Two things I find very ugly in London Town – rent and women. I have had very bad relationships with the landlords and with the fair women too. But it seems that with money you can fix both of these troubles.
However, I am not intending to talk in here neither of rent nor of women. But I’d rather like to talk of the pain of being an artist and having to carry the artist’s food or books around a big and cruel city like London! The pain of having to dismantle your bookshelf every now and then, because you have to change your house! And at the end it is ‘your stubbornness of wanting to throw away nothing that weighs on the top of your shoulders more than anything else!’
So my stubbornness and persistence becomes my pain. And it is this pain of having to drag up and down the city my voluminous notebooks and books that I have accumulated for years and years! And every scratch on these papers seems so important to me. Every idea that I have noted down on these papers, I identify with my blood and life and being on earth.
So what can I do? Shall I throw these books away or wait till my mind unleashes and perhaps I become able to make a living with the art of writing and creating?
Lotte Lenya, the editor of Three Penny Opera, said that Brecht at his early stage in his career he habitually kept numerous works-in-progress whirling around him (never throwing away so much as a scrap of paper on which he had scribbled two words).
And just like Brecht was so I feel that I am doing – a maniac of papers and letters that’s how I feel. Or perhaps I love so much my ideas that everything that I write looks like there is my life. And that’s why I am so bad at editing my work and so bad at trimming and cutting. That’s why I still can’t make a living with what I love to do. A failed man!
So I, like Brecht, never threw a piece of paper away. And a few years ago it was not so popular the kindle edition, during the last year though, all my books are from kindle, but in the past I loved the paperback. And still I love paperback books, but how am I supposed to keep them? Reading books does not give you a certificate where you can show to those who ask for it? But reading presupposes writing said Sartre. That means that that those who seek want to create in turn. Hmm!
And a seeker of knowledge or an artist loves books, – that’s the thing with the artist. It has been so. It is so. And it will be so. He knows that he has to listen and learn in order to make his ideas come out properly and subtly.
And sure that no one is born an artist, a great writer or a great philosopher.
Remember? We go to schools to learn and then we teach the younger generations in turn. We are the pupils that become the teachers. We are the listeners that become the speakers and we are the children of the nature that become its creators. Therefore, becoming is the way that we choose compulsively whether we like it or not!
Now to begging with, let me explain it in a few paragraphs, what happened the very last time that I had to change my house.
It was the end of January 2016, when the landlord sent me a message where he said;
‘Hi, hope you are well. Yes it’s 2016, and you know, our rent for the new year will be reviewed to keep up with inflation and very demanding rental market. And an increase will be added on your monthly payment.’
And it was an increase, which I couldn’t afford. So I had no choice, but rush to find another room and as soon as possible. And after that I had to start and throw at least the half of my bookshelf or invent any magic idea of disappearing and making them appear whenever that I wanted them!
Yes, I was fed up with everything. No magic idea could save me. But still I wasn’t able to leave everything there and abandon all what I had. There were my ideas, my creativity and my entire life. There, on the scribbled and scrawled papers was my being and my nothingness too. But in a world where everything is being reduced to a piece of paper, ideas do not make sense if they don’t make money. That’s the pain and suffer of the artist of the now! He has to make money with his ideas otherwise he doesn’t make sense at all and he can’t even survive in this world that is becoming terribly expensive.
I had come to this room, in Dollis Hill London, six months ago in August 2015. But I had to leave again. Previously I had been living in a single room that was more like a box room or like a bunker with no fresh air and no place to turn around. I had been there for a few years crammed with books, notebooks, pens and pencils and ideas written on hundreds of papers and that were spread everywhere. There you could find poems, plays, tragedies, short stories, but and novels. Nothing was ever published. But all what I had was piled up one upon another in my single room and waiting for me to edit and re-edit and trim and cut. Oh! And then find the time and the inspiration to bring into being or perhaps one day publish parts of these ideas that seemed to me so remote, but and so close in the same time.
The choice that I made to come to London, to this expensive city, was a total madness. And now I regret it! To pass from a suicide attempt to another suicide attempt, isn’t that mad?
Isn’t that mad to live in a city of 12lve million people, but not be able to make a true friend? Isn’t that mad to live in a city where single women are everywhere, but still despite knowing thousands, you won’t be able to make a relationship work without having a good job, a mansion and a good car?
Isn’t that mad to live like a living being amid the dead?
If you are living in 2016 and you are not puking, then there should be something wrong with your bowels.
