What are long weekends for?
Days of paralyzed time-outs stretching to the promise of uninterrupted sleep, hushed appointments and undeadly deadlines. Idle moments screaming with the call of unhurried time, the silence of the ever ticking clock. The sight of emptiness in the nooks and crannies of every office, every classroom and every boulevard; papers flying in the whip of abandoned air, silence consuming the echoes of the eerie darkness, city lights dancing in its telltale solitude reminding us that the day is over.
Cars park. Houses turn to homes. Working robots become humans as dinner tables glisten in the sparkles of new chinawares. Cash is served with the glittering gold to fill the appetites of hungry souls. Glasses clink to the toast of momentary pleasure. Laughter echo in a resounding thud, a mechanical laugh for the mechanical heart. And when the entire home falls asleep, one finds oneself awake in the middle of the night, counting the days, the weeks and the months that has passed by and will pass by still. It’s funny how time works.
In the midst of the deafening silence of a sleepy evening, one comes face to face with one’s own life as songs from a forgotten past play on the vague background. In times like this, people listen and look back. Some are contented, others feel regret. For the most, they feel a deadening amount of indifference towards the equally indifferent world, unable to breathe again in its shallowness, hopeless to ever truly live again.
What the world has made of us is both a blessing and a curse. In the advent of modern technology, the course of human lives are forever changed; from the complex machines of multi-tasking to an instant ‘one-press button do-it-all’. Even the world seems smaller now. People used to spend 40 years crossing a vast desert, now all it takes is a swipe of a finger to see the ice caps (and the melting ice!) in Antarctica. Telephones, fax machines, bridges, airplanes, space shuttles, nuclear bombs, Facebook; the many faces of technology. Many thanks to the human race who work their asses off, exhausting their heads and their hands all for the glory of labor and production, getting burned out every so often, reciting the alphabet with only the letters M-W-F-T-Th, counting 24/7 to infinity, shaking their stress off with every cup of Starbucks coffee, lighting a few sticks of cigarettes, finding temporary solace in its dancing mist until office desks and ringing telephones call them back to reality once again. So much for alienation? Hail Marx.
The world is grateful indeed for geniuses like Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg among others. But behind the curtain hides the brighter ones, the people who made all big dreams come to existence, little cogs of this grand self-consuming machine. Calloused they all seem, exploited and alienated by the world they themselves have made, bruised by the hands of the one they call brother, beaten to a magnitude of lifetime labor. One hell of an irony? I thought so too.
But let us take a solemn pause. Consider this weekend a gift. Liberate from the chains and live. For once, go home and find them waiting. Make the rare and precious hours of the evening last. Cherish time before it speeds out and outruns you. Share the table with a feast from your labor and taste the bittersweet fruit of thy brow. You are a human and not just a mere plastic puppet of the capitalistic cartoon show. For once in a while, play human.
It’s strange how different everything appears to us whenever we catch up with the swift, speeding time; how we become unfamiliar and unattached with our selves in moments when we are left with nothing but meditative silence. The way our exhausted hearts cry in its midst, the way we take sanctuary. When the city lights bow its kaleidoscope colors, when the chaos sleeps, when the urgency is denied of significance and the weeping feet and the burdened shoulders walk its long way home, one finds the sweetest treat of rediscovering the self.
Though the world we are born into is brutally unforgiving, tormenting every frail man with its bitter flagellations making earth appear like a lesser hell, at the end of the day there lies a crucial realization: that, although trapped in the web of the manipulative society and of the unending tick of the time, we are still the makers of our own lives and are free from the elemental imperatives from the outside.
What are long weekends for? Well, in the end, that sounds like a really good time for becoming truly human in the face of economic undulations, international disputes and changing timezones.