A SELF-IMPOSED EXILE

By: Safiyah Ouaguena

 

I have these intense fantasies of spectating my own funeral; that I would die today and be the object of your melancholic affections tomorrow as I lay in the pathetic fallacy of a dark gothic cathedral in the middle of an unidentified plain. My troubles would be known to you all and conveyed by an ordained stranger dressed for the occasion as he romanticised the tragedies of my soul into a eulogy that would make me into a martyr of the melodramatic problems which I cling to. The sound of birds singing and low mumbles begin to bleed through into my mental construction. I shut my eyes tightly, I refocus and I continue.

It is this narcissistic predisposition which I exhort my mind away from as the dependence on external social validation has caught me in its trap, and leads me to nothing but emptiness again and again. I see that they have constructed this for me, knowing the details of my childhood and having transmitted my psychological algorithms into the machine in order to construct the perfect hyperreality to keep me from the truth, keep me chasing the impossible situationalisms that will never come to be. Whilst I humour myself alone deep within my mind, the real world simply won’t have it, and it’s killing me.

I have no culture, I have no identity, I have no place, yet I am of all cultures, identity and place. The isolation and rejection has led me to a lonely place outside of their collective dwellings. In either state my similarity is rejected, for a part of me belongs to the enemy. They do not realize however, that I have a comprehensive view from the outside and see what both sides do – the good, the bad and what they wish to remain secret; and that is why I am a danger to them. I am of the Pan-Arab Amazigh who has seen the oppression. I am of the Arab Spring rebels and the witnesses of the US Iraq invasion so have learned to hate governing bodies of imperialism. I am a spoilt child of the West so am just as disaffected to the violence because of the gory video games I play when my parents aren’t watching. I am both the religious extremist of ethnic heritage and mentally ill outsider Caucasian with a gun and subjective vendetta against the popular kids. I am all yet I am none.

I find acceptance here on the plain. I do not have to seek out external acceptance; only absorb the posthumous affections of the unidentified attendees of my funeral. I do not have to try so hard to be, because here what I was is adored with the sweet sorrow of my passing. The celestial white noise from outside and soft murmur of my eulogy surrounds me; all is sound.

I now find myself here alone again in my post modern form. Waking up to find it was all a dream and being horrified by the quiet ordinariness of it all. Before the static makes me lose my mind I will take these sleeping pills as I have done many times before and have my transcendental and ectopic slumber here in the cemetery, drowning out the traffic of reality to the sound of The Cure; because to be sad in a beautiful dark place is everything, like being the lead character in a movie and having your deepest emotions be the forefront of the narrative and allowing them to characterise you into a tragic hero; this I pretend so that the pain is not in vain, and that it would seem that my emotions matter. The sky darkens, the rain falls, the scene is set.