Journal of the Superior
I, Journal of the Superior
Gentlemen, let me begin my informing you of my qualms. My inner conflicts carry no more importance than a rotted dung. Upon remembering this I stoop to lower self-esteem, a sensation of worthlessness. What becomes of those higher than me? All of them suddenly appear at my feet, kissing my two year old shoes, tasting the dirt that composes them. In a sane world, a reasonable universe, I seem no better than my fellow man. Only when I look at my reflection in the mirror can this reality consume me. Haunting and poignantly true this absurdity. I deem it absurd, a product of the pain that reverberates within me. Such pain this causes. Pain in an empty void called the soul, rattling within, wanting to spread and empty my flesh. These aches present at times when I liberate myself from delusion. Liberation I call it. However, I entrap myself purposely in a foolish state. I must feel that I’ve outdone all men at something. No living creature can comprehensively attain a holistic idealism. For this reason I can single out flaws in my fellow human being. I can become better than anyone in at least one attribute. Also gentlemen I must tell you of one thing. One law of mankind we must all become aware of and inured to in a corrupted world, which seems to be that of the faulty intention. With no anomalies, I can ascertain to you that men intend with ulterior motive. Or more simply stated, malevolent intent. Not necessarily in acquiring or attaining a goal, but the baleful means in which men strive with. Or more commonly, the masochistic, self-inflicted pains that men seek to justify themselves. This evil usually hides away unnoticed, but I have noticed it my lovely audience. I can then inform you with all certainty that my inner qualms are a blessing. I carry with utmost joy my disgust in humanity, for it has allowed me to don embellishments that my fellow man lacks. The woes of the common folk go unnoticed, but there are those who notice them. For that reason, the thinking man suffers from existential catastrophe. This, however, seems to be much better than the enigmatic desire to accumulate pain and suffering to feel exuberance and self-reward .
My profession requires that I travel from one building to another in order to carry out the rest of my duties. I can tell you the starting point is the base and the destination is the laboratory. I must clock in at both stations in order to receive pay. My walk, which spans fifteen kilometers, goes unpaid for. I have repeatedly lobbied the higher-ups to reimburse me for this walk with no avail. One of my co-workers, Fredrik, has recently joined me in these petitions. While I accept his help for the mere purposes of legitimizing my plight, I cannot stand his abrasiveness and dense head. He belittles my efforts and has joined me out of pity. Fredrik speaks with the confidence of an eagle but has the memory of a goldfish and the thought process of a week old cat, one that runs into mirrors. I am ashamed that my only supporter cannot formulate a coherent argument due to the clutter clogging his brain. The man weighs more than the bed he sleeps on. I am embarrassed that I am joined by such a calloused, hallow individual. I must meet with Fredrik tomorrow at ten in order to discuss our argument that will be presented to the committee. Perhaps they would also notice that the overly-encumbered Fredrik must be rewarded for hauling himself fifteen kilometers from building to building.
In the middle of November at a coffee shop in Prague, I am seated with Fredrik. The inside of the building is overly lit with bulbs lining the walls and ceiling in clustered patterns. Almost everyone there seems delighted, matching the bright environment. Conversations fill the air as every chatter is distinct and the room roars with syncopation. A child enters the café performing a pirouette. The child joins her parents at a table in the front of the room and presents them with a lily she picked outside. Four women giggle in the back of the room as they sip on their freshly brewed espresso shot coffee. They are all alluringly attractive, donning coats lined with animal fur. Fredrik, sitting across from me, contaminates my vision. I take a sip so small out of my cup of tea that I can barely feel anything entering my mouth, and yet still manage to slightly burn my tongue. “Fredrik, I would imagine that our issues with the system will go noticed once we present our case, for we both work in the same department, consisting of twelve individuals. Of these twelve, four must make this tedious walk. Now of course we shall not implore them for a bonus of some sorts for simply walking. Rather, we should ask for the pay to be rightfully adjusted to accommodate for loss in work time. You and I wish for a steady pay rate for a single work day as our colleagues all experience. This fifteen kilometer journey reduces our pay. We work just as hard as the others”. As I speak, I observe the state of this vile, petty man. Mucus runs down his nose and joins his mouth as he continues to speak. His hair looks like he fried eggs in it, the little of the blonde mop he has left. His forehead is pronounced like that of an ape with brows coarser than boar bristle. His lips seem as if they are about to part, curled and dry as he forces words out of his mouth. My dialogue with this man is utterly foul as he cannot properly reciprocate in conversation which results in me completely controlling the discourse. “Aye, we ought to show them. I’ll tell you wot, I know a lad or two in our station who can be at the meeting,” he forced out. “Who are they? We can speak with them if they live nearby,” I suggest as we both need all the aid we can scrap. “Aye, they live by The Three Frogs, a bar bordering Josefov”. Completely surrounded by old town, Josefov is a small cadastral area in Prague. Not too long ago, it was a Jewish ghetto. Conveniently, we were at a shop in an old town close to the Josefov border. Desperation was a reality at this point. The reform I sought became less and less important to me. Rather, something else propelled my efforts. I was not entirely certain what that was. “Let us go visit them, then. We are only a couple kilometers away.”