There was no other solution for me. To leave the current house and find something cheaper was the only choice.
So I began my journey of looking for a new room in London. And after I found my new living place, I went quickly to my current home, climbing the stairs with the speed of an athlete. And like a lover when he rushes to see his girlfriend, so I opened the door to see my loved, precious and unpublished works and deeds of many years.
And first of all I gazed at the bookshelf. I stood there staring for a while like a bewildered child with not knowing what to do or like a criminal that is about to commit a crime. And the crime being in here my books and ideas! But soon, after a few minutes of silence and pain with tears sliding down the cheeks like a stream to the river, I gathered my pieces together and thought that now it is the time for the hard decision to be made. What to throw away and what to keep?
The room in which I was going to live was a single room, so I had to make some space. I was moving from a double room back to a single one. This is London, money is cruel and the world is cold as ice. And a true artist doesn’t work for money. He is a liberator and works to change the world. For he deep down knows that evil can be fought only through the power of knowledge. And he knows that evil is man himself because man has on his hand good and evil. That means that it is up to him what to do with it. Hence, those who commit evil need to be fought by those who want goodness: by those who want to live in peace and harmony with the people of all nations and the world. Isn’t that true FOLKS?
So, after some time of reflection, I cleared the place on my left and right hand side.
And then I began throwing away and piling up one upon another books, notebooks and scratches of all kinds and genres. On the left I threw what I didn’t want and on the right I placed what I wanted to keep.
First, I started off by throwing some dictionaries on my left side. Then I moved on to some notebooks, and old ideas that I deemed as being irrelevant to keep with me.
Then I threw some sixteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth century plays, novels and philosophic books like Descartes, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Molière, Lord Byron. And then I stopped hovering upon James Joyce and Thomas Man, but I wasn’t able to throw them away, so I placed them nicely down on my right hand side. Then I stopped at the dreams and psychology of Freud, but I threw his works together with his ideas that demeaned art and the artist. And after him my eyes went upon Martin Heidegger. Good thinker I thought he was. ‘But sorry no space,’ I said with a low voice. Still I knew that I had some notes of his best works. Then came the time of his counterpart of European existentialism and Jean Paul Sartre, so I threw his ‘Existentialism Is Humanism’ but kept his deed ‘Being and Nothingness.’ After that my hand slid down a bit and my eyes stopped on another shelf, it was the time of Marx and Engels to go away. So I threw their joint works and kept Das Capital. Subconsciously, it reminded me of the pain of the present day Capital, exploitation, human humiliation, greed and hatred of all kinds. And then I paused for a bit staring and reflecting what to keep and what to throw away. What to throw on the left and what to place nicely on the right!
After that some other fresh but hot tears slipped down the cheeks, some more pain was killed and some more time died away into the past and nothingness. Then I began again doing what I was supposed to do – throwing my books away!
But every attempt to throw something away it was like peeling off my being or cutting off parts of my body. It was me there. It was my everything. It was my work of many years and books that I had read but that I didn’t want to hurl in the rubbish just like that. So I felt attached to these books and notebooks even more than those kids of the today who are obsessed to their computer games.
Next in the queue was Vladimir Lenin, but I kept his deeds. I thought that he predicted pretty well the future when he said that the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations will share the world among themselves in the future. That means that all small nations will be like food for the dogs of the big powers. And the big powers will quarrel like true criminals to share their spoils. That was the point. And that is what we are living today.
But, that wasn’t all. My eyes jumped on another shelf. And so Thomas Aquinas and his proofs of God were next to go. Then Nietzsche and his Zarathustra were to stand with me. Then ancient poets and philosophers came up next. ‘Agamemnon and Prometheus Bound’ by Aeschylus were part of the books that desperately I had to throw away. Then from there my eyes went to another ancient poet and thinker, and he was Buddha. What a chandala-like philosophy I thought. So I threw him away without much ado! Close to him were Socrates with his apology and Zoroaster with his poems of mindfulness and good thought. But I kept both of them.
After that my sight bowed down on another shelf and permeated the messages of some old poems that I had written ages ago. But, unfortunately, I threw them too. And from there my eyes jumped like a kangaroo and stopped on some present-day scientists and thinkers like the ‘The Consciousness by Christof Koch. What a Christian monk that he is, I thought. But still I kept him, perhaps because I wanted to say to him that he was an arrogant priest that more than thought he had arrogance. Also some other present day scientists, psychologists and thinkers like Stephen Hawking and Richard J Davidson and Russell Brand and Eckhart Tolle, I kept with me just because I disagreed with their ideas and I wanted to tell them that out there is more than meets the eye. And that they are but hypocrites of my time that more than good are doing evil.
