Friday, November 06, 2009

Where is my mind?

Generally speaking, Fight Club is a movie that will mess up your head big time. Although I love movies I am extremely slow. I have never seen Apocalypse Now nor The Godfather. I only take whatever MBC2 gives me, no matter how shitty.
But I digress. I started following the movie well into its middle, and I had to see it again and read the plot to come to grips with 'everything'. At the same time a FB friend posted the link of the soundtrack, no other than the Pixies' Where is my mind?
Immediately after, I really started to hate my job(s). Although my full-time job is far from tedious - teaching. Yes, teaching isn't boring. You do not stare at a dumb screen all day till your eyes burn, you are not directly monitored and scrutinised by your boss. The students change, they sometimes drop funny lines, they are sometimes so aggravating they push you to new and smart ways to contain your anger and/or come up with ideas to get through to them. In fact, teaching is one of the few jobs in which you can bring about real, and sometimes immediate change. This could also mean that they have been so horrible and psychopatic that you promise yourself upon your father's life that you will never, ever, turn out to be like them. You probably have the freedom to change your material every few months (course), change your attitude, change your method...etc.
However, it sometimes takes me the last 15 minutes before a lecture to 'prepare' it. Correcting assignments kills your soul. Trying to explain, for the hundredth time, that single nouns require an additional s to present simple verbs, is not always fun. It is not always rewarding to find bricks increasing slowly and forming a huge wall between you and your audience. You stare at blank faces and try to tell them, in as realistic terms as you can impossibly find, why education is beneficial for them. Above all, since I am in the academic field, I start to wonder why it is of any use, giving the present circumstances, to waste years writing a thesis, and spending 60% of your salary on this process, only to leave it in the university library to gather dust. I keep telling myself that God gave us the gift of mind to exercise it. If you don't use your mind, you will lose it. And writing theses is not such a bad way of doing so.
And now to my other job, a white-collar job, an office job, a private sector job. I spend all day trying to work out puzzles using technology that has completely got the better of me. You have to be there from 8 to 5, which of course I never do. Why 8? Why not just feel that we're in tandem with the world, and be there from 9 to 5? Because we're allowed a one-hour break for a snack and for praying. Of course the 9 hours are not just the 9 hours. If you take public transportation, they jump to 13. So, in the words of Tyler Durden, you spend more than half of your life working a job you hate to buy shit you don't need. You know, City Stars could have been one of the reasons why I decided to take another job, to be able to buy all of these trendy clothes that some worker in China has been squeezed into making for a meagre wage, for hours on end. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs to hate to buy shit we don't need.
We don't need.
Instead, the anonymous main character decided to create an underground movement. But he has his job, he has long bills to pay. He has social appearances to keep. He can't do that himself, so he created another person to do so, someone to do all of the dirty work, to face trouble and make possible subconscious desires. Someone to hurt him because he would feel guilty about hurting himself - and by this I mean physical damage. The movie goes far beyond the abstract, and reaches the physical. Crazy huh? We always dread 'inconcrete' pain and do our best to avoid it, and we never realise how physical pain is as strong, if not stronger.
In the final moment of awareness, the main character finds a means to bring about the fragments of his mind again. What a selfish act. He shoots himself without fatally wounding himself. He is selfish because he did not give me any other alternative.
Since I saw the movie, I have felt my mind disintegrating. I do not know how serious this is, or whether it is serious at all. This is the only way I can explain it, disintegrating. I briefly reviewed other careers, other lives I could live, but everything, any other alternative, requires taking fatal risks, and I am not exactly a risk taker. Of course the movie is not the main reasons, but it sure did set off these symptoms. My thoughts are racing in wildly different directions. I do not know if I am too good for these jobs, or good enough for these jobs. I am questioning my abilities. I am putting my life on halt in a time when I should be writing a life-or-death proposal for my MA. People talk and I cannot listen to them for more than half a minute. They said it would get better but it didn't.
I am loving one person for something, and eschweing another for the very same reason. I keep sending people wrong signals only to realise this too late. I try to leave my parents' wings and probe into the real world, but never really settling in either places.
Just as if it can get worse, someone who is very dear to me, whom I feel responsible for, started underage smoking. As a former smoker I know what kind of crap that gets you to grab some cigarettes and blow your life away when your parents don't know it. I know the loneliness, the pain, the sheer pressure involved. He promised me he would reduce them until he quits. But if he smokes them where I can't see him, how can I ever be sure?
Where is my mind?
I listened for the song during the past week for I don't know how many zillion times. I keep wondering whether the background voices are screaming.
"You wonder a lot, don't you?"
A family member hasn't died. I was not diagnosed with cancer. I have not ended a thirty-year long marriage. I am not a homeless child getting raped by every pedophile on the move. I am not an Afghan mother of three expecting to be blown up any minute now. Why is this happening to me?


marooned84 said...

damn, let's start our fight club!

Anonymous said...

"with your feet in the air and head on the ground..."
stunning, I really like the whole post !