Thus, too, they came to know the incorrigible sorrow of all prisoners and exiles, which is to live in company with a memory that serves no purpose.
~Albert Camus, The Plague
All days seem the same now. And all of us, who have become prisoners in our own selves, prisoners of time, prisoners-who have perhaps become stuck in a loophole of tainted and fragmented glass–we all were exiled a long time ago in the deplorable chasm. We were stripped off from the colorful skin we wore as a disguise and sent hurling into a place we barely even recognize anymore–our own selves. We keep asking what time is it, what day is it, what month is it, what year is it–who are we?
None of us can feel anything anymore–because years of feeling too much has shrunk us to something we barely remember now. We blame the algorithm. We blame everything we can–but we were senile figures roaming around in an abstract formation and we were going nowhere. And now–we are stuck nowhere.
For we are prisoners in exile. One which even the long nights and days gave up on!
Did we know people before? Or did we just see them and hear them and touch them? Did we appreciate them? Did we decipher death and living? What is the great absurd–did we ever stand and stare long enough to understand? Did we open our eyes just to close them again or did we close them so we could open them again? And did we know that the two meant different things?
Were we ever able to love–were we castrated? Were we films which no one bothered to watch? Were we animals looking for prey—in a big jungle which kept on going round and round?
Does it matter anymore–in exile–does anything matter? Because now we feel things vividly, love from a distance, linger in our own perturbed bodies, clump into our cells and molecules–we want to break free–but we do not even know what or who to break away from and who to break free into.
We hear music and voices and we think we understand–but we are, as we were, so deeply entrenched in our illusions; of control, of understanding, of knowing, of caring–of everything that we cease to be humans. We are only fragments of an idea–which never was, and never will be our own. And we have the audacity to say–fatalism is just another word.
The old man sat under the River Birch for he was in exile. And he did not remember when it began or why–and he did not remember who he was where he belonged. He did not know the time, or the place–or for how long had he been sitting under the tree. He had no thought and he had nothing to say. But he had a plastered smile on his wrinkled face…
The wrinkles–yes. They were the only reminder of time–but he did not remember when he got them. He just had them–for as long as could recall.
He could see that far away a little boy flew a kite. It was a green kite–which waded through the thin air which made up the sky which was supposed to be blue. The boy suddenly looked at him and waved.
Even further–he could see another boy–much older–running with a ticket of the latest fantasy film because he had missed the bus–this boy was coming towards him. He now passed the old man and as he did–he looked at him, but only briefly.
And he could hear a faint sound of a woman giggling somewhere far away. Was she calling him? Was she death? Was she his lost lover? Was she a memory? Who was she? Where was she? Could she also not feel?
He was tired and his eyes were heavy with sleep and he did not realize it but he slowly began closing his eyes and slumber took over him.
And after many days–he woke up with a jerk. And the wrinkles were gone and he was not an old man anymore. But he was young–tall, able and virile. And he could run and dance and laugh and he did not feel tired. He remembered everything and felt as if the exile was lifted. Now he could go back from this abstract world into reality.
But as he began to walk–he fell down.
Perturbed, he looked at his feet and realized that they were disintegrating slowly into dust. He felt a benign pain throughout his body and he let out a scream. But his voice did not leave him–he had no voice anymore. And slowly he began to fade. His wretched body crumbling into something which will never be real. And as he looked at his hands–they were wrinkled again–so was his face as he faded into a haunting memory of nothingness. His mouth and eyes wide opened–looking at the relentless sky which was empty and perverse.
And the old man—once again woke up with a jerk. And it was dark. And he was in exile.