From outside looking in… part II
I had set the alarm to 5.45 AM the last night, hoping to wake up and pray and open up the upstairs door for my father.
The alarm rang, I woke up, turned it off. And I went back to sleep.
I woke up to the sound of my father calling out my name. I got up and opened the door for him, after which I went downstairs, washed my face, I didn’t even notice the face in the mirror, I didn’t bother.
I sit in front of the computer, log on to MSN, log on to facebook, check my mail and then I decide to watch one of the movies I had downloaded. There were two options, the first being Anthony Hopkins’ Slipstream and the second being the one I chose, the one that would change the way the entire day proceeded…
The Butterfly Effect.
I got this movie because it had a 7.7 rating on imdb and because I found the chaos theory rather intriguing. I had no idea as to how this movie would affect me, because most movies, did nothing to me. In the beginning it was just like most movies, nothing special, but I was interested. When it got to the point where he figured out how to change the past things began to change. Somehow, I saw myself in his actions, in his intentions. Trying so hard to make things right, over and over and over and over. But it never turned out quite the way he wanted it. Until it hit him, that you can’t make something happen, if it was never meant to be. “Change one thing, change everything.” As his father told him “You can’t change who people are without destroying who they were.” This movie made me realise something, it made me realise a lot actually. “True happiness can only be achieved through sacrifice.”
This movie also made tears flow from my eyes.
[in the reality where Kayleigh is with Lenny]
Evan: So, do you think it might have worked?
Kayleigh: Yeah… But that’s not how things wound up… I’m with Lenny, Lenny is your friend… and that’s where it ends.
Evan: Well… Would it make a difference if I told you that no one could possibly ever love anyone as much as I love you?
[Kayleigh looks sympathetic about Evan’s feelings]
Evan: …I’m not saying that, I am just saying it like if you were a girl, would that be something you would want to hear?
And it reminded me of something too, something important.
Evan: Where’s Kayleigh?
Lenny: Who’s Kayleigh?
[Evan looks confused]
Lenny: You want me to take you to the doctor?
Evan: No, I think everything’s gonna be all right this time.
It reminded me that I did the right thing.
The effect that movie had on me hadn’t faded off yet, so I watched the other movie, Slipstream. I found it hard to pay attention, my mind kept going back to the movie, something about it that just stayed there. The movie ended leaving me in a weird state of mind. After this I got back to what I was doing before the movies, I added The Butterfly Effect to my favourite movies on facebook and added some parts to my favourite quotes, I changed my MSN display name to The Butterfly Effect.
Still doing the same thing, for some reason I couldn’t really talk to the people I talk to. It seemed like I had nothing much to say. I felt a little confused, as to what I was feeling.
I left my house and headed back to my hometown, Dehiwela. I walked down the roads of what was once my neighbourhood. And then finally decided to visit the rooftop again. When I climbed to the top there was a man there who asked me what I was doing there, how I got in, and where I was from. I told him I came to sit around, read and watch the sun set (I was about to say drown but he already seemed uneased with me). I told him the gate was open so I walked in, and I told him that I lived around there. I didn’t need to say anymore as the security guard confirmed this to him and told him who I was and after that he apologised and left me.
I looked around, found the best place to sit and I pulled out the book that I had brought with me, Like The Flowing River ~ Paulo Coelho. I sat back and opened the book and turned the pages to the place I had stopped and began reading. I was facing the sun but this didn’t distract me as my hair kept it out of my eyes. At the end of each story I looked up, to see where the sun was, I didn’t want to miss the sunset. There was something about this book, that I hadn’t felt before. Before it was just a collection of short stories, thoughts and reflections of the author. But now, it was a lot more. And I think it’s because, at that moment, I felt at peace with myself.
The sunset was approaching, and I wanted a better view, the blowing on the rooftop was amazing but I missed the sunset more. So I closed the book, put it back in my bag, got up and left. I walked down the road, crossed the railway tracks and stepped onto the beach. I looked up, the sun wasn’t too far from setting, but there was time. I didn’t have enough energy to walk around and I was asked to go to my aunts place and my mother and father would meet me there and we’d all go home together. So I kept walking and looked around and I saw a log, it was the only thing there to sit on, but it was quite close to the water. I cleared the sand and sat down, pulled the book out once more and re-immersed myself. At this point the stories took me in, I barely felt the cold water at my feet. There were too many lines that caught my attention for me to quote here, if you want to know, read the book for yourself, I haven’t come anywhere close to finishing it, but I can assure you, it’s a good read. The last lines of the last story I read were what made it the last, after reading those I felt like someone was watching me, it just seemed too relatable, once again, I felt weird. I looked up and I saw the sun had disappeared, this had happened the last time as well, but this time, it didn’t bother me. I didn’t need to see the sunset, not anymore.
