Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mahmoud Salem, and I will be your “content provider” for the evening. Fair warning though: this isn’t a fun article or a list-icle, and I am not sure you will be entertained by the end of it. Ideally, I will blame it on being rusty when it comes to writing, since I haven’t been for quite a while now. Alternatively, that wouldn’t explain my disappearance from almost all social occasions or scenes, or the fact that I rarely talk to anyone anymore. For all intents and purposes, both of my physical and mental presence have been withdrawn from the equation of life all around me. That is if you can call the collective shitstorm that has recently become everyone’s reality “life”.
Strangely, it was all so predictable, wasn’t it? The destruction of all of our perfectly honed bubbles. The darkness that has become our future here. The fantaboulous combo of hopelessness and helplessness that has paralyzed almost everyone in their places. The state of hyper entropy all around us, succumbing everyone into a form of madness or another. And all you can do is watch and keep your mouth shut. Who needs your fuckin opinion now anyway? You just need to sit there and say Hi and be friendly. That’s what anyone can handle right about now.
Hi, human rights hero who is always composed and not afraid. How is that anti-depressant combo you take daily treating you?
Hallo, miserable couple unable to leave each other because everything around you is destroyed and you can’t bear to lose everything. What did you do this summer?
What’s up, entrepreneur? How is that start-up treating you? What a market, huh?
Hey, foreign journalist. You are still here? What the fuck are you still doing here? How is self-censorship these days? I know. I know.
Hey, farewell party host. Yes, you will only be gone for one year, surely. Don’t worry, You will be missed at the next farewell. We will be sure to like your pictures from elsewhere but here.
You go to gatherings where people try to avoid talking about reality. You get invited to weddings that you know won’t last, so you don’t go. You have conversations with people whose hearts are filled with trouble, and heads are filled with dreams of elsewhere. If only someone can make this magically happen for them.
They said a storm was coming, but barricading myself in the house didn’t really protect me. There is no shelter anymore for what’s to come. Not here. Not elsewhere. We live in a new world. An era of constant instability. The age of “one day at a time”, because literally any kind of future planning is a joke at this point. The epoch of great equality: everybody is miserable. Here, in the US, in Europe, everywhere. And if your name is Mahmoud, well.. HA! Have fun. Everyone hates you. Elections are won based on who hates you the most now. Fun times, everyone.
But so, the fuck, what?
Here is something that I realized; your so called epiphany for the day: Fear gets boring. Self-loathing gets boring. And self-doubt, well, that’s the most boring of all. If you are anything like me, then you have seen enough horror, chaos and destruction to last you seven life-times, yet you weren’t scared then. Then why are you scared now? Maybe they broke you. Maybe life broke you. Maybe you always admired the courage of the band that was playing on the titanic while it sank. Maybe you are afraid of the unforeseen consequences of any new action you take that will change your so-called-life. I don’t know. I can’t tell. But let’s find out.
You know those horror movies where a non-suspecting family finds out that their new house is haunted? You know how they perplexingly continue to stay there because they put everything they own into that new house, while you continue to scream at them to get the fuck out? How whenever someone says that they have no where else to go, you scoff and wish to reach into the movie and shake them until they realize that getting out alive is all that matters? How frustrated you get as they die one by one, with the haunted house swallowing their Fear-paralyzed Asses? Well…
This house is haunted.
Not each other. Yourselves.
Shake off the lie that you’ve become.
The world is only as flat as we make it to be.
Find your Elsewhere.