“Yes, let us go then. We don’t want to arrive when they are in their beds,” Fredrik uselessly remarked .
We arrive at the co-workers’ house. Directly adjacent to The Three Frogs, I could not tell if the stench of vodka was from the apartment or the bar itself. The bar was in the middle of a courtyard containing an apartment complex and a butcher’s meat shop. A serene view of the Vitava River complimented the area. As a Jewish town, Josefov was filled with enormous synagogues. As we were in the outskirts of Josefov, we technically were still immersed in the culture of old town. Vendors roamed the streets and bars occupied the plazas. Religious fanatics and secular history buffs were equally enthralled by this town. A massive synagogue was in sight, its red roofs just noticeable from the distance. Aside from the architecture and scenery, the air itself was slightly repulsive. The street was littered with beer bottles, napkins, unfinished food, and cigarettes. The stench was almost unpleasant but not necessarily putrid. Fredrik notices his colleagues are in the bar and signals for me to enter with him. As I step into The Three Frogs, my shoe gets drenched in a puddle of alcohol. The walls are decorated with a black, gothic wallpaper and contain paintings of buildings. The floors are checkered red and black and tables line the walls. At the center of the room there is a bar with two recognizable co-workers seated, sipping rum. “Ah! Fredrik! What brings you to Josefov?” yelled the larger of the two gentlemen, almost mockingly. This man had a very distinct voice, one that would be suitable for an announcing profession. His shoulders were dangerously broad and his head was squarely shaped with eyes as blue as tanzanite. “Sebass, I have come with my friend to follow up on our disagreements with the office at work” said Fredrik bravely. “Oh that’s right! Your stocky legs can’t handle that walk, was that right? Poor thing. Indeed, they should be moving you with the largest horse carriage in town. I can’t understand how you are standing as it is!” The whole bar erupts in laughter. The empty-headed cretin accompanying me generated a fifth of that laughter from his tar-infested lungs.
This smug fellow, Sebass. Sebastian Arlovski. He manages one of the departments at the laboratory. His friend sitting next to him, Kamil, doesn’t utter much. Sebass can be quite the talker, however. “Say Fredrik, did you really expect me to entertain your request? You see, a man of my status does not waste his efforts on some lousy plight. The pay you whine about is what I spend at this very bar.”
“Sebass…I don’t understand, you offered to aid us earlier,” muttered Fredrik. Sebastian, ostensibly recollecting himself and taking another sip from his drink, begins to speak more respectfully. “Ah yes, I remember now. I did, indeed, consider your inquiry. I must say, that was foolish of me. You see, I realized that lobbying for you could turn out woefully for me. Self-interest is key when working a profession such as ours. Your insignificant squabble with the office does not present itself worthy enough for me to risk tenure. I see you have come with a friend. Let me ask, why is it that you must lobby? Do you not understand this hierarchy? You seem to be in the dark about this. You see, you two are replaceable. In the eyes of the office, any form of standing up against the system will result in your dismissal from the company. They don’t intend on paying you a coin more than what you are earning now. In the end, someone has to make the walk. Not reimbursing you for this is an easy way to withhold extra payments that they can’t afford. You are working two part time jobs, just under the same company. Indeed, is that not what you signed up for? One would assume you could not find a more convenient job. This one has chosen you and now you feel entitled?” While he seemed physically inebriated, his speech was completely coherent and eloquent. I paused, impressed by his remarks, absorbing his rebuke and half-formulating a response.
“Sebastian!” hollered a woman, throwing herself onto his stone shoulders. Her hair was a very light blonde, almost white upon first seeing it. Her face was very pale and her cheeks and lips were full. “Sebastian dear, where have you been?”
