Sunday, 11 November 2012

only in fiction

fact and fiction are detached, and for good reason. life never plays out like a storybook or a movie, particularly if they're good ones. life is all about the inconsistencies and flaws, shortcomings and caveats. more importantly, life is about how we deal with those things, and make life work anyway. a story, no matter how well written, is only as good as the ending, which is, though not always predictable, scripted and complete. the book never ends randomly, or without indication, and this stereotyping of a book is what gives us control over it, even as a reader - something entirely absent from living life.

when you read the last chapter of a book, you may not know how it will end, but you know it will, and therefore you can prepare for completion, closure, and even in the possibility of a cliffhanger leading on to another book, sit back and know for sure, that this is it. this is fulfilment. this is absolution. this is reward.

in life, nothing is so predictable. nothing is so comforting as a 'known'. and best of all, even the best arranged plans can still end in disaster, just the same way that the most ill-defined ones can end in an infinity of (undeserved) boons.

i like to draw parallelisms with love and rezki. or more accurately, i like to draw upon these themes and relate them in parallel to life. of my favourite books, these examples embody the hypocrisy of the themes, and i choose love here if only because i have been so besotted once that i can only justify its absence with a righteous self torture that would exalt me to the status of the heroic men that have love and lost, which is better than never to have loved at all:

1. severus snape. to have loved lilly potter, having barely known her - and to have sacrificed his all, to ensure that even the shadow of her existence is preserved, in the form of harry; even if this meant he would have to let live a shadow of james, who so undeservedly won lilly's heart. this perpetuates a common incidence in life - that all the jameses will go on to win the lillys, though them have been terrible douchebags in the very least of words, and all the snapes will fade into non-existence, some of which will harbour, cultivate and cherish their adoration for the women of all women, even and particularly to their deathbeds. i honour you, severus, your undeserved death and unrequited love, your unsung sacrifices and unknown hardships. i honour you, severus, especially if you hold that flame more dear than your own happiness, to the day that all is revealed, and your lilly? she doesn't even give a whim for your own, by not being able to, or not wanting to at all.

2. florentino ariza. to have fallen, and have one fall for you, even in the most smattering of existences, is your true reward, in bliss and in pain. i apologise that i cannot exalt you to the stature of severus, even if you had been more a fool for romance, even if you had never raised your hand in such contempt and unbestowed harshness; for you have been a hypocrite that has confessed to an unyielding love, yet succumbed to the pleasantries of the flesh, with woman and women and more. possibly the worst, though is that even if you were a slave to the temptations of men, and required in the most loose restrictions, a love for the senses, florentino, where has gone that uncapitulated surrender for true and truthful love? where has lived the heart of a true gentleman? where has gone, the singular promise, to yourself? to your heart? to your love, fermina daza? i honour you, florentino, your eventual place in love's embrace after all that is beauty and lustful has died and decayed. but i hate you so, for never having held on in idealism - but maybe that is the lesson to be learnt from and for life, that the book is so great not because of an utopian possibility, but because it has not been.

3. noah calhoun. for someone to have love and lost, it is only customary, even expected, to let go. i would not hold this against you, i would not not love you any less, and so would all the people of the world. but that you had held on - be it for desperation, or inability to move forward, or complacency, or apathy (that you knew you could not find any more). that you held on. that you wanted to hold on. this is your blessing, and your curse. and your reward? is death! sweet, irreversible and without the evil of a countenance in hand. death, and to be followed by your allie, if only in hope, if it was not known to happen, i could only hope for the same. i honour you, noah, for your steadfastness, though it must have been easy to have succeeded from the start. and i envy you, for your blessed rewards, particularly in untimely, but deserved death. i envy you so.

4. romeo montague. to love in a second, or to second for love in a heartbeat; to have your heart beat in love for only a second, or to love one's heart only second to your own's beat - that is all one craves from life, and all that one gives to deserve love. a high order, that not all attain, and for those that do, must have taken for years and decades and eternal lifetimes. but halt, romeo! for you have done this in but a heartbeat. three days! three days! of an immortal love, that transcended life, then feud, then living, then battles, then death. and lived longer in the eyes of men than does a love in some hearts. and must be asked, oh, so stereotypically, not how, but why? and i parse from my own heart, for in it is embedded:

oh, romeo, romeo, wherefore art thou, romeo?
deny thy father, and deny thy name;
or if thou shalt not, be but sworn, my love (and i prefer to paraphrase, be sworn by love),
and i shalt no longer be a capulet.

romance, forsooth! but only in fiction. and never would you find in real life. so, for this, i honour you, romeo, for your devotion and faith, though i grant you stupidity beyond reason that i do not envy in the slightest. but as with noah, i have envied for his demise, so do you, not because it has been also at the hands of your juliet, with poisoned dagger or drunk by hand, but because it has granted you greater gain. truly as starstruck lovers you have come to be, but i beg to differ, that for yours be fiction, my tale of lost love is by far and by worse, a tale of more woe than your love for juliet.

5. majnun. i recount here for the umpteenth time, the story of love that cannot be agreed with - for what love is defined as unreciprocated or even unknown to the other? certainly not a love by this humble's standards. yet, i cannot let this go, for a love that has persisted through a battering and mutilation and adulteration and scorn, and flourished evermore? this is a love i can only hope to attain, one that in desire i feel i have had, but in practice i know nobody can. except only for the most pious for their gods, and the most unbelieving for their logics - and maybe, the most foolish for their own, unknown, stupidity. and, perhaps, that is why love makes us do the most silly of things. but, majnun,

you pass those walls, those walls of layla's house,
and you have kissed them from the outside,
though your love is not for the walls themselves,
but for the one that resides within.

have you not considered, that perhaps, with only a sliver of doubt, that the one who lies beyond those unspoken doors - the one whose beauty surpasses that of angels and queens - maybe, that one does not love you? does not feel for you? does not care? not even in the slightest? i honour you, majnun, but not because of your love, but because you are so blind to disregard the folly of your pursuit. that you would seclude yourself from all reason to let your love blossom. but when layla does not know, so does not her heart, so does not her love, so does not her thoughts. and she is happy, married and have lived, while you carve, desperately, your last three verses of poetry upon her gravestone, as you die yourself. unknown. unrequited. unashamed. and most importantly, unloved.

i regret that five is far too large a number to continue with examples. but know that if i could write more of fiction, i would love to. but fiction, as we have said, is not life. is not reality. and for all the heartstrings that would be twanged for choired notes in love - none will even venture a fancy if any of these were to happen in reality - except the opposite, where one so much in love? in like? is a fool, deserving of nothing more than ridicule and ostracising slander.

and to that, i deserve no different. i apologise for this.

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