Everyone has heard of the damsel in distress who was saved by a knight in shining armor, but why does no one tell the tale of the knight? Why don’t we know about the demons he had to overcome and the distress and failures he encountered along the way? What treacherous path was he forced upon that gave him no recourse but to become the hero of the story? Perhaps because these are the parts that are unromantic, and so, people are simply not interested in hearing about that part of the story.
Sometimes we wait so hard for someone to sweep into our life and save us that it takes far too long to realize that we are, in fact, responsible for saving our own damn selves. When does one start to realize that they are the knight in the story? That the plight of the princess is so unrealistic that it does little girls everywhere a grave injustice in teaching them to rely on someone to rescue them. That the line between good and bad is sometimes so blurry that you can’t distinguish one from the other. That people are not necessarily against you, they are simply for their own selves, and that indifference can cut deeper than a well-placed sword.
When does one start to understand who the true unsung hero of the story is?
Somewhere along the way, someone messed up a few details in recounting it altogether. The knight’s armor was not shining when he came to rescue the princess, it was dented and torn and covered in the dust of the journey he had to undertake.
Because a knight in shining armor is one who has never known the gruesome rigors of battle in the first place.
Inheritance My cupped hands carry ancient lines of dark rooms dense with hookah, chai, and mad men who bang on the daff and chant ‘Oraat mard kor dosak mei lakae jai gee’. * My cupped hands are fed, wed to speculative phrases, bound in his interpretations, fluent with accusations. I am made of his rib yet I deserve his spit. Ancient lines of moonlit […]
via Inheritance — Qudsia Akhtar
Such a hauntingly beautiful poem, words cannot do it justice. Thank you for gifting us with it Qudsia.
I unzipped my skin and tore away
entire parts of me in my desperate attempt
to please you. Staring dispassionately,
your only remark was to note
what a mess I created.
In this culture there is no room for individuality. There is only one mindset–conformity. Either conform or die.
What they don’t tell you is that to conform is to choose to die also.
Before I started working at the hospital, I was convinced that superstitious lore like Friday the 13th was entirely just that—nothing more than superstitious ramblings of overactive imaginations. I chalked full moons into that category as well, because, why not?
Fast forward to when I started working in the Emergency Room admitting patients into the hospital. I started noticing odd things that defied the course of “normal” life that the ER staff treated with a callousness that spoke of being entirely too exposed and desensitized to this sort of phenomenon. Mainly, the weird and creepy things that would go down on Fridays that fell on the 13th, and full moons.
Whenever we were scheduled to work on a Friday the 13th, there was always an electric charge in the air of the Emergency Room. Staff was always on high alert because we would get a heavier-than-normal influx of traumas and car accidents that would occur that day. But the really intense stuff usually started more towards the evening. I remember one evening, a man ran in through the sliding doors carrying his girlfriend in his arms who had a large knife sticking out of her stomach. She had apparently stabbed herself for no reason. Our lobby had already been full to brimming with patients who were unable to keep their hallucinations at bay and people whose suicidal ideations were driving them crazy. The silent man sitting in the corner suffered presences that followed him around that looked like the Dementors from Harry Potter, while the lady sitting next to the fish tank couldn’t stop seeing black cats that ran up the wall and disappeared into the ceiling.
Soon after, a squad of Sherriff’s cars sped into the ambulance bay with their lights flashing and an ambulance hot on their heels. A gang fight had erupted with several members of the opposing gangs being wounded by gunshot wounds. The lobby became a hotbed of tension and hostility by two rival gangs both vying for space while waiting for their respective gang members to be treated behind the closed doors of the ER. Another ambulance brought in a patient with severe drug withdrawals and hallucinations that was strapped to the gurney, bucking ferociously trying to get off, and screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs. Since there were no more available rooms in the ER, she had to wait on the gurney in the hallway.
This is just a small sample of what the ER would look like on a Friday the 13th and a night whereupon a full moon was shining. One evening I had clocked off for the night and happened to be driving out behind a vehicle that had just left the ER. The lady sitting in the passenger seat of the car stuck her head out the window and started screaming obscenities at me and then started throwing glass bottles at my car. Luckily, I stomped on my breaks just in time and the bottles smashed on the road right in front of me. I quickly took a detour to get home.
So wherever you are tonight and if you are preparing to go into work, especially in the service industry, please be careful and remain cautious on this odd night that tends to bring out the stuff that’s not so easily explained.
Curious, has anyone else had any strange experiences that couldn’t be explained?
I wish I could stay cocooned in my blankets for a few hours longer this morning. My alarm rang at least a half hour ago, but for the life of me, I cannot muster up the energy to face another chaotic day at the office! Thank God it’s Friday and I am up against a 3 day weekend 🙌🏻
To all of my lovely bloggers: May your coffee be just right this morning and your day successful.
A shattered heart plays the most haunting melody. Spilling forth like jagged notes, the breathless sobs of a lover scorned
are flung into the inky night. Caught within the flow of time, who will mourn our symphony? Brightly lit but ever brief, we rush headlong into oblivion. Leaving only traces of our passions for no one but the stars to remember.
*I was inspired to capture something of what I felt when I read the title of this debut novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” by poet Ocean Vuong. I was at once transported incredibly near to the human experience, yet simultaneously as if I was viewing everything from the lens of time and space.