The Malfunction


“Don’t get drawn into unhappy states of mind,” I warned myself but it was no good. I got drawn in just the same. I always get drawn in. The warning itself was enough to draw me in. The warning itself was like a great sad bell tolling, reminding me of the unhappy states of mind that I didn’t want to let myself get drawn into. The warning reminded me of the existence of these states of mind and as soon as I got reminded of them I was back there with them. It was as if I had never left….


The sadness was like a colour whose name I did not know. It was like a scent I couldn’t describe. A strange bright scent. It spilled out from some secret reservoir and before I knew it I was up to my neck in it, up to my eyes in it. “Is this my fate,” I found myself wondering, “to be always stuck in these unhappy states of mind?” Never really getting away. Sometimes imagining that I had got away only to find myself right back there. With zero time interval. Always there, never leaving. Only leaving in my imagination.


“So many wonderful possibilities out there,” I thought to myself, “and yet here I am missing them all, oblivious to them all, forever orbiting around in my own private world of misery. Forever thinking these thoughts – wondering about the fantastic incongruity of it all. That reality should be so big and yet my world so small. That the universe should be so rich in wonderful possibilities and that I myself should be so lacking in them. “How could this be?” I wondered for the ten millionth time, bleakly contemplating the abject poverty of my own personal mental prison. My inability to move on by even one iota. From these infinitely repetitive considerations. Why is it that I can’t move on? What is that keeps me here so firmly? Holding me to the spot as if by a magnet. The one thing I can never do is move…


It all seems so incongruous to me. That this – and only this – should constitute reality for me. That this should be all there is. Only this. It didn’t make sense. It confounded me. It seemed so wrong. The wrongness of it all hit me in the face. “Is reality itself an error?” I wondered then. Could that be it? Rather than there being an error in reality. Maybe it was reality that was the error! Maybe reality itself is a malfunction. Or then again, came another thought, came the sneaking suspicion, maybe the error is me. Maybe I am the malfunction.



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