The God of Pain

July 17, 2018

Unlike me. He never buckles to pressure. It doesnt really matter what sort of pressure it is…peer…societal or even the full frontal sort where a man puts a gun right to his head. He never buckles.

Its as if he revels in the very idea of staying in pain longer than anyone else. You know. Or maybe you dont. But I do….only too well.

As a kid I went thru this weird phase where I would hold my breathe as long as I could. At times I held my breathe so long I even frightened the adults who literally saw me turning blue and green.

But despite my best efforts I could never match him….I never even came close….he was the God of pain.

For me as long as I can hold my breathe beyond a certain point fixed in my head, that’s all I cared about. For him pain went beyond the merely sensory…it was his way of communioning with what he truly believed to be a state of existence which mirrored the world perfectly….a painful world….life itself was the distillation of pain in all its multitude of genres. The pain of unrequited love…the pain of a loved one leaving…the pain of simply not beinf able to fulfil the expectations of those who love you and you love…above all being in pain was his personal way of affirming his place in the human race…some people do so by putting a down payment on property…others with a spanking new car or a name card. All that was small beer to him. To him, the ultimate cognizance of pain and being able to french kiss her meant more than just being comfortable with the idea of life, it was the greatest testimonial that he still alive and above all present….it was a sort of validation…silent approval….camaraderie….la convivencia..that might have closely resembled his childish taste for books.

He liked Dumas. Read or probably imagined the narrative mostly thru comics. He read them all – The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. His favourite was the D’Artagnan Romances, of which The Vicomte of Bragelonne: “The Man in the Iron Mask” was his favorite. I never actually asked him why he was so fond of Le Vicomte de Bragelonne. Besides it would have pointless to do so. He never ever gives a straight answer.

This was the same tack he took to everyone and as far as I know every thing in life…some people resort to drinking. Others to chain smoking. For him….pain. Or specifically being in pain was his way of coping, it was the clarity of pain juxtaposed against the seeming uneventfulness of life that gave all meaning to his life – he would often imagine himself as the tragic viscount imprisoned in a steel mask….at times he would utter something incomprehensible like just imagine not being able to stratch your own nose when it feels itchy.

He would say these things with an air of seriousness in the way one writes a million dollar cheque – there was nothing casual or flippant about his relationship with pain. It was as if he needed in the way the fable drug addict needs his fix or the alcoholic his two thumbs of lash.

That domain where he would struggle and gasp for air. Where his lungs will ache with every breathe and his heart beat so hard that it was the only sound that filled his senses. Yet he would journey further into the uncharted geography of pain…..only to stop when he knew only too well that he could go further. That was the difference between him and what he termed as men who were half men – he saw the world in terms of an alpha hierarchy that differed so very little from the power and politics of a kennel of dogs.

To his rudimentary understanding of how the unabridged version of the world worked…pain was inevitable. Hence he…the man….fashioned himself as its very personafication of pain’s God by making suffering optional.

In his mantra pain might well be unavoidable….but suffering was definitely optional.

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