It’s been a long time since the will to write anything waxed strong enough to actually make me sit in front of my laptop and type something meant for public consumption. I have felt the urges, and even occasionally started writing, but ultimately, those posts have wilted and died in the face of an onslaught of ennui. Even now, it is taking exceptional effort to prevent this from degenerating into a series of jumbled sentences as stray thoughts flit into my head and have to be repeatedly filtered out.

Under the circumstances, I cannot help but have immense respect for Chxta, for showing me that what I am doing right now is possible. His blog took a hiatus for a long while, but he’s back writing every day, and has been doing so for a few months. I can only imagine the rust that had to be brushed off his mind in order to reveal the sparkling genius beneath once again. I can only hope that I’m blowing cobwebs and dust away, and not rust. I’m not sure I have the energy to deal with rust.

My father died. Those three words, the horrifying finality of them. On a sunny day in November, the lights dimmed in my life. My cheerleader, role model, the man I wanted to be more than anything else in the world, was taken from me. Even after all these months, I still struggle with the realisation that I can no longer pick up the phone and call him. I can’t send him a text, and last Christmas, for the first time, I didn’t have to groan inwardly at the thought of having to manually reply hundreds of text messages from his well-wishers on his behalf using his slightly dated Nokia. And boy, what I would give to be able to do it for him one more time. But he’s gone, and there’s nothing I or anyone can do about it.

I also learned the hollow nature of words of condolence. In the face of your utter uselessness when it comes to the subject of the death of another person’s loved one, all you can do is speak. You spout these platitudes because convention demands them. So, all through those days, we were inundated with words like “Stay strong”, “It is well”, and my personal favourite, “It is the will of God.” I don’t know how many times I had to fight back the urge to roar, “Fuck you and fuck your God!” when I heard those words. The random nature of the world makes people push back, and cling desperately to the notion that there is some sort of plan being executed by a higher power, be it God, Allah, Buddha or whatever the fuck Scientologists believe in. It would be best if you simply said, “Sorry for your loss” and moved on without attempting to justify the event by saying it was the will of some cold and implacable deity.

I suppose my writing is going to be my form of therapy. Perhaps, in response to my grief, that part of me charged with stringing words together in a non-official capacity decided it wasn’t going to bother anymore. Perhaps also, some other part of me looked at my country and the world and asked what a few words on some no-account blog in the middle of nowhere was going to accomplish. And then they got together, decided the rest of me could handle things just fine in their absence, and they went off to join the French Foreign Legion in some desert outpost in Algeria. And now, having learned how to kill a man with a handful of sand, drink their own urine to survive hard desert treks, and other unmentionable skills, they’re back. And I am glad to see them.

Welcome home, boys.