My Dear Country

Long have I dwelt who I write for. Is it for the bong none of us know we are, the shamefaced legacy of a colonial one night stand? Is it for you who I hate for the same reasons I hate myself? Is it for the blood on tabletops and silver iodide on the sidewalks of my hometown? Or the delinquent who gives a damn as long as it buys her another shot?

Long have I dwelt why I write. Is it to flash my "perverse, incongruous, absurd, forbidden" innards at craven corporate netajis, their wobbly craven spouses and pretty craven babies? Is it to somehow make the mundane seem heroic? Is it to honor my ancestors, to keep you from judging me by my seeming lack of politics or literacy? Is it to help you decide that you really do need that optical whitener?

The greatness that comes from peoples painted black or white or green or saffron is an illusion. All ideologies are a waste of time when all you need is optical whitener. What you really achieve is the desolation that every Agent Smith knows but cannot acknowledge. The wealth of cultures ground down to the glorious globalized spam we all create and consume, like blog posts, like vacation selfies (more of the miracle that is me), like bestsellers racks in an Indian bookstore (if you are reading this when you need to look up what a bookstore is, thank your stars you still can read).

I write for salvation, and not just mine or yours, but to let the universe know that it always makes sense to dig into the rubble, that death is another kind of survival. That grammar and syntax are restless legs, pimps and dealers, salt and pepper. That a living language must always hope to never have been. I write for my self, for who I was and who I will become, knowing that neither are the me I seek. I write for my parents, to affirm that they were not mistaken, for my children (unknown, estranged, dead and alive) to proclaim that life is more than what happens during prime time commercial breaks. I write for you who wonders if writing has a future, to let you know that it doesn't, that it only has a present - the greatest gift one can ever give.

You might want to believe that I write because you read. That without readers, there is no point in writing. You have always wanted to believe long have I dwelt. Dwelt that we live in, illusions have colors. I write because it is so colorful, because learning where things began and ended was such a heady journey, so much headier than learning to hold our heads up against gravity, mixed metaphors and suspended hyphens aside. Because it lets me put off and take on at the same time, straddling relevance and nothingness in the same neo-realist clause, putting on and taking off at will the cloak that lets you see me for who I might be.  

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