Sunday, January 29, 2017

Just want to "Be"

The world is so big, and yet these days it seems so small. Everywhere you go you need papers. Little bits of information that say where you have to be, who you are, what you do. We're supposed to be defined into little easy boxes that can be checked off. Some of the boxes are OK, acceptable. Others, not so much. But the worst thing to be, I think, is nothing. To not have a box that can be checked. Then the man behind the counter at the airport, or the checkpoint, or the harbour office, or whatever else kind of barrier is out there, scratches his chin and hums and haws. He makes some calls, asks some questions. A superior is needed. Someone to think for him. Someone who will take the responsibility because the uniform he wears isn't supposed to represent competence, only authority. You're an irregular, an abnormality, an undesirable, and so you're a problem. Not the stinking world, not the man in the uniform, not the clueless person typing up your life into a form on a computer and then telling you that you're not good enough, no, none of that. You are the problem.

Papers, papers, everywhere. Today they're electronic. We just fill out little forms, wait for the hour glass to stop spinning, and then we get a decision that's going to shape our lives forever. You can't click back, you can't undo anything. That's it. Your name has gotten on the wrong list. No explanation, no answers, no reason. You're done for, Mister. I'm sick, sick, sick of it. It's dehumanising. It's impersonal. It screams against every instinct inside of me. I feel like a gorilla rattling the bars of a prison he can't understand.

All my life, growing up as someone who doesn't "fit" any of the boxes, who doesn't have an easy answer to simple questions like "where are you from?", I've felt like I need to worry about what people will think about me, about how they see me. Every action I do feels like something I need to think about and be able to explain. Would it give off the wrong meaning? Would the fact that the one time I decide to grow a beard again, simply for the hell of it, mark me in the wrong circles as an Islamist? Or would the fact that I want to go out with my friends and have a good time, that I kiss a woman I'm not married to passionately mean I'm not Muslim enough? Or maybe that I'm an acceptable type of Muslim?

I don't want to go to a mosque on Friday and listen to a shit sermon. I don't want to go to prayers with anyone. I don't want to stand with anyone. I'll read the Quran when I want, if I want. If I pray, I'll pray alone. If I drink alcohol or don't eat halal meat, then I'm not interested in your raised eyebrows. I don't want your judgments or approval. I don't want your questions. I'm not here to satisfy anybody's curiosity. Fuck you. It's my business. Can I not just exist without being judged and having my every move watched? Is it too much to ask to just be left alone? To be able to get on a plane without a worry and be with the people I care about? Or travel and see the world when I want to? To be part of humanity? To be able to say what I want without fear of - something? To think what I want to think? Feel how I want to feel? Make my own mistakes? Is that too much to ask? Do I have to constantly be expected to pick sides? Do I need people to constantly be speaking for me? Deciding what's best for me? Deciding how it is that things will be? Can I not just be a human being? Is it too much to ask to just Be?


1 comment:

Leen said...

This is the most beautiful and relatable thing I think I've read in a long time.