Then from the present day world my eyes jumped back to the ancient times and Homer, Gilgamesh, Heisod and Old Testament. I stopped for a while again thinking and deliberating with my self. ‘Shall I throw everything’ I said and just walk out of my house with my clothes and that’s it? I hadn’t got rid of the one quarter of my little home library, but suddenly I thought that I am going to keep the rest.
Maybe next time I am going to throw myself away in the river together with my books and notebooks and ideas,’ so I murmured to myself. So dear were the books to me, just like a child is to a parent. And then my mind went to Leo Tolstoy and Ana Karenina. I was done with this book ages ago. But there was a precious phrase that suggested that those who can’t make deeds at least should bring children into life. Subconsciously, I was thinking about something else in the same time. And it was about family, life and children. My friends were leading a happy life and had created a family etc. They had children; a job, a house, a car and they could go and come from holidays without much trouble!
As I had brought myself at the bottom of all bottom just because I loved books and creativity. I hadn’t gone in holidays in my last three years and I was trapped in a single room in London with no friend, no girlfriend and a night job that was just for keeping my food on the table. Still, that job could help me to study though, and that was true. But to study what? ‘Nothing makes sense,’ I said. Why did I come into this life?’ I asked myself again. But that was too big a question and I remembered that when I was five years old I had complained to my mother and had said, ‘ Why did you bear me mom?’ Then I tried to remember the answer of my mother, but I couldn’t. Still the look of her face appeared to me as showing a mother that was baffled by the question of her five years old son. And then she had hugged and kissed and held me on her arms and turned around with me, squeezing my body with her love and affection that was unearthly. And so she had made me forget what I just had said to her.
After a pause accompanied with some weird reflection and imagination of naught and nothing, I asked myself, ‘At least why didn’t I get married when I was fifteen then? Why did I destroy myself just because I dreamed big? Isn’t that mad? I’m already 28 and almost 29, but what do I remember? I remember fighting for freedom because I didn’t feel free. An Eastern- European man living in a world that was chopped up by Hitler and shared in the afterwards by the greedy neo-fascists that were quarreling for their spoils, just like Orwell described it at 1984. That’s what I remembered. I remembered fighting for freedom.
And then, what? What was it that I remembered? Yes, I remembered that in the same time I had looked for a liberated woman to struggle with me and change the world together. I had looked first because my libido or sexual desire as a human being compelled and forced me to do so. Yes that’s true. I needed no one to go there where I wanted to go or achieve what I wanted to achieve. But remember that we are humans and the living beings want the living as the dead live with the dead. Have you ever seen a dead being coming back? If not then why on earth this world is so cruel and so cold and so mad to its own self and its own children? Why? Because of money? Because of this fake and false symbol that we created? ‘But we created money and everything’ I said to myself loudly. ‘So shall we respect one another because of money or because of our qualities and our work?’
And then all of a sudden, I became conscious that I had left the bookshelf and I had started pacing the room up and down uneasily and thoughtfully.
‘What else do I remember?’ I reflected again as I stopped and turned the back to the bookshelf, looking through the window on the boulevard in front of my room, and glancing at the trees and leaves that were falling one after another like snowflakes.
‘I remember that since I came to London and onwards, each year I had contemplated to commit suicide and a few times I was closer to losing myself. The first time it happened when I was working in a restaurant as a waiter and door host. The Manager there was a bully with the feelings like that of a horse. He had treated me for months not like a human but like an animal, ordering me every now and then like I was his plaything, but not a colleague and friend that had to be treated with respect, courtesy and civility. And then, during that time, I had felt sad because of loneliness and the bitter moments that I had to pass in a work where I was treated like a slave or a lackey. Hence then was my first time of contemplating suicide. The second time was in 2012. After I had finished my performance in a talent show, suddenly I felt disappointed for what I had found in there. I had expected subtle people with subtle ideas, sensitive and creative people. But I found some coarse folks that were blind and deaf to human creative ideas. And that had saddened me to death and dashed my hopes into nothingness. The hopes that I had had that in London I will find companions and fellow-creators that want to change the world like creators do, but not brutal and rowdy folks that aren’t up for great things!
Now reflecting in hindsight it sounds like being childish, but that’s how I had thought at the time. And so in the aftermath of the show I walked out of Excel London and then stood across the river with my hands hanged on the top of the balustrade and staring at the cold and turbulent waters crying and thinking, but to jump.
Also, another time that I attempted to commit suicide was a bit weird and inexplicable. Something was pushing me to jump somewhere or do something and destroy my being. So at that time, first of all, my mind went to some knives that I had in the kitchen. But soon that appeared too cruel and ugly a method to end my life. Second thing that pervaded my mind like a thunderbolt was the thought of jumping off a bridge, but still the closest bridges from where I could jump were too far from my place where I was living. And even a lake where I could have drowned myself was at about 30 minutes far from my house where I was living in London.
But still even at that difficult moment through the subtlest perception of my mind, and perhaps due to some psychological books that I had read at that time, I thought that something must be wrong with my brain. It can’t be explained otherwise that all of a sudden I wanted to kill myself, I thought.
‘Perhaps it is some brain swelling or perhaps it is the fact that I have isolated myself.’ So I thought quickly, and it was quick like the speed of light is. And all of that thought went through my mind; it pervaded my being, my soul and my blood. However, it was not time for much meditation, I had to act swiftly. I had to think how to save or destroy myself because my brain was playing dice with me and I was afraid that soon I would become worse. That was the fear. The fear of going from worse to worse off!
And that happened one December day in 2012 where all of a sudden in the middle of the night I was pushed towards the death feeling and self-annihilation thought. In the past I had heard a Latin phrase; ‘Mens sana in corpore sano that means a healthy body in a healthy mind. And I used to love sports and running and sometimes I frequent the gym too. Hence perhaps because of that then I thought that it was the time to go out and run. Because all I was doing was work and reading and writing. I had isolated myself, and my mind from the outside world! You get me? In getting to know myself and in exploring it, I also get to know not only myself but the world too.
And thus I got out of my house in Kingsbury London and started running up and down the park praying to God like mad ‘Please, please, not now’ I said all the time. I felt the ‘suicide want’ so close. I ran for about one hour all over the open area of Kingsbury Park London, in the middle of the night, associating it with some physical exercises, stretches and push-ups. It was crazy but that seemed to have saved my life.
Then, after one hour of running and exercising, I went home having a shower and a good sleep. And so, in the morning when the sun began to rise I gave up God and all thought about the afterlife existence. Not because that before that I was believing in any particular religion, but because I used to believe in one “God.” Brainwashed from the ideas of elder men and books. And that was mad as the idea of god or many gods is. But that’s how one can find his or her way, and it is through listening and learning and overcoming and becoming. That’s liberation.
What else do I remember? I remember many other things, short and long stories. Many other times I attempted to kill myself too, a few smiles, a few parties and the rest is but reading and writing and working to perfect the art of creating ideas in a logical order. And also working to pay my rent and to support my food on the table, – a true and a proper slave of my time!
Also, I REMEMBER that I fell down seven times, but got up eight!
I remember much more past pain and past hate. But, because I want to end this story as soon as possible and because of the fact that I just thought to express some bits of my suffer for WordPress use only, then I am telling you only what I did next.
And thus I turned around looking everywhere in my room. I looked at the mirror on my left hand side, at the wardrobe close to the mirror, at the bed in the middle of the room, at some poems stuck on the wall, at some other worthless materials across my bed like shoes and unwashed clothes. And then I glanced at my working table that was close to me and that had some books, pens and notebooks on the top. A feeling of creative inspiration and ideas that were just budding at that moment pierced my being: as some dust rose from the table mixed with some dim rays of the sun that pervaded the space of the room. I paused to reflect again. And after, I turned slowly on my right side looking at another table that was close to the bookshelf and that had on top of it a studio speaker, KRK Rokit 5 and a DJ controller, Tractor S4, that I used to play music at times.
Then my eyes wandered around and up and down the bookshelf stopping at my left side were the books and notebooks that were to be thrown away were waiting for me to give them my last goodbye.
So quickly, I grabbed a bin bag and put all the books that I had set apart, the mentioned and unmentioned ones, and later on I left them outside in the street. I thought perhaps someone else wants to know and if one wants and looks then one finds. Because I grew up in the streets of Europe myself and I knew that feeling of being hungry to know and not being able to find the time! But across the streets I found libraries too, and when I didn’t have time, then I made time. I read while I was in the bus, or while being on the train and even while I was walking on the streets.
