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Profundities

 

7.08.2004


the KFC at Wickenburg

Warning: another short story

Liliata rutlantium
Turma circumdet
Iubilantium te virginum


As Stephen left the KFC, he was thinking of the Rituale Romanum; This is the part of the commendation for a departing soul. Not that she were dying; but he knew at that moment that it was beginnning of the death of her memories.

Life has offered Stephen innumerous tempations of a conventional existance, this time he decided to plunge into the labyrinthine maze of self-doubt, self-examination and unhappiness that comes with letting go of her rather than carry on. As did his namesake in Joyce's Ulysses, Stephen had no intention of going back.

Would you give up what could be, for the sake of what is? She was very pretty, as lovely as the sun is bright. There was something special about her and then too, there was something special about them; but they had never delved into the 'us' part, they had always been he and she. Time might have changed all that. A couple of months and there wouldn't have been a he and she, but Stephen was not willing to take a chance. What could be is not as valuable as what is.

"You have to forgive me for this; we won't be meeting again". Little did she know that he had not given up on her; he just wanted to hold on to her.

PS: As you might have guessed, this is about Stephen parting with his girlfriend. He considers their relationship pristine; at the first blemish of a smear on their relationship, he decides to end it. He isn't thinking of the higher planes that relationship might have reached; he cherishes whatever they had between them and feels that giving it up was the best way to keep it immaculate.

Profundities ::


26 Comments:
At July 8, 2004 at 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you come up with that latin? I don't think anyone would do what the character in you story did. If someone did that, he would be called a quitter, not a philosopher as in your story ;)
-Kavi

 
At July 9, 2004 at 9:47 AM, Blogger mr said...

That latin is directly from the Ulysses, my only effort was to figure out what that latin meant ;) On the third reading of the Ulysses, I thought "what the heck. why does Joyce have to make it even more harder to read this damn thing"- and then I realized that there was some profundity involved :)

I wouldn't be so critical of Stephen, after all, what would a Howard Roark or a Paul Morel have done? ( Paul is the protagonist of "Sons and Lovers" by D. H. Lawrence another of my all time favs )

 
At July 11, 2004 at 7:17 PM, Blogger mr said...

I got a lot of comments about this story; I shud say 'complaints' rather :( Turns out the story was too obstruse to be a pleasant read. What is the written word, if it can't be understood? Point taken.

 
At July 11, 2004 at 9:18 PM, Blogger Holly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 13, 2004 at 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After much soul searching I am sure that Stephen will realize that to love and not lose or to not risk loving at all is to not live at all. Once he is willing to plunge in and hold near and dear to him what he has and could have in the future, only then will Stephen truly live life to the fullest and have no regrets. If he loses her, then it wasn't meant to be. But he must try and not give up! He will sleep better at night knowing he gave all of himself for that special someone.

 
At July 15, 2004 at 10:12 AM, Blogger Umesh said...

Well said, Anonymous. That was just well said.

 
At July 17, 2004 at 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! It takes a lot of pain in ones life to know it, to see it, to feel it, and to express it. One can certainly feel for Stephen and wish him only the best.

 
At July 18, 2004 at 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. I needed to add that in all honesty, what was "well said" was Stephen's heartwrenching story and how beautifully it was written. A truly gifted writer is one that touches others. After reading this tender story, it touched my heart which prompted my original comment. Keep up the great work(and don't give up on her)!

 
At July 19, 2004 at 3:33 PM, Blogger mr said...

Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. Your analysis of the storyline is pretty impressive; I will definitely keep your inputs in mind for the next episode of my KFC storyline.

 
At July 21, 2004 at 3:02 PM, Blogger mr said...

I found this comment about this story at
http://nostalgica.blogspot.com/ in the comment section of the July 12th post.

Syl: I read the post and as many readers commented, I too found it a little difficult to understand the story...haven't really understood it actually...

Why did Stephen give up on the person he loved, that wasn't clear to me. If it was just for the sake of giving up and preserving the quality of the relationship as it was, then i am still more confused...It would mean that people who love should necessarily break away from each other at some point for fear that their love might "diminish" or "not remain as it is" ...I frankly do not understand that when the trust itself is missing, where comes the love?

Nevil: very good points.
Would people who love necessarily break up from each other at some point for fear? Usually we don't, but haven't we all thought about it when we are in love? Stephen might have thought that hanging on was selfish on his part.

Take another example where this is clearer- she is a mother bidding farewell to her child who is about to board a ship to America. She knows fully well that she won't see him again. She is letting him go. Why? She let go of him for the sake of the relationship. Haven't we all done this at some time knowingly or unknowingly?

"when the trust itself is missing, where comes the love?" hmmm I guess from the previous example, it is clear now that trust need not have anything to do with Stephen's decision.

 
At July 22, 2004 at 8:52 AM, Blogger Sylvia D'souza said...

I do not see any relationship between the Mother-Child example and the story of Stephen and his love, that is, if i have understood the story correctly. As i mentioned in the comment, if Stephen is giving up on his love "purely for the sake of giving up", I do not understand it. When a mother lets go of her child when he is sailing off to distant countries, knowing full well that he won't come back again, she does so because she believes that this step will take him higher up in his life. She does it for his own good and out of her love for him. But to come back to the story, i do not understand the logic of "giving up" a person one loves, where there is plainly no emotional or practical "reason" for doing so, and if the reason is merely that one is "afraid the love will diminish or not survive", then as i said, the love itself has to be lacking that does not trust in its own survival.

To give a more apt example, how about a father giving up his son and sending him to the orphanage because he "fears" he is incapable of being the perfect parent for him!

 
At July 22, 2004 at 9:56 AM, Blogger mr said...

Very impressive argument Syl. You can really articulate your point of view.
Syl:"As i mentioned in the comment, if Stephen is giving up on his love "purely for the sake of giving up", I do not understand it."

The answer to that 'if' predicate is no. Stephen, did give up due to the reason you gave. The story does not depict incidents that occurred that forced Stephen to think about the future. What the story depicts is Stephen's self-examination and unhappiness as he tries to figure out what to do, now that some things have happened. The incidents by themselves had no significance in his decision, hence he does not dwell on it.

Astute readers like Syl would wonder why these incidents were not depicted in the story. The name of the story has an unnecessary location reference alluding to details that were withheld. The direct reference to Stephen Dedalus of Ulysses also is supposed to point out that there is more to how Stephen ended up where he is, than is explained.

Delving directly into the mind of Stephen without providing the entire context caused a thousand question marks to pop up in the minds of many readers. Lesson learnt.

 
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