Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An Ode to the Beautiful Ones

As all people are.

Be careful with the hearts you intend to break. Your alibi is their misfortune, a tragedy in their lives whatever name you give it. Silence, it seems, does not always mean “yes,” because your silence, your stubborn refusal to dignify them with a response, a phrase or a word perhaps, at least a sigh, is torture even to the flesh made almost unfeeling by a decade or so of solitary nostalgia, to those who find temporary refuge in imagining what might have been but never was and never will be in this lifetime, and to those who are left with no choice but to continue their relentless pursuit of the impossible. For these people who find desperation in their waking hours instead of you in their arms, you are real and you are impossible all the same. The contradiction of you is unsettling, and it makes you a challenge, a Gordian knot uncut by Occam’s razor, a riddle that must be brought to its logical conclusion.

You must understand that there is no freedom in nursing a broken heart. Those enslaved by the memory of perhaps three thousand days without the sun, as with the absence of light in total darkness, can testify that rejection cripples and it cripples too bad, like blindness in a world where its own beauty is supposedly the only consolation for the tired and weary, they who realize that this beauty is entirely beyond them, an unreachable, untouchable, unknowable source of infinite happiness that is gracious only to those who are bold enough to replace their pride with guilty compassion. These people, the ones who stand to suffer at the incredulity of your indifference, they were ready for the wounds but never the scars. It is not the torment of everyday living that stupefies them, for anything in the present is transitory. Rather, it is the very thought of having to endure the shadows in the years to come that frightens them, the future contained in the past — and the past contained in the future, like a bone trapped in the sands of time — is the bane that does so.

There is no doubt: your beauty is your license to kill. You wield it like a sharp razor against the throat of the newborn. You thrust it like a blade against the helpless chests of all conscripts of war. Your indomitable drive for greatness injures emotions. But you must understand that it is plain error, if not arrogance, to immolate a clutter of broken hearts as you tread your way to your dream, which is the only thing that can humble you and those who closely resemble you: people who have plotted a grand life ahead of them, a scheme that considers everyone else as disposable appendages that can be severed at whatever convenient excuse. In life as in any struggle, your bid for immortality is precarious, so you sacrifice those who tail you as ransom for the price of your vain optimism. Without them, however, you are a nonentity. You are beautiful, and yet you will be nothing. You owe these martyrs the spectacle of the admiration that you now relish.

Posturing flawlessness as if it is your habit is not the best way to stifle the illusion of hope. To exact perfection for yourself, which is already as enchanting and as disarming as the mere thought of you, is to claim more casualties than you can count. Your intention betrays you. You harp on the idea of perfection, purity notwithstanding, and yet you find it repulsive to find people gravitating to what you are doing and who you want to become. You want others to love you for who you really are, but you fail to recognize that you want to be someone else in the first place, someone so calculating and precise, someone like a saint or a god, or maybe someone who is not wont to err. That is tragic. It is pointless to be a diamond and expect people to find nothing before them but a piece of rock unworthy of adulation. Perfection comes with a heavy bargain.

Be gentle with the hearts you intend to break. The people whose spirits you have ruined, they will grow old and die with the heaviest of hearts. The earth as we know it, the rubble and gravel six feet beneath it, is home to a million and more hopeless romantics buried with their unspoken frustrations that have forever become what they are — unspoken. They are victims of their own muteness, their silence having rewarded them with their demise. But perhaps, for at least once in their lives and under the furtive glances of strangers and friends alike, they secretly hoped that it was their hands you held, that it was your embrace giving them warmth on a cold and desolate evening when the world becomes a little less forgiving. As they have lost everything, they can only afford the cheap price of wishful thinking, paying with what little is left of their courage tucked deep in their hearts.

But above all, you will become a song on their lips, a song with neither verse nor chorus but a song nonetheless, an incomplete poem at the tip of their pens, an unfinished painting at the mercy of their fingers, a prosaic drivel on public walls, or a short breather for these exiles in a decaying city, a place where regret tastes like twenty shots of rum after the first three bottles of beer. You will be hated, but you will be hated because you are loved. Because deception demands to let obvious truths be what they are, for anything that is too apparent is rarely noticed, you go on with your life as though there are no songs to hear, no poems to read, no paintings to view, only you, all five feet and four inches of who you are in the eyes of your beholders. You will try to maintain your clout, and it will be a daily struggle with no end in sight. It will kill you as much as it will kill them.

So be careful, be gentle with the hearts you intend to break.

No comments: