Photo: Nicolas Ladino Silva
“Yeah, it took me two tries to quit smoking.”
That’s my usual reply to: “You used to smoke? You?”
And what leads up to this is other people talking about smoking. The best cigarette is always the first one of the day, they’d say. The next best times are after a meal, or while taking a dump.
Photo: Trent Szmolnik
I know, I know. Enough of ‘just write’ articles. If you’re a writer worth your salt, you’ve probably procrastinated more than five times the amount you actually work, so I’m sure you’ve come across your share of similar articles during these times of ‘creative rest’.
I’ll be upfront and say that this article is probably not for you—no wait don’t close the browser. What I meant to say was, I had a rough time piecing this story together and I almost sent this draft to the trash, but I’d recently made a decision to increase my writing output, and part of that commitment involves finishing my shit.
Photo: Zulfa Nazer
What would you do if you became immortal? This story explores one of the possibilities.
Loosely based off the Reddit writing prompt: “In the year 1105 BC you helped a man escape imprisonment. Before you parted ways he says to make a blood oath. You didn’t think much of it but you also cut your hand and shake. He says that you’ll live as long as he does. Well, now it’s the year 2020 and you’ve been searching for this man.”
Throughout the thousands of years I’ve lived, it’s wars that seem to bind mankind through the ages. It’s where I’d first met Marcellus, after our army won the battle against Carthage. It’s how I’d fatefully meet him again 2,000 years into the future.
Photo: Jean Wimmerlin
There are times when life kicks you in the butt, and then there are times when it really gives you a shafting. You know, those times when you metaphorically feel like you’re getting drawn and quartered after you’ve had ten inches shaved off your height at the guillotine.
At these junctures in life, the problems will seem like they’ll never end, like the eternal crash of waves on the seashore. You’ll curse the heavens and call on anyone who’d listen to your plight. How could the world be so cruel? Can’t the gods see the injustice? Only once the initial anger passes will you see the truth: The universe doesn’t give a damn about you.
Photo: Simon Rae
So for some reason I’d decided to give meditation a go. I’m usually not one for spirituality, or even sitting still for that matter, but there was scientific evidence backing the benefits of meditation, so I figured at least I’d come out of this with some sort of benefit.
A quick Google search resulted in a host of alleged superpowers to be gained from this practice, such as increased creativity and lowered anxiety. That was enough to swipe it off the land of woo-woo and into me signing up for whatever it entailed.
Photo: Oscar Keys
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” —Robert Brault
You may or may not have heard about that introduction quote. Which means it may or may not be a cliché by now. Writers are often told to avoid clichés because their meaning tends to be downplayed by their popularity, but sometimes there is a reason behind said popularity. And one of the reasons for anything being popular is because they’re true most of the time, being relevant even during boring times, like my occasional runs.
I like running because I can figuratively run away from my problems and sometimes even make the leap to the literal. It helps me meditate on my life’s troubles without having to deal with the brunt of the pain, being distracted by shortness of breath and all. These thoughts never seem to end: the perils of my future, my ill-spent days zooming by, never achieving greatness in my craft, fear of death—the usual.
Just a quick note to let you guys know I’m still alive. Been busy transitioning between different phases in life, and will get to writing blog posts real soon. Got a couple of exciting projects going on as well, so here’s to more output for the second half of 2019!