Kingdom of Dirt




“You can have it all, My empire of dirt

   I’ll let you down, I’ll make you hurt “  Hurt, Johnny Cash


If I had to confess the story of my life, I’d probably say that I spent a few years wishing that I was cool, wishing every night that I was accepted and treated the same way as other kids were. I was in no way any more special or gifted as they were. I was me and that made me an outcast. And so I cribbed for a while, I whined for a while and before I could realize what had happened, I had cultivated a good sense of humor that was both my golden ticket and my defense mechanism.


And so starts my tale of stardom and fame and burning out by having it all. Before I could realize what I was going through, my motor mouth and keen sense of humor had pretty much warranted that I became the center of attention. Attention soon ceased to be a thing that I wished for. Attitude, as what others would later on remind me, was starting to take shape and before I realized I had one, I had one.


Years later, decades later, as I now sit and listen to the songs from this movie RockStar, I am reminded of how much I’ve lost in my pursuit of wanting it all. Almost famous ? Yeah one could say that. Well, almost.


I’m popular. I make friends very easily. Folks have a tendency to trust me. I keep my mouth shut and I mind my business and in time, I’ve always never failed to keep myself surrounded by people. Both new and old, familiar and strange, I’ve always managed to have people in my life.


A decade ago I did realize something so significant and something which now feels so pointless. I have something that most people cherish and covet. I am a people person and I manage to get that acceptance by virtue of my smile and wit. A decade ago I also realized the curse that I was sitting on.


The worst of the curse that I’ve endured is when I realized that while the world around me was waiting for the world to take a note and pamper an existence, for me the world has always been a bloke too many. I’ve always longed for just a pair of eyes and ears. The million eyes of the world have not interested me in a very long time. Yet, I find myself gifted with the million pairs instead of the one that I’ve longed.


I find myself at the center of a series of jinxes that have plagued me. At the cost of sounding like a whimsical child, I do admit  that there are days I feel better about myself , if only I had no skills with either words or wit. Would I have found oblivious comforts by being ignorant and stranger to the adulation that I’ve worked towards? Would I have found peace in not knowing a means to express my despaired mind? Would I have found comforts in staying wistful for a life of acknowledged acceptance?


It’s a tough call. On days like today, the way I see things, My grapes feel sour because I have access to them grapes. I choose to lament about fortune and fame and the fool’s golden paradise because I have them to whatever degree that I’ve deserved. Maybe the word is saturation. When you have it, it loses shine. Maybe if I had never had the mettle to express myself, the extent of my torment might have been miles different.


The irony of life smiles again. It’s those who have it who see the pointlessness to having it. Those who aspire it, spend sleepless nights  and sweaty efforts dedicated towards it. It’s wisdom and tears that ink my words today. I’ve paid the price of an alienated mind and a heart. I’m but a senile preacher whose words seem a tad bit condescending to naive eyes. I don’t blame them. This state of saturation is fair and just.

One day, when we’ve slogged time away, lost moments to time and people to tasks, when we’ve tasted the salt of success, it’s only then and then alone, one finally sees the albatross around the neck.

You can have it all, this empire of dirt. I’d gladly have this kingdom of nothing exchanged for a few moments of a blissful smile. What I wouldn’t give to go back to being ignorant and without ambition!


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