everything has an upside. everything. war and terrorism. corruption and anarchy. genocide and moral policing. there's nothing that doesn't present an encouraging face to the optimist on dope. except maybe, teen anorexia and exhaust fumes from the vehicle in front of him. what is a cynic but a realist with a warped sense of humor? you've to be a cynic to look at the upside of living in a hostel. a prison cell with roommates far less interesting than child-killers with a cross tattooed across their chest. or gay hustlers with asthma. the hostel. with a crumbling remnant of the forgotten art of brotherhood passing off as an excuse to borrow your soap, its not always the flowerbed where personalities bloom or the shower booth outta where real men with hairy chests walk out. heads held high and diplomas held in their armpit. not always. for me, living here was as fruitful as lookin at the sky with the hope of being blinded by stardust. flightclub warns us against everyday being a copy of a copy of a copy. out here everybody is a copy of a copy of everything you despise about humanity. the nerds and geeks with binoculars for eyeglasses. the professors who keep forgetting they are not life members of the third reich. the food that tastes like baked shit on the better days. and women who were better off being victims of female infanticide. everythin out here was a fucking violation of my rights as a starry eyed 18 year old stepping onto the deceptively manicured lawns of the campus. its true. i did not know what to expect. i remember clutching at the hackneyed imagery of productive college activism, a group of close knit buddies and the possibility of young love. it was not to be. and how! six months into what turned out to be half a decade of solitary confinement, i decided to withdraw. into my own six by four. scrawled from roof to floor with the scribblings of the voluntarily deranged. seeking asylum in my own private nation populated by movie posters and undemanding play lists. and this my frend, was the upside. this and the fact that you aren't required to flush in a hostel. the hostel was blessed with a local area network that in turn blessed me with timely supplies of personal entertainment. the college housed, what was a behemoth peer to peer network with a sharesize running into thousands of gigabytes. cinephilia was my escape. and alternative rock, my cpr. for a long long time, movies were the only audience to my display of any personal emotion. i crackled delightfully as billy wilder herded me through the next plot twist. i stared awe-stuck as bogart wondered if his was the most popular gin-joint in the world. was inconsolable with disappointment at how unremarkable the shining was. while shaking my head in disapproval at the ending of the conversation. movies for me were more important than those petty antics for survival as eating and having a social life. my six by four and an endless supply of cinema were all that i needed to counter the debilitating effects of mind-numbingly inconsequential local mediocrity. i feared conversations with familiar people. shirked away from academic requirements. honed what she calls a fiercely non-conformist point of view into an all-consuming hunger for an alternative reality. where people just don bother you with as much as their sorry existence. spent countless hours in an endless riviera, lamenting, among other things, the progressive loss of style in the cinema of the late 90's and the lack of availability of terribly good indie cinema. the sojourn into alternative rock had equally rewarding consequences. anti-establishment stems, not from the hatred of a machinery that doesn't care but from a state of lovelessness and the threat of dying alone. and the knowledge of having nothing to blame for it. warmed up to anything that sung in praise and proof of the sentiment. loved everything that put protest to tune, that sang my fears, and made music out of melancholy. strove to drive away the discouraging pallor of the sense of unsharing with a blanket of sounds that were supposed to be keeping me company. when you've decided to keep people outta earshot, you tend to take what you are listening to that much more personally. with a seriousness you'd prolly accord being held by a breath that cares or being kissed by the lips that warm. a lack of everything is the freedom to do anything? exactly. a hostel that was supposed to be the end of my human fervor wasn't without this upside. the upside of a meaningful loneliness.
i'd trade the last five years in this shithole for a three minute long freefall. if an instantaneous and painless death came with the package. with freebies like one last cigarette and a scoop of peanut butter thrown in. and here's the irony. this was supposed to be the privilege of higher education. this was my window of promise ( and the other way around ).as i look back now, clouded by the anger at an absent nostalgia and wandering aimlessly across a mind space left barren with the sheer lack of any hint of memorabilia, i don't know what went wrong. i don't know if i am guilty. of closing in on myself far too soon. or if this is just a case of a self-scripted tale of emotional impoverishment and self-styled misanthropy. but am sure of one thing. this wasn't how i saw myself turn into an adult. this was certainly not as seen on t.v. this was harsh reality. more harsher than reality. and i am pretty unsure of its long-term effects. i may not turn into a psychotic doom sayer hoping and prophesising an accelerated demise of humanity due to the exhaust fumes in question. neither would i check myself into an art of living center expecting a spiritual car wash. but i'll certainly live with a silver bullet permanently wedged in my insides with "everything has an upside" inscribed on it. because at the end of the day, all said and most of it leaving me alone, i love myself for having stayed alive. if only to be able to watch vanilla sky for the umpteenth time, fifteen minutes from now.