Wednesday, March 16, 2005

An Individual In Confrontation With The World, Pt. 1

On another morning of his misery, Sebastian looked back on his life. "The swine...!" he thought to himself. He was due to have an appointment with his employment counsellor. They were going to point him to a job, or at least training; to polish the bleak employment statistics at least for his part. "Yeah, right", he thought.

What choice did he have? He had dropped out of university; he couldn't take the stiff world of academia, the pomposity and biting sarcasm of professors, competing factions of faculties, ongoing tedious theorizing completely alien to life. He didn't need any theories tasting of paper and dust; he wanted something to grasp, something that was alive and breathing.

He didn't need that cold, detached look on life where everything was arranged and preserved in neat little boxes called theories; and above all, because university always represented for him his father, a senior lecturer living in another town; with his new wife that Sebastian detested. It was easy to say Sebastian and his father were estranged. Father sent him money for Christmases and birthdays, and occasional postcards from holidays. Every time Sebastian duly sent his father an e-mail to thank and perhaps formally tell some news of his ongoing "projects", but that was about all communication between Sebastian and his father.

Sebastian's mother, a heavy person both physically and mentally, never spared her words in telling Sebastian what an unfeeling, convoluted and selfish person Sebastian's father had been, still was. Then she started to grill Sebastian again on his lack of academic success. This was something Sebastian had heard about a thousand times before. Or then mother would start to ruminate on the past once again and wallow in her guilt.

Sebastian thought of the human waste on the streets; after all, he was not that far away from those miserable wretches. Maybe he would even be one of them one day. How many shortcomings would it take for a person to end up there?

He felt deep hatred and anger; fear too, when he had to consider his options. Educational system had let him down. Working life seemed to be based on draining an individual empty. A brief stint in the army made him realize the shallowness of democracy which has to be maintained with such means that deprive an individual of human dignity. People like him seemed to be on their way to a total dead end.

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