I’m writing this article on my phone from my hostel bed late at night, because this is how I deal with stuff – I write. I’m currently in Split, Croatia. Wishing that the infernal creaking of the bed springs next to me would stop.
In the bed adjacent to me there’s a pair of irrefutably drunk tourists having sex. Paying no mind to any passing soul that comes by. A part of me feels angry, disgruntled that they don’t have the decency to go to a romantic toilet stall, just like any other proper fellow might have done (Truth be told, I have never understood bathroom pulls either, smelly and disgusting is not on my sexual bucket list). But if I am quite frank, what I think most people would not admit to, but I will, is that I cannot help but feel jealousy just as well.
Not that I am much in want of a drunken fling. I’ve had one and not eager to repeat the experience. What I am in want of is company. That feeling of bonding that you share with another person is the most intoxicating substance of them all – I sincerely do not understand why anyone gets hooked on anything but that feeling. Not that it’s been long since that I felt it either, I will not divulge the details of my last encounter for this is not a gossip column, and you are not here to hear about the soap opera that may at times be my life. Suffice it to say, it was someone with whom I had long for had feelings, and all but dismissed as ever being a likely prospect. With her, there were moments when we were naked with each other, which felt intimate like little else. I feel quite happy it ended happening on the last weekend of university, just as we’d both go on our separate ways.
In either case, I think this feeling of rage that occurred when seeing the couple on the hostel bed is not something that is uncommon to men. 10,000 years ago we might’ve gladly bashed someone’s head in as a result of those feelings. Now, in more civilised times, we are left with writing prose, although the murderous feelings may still surface on occasion. We may have high speed internet connections but we’re still animals.
I remember this one time at university, I had recently taken up intense weightlifting. As a result, my testosterone levels must’ve shot sky high – add to it a touch of sexual frustration and you have the potential for a bad time. In either case, what happened is that a girl with whom I wanted to end up with, ended up making out with an acquaintance of mine in a club. For some bizarre reason, I felt some entitlement for this girl and I wanted to bash this man’s brains in as retaliation. I had to leave before I did something stupid.
This rage often leers its head in ugly ways. Yet it only comes about after a brief hiatus of one’s sex life. Take Elliott Rodger, who murdered six people and injured fourteen as a result of it. When I first heard of this man, I actually found his actions funny. Imagine someone being so desperate for sex that they’d resort to murder! To add to this, he was even so awkward around women that he couldn’t go on a proper killing spree, as he was too nervous to enter the sorority house he wanted to shoot up. Instead, he opted for taking potshots of random passerby.
Short while later, I read some of his manifesto and I felt deep empathy for him. I would’ve never gone down that dark path but when the chances of my next encounter used to be as far off as the chance of winning the lottery, I traversed the same mental pathways as him. All men who aren’t born into abundance have those dark nights of the soul, whether they admit to them or not. The difference is that we don’t usually act on those feelings. Besides that, I consciously understand that a lull in that area of my life is temporary and will soon rectify itself. Yet I believe there is a primal part in men that eschews logic, common sense, or morality in favour of barbarism.
It’s natural, testosterone after all, gives one both a libido, a penchant for violence and all men’s brains are swimming in it. Human beings don’t seem to be designed for happiness. Humans are Sisyphean animals. Whenever we think that we have reached the peak of happiness, something occurs which makes the boulder roll downhill. It’s an ebb and a flow, and your emotional state defaults to being vapid and superficial. When we grow up, rarely do we actually change as people, in terms of character. More often than not, the main difference between a teenager and an adult is spending power and experience. This life experience is key though, it’s what allows us to realise that our temporary feelings might be vapid and thus are worth ignoring.
Accepting that at times we’ll have to suffer through rage, frustration, and disappointment is healthy. Fortunately, if you do not identify with the feeling, whilst holding it and making it part of yourself, and instead say something along the lines of “I might be angry right now, but that does not mean I am an angry person” the emotion loses power. It can also do the opposite and magnify our positive emotions, lest we forget the story of the eastern monarch:
There was once a king, a king as miserable as he was mighty. One day he asked of all the wise men in the kingdom to confer to him some wisdom that would make him happy in the bad times, and make him appreciate the good. Wise men and sorcerers tried and failed to achieve this, until this one man came from the far reaches of the realm. He had a magical ring in his possession with the inscription “and this too shall pass” and gifted it to the sovereign. The king wore it and he came to understand the true meaning of the words . When in the highest throes of passion one might forget that such sensations are fleeting, and thus we might not appreciate them fully and take them for granted; or when in deep misery we might feel as if this shall be eternity. Yet the solution to finding satisfaction in all circumstances is to take to mind that the only thing constant in life is change.
So it is, my dear reader, that all of life’s miseries shall come to pass. If they haven’t passed, then this isn’t the end. But if this happens to be the end, then you have little to worry about – for it is the end. Fortunately for me, the neighbouring lovemaking has also come to an end, and they are now sleeping in each other’s embrace. As for my anger, writing this article and understanding my frustrations has actually relaxed me and I feel quite happy.
Have a wonderful day