove…cringed away with fear and for hours I just sat there wondering to myself what could it be? Where did it come from? How did it just appear right out from the grasslands. I know I’ve seen this before…I remember the texture….smell…it was like burnt liquorice. But as hard as I tried to search my mind…I just couldn’t recall. Then very slowly I summoned the courage to put one foot on it’s strange surface like a man gingerly placing one foot ever slowly on thin ice…It bore my entire weight and I took one more step and another…all the while laughing out loud like a mad man….it was a road.’

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