” If one is a philosopher as men have always been philosophers, one cannot see what one has been and becomes —one sees only what is. But since nothing is, all that was left to the philosopher as his ‘world’ was the imaginary.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Will To Power: Section 570 (Nov. 1887-March 1888)
It was as if my heart would leap out of my chest, earlier this cloudy Thursday morning. Loud thuds of beating drums echoed in the interiors of my own being enough to weaken me with every deafening bang. The atmosphere was all together heavy but the weight of my every step was even heavier on my feet. As I tread the chaotic streets to get to the University, thoughts came flooding in my mind like an unforeseen avalanche and in a matter of seconds, my mind was already buried six feet under the rest of the world.
The campus welcomed me with its usual warmth. The kind of warmth that pierces right through the veins enough to make you run away. But I didn’t run away. I willed not to. And even though I was already suffocating in a thick air of unceasing fear, I still stood my ground. I climbed my way up to the 6th floor. The steepy climb was a bit of a task as I tried to balance both my head and my heart on some self-constructed equilibrium. My every step was shaky as if my feet was screaming to tell me not to go. Grains of sweat rolled down my face, one after the other, as puddles of unspoken fear swallowed me for the most part. No, I was not scared. I was terrified. The silent brawl inside my head convinced me of my own cowardice which I tried to summon by conquering myself. So I mustered every iota of confidence in me and spoke to a stranger.
Upon gathering the necessary details, I made my way inside room W609. It surprised me at how different the room has been and at the same time has not really changed at all. The room; it smelt of memories that are now long forgotten, hidden away in the pages of a yesterday that came and went away. The blinding days of June when we were all new and unfamiliar with the world; the slight uneasiness of the first ‘hi’ and ‘hellos’; the comfort of a new found friend. It all suddenly came back to me as I sat in the midst of all those young freshmen students.
The hours dragged on like a mournful procession as I found myself alone all through out the morning. Such solitary brought my searching heart in a state of unwished-for nostalgia; the days when company killed the most unwarranted kind of loneliness, the days when they were all wrapped around me like the ever inseparable air. But of course, that was unreal. The past is unreal and even the present is a clear canvass of illusion. All the days and the months I have spent in the company of my so-called friends, I have thrived in a swamp of fake reality and fed my heart with deceit and lies. I thought I was the center of the universe. They made me feel like I was or so I thought. But in my frightful solitude in the wake of this cloudy Thursday morning, I have come to realize that I was never in the center of things, not even on the surface of it all. All things carry on and not one person in the world could ever alter the inevitable; not me, not the other person, not anyone. The world does not revolve around a single person and if one day it does, I am for certain that it will never be me.
As I entered the classroom which now cradles to the minds of my once-beloved acquaintances, I was greeted by a monstrous hello followed by a sweeping series of questions that eventually exhausted my heart and left me wordless. I have known of this pain for quite some time now; the pain of elaborating things to people who are either too indifferent or too bored with their own lives; the way they make you lay your life in a dissecting pan and have them do the incisions with their ever-careless scalpels. I had to push myself a few feet under if only to hide my heart, my shame, and shield my heart from their piercing words. And when the messy interrogation was over, they went back to their own protected shells and pretended that they did not see me, that I was never there.
I managed to survive my Algebra class earlier in the day, which left me with the faith that I would last until the afternoon. I hoped that I would make it out of my next class undamaged and unharmed. But that was such a foolish hope. As I presented my registration form to my Biology professor and explained to her why I was enrolled late in her class, I received the most insensitive and the most indifferent remark of my life. I still could not believe how she has called me a liar when she had no idea the hell I had to go through just to be able to go back to my studies. Even the most respected Chairperson in my College reprimanded me about the way I run my life. I guess I will never understand prejudice the way I understand the pain it brings.
I took refuge in a little space I have prepared for my fragile heart and there, swore to myself that I will never let myself get hurt again. It takes a lot of ‘getting used to’ in the way the cruel world works but then, I guess that’s just how it goes. I’d like to believe that all I see in the surface is unreal and what takes place in the bottom is the real thing. But in the process of determining which is which, I only get lost in my own confusion and realize that nothing is really what it appears to be. All is imaginary.