We all have stories we tell ourselves since time immemorial; narratives we repeat to ourselves throughout our lives until they form part of our philosophy and become the ultimate driving force of our rationale.
If you are up for some mind-bending, visually-stimulating cinematic experience, you might want to check out Gaspar Noe’s 2009 psychedelic melodrama film, Enter the Void. Packed with electrifying visuals, the film takes its audience into the wild night paradise at the heart of Tokyo where Oscar and his sister Linda reside.
Living in a small shabby apartment in the midst of a bustling metropolis, Oscar operates as a small-time drug dealer, together with his friend Alex from whom he gathered insights on death and reincarnation based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead. On the other hand, his sister Linda works as a nightclub stripper whose unreserved attachment towards his brother Oscar is made apparent throughout the film.
A tragic night in some local bar witnessed the police bust operation which lead to Oscar’s arrest and death. As he was trapped and shot dead inside the restroom cubicle, Oscar’s spirit flew out his physical body and wandered throughout the city—haunted and restless, but even more still alive in the recollection of a promise he made to his sister: that he would never abandon her no matter what happens.
“Yes to life!” was my mantra on repeat as I stepped out of the door and into the burning embrace of a scorching Thursday morning. In my head was an elaborate map of the place I was supposed to go, backed up by a paranoid prayer to the Universe begging to keep me from getting astray in the wild city streets. In my head I was thinking the worst that could happen was not to be caught in death or in traffic jam, but to be cornered by perpetrators whose stone-eyed faces and hardened hands one could always encounter along the way. I was a lanky little paranoid, screaming at the top of my lanky little lungs: fucking Yes to life!
A few weeks back, one of my colleagues had provided me a detailed direction to get to this place that is well-known for scrumptious sushi. But as dumb to directions as I will ever be, I had to trust road signs and the little that is left in my gut-feeling to get to this place locals call Suki.
Are you following me?
I have spun myself into a circle, into places where she’d been, and sought for a sign. I have left a mark on the road in case I forgot the way back, but my mind has lost traces of her footsteps the moment she mentioned something about substance. And right then I thought about abuse and the dim lights of a yellow bulb singing its way into her soul, a round of prescriptions on the bathroom floor taken twice, thrice, until there was numbness and the sorry look from a stranger’s face saying “What have you done to yourself?”
I thought about her eyes, dull in the height of frenzy, and watched the rainbow haze float from out of her misshapen mouth. I thought about her silence but all I remembered was her scream, and the cracking of an old vinyl as it swallowed the hollow spaces between her smoke-stained teeth.
I thought about the crooked line that separates both substance and abuse, and wondered how one person could be both. I thought about the setting sun, and the stillness of her sunken face when Death finally came to empty her of her
miserable miserable life. They said overdose. They said she had too much. But she was so empty, so hungry, when she left us all.
Are you following me?
There are only two points in a straight line. Point A is where we’re at. Point B is where we’re going. Kara never cared about the line, only that she wanted to carry her cross to eternity. She jumped her way out of it—into the vacuousness of everything real and imaginary. She spun herself in circles, in spirals, for she
never believed in an end. She danced. She dances still, to the slow steady music of an ethereal eternal return.