Fiction Friday-Remembering Camus!


My son had brought me here. It was quite a long time ago. My joints didn’t know what arthritis was back then. Lately, the pain defined them. It was around this time of the year, though which year and on what date, are the details that had escaped me. The one thought that I could focus on was ‘I made him and he is throwing me to some nursing home.’ Initially, I used to miss his selfish form, the rascal I had birthed.

“You kept me inside you for like 9 months and you want me to feed, clothe, and shelter you indefinitely in exchange ?” That had been his reply to my motherly remonstrations. “Besides, it was your decision. You had your fun and decided to make a big deal out of it”, my son had always been a strange one, “Why would you cherish the unpleasant side effects of a drug, Ma? Bad move!”

It was several years ago, this and many such conversations were exchanged between us. He was not married. We had no one other than each other. He did not have any major financial troubles. I could never fathom why he turned me away. It could be mere indifference. He never visited me except once but it was too late then… To be honest, I cannot really recall his features clearly. Maybe its because of my bad memory or maybe he was right… you do get used to anything after awhile. I got used to this nursing house. I got used to death too. Mine! I will get used to his too. My Meursault, my stranger son!

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On Imagining Sisyphus Happy =D

Too brave to die;

Too coward to be alive,

I am Sisyphus, with my stone.

Can’t despair; can’t hope.

Not knowing, not aware,

Still conscious of the flavors

I devour.

One thing I tell you; Once and for all.

My decisions- all two of them,

Do not concern me

or my soul.

Sisyphus (the stone feller as I am called down here in the underworld) is at your service. I know you know me. I am often discussed among the intellectuals. This reminds me of an existential joke I had heard somewhere:

What does one drunken philosopher say to another?

Am I, who I am?


Who am I? If I am!

That was not really a joke and by the expressions on your face, I can tell my ramblings are not having any impact on you. I promise that these were so eloquent in my head, this morning when the demons were talking to me. We had a nice chat but there was no coffee or tea and they were talking so fast. I had nothing with me to note down the wisdom they were bestowing on me except my lousy brain. How much one can rely on an organ, though?

This reminds me of another important point. You all have spent enough time on the earth to know how fragile the organs are. You do not need Sisyphus to break this one for you.

Do I see any acknowledgement on your faces? Very little! Let me explain. By the way, I do like the sound of my own voice so I will just ignore those hands rising and those faces shining with new found intelligence. I tend to have that effect on people.

Not really though I am a loser and this is the first time anyone is even listening to me. They adore that handsome French philosopher too much to hear me out. Being a philosopher, he must be insane too. Handsome and insane! The generous atrocities of God sometimes do baffle me.

Forgive the intrusion of my hooligans of thoughts. Let me continue my explanation:

You think you are special………that you are not a machine. You are a person with feelings and desires and all sorts of shit. Fascinating, right? Not really!

Here is a case for you:

Recall that friend of yours-the girl who was always brimming with energy. Just suppose a persona if you never had the experience of meeting someone like that. Anyways, lately she had not been feeling well and one day she discussed her ulcers with you. Trusting you enough to tell you that one of her organs was not functioning properly and a part of the ulcer in that organ had been cut and sent to a lab for a biopsy. Admit that underneath the several layers of sympathy, you will find yourself pondering over a new thought; are we humans or just a sample to be tested?

The answer is simple you are nothing but a set of mechanisms! You are part of a system and you shall be destroyed with its destruction.

Meanwhile, you are, too coward to live…………too brave to die!

“Roll the bloody stone, Sis!”

Shit! That’s him — my tormentor!

You see the sole purpose of his existence is to torture me. “Do this, do that”, is all he has ever said. In fact, there is never ‘that’. It is always this — rolling stone from one side and then from the other.

I will let you on my secret though. Sometimes, I decorate the stone with the color of my choice. It brings me as close to happiness as is ever possible in my case. Sometimes, I challenge myself and roll the stone fast enough to break my own previous record and the adrenaline rush accounts for some satisfaction in my stone rolling life. There are other times, when I just take delight in working at one push at a time. I cover my journey in a leisurely manner enjoying the uniqueness of my task without missing a thing from my surrounding. I have that much control at least, I think. That is exactly when my tormentor comes again with his shouts of, “Roll it baby and roll it fast.”

That does not make me happy at all!

And yet, there had been situations in my life, when I was allowed to continue shoving the stone as per my desires, without any interruption. You wouldn’t believe how terribly bored I was!

That was when I would look for him because I missed the troubles he gave me. I had no idea what pain he would throw my way next but as long as there was some unpredictability around me, I knew I could live.

This is how my monotonous task is driven.

You ask me if I am happy?

I say, “Yes and no.”

You ask next,

“What do I want?”

But I do not know.

Chaos, my friend is the natural course and way,

The desire to classify is yours yet age old.

It had travelled from one single chromosome.

I swear it was all straight,

And made sense,

but only in my head.

Now that it’s on paper,

It’s worthless and dead!


You must know,

I am Sisyphus,

And so are you.


we roll the stone.

Too brave to die;

Too coward to live.

Too tired to enjoy;

Too alive to give up.

Originally published on Medium