You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain
There is something crushingly defeatist about existence. We go through a swooping arc- a parabola of soaring to the top and then falling gently (or hard) back to the ground once we’re done reaching the pinnacle. Of course the arc isn’t as simplistic as all that; there are tiny spirals along the way. And fractal waves of upward and downward motions with their own little troughs and crests but life as a whole is just one big swoop. And that makes this quote from Batman all the more profound and relevant.
You could die a hero.
But if you live on, you decay and you’re going to live to see yourself become the villain as certain as the sun swooping through the sky on a daily rotation.
I am done with fairy tales. I was done long ago with happy endings. There are none because a happy ending will reach its sad conclusion when you die or the people that you love die. If you’re unlucky you might get to see yourself reach that point as a penultimate forethought.
Backhanded and cruel, our life forces us to confront ageing everyday, whether we’re on the rising half or the falling half of what I’ll call the life wave. How absolutely pessimistic of me and yet all I am stating is the truth with a sense of detachment that has grown into me for now. But I’m in my early twenties. I wouldn’t know what to expect when I’m older. I wouldn’t know how to feel with the baggage of all ‘my’ truths, which I carry around. I wouldn’t know how to confront people with these thoughts. I probably wouldn’t, except for the penning down of words, which is something I want to do and just leave out there for those who care enough to find it and maybe take something out of it for themselves, because other people don’t think. They don’t see or they don’t want to see or they don’t want to care about the search for truth.
And I was just struck by the memory of staring into vacant space in a dark room, minutes before falling off to sleep. I could gently recall to mind a slow swaying which would rise into a spinning until my head was in a whirl, going over day and night and night and day and wondering what it meant. What all of it meant. I thought everyone felt that way at some point. I thought everyone had this crazy vision of spinning stars coupled with unanswerable and unattainable questions. The images keep coming back to me and gloating and flooding my mind. After all these years, I am finally getting somewhere but that somewhere is actually nowhere. There really is nowhere to be except an utter and exhausting state of perpetual movement. If thoughts have brought me this far, I don’t know where they will take me. I need exposure to as much knowledge as I can possibly gather because this everlasting search for knowledge seems to me the only (unachievable but very) necessary space to be in.
And so although I am feeling explosive right now, I need a breather. I need to back off and get some perspective before I plunge back into the everlasting flames of this never-ending quest for knowledge (what a strong metaphor for hell; maybe this is what religions believe hell is- the never ending need to get to answers which are impossible to find).
So here’s me pushing down the brake.