After that, the next thing to do in line was the pain of having to drag the three quarters of my bookshelf to my new living place.
So one afternoon in the beginning of February 2016, occupied on the both hands with two half-broken suitcases, I got out of my house in Dollis Hill London with my mind looking forward to my new living place. And once I was in the street I paused for a bit and turned around looking at the trees, the bus and the train station that was close to me, and at last at some shops that I used to buy bread, water and food. Then I breathed deeply and raised my eyes looking up at the sky that was dark as always. And then I lowered my eyes again looking at the streets that were slippery and wet because of a heavy shower that had just finished and another one seemed to be on its way.
So I began to walk towards my new living hut, staring in distance like a mad man. I began to walk on my journey of having to drag and pull and haul my half-broken suitcases that were overloaded wi†h books. And in pain and suffer I ploughed the harsh air and dancing streets of London. Looking forwards to seeing my new house with the dark clouds that were following me everywhere and that were my only companions and friends!
In the beginning though, I thought that I was strong, but later on in the journey I felt weak and I was about to break down, or abandon everything there and run off. My arms looked heavy like they were falling off my shoulders: my palms were sweaty and cold and my legs were just walking mechanically one after another led by a brain that was about to shut all down.
And as I was wandering and cursing everything that was alive translating the entire world as hypocrite and superficial, the hard concrete curb of the sidewalk began to twist and turn around. It had taken the form of a snake and so it was twisting and turning and climbing and at last running. But now running like a half human and a half snake being. And everything looked so strange and out of place just like my fantasy is.
But that taught me a lesson and said to me, that I was about to lose my consciousness because I was getting really tired. My retinas seemed to be on the edge of falling down together with my eyeballs and hands and every other part of my body. And a feeling a fright pervaded my being, as I got scared of stepping on my fallen eyes. Then it seemed that my ‘broken off’ arms had fallen on the street and had began to jump all over the place and were about to take a consciousness of their own and begin to read my books. A consciousness equal to those that they call the simple-minded. But true, all the simple-minded folks can do great things with a little patience and will to know and create. Do they want that though? That’s the question.
In the beginning I didn’t think so, but then I learnt that books were really heavy a thing to drag on the lumpy slabs that were worm-eaten and old like the city of London itself. I was losing energy, momentum and vision. But still I kept going and going looking forward to seeing my new dwelling place! As the dark clouds continued to make me company all the way through. They were so loyal and so royal!
And at this moment that I am writing and expressing my pain I ask myself: ‘Why didn’t I just throw everything then and there and shoot myself in the head? Mad no? And die then and there. What was I trying to prove with these books? What was I trying to do with these books? Was I trying to steal a few ideas and then make a better world? Was I trying to change the world? Oh yeah that was the bottom line of my thought. I wanted to listen and learn more. But listening and learning is pain and presupposes pain. Why did I listen my father’s order to read books, then? My father was madder than me! Where are the dark clouds of the bygone days, then?
Once I was in my new home, I felt myself free of the dark clouds and so I thought. Just like it is true that politicians create crises here, crises there and crises everywhere, so a man who loves wisdom and ideas is doomed from the outset. It is the system designed to speak only of money and nothing else. But in doom and gloom, storm and stress I shall find my way.
If this world were a paradise, I thought again, then out there would be nothing to do. But, because this world is full of wars, violence and therefore evil! Then out there is much to do, much to make and much to create. ‘Fight for a better world,’ I said to myself with a low, but firm voice and in the same time looking forward to inspire others to do the same thing. Because with what we do, we appeal to others to carry on doing. And that was what the existentialists of 20s century implied in their ideas.
However, in all honesty, now I understand why a human loves dogs, pigs or animals more than humans. Because the humans of the present day are married with a fake and false symbol that is called ‘money.’ And they do not show love without you showing first the money. They say “show me the money!” Like this, it is case in Europe, like this it is the case in America. And like this it is the case everywhere where money is valued more than humanity.
To be a creator, it takes some doing. You need to learn to take the rough with the smooth and be able to dance with the stars. For writing is an art. As art is that hidden skill that sleeps within everyone! But that one has to work hard in order to acquire it and bring it out. And like Virginia Wolf put it at Between the Acts, ‘We are all skilled, but the thing is how to bring it out.’ So she said and so it is.
And as I do not have a certificate to prove my school, then the only way forwards to changing the world is to create a book that makes true sense and carries weight.
So this is my story, now my bookshelf is empty, but not my mind!