(Don’t be consumed by Current Joys playing in the background.)

Ashtray brimmed with cigarette butts. Curtains concealing the outside world and the first flush of morning light. Last night, it was a confrontation with demons just like many other intermittent nights before.

I couldn’t sleep. The room was completely plunged into darkness, and it found a way to creep through my veins, making my blood thicker, and my soul quieter. My breath reeking of ashes, gasoline all over the floor of my mouth.

If I was still the same, the way I was in the past, I would be scared and crying in fear. But I have learned it a hard way to become friends with my demons. I talk with them, we drink together and we laugh ( the kind of laugh you get to hear in Psychiatric hospice occasionally or when a group of madmen laugh over some folly.) I have given them funny names, and they are really creative at this mischief as well. Most importantly, they have taught me some good lessons.

Last night we talked about suffering. The oldest demon, the one who has been there with me since childhood, whispered in my ear, ” Your true value is determined by your ability to bear suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater of a man you are. Would your life have any worth at all, if it wasn’t for your ability to endure fervent miseries and embrace your scars and grab the adversity by the shoulders and look it in the eye? “

I looked across the room and saw other infernal faces with a wide grin on them. All of them started to sing in unison ;

” The only way out is to immerse!

Dive and head towards the bottom with a smile,

Under, under, go under, it’s the way out!

Hit the bottom, and emerge anew. 

The way out … the only way out is to immerse. “

Suddenly, all of them started to dance madly and jump all over the room. I lit another cigarette and played the same song again that I had been listening to on a loop.

I don’t want to get out of here, but I can’t stay,

Cause the road is long and it gives and takes,

But a little life is worth a little pain. ♪

The madness lasted all night. It’s morning now. I’m going to sleep. Good night!