Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘frugal type

“Life is Beautiful. It was not meant for me”

I don’t have friends. Not a single one.

Occasionally, I’m in the mood of chatting and lend a careful ear, a behavior that encourages the talker to open up in matters that I didn’t expect to hear, and frankly didn’t care.

For most of my life, I didn’t have the patience to listen to people’s stories. Until one day in a coffee shop, 30 years ago, I listened intently to a tall US girl whom I used to occasionally meet at the International Students administration of the university.

She was discussing her thesis, and on a whim I decided to focus on her subject matter and I asked pertinent questions. (I am an experimental design minded person). For once, I didn’t go on tangents in order to avoid the real conversation. She was very impressed and said: “You always gave me the impression of a shallow person. I was wrong.

She was not wrong and she was not off the mark: This conversation was a rare exception to my behavior, but it opened up my eyes on what constitute a “conversation” and the power of intently listening that is the main ingredient in a conversation.

The truth is that I was going through a difficult time, as was usually the case most of my life. A conversing sexy goat would have imputed the same reaction in me.

I’m having a conversation with Zikar, a total stranger to me, whom I met in a cocktail party, and who looked disoriented, bored and as aloof as I was.

Zikar is similar to me on these occasions, unless a pretty girl takes the initiative to approach me in my corner, barely sipping on my glass and my eyes roving over this curious general audience and contemplating the schmoozing assembly.

Zikar said: “Do you think life is beautiful?”

My surprised silence sent him into an expanded explanation. Zikar resumed:

“You see, it is the feedback from what I see and hear in the movies and social platforms that give me the feeling that life seems to be beautiful and exciting. If I had to rely on my personal experiences, I think that this life sucks and was not meant for me.”

I asked Zikar: “Have you been abroad for some time?”

“Yes, I have been to many places and countries and lived there for many years.”

I asked: “Have you been trekking, climbing mountains, crossing rivers, swimming in oceans…”

“Yes. I did all these activities”

I said: “And all these experiences were not good enough to appreciate life?”

Zikar quickly replied: “All the emotions in these experiences were skin deep and never touched my inner core. You see, I have no talent in anything. And I’m not the artistic kind of person to appreciate work of arts in painting, music, acting, theater production and design…

I cannot distinguish the details and variations in work of arts and unable to discuss to give any useful opinion on work of arts. I didn’t acquire the taste for luxury and luxury items. Just the frugal type who is amazed that I could wake up and go about the day for so many years.

You see, without talent I couldn’t acquire the passion to love anything that counts.”

I said: “Zikar, have you ever fallen in love?”

The answer was ready and Zikar said: “No. I don’t recollect falling in love.  My level of sensibility is not high enough to encounter ecstatic joy and acute emotional suffering. My imagination in matter of feeling is negligible.”

I asked: “Have you been visiting places in company of friends…”

Zikar’s answer was fast: “Never. Most of the times I toured, saw movies, visited zoos and and attended cultural events and walked the streets all alone.

I’m basically a bore. I swim but I’m no swimmer, I ski but I’m no skier. I’m good in mathematics but I’m no mathematician… I cannot join group activities in sports because I wear corrective glasses and my experiences since the age of 12 was prohibitive in replacing my broken glasses”

I said: “Have you ever attempted Zikar to make an effort to learn a talent?’

Zikar answer was prompt: “Yes. I invested plenty of time and effort to learn a few talents: I knew that my old age will be catastrophic if I fail to get passionate about an artistic field. But it was too late. I didn’t feel I had any innate skills for any artistic field and was mostly the joke of the class.

You see, no one in my family was an artist or appreciated arts.  And there were no extra-curriculum activities in all the schools that I attended, not even end of year play or group activities.

Definitely, most of my emotional energies are pretty shallow and I didn’t feel a catalytic drive to love life as talented people seem to engage in…

You see, I’m mainly a mental person, though I don’t think that I am rational in my decisions.

I learned 3 languages because events and schools forced on me to learn these languages. However, outside verbal languages, I don’t know any of the other kinds of languages like sign language, music, body language…”

My conversation with Zikar took place 3 years ago, and I had completely forgot how he looked.

A joint acquaintance with Zikar who might have thought that I am a close friend of Zikar called me yesterday. He said: “Al 3awad bi salamtak. And may God be compassionate with Zikar. He passed away. He jumping from a three floor building”.

Zikar had left a short note before committing suicide that read:

“It seems that life is beautiful. It was not meant for me and for many billion human like me. The idea of ending my life was not the problem. I couldn’t figure out the proper method not to hurt my relatives, get people in trouble, or be a problem for people to collect my body and waste their nerves and energy on my final departure, like jumping in front of a car and let the driver go through many horror scenes and decisions on a stupid stranger.”

Note: The title jumped into my mind and I had to weave a short story around that idea.

Instead of an essay, however funny and loaded with humor the essay may be, a short story convey better the message and reaches deeper into the consciousness. Especially, when most of the story evolves around a conversation and the main external character represents the topic.

I like to call this genre of essays “Charessay“, from Character Essay, with an attached word association of  “I say caress me?”




March 2023

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