“Meisha, I reckoned that you would be in bed. I thought I told you that I would be out till half past midnight,” he uttered, annoyed. I glance at the clock as it reads one. We have been in the bar longer than I thought. “It’s one, you big bear!” Meisha exclaimed, and stoops down. As Meisha whispers in the ear of Seabass, he ostentatiously caresses her back, following her spine all the way down to her bottom and slaps it with the palm of his large, callus formed hands. “Very well then, gentlemen. I must excuse myself now. Kamil, tomorrow it is. As for you two, I ask that you give up this revolt. I have seen others try before, and it has only worsened their situation. Be grateful with what you have. Farewell.”
Just like that, my mission is thwarted. I have never felt so foolish. I stand there with Fredrik, stupendously more offended than him. Although I started to question the legitimacy of my lobbying, I did not think that my efforts would diminish so soon. They were effortlessly crushed. I realized what I stood for was petty. In terms of pay, it was a trivial matter. I failed to understand myself at that moment. I could not fathom why I piloted this effort. I can see Fredrik speaking with the bartender ordering himself what looked like Ale. I proceed to join him and we drink away.
Fredryk and I have decided that we would call off our meeting with the committee and accept our positions in the company. With full confession, I must say that Sebastian Arlovski has swayed my decision. The dialogue in the bar has changed my insight on the whole affair. Usually, I do not concede so easily. However, in the case of properly being outdone I will accept my own state of foolishness. What I will not accept, however, is how I have been flicked aside like a roach. Especially with that whore interfering with an argument I deserved to be part of. Her curvaceous body was the center of attention, completely overriding my very presence at the bar. A voluptuous hippo was what I saw simply due to sentiment. In retrospect, a beautiful women entered the bar that night. However, rage clouded my gaze with hatred. I was angered while all the other men turned their heads in amiable perversion at fluffy breasts and firm buttocks. All in good taste. These folk at the bar, to some degree, were all cursed with feelings of schadenfreude. While I was single-handedly emasculated, my defeat was treated with celebration. For people to truly feel that they are well, some list of people would have to be suffering from defeat or unsuccessful ambition. This is the nature of the cutthroat environment we create for ourselves. Even misfortune can be a primary motivator for altruism. Those who practice benevolence sometimes tend to feed off of the misfortune of others. They may give for the sake of overpowering those less fortunate than them. Gentlemen, do not read with the notion that I will cover with a veil these vices of mankind. Ensure that they are seen so that no surprises await you. While my vice may be hatred, I can assure you that this is the mildest one! I hate in order to truly evaluate a person. It may cloud my judgement but I am granted with a savant-like evaluator mind. I learn from others in the inevitable fashion of corrupted motives. This has led me to avoid giving at all! Consider the gate keeper in a third world country. A giant gate that spans a whole mansion’s length. Surely, a statement of power. The gate keeper receives his pay and goes on with his day. Rudely enough, the owner of the mansion disrespects this gatekeeper who guards the mansion in long nights and fetches errands. The gatekeeper is a homeless man who has been taken up by the owner in order to take him off the streets and put him to use. The homeless man is paid and fed at the owner’s expense. However, giving in this situation is no significant act of benevolence. Someone would have been hired for this post anyways. Making it a homeless man that can be disrespected and kicked in the hunch only decorates the ordeal and formulates a story that adds to the owner’s legacy as a humanitarian. The homeless man could have been left on the streets with no repercussions to others. This is the underlying motive of man. I find it sublime that man can create stories for themselves that help them slumber and widens their grins. This is why I avoid giving! Avoiding giving for me is avoiding hypocrisy. For by giving, I would become consumed by the same narcissism that I warn you of. Giving usually is a streak of endless achievements that reaps drug like euphoria for dressed up personalities.
An elderly man enters the train to work. His beard thick and his hair long and white. His face is battered with wrinkles. He is wearing a brown coat with gray trousers that are too large for him. He notices a young woman seated alone. She has a book in her hand titled ‘The Idiot’. Her hair covers half her olive-colored face and just touches her thin lips as she whispers while reading. The old man remains standing with his hand grabbing a support handle. While his clothing seemed very torn up and loose, he did not seem homeless, for his beard was well groomed and his hair was tied back professionally. This elderly man had an ominous look on his face, one of ambivalence mingled with a deep-rooted concertion. After another half hour of standing, the man finally takes it upon himself to sit down across from the young woman, apparently out of fatigue. He has been standing so long his legs began to wobble. “You know my daughter loved to read,” he starts, awkwardly. “When she was a girl she would pick up any book in her sight. Read, read, read. That kept her happy.”
“Certainly a brilliant hobby to pick up. How old is she?” said the woman. Her lips filled up as she talked. She was clenching her lips. “She would have been twenty-four,” the man uttered quietly. “I’m so sorry to hear that,” she replied with feigned emotion.
