i live in a big wardrobe.
unlike Narnia, it’s nothing special
quite the opposite, really.
i’ve been locked up in a moveable cabinet,
an impressive antique armoire,
but it’s not special, no. it’s quite the opposite.
oftentimes, i find myself desperately knocking
at its wooden doors in hopes to be rescued.
instead, people are involved in their own feuds
to even hear my supplications.
i live in a big wardrobe.
that’s where i do all my thinking,
and my reading, my music listening,
my guitar playing, my writing,
my discovering and rediscovering
that’s where i’m slowly withering
each passing day.
Why don’t you call her up and hang out with her?” he suggested.
"Why are you trying to find me something to do… Don’t worry, I am not upset that you’ve got plans and that I don’t. I am perfectly aware of the decision I have made to stay in tonight. It was out of my own free will—free will—nobody locked me in here. Besides, I need to catch up on my readings,” she replied irritably.
"Well, if you say so… I just don’t want you to get sad and lonely, that’s all," he said.
"In fact, I think I feel pretty sad and lonely now, because you brought that up. I mean, I was perfectly fine before you started suggesting things for me to do. I feel like some loser now because I’m not out at a bar getting hit on by older men and drinking my brains out," she said even more irritably.
"Oh no, no, no! Don’t take it that way! I didn’t mean it that way at all. I just wanted you to have a good time tonight. It’s Saturday night after all and I just felt bad that you were staying in. That’s all," he said.
"Okay," she said.
"Anyway, I’m going to let you go; he’s on his way to pick me up right now. I better get moving; I still have to get ready and all," he said.
"All right. Have a fun night! I’ll talk to you tomorrow," she said.
"That sounded insincere. I know how you feel about me going out…" he said.
"But could you please cut it out? I’m fine! I’m happy you’re going out! In fact, you need to go out more often!" she shouted.
"Ouch… See, what I mean? You’re pissed off," he said.
"That’s because you’re questioning me and deeming me insecure for some reason! I am a grown woman who decided to read on a Saturday night for a change because that’s what I love to do—to read. So please, please, please, please, please cut it out," she raised her voice.
"Promise me that you’re being honest with me," he asked.
Suddenly, the young woman burst out crying out of sheer frustration. She felt misunderstood. She felt aggravated by his innocent torture. He meant well, but it was torture nevertheless. In a way, however, she did feel lonely. She had her books. She had her plants. Yes, she had her books and her plants to keep her occupied throughout the loneliest hours of the night because that was her life at that moment—unforgiving and unfair. But her plants and her books were sometimes not enough. They were enough however to numb her only for a limited amount of time from the misery of not being able to experience that roaring type of madness that she always enthused about. No, her books and her plants were not enough though because they failed to offer the transcendence she lusted after.
I always had this image of us, you see. I carried it everywhere I went because I knew that one day we would finally be free of our burdens. I have always believed that we would be able to finally live and have all of the perfect moments we’d ever want. Understand that I have always known that you were the kind of person I could steal horses with. This spontaneity, this joie de vivre!
Picture this: mountains in the horizon, a lake to bathe in, campfires to sing around, summer nights for romance. And when some random chanson française would begin to play on the radio, we’d dance to it—simple as that. We’d probably look quite silly and probably disgustingly adorable to others, but we wouldn’t care.
On quiet days, I’d write and you’d go hiking and take your photographs. I’d come up with the words and you’d provide the melodies after supper. Those serenades… That gentle guitar strumming and that voice that gives me goosebumps every time.
And I still carry this image everywhere I go because true romance is worth the fight and the struggle. It’s what makes romance a romance after all—the longing and the hardships.
Thus I carry that image of us—that image of us celebrating life and love in the countryside— in my spirit’s heart locket.
In many ways, we too fall into the category of the lost generation—our very own kind, of course. Our generation’s ‘lost generation’ quality does not involve living a disoriented postwar kind of life; instead, our generation consists of a threatening information overload that comes from a variety of gadgets that we use on a regular basis. There’s simply too much technology and too much information. Our eyes are glued to computer screens, phone screens—any kind of screen. Even if we possess knowledge at our fingertips, the overflow of information atrophies our minds nevertheless. Ultimately, it hinders our creativity and our wit. We lose our sharpness, becoming dull knives.
Decisively, there’s a spell cast over us, making us behave like brain-dead little robots. Deep down, we’re all just incredibly bored. So we stick our faces to screens in hopes of finding some kind of new information, something that would potentially excite our minds. And perhaps we do find the excitement we crave for, but it doesn’t even last that long. It isn’t even worth it. We feel guilty about the way we spend our valuable time, but the majority of us wastes our precious time anyway. Instead of going for a walk, instead of discovering a new place, instead of meeting new and exciting people, we prefer our technology. We prefer watching episode after episode of our favourite television series. We call ourselves introverts just to avoid the criticism. We prefer this—our Youtube channels, our Tumblr dashboards, our Facebook newsfeed and our Instagram newsfeed. And when we’re finally (finally!) out with our friends, we still find ourselves just glued to our smartphones.
Maybe we’re all just avoiding something. Maybe it’s easier to sit at home and stare at our beloved screens than actually to physically experience life. Perhaps the idea of life is daunting or maybe we’re all just a bunch of addicts.
It’s sad to say but we’re all guilty. In many ways, we are wasting our youth, ruining meaningful relationships and friendships because we are bored to death and don’t know how to entertain ourselves properly. What about late night talks in parks, at bars or at the local cafe—face to face with one another instead of skyping or facetiming? What about making the effort to simply get out and smell the goddamn roses instead of looking at pictures of roses? And all I’ve been saying for the past few years is ‘i want to live, like really live!’ on repeat. I’ve probably said it about a million times. It’s a slow process though—it’s like quitting cigarettes. There’s a real withdrawal symptom: when you lift your eyes up from your screens and realize that there’s nobody there, it’s awfully alarming and depressing.
How tired I am of feeling lost! How tired I am of this boredom! How tired I am of this nothingness that weighs upon my shoulders! How exhausted I am of this pressing guilt that pushes me further into the ground! How I long to feel disoriented in an exhilarating new way! Reality has all these thrills and pleasures to offer us! It has all these poignant experiences for us! Yes, it’s up to us to find them. It’s up to us to create wonderful memories that don’t involve our youthful faces staring at different monitors.
Thus, I’ll be my own compass from now. I’ll find my way out. I’ll find my way in. I’ll find my way someday.
— Solange Statsevich