I left the beach, walked up the road and entered a net cafe. The only reason I did this was because I could not read anymore, and because there was no more reason to be at the beach. I spent some time listening to the song Stop Crying Your Heart Out by Oasis, featured at the end of The Butterfly Effect, on loop. And on facebook and MSN.
I left the net cafe and headed to my cousins place, didn’t really do much there. Not long after I got there my brother came over, he had something to talk to my cousin about. We couldn’t hang out because my cousin needed to study so myself and my brother walked back to where he came from, my aunts place. My aunt had come back from New Zealand and I had never really had a conversation with her, and for some reason, I really wanted to. I don’t remember how we started talking, I think it was something about religion since my brother was studying that, and she was going to help him study. I asked her what her thoughts were and she said she didn’t believe all that. And that she’s been trying to find the answer to who we are, who we were in the beginning. I was amazed that there was actually someone else in the family who thought into things as much as I did. And then we just kept talking about things like religion, change, home, fate, faith, illusions and conformity.
I asked her how she would define home and she said it’s probably where you come from, where you belong. I agreed with the latter. I asked about her thoughts on fate, she did not believe in such a thing. Then she started talking about illusions, how she felt like everything is an illusion. Things like happiness, and then I thought about that word. Happiness, what is happiness? I thought about it and I gave her my opinion: Happiness is an exaggerated response to the feeling of content. We know our potential and we set a mark just below it called “happiness”. When we reach that, we say we’re happy, but there’s still room for improvement but at that moment it is enough.
And then she told me about how she didn’t believe that she needs to have a family, she believes that she can do just fine on her own. And I told her that I myself don’t want to have children, and therefore I don’t want to get married. And she said she wondered if when people say that is it because they don’t want to overpopulate the world, do they really mean it when they say it?
I told her why I didn’t want children. It was rather simple, I didn’t think I’d be a good father. If I had children I’d want them to be everything that I couldn’t be. I’d want them to have their own views, their own opinions and their own perceptions. I’d want them to be different but I know that they can’t. Because that’s not how the world works, it isn’t going to change for them, it’s not going to mould around them. I don’t want children because I can’t stand to see something I created be bent to the point of breaking. Always worried about conforming to the norms of society, always worried about what people say and what other people think of them. Things that I could never handle, things that I don’t bother with, things that break me down.
At that moment, after sharing all that, after a long time I felt, at home. I felt a sense of belonging, I was at ease with myself. I’d finally found someone else who thought into things as much as I did. And at that moment it seemed like everyone else was weird, like we were the only sane ones. I asked her if she spoke to people about these thoughts of hers, if she wrote about it. She said she did have a few people she spoke to about it, and that she had written poems that no one has read. I wanted to read them. I wanted to talk to these people.
And then I remembered what I thought about while I was leaving the rooftop. I peered down and looked at all the people and I thought of how when you look at someone you can tell what their body has been through, but can you look into a mind and see what it’s been through? Can you look into the “heart” and tell what it’s been through? From the outside we know almost nothing. What we get to know from what we see means nothing, it doesn’t help us as much as what we find out when we look inside, there’s so much more. More important than the scar is the wound, how did it get there? What went on inside their minds as this happened? How were they affected? Not just physically but mentally, psychologically. How do you find the answers to all these questions?
Simple, take time to get to know someone. I don’t believe in first impressions, mostly because I usually leave bad first impressions. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” We’ve all heard that one but how many of us actually bother with that? Do we have time to get to know each and every person that gets your attention? Sadly, we don’t. But just because of that it doesn’t mean that you should form an opinion on merely what you see, and what you hear. It should be on what you know. If you don’t know, then you don’t have an opinion, or your opinion is based on almost nothing.
If you’ve read this far I’m surprised, and also pleased. Don’t worry you’ve reached the end, if you want more well then I’m sorry but yesterday is over now. But don’t worry, it will be back soon. For today is nothing more than tomorrows yesterday.