These sort of interactions are complicated in that one feels the rehearsed, obligated response people deliver to the elderly. Acting is at its finest is when both parties are convinced of something genuine. I was disgusted by the pseudo-concern the young girl had in her condolences. Society functions in a façade. Social facilitation has ruined our true expression and one must rehearse and act out obligatory courtesies. For this reason events such as the upcoming are guided so smoothly. Simply out of some sense of ‘respect’.
“You know, I love to see woman like you. You remind me of my daughter so much. Smart, beautiful, bold. It is this very attribute, the boldness and bravery of women that I adore. I admire that you are able to ride this train with confidence. You are able to enjoy your book without a fear in the world. You are so pretty and your scent is so alluring, which is why I sat by you! A stunning gal enjoying life, even on the way to work.” The man’s banter was frustratingly impulsive. “I am actually not going to work, I am visiting my friend.” “Ah, great!” exclaimed the man. The man was now disconcerted. With his prompt sabotaged, he sat in silence for the next half hour as the woman continued reading. The air was still and the mood was very uncomfortable. The sullen eyes of this frail old timer stared directly at the young maiden. Evidently, discomfort was shared amongst the few passengers on the train. While conversations carried on, interest was causing glances in the direction of the old man. The woman tapped her foot on the ground incessantly, anxiously waiting for her stop. As the next stop approached, the woman gathered her belongings. The man stood up, grasping a handle to support his feather weight. The train stopped, and the woman rose off her seat. She was very short, her head just level with the man’s chest. She stayed standing as if debating whether or not to get off the train. Obviously, this was a damsel in distress situation. However, nothing was blatantly off to the degree where intervention was a legitimate consideration. She exited the train, and the old harasser followed. Out of caprice, whether it was curiosity or a sense of duty to protect the girl, I exited at the same stop. The woman was walking hastily, with small legs making fast paced, short strides. The man seemed as if he calculated the whole situation. He waited until the girl was almost out of sight before he violently erupted in long, explosive strides as to catch up, slowing down until he was within visible distance of the girl. The girl was far enough that she could not hear the slamming of the man’s boots on the concrete ground immediately outside the train station. We were now in the main train station of Prague by a natural park called Vrchlickeho sady. This area is otherwise known as “Sherwood forest”. Although Prague is a relatively safe city, this area is flooded with pick pocketing brigands due to the large amount of tourists. I paced myself as to go unnoticed and to observe the situation. At this point, it seems as if the girl has foolishly assumed she wasn’t being followed anymore. She turned her head in every direction and failed to spot the rogue-like old man lurking in an alleyway .
Whether it was my reservations towards altruism, sentiment in regards to being trampled on by Sebastian Arlovski, some inner temptation caused me to stand by. I accuse men of malevolent intent and would I now contribute towards the same? Should I strive for heroics of some sort? All to enhance my self-appraisal? You see, my lovely audience, being present in a situation like this does not bestow on you some form of responsibility. It simply offers you an opportunity to add to your repertoire of good deeds. Surely, one must act with good-will in order to be considered, superficially, benevolent and humanitarian. Instances like the one I will soon describe do happen, gentlemen. Whether or not they can be prevented does, indeed, fall in the hands of mankind. However, everyone has free-will and the right to decide whether or not to get involved. Surely, putting motive aside, intervention can save a life. I agree with this, and the fact that lives are saved gives me hope for the world. The paradox within this, however, is that I despise how these instances change a man and award him pleasure simply because he was coincidentally present. The act of benevolence and the concept of reward all should be irrelevant. No one should be praised for being a savior who happened to be present. They should simply accept the fact that the universe has calculated this event to occur and they happened to be randomly introduced. It is pathetic that men bask in this reward that comes from sheer randomness. More despicably, men can feel better about themselves because they performed some altruistic act that anyone else could have done. If man had felt obligated, then there should be no euphoria from obligation. Has running errands ever given you happiness? Surely you are supporting your family. Why does saving the life of a random person award you pleasure over that of your own blood? If you had not fed your family, they would be suffering. I can say this because one risks their life to save others he does not know, while contradicting his very inherent principle of putting his interests and the interests of his family above all else. Not all people are this way. However, it is the underlying potential of this desire that sparks an issue for me. For this reason, I decided to intentionally be present, and intentionally withdraw. Not out of bystander effect, but out of exercising my free-will. Simply doing this sparks my calculus of felicity. In this manner, I cannot be hypocritical. I can also be better than man in intention, thereby resolving my inner qualms of being a common folk powered by social cues and selfish desire. My problems, you see, are not presented to others. I only care to ameliorate the annoyances of this world I have been placed on, to rid myself of this hatred I have been programmed with. In this mission, I seek liberation, fulfillment .
The old man lurked behind the alley way and seemed to know the short maiden’s destination. The woman made prolonged stops at shops, window shopping for the most part. At one certain shop, a female clothing store, the woman browsed for what felt like an hour. She had herself measured by the clerk, wanting to tailor an article of clothing. The shop was decorated with a variety of flowers and paintings. It was an aesthetically pleasing décor. The shopkeeper looked very out of place. He was a Russian man that was very tall and his head was shiny and bald. His gait was intimidating as he walked with his pronounced beer belly, outreaching his massive chest. His attire also did not match the flamboyance of the shop. Just as I begin to forget about the ominous man that was on the train, he enters the shop. The angle I am observing from limited my view. So in as much stealth I was capable of, I entered the shop. Upon entering, I see a stairway leading up to what looked like an apartment. Clearly, the shopkeeper lived there.
Strangely, no one was present anymore on the ground floor. The shop looked nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing from inside. The walls were embellished with paintings and flowers, but the floor was untiled and everything else seemed unfurnished and the interior was clearly still under construction. Suddenly, I hear a thud coming from the second floor and some yelling shortly following it. I quietly ascend the stairwell and reach a door that I assumed to be locked. Gentlemen, I’m not sure what force propelled me to investigate this situation, but it was acting with urgency. For a while I can only hear a group of men speaking in Russian. As a somewhat fluent Polish speaker, I can make out a couple of words, but cannot piece anything together for any meaningful comprehension. I cannot hear the woman at all and begin to think she may have even left the shop. I find a large wardrobe adjacent to the locked door and hide behind it, in case the door is opened. At this point, my gut is telling me this situation is a crime. I begin to feel almost lucky to have been placed as a witness in a situation like this. At this very moment, I am hoping that this instance is what I wanted it to be. Suddenly, I hear a chair shaking and then falling on the floor, followed by the screams of a young maiden, surely the small one from the train. The men begin to yell and now the screams become a lot more muffled. As I am hidden behind a large wardrobe adjacent to the locked door, a man peaks his head out and takes a look around. His hair is silver and his skin is noticeably tanned. His face looks sullen and swallowed, as if he dehydrated himself for the day. His eyes are a piercing blue. The man then heads downstairs. I can hear him locking the door and even bolstering it shut with furniture. This instance is definitely the one I hoped for. I begin to regret that I put myself in this situation, as I did not know how I would escape. As the man heads back into the room I can hear very loud screams and ostensible struggling. As I listen in more I can make out the sound of grunting, and even thrusting. The silver-haired crook laughs very sinisterly as the woman continues to scream and the man smothering her makes his act fully audible. Rather than leaving, I sit through this whole crime. I begin to feel the force of responsibility nagging at me. This sensation is one of guilt and not pleasure. The power of guilt seduces human beings to do things, not necessarily the power of pleasure or responsibility. Guilt overwhelmed me the whole time as I sat through obscene sounds and evil laughter. The experiment needed to continue. I needed to ascertain to myself that I can be elusive to the cues of social responsibility. These, of course, present as laws that are not laws, yet are still imposed upon us. The least I could do was leave the scene and report the incident to authorities. Although even this seemed to violate my mission. I sit through and keep listening as to intensify my experience. The same sounds persist but now it appears the silver-haired one has mounted.
Gentlemen, as I sit through the crime I come to an enlightening realization. Natural instinct enables man to save others while putting himself in danger. However, I can speak of a tertiary appraisal that comes after and is corrupted with desperation of reward, some sort of gain. As I sat through this crime, I rewarded myself with the notion that I am better than man in that I do not seek gratification due to selfish acts. The man who acts the hero seeks reward as well but in a different form. Inevitably, we are always selfish. We wish to mold our achievements and experiences to sculpt the ideal versions of ourselves. Simply so we can take a step back and exalt ourselves for what we have done on this earth. Only some can realize that their minds are irritatingly conceited. I astoundingly have done this. I have resisted temptation in the form of guilt without committing a crime or harming a soul. I have not harmed a soul. I was presented with the opportunity to rescue a soul and I declined out of pure freedom of choice. Guilt dwindles and potentiates to joy. I can safely say I am better than the typical man. I am comfortable with myself even after avoiding societal obligation. I fully unlocked my free will, my calculus of felicity. Away